Chipotle Steak Quesadillas (Philly Cheesesteak Quesadillas)
A copycat for Chipotle’s Steak Quesadillas with tender cooked steak, grilled fajita veggies, and melty Oaxaca cheese. Dip it in my homemade chipotle vinaigrette with a dollop of sour cream, and watch how quickly these disappear!
These insanely viral steak quesadillas have been living in my mind rent-free for the better part of two weeks now.
And why wouldn’t they? Just look at them! Sauteed peppers and onions sandwiched between two layers of flour tortillas with tender cooked beef pieces and melty cheese. Have mercy! And just when you thought that was enough, we put together a quick and easy chipotle vinaigrette that you can dip the quesadillas in (and use on salads, of course) with a dollop of sour cream. The acid in the vinaigrette cuts through some of the natural greasiness of steak and cheese quesadillas, and each bite is just heaven! If you think you don’t like dipping your quesadillas in vinaigrette, wait until you try it. It’s some serious flavor bouncing around in your mouth!
This is a quick and hearty lunch recipe when you’ve got leftover fajitas meat for the weekend and just an all-around easy dinner for weeknights.
Ingredients for steak quesadillas:
- Steak: You can use a variety of cuts for this recipe. I usually opt for ribeye that I’ll cut into steak strips. Make sure to cut the steak against the grain. This ensures a tender bite every time. You could also use top sirloin steak, skirt steak, flank steak, or other cuts. I typically like to slice my steak into thin pieces, and I feel it holds better than cubes in a quesadilla recipe; however, you can slice or dice it any way you like!
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: You’ll need a splash of adobo sauce for the steak marinade and a couple of chipotle peppers for the chipotle vinaigrette.
- Seasonings: Ancho chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and kosher salt all help flavor the steak and the vinaigrette. Most of these ingredients are pantry staples, so even though we’re going heavy on the spices, I kept them pretty simple!
- Red Onions: You can use any color of onions you like; I usually like to use red onions for the fajita veggies because that’s what Chipotle uses.
- Green Bell peppers: You’ll want to make thin strips with the peppers and onions. We’ll toss them and give them a little color with the onions before we add them to our quesadillas. Feel free to also add some thinly sliced jalapeño pepper if you like a little heat!
- Shredded Cheese: You can use a variety of cheeses that you like here. I usually opt for queso Oaxaca for homemade quesadillas and my queso dip. Oaxaca melts really well and has a beautiful flavor. But you can also use mozzarella, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack, or any other melting cheese you prefer.
- Tortillas: When I have the time, I like to make my own flour tortillas at home. Quesadillas, tacos, and everything else comes out so much better that way!
- Sour Cream: You’ll need a dollop or two to add to each bowl for dipping!
- Red Wine Vinegar: Is the acid in the vinaigrette. You’ll need 1/3 cup for this recipe.
- Honey: Helps sweeten the vinaigrette just a tad bit. There’s tons of acid, heat, and salty elements in the vinaigrette, and the honey adds a touch of sweetness.
- Garlic: You’ll need a couple of garlic cloves for the vinaigrette. We’ll toss them in whole.
- Oil: The oil gets slowly drizzled into the vinaigrette while the blender is running. This ensures that the vinaigrette stays emulsified.
Chipotle’s Steak Quesadillas Recipe
- Marinade the steak. Start by combining the sliced steak in a medium bowl with a splash of oil, adobo sauce, ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Let the steak marinade for as long as you can, at least 20 minutes, and ideally, about 1 hour.
- Make the vinaigrette. In a blender, combine the vinaigrette ingredients – chipotle peppers, vinegar, honey, water, garlic cloves, onion powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, and pepper. Then, with the blender running, slowly stream in the oil. This is will help the vinaigrette emulsify and keep it from separating later. If you think the dressing is a little thick, you can up the water by another tablespoon, but I usually prefer it a little thicker than Chipotles!
- Saute the vegetables. Thinly slice the peppers and onions and have them ready to go in a mixing bowl before you start assembling the quesadillas. Then heat a skillet over medium heat and saute the peppers and onions with a pinch of salt and oregano. The oregano gives it that fajita veggie smell! Move the peppers to a bowl and keep them warm once they’re done.
- Cook the steak. When the peppers are done, kick the stove up to medium-high heat. Add a single layer of steak and cook them in batches for 2-3 minutes or until the steak is a little underdone to your liking. If you like it medium, pull it off while it’s still medium rare, it’ll finish cooking in the quesadillas.
- Make Quesadillas. In a clean skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat up a tortilla over medium-low heat. Add a handful of shredded cheese, fajita veggies, steak, and a bit more cheese on top. Don’t overload the first one, you can always make them fuller but it’s hard to melt if it’s too full! Fold the tortilla over and cook, pressing lightly with a grill press or a spatula. Then flip the quesadilla in the pan and continue to cook the other side until golden all over! Remove, slice in half or thirds, and serve warm with the vinaigrette and a dollop of sour cream. Store any leftover quesadillas in an airtight container in the fridge. I like to reheat them on the stove in a skillet the same way.
FAQs about this recipe
You can use corn tortillas if you prefer; however, they are a bit less pliable. My instructions for corn tortillas would be to use one tortilla on the bottom and one on the top. It’ll be easier than folding, which could result in tearing.
My personal favorite is Oaxaca because it melts so well. Other cheeses that work are Monterey Jack, Pepper jack, provolone, and mozzarella. Cheddar cheese will also work.
Oaxaca cheese is most commonly used in Mexico for quesadillas. It’s similar to mozzarella and melts beautifully.
You can serve this with homemade refried black beans, mexican rice, or cilantro lime rice with chips, tomato salsa, or guacamole on the side. You can also serve quesadillas with my favorite salad tossed with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
Make my honey chipotle chicken bowls!!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Street Corn Salad with Black Beans
- Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
- Quesabirria Tacos
- Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme
- Crispy Chicken Carnitas
- 1¼ pound ribeye, top sirloin or flat iron steak, thinly sliced (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from chipotle
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon EACH: ground cumin AND garlic powder
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups Oaxaca cheese, shredded
- Flour tortillas
- Sour cream, for serving
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 small garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon EACH: onion powder AND dried oregano, plus more
- ½ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup oil (olive, avocado, etc.)
- MARINATE: Add the thinly sliced steak to a bowl, toss with oil, adobo sauce, ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and ¾ teaspoon salt; set aside for now.
- VINAIGRETTE: add the ingredients for the vinaigrette, except the oil to a blender. Run the blender on low speed to mix, then kick up to medium, slowly pour in the oil as you run the blender so that the dressing emulsifies. Pour the dressing into a glass jar and set aside for later.
- VEGGIES: Spray a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and cook the red onions and bell pepper for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Season with a tiny pinch of salt and dried oregano to make them just like chipotles! Remove to a shallow bowl and keep warm.
- STEAK: Wipe down the veggie skillet. Kick the heat up to medium-high. Add the steak in a single layer (do this in at least 2 batches, so the meat doesn’t steam.) Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the meat is halfway done. You don’t want to cook it through just yet as it’ll cook in the quesadillas as well.
- QUESADILLAS: In a clean skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat a tortilla over medium heat. Add a handful of shredded cheese, ~ ¼ cup of fajita veggies, ~¼ cup of steak, and a bit more cheese to one side of the tortilla. Cover the tortilla with the other half and grill for 2-3 minutes, flipping around the halfway mark or until crisped to your liking. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream mixed into individual bowls of the vinaigrette!
- Steak: be sure to slice it against the grain for a tender bite.