Copycat Applebee's Quesadilla Burgers

Quesadilla burger with guacamole

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 burger (4 servings)

If you're tired of the same old burgers and long for something unique, these quesadilla burgers are an excellent choice. The burgers are similar to Applebee's famous sandwiches, assembled with cheese quesadillas made with street-size tortillas. This version includes some pico de gallo salsa along with cheddar jack cheese—feel free to use pepper jack cheese or add some minced jalapeno peppers to the salsa mixture. Chopped cooked bacon would be a tasty addition as well, or add a few strips of bacon to the burgers when you assemble them.

If you want to make only one or two burgers, just scale it down. Or scale the recipe up for a larger family or get together. Street-size tortillas are quite small, but you might want to cut them down slightly to make them bun-size—about four inches in diameter.

For extra cheesy burgers, mound extra cheese in the filling of the top quesadilla, or add a slice or two of cheese to the burgers just before they are done.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced, or about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 16 street-size flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cheddar jack cheese (shredded, or cheddar, pepper jack, or a Mexican blend)
  • 1 cup pico de gallo salsa (or finely diced tomatoes, plus more for topping)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • Optional: guacamole, sour cream, taco sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for quesadilla burgers.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Mix the ground beef with the chili powder and garlic or garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into 4 burgers and refrigerate until it is time to cook them.

    Shape the burgers.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Heat the oven to 200 F. If desired, cut the street-size tortillas down to a 4-inch diameter.

    Make the tortillas bun-size.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brush one side of a tortilla with vegetable oil or spray with cooking oil spray. Place the tortilla, oiled side down, in the hot skillet. Top the tortilla with shredded cheese and scatter some pico de gallo or diced tomato over the cheese.

    Add shredded cheese and pico de gallo.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Oil one side of another tortilla and place it, oiled side up, on the cheese and salsa layer. Once the bottom tortilla is browned, flip to brown the other side. Place the tortilla on a baking sheet and place it in the 200 F oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling ingredients to make 8 mini quesadillas.

    Quesadilla bun in a skillet.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Fry the burgers for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until the desired doneness is reached.

    Burger in a skillet.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Assemble the burgers in the quesadilla "buns" with shredded lettuce and extra cheese and salsa, if desired.

    Assembling a quesadilla burger.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, and/or taco sauce. Enjoy!

    Quesadilla burger assembled on cutting board.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Tips

  • When shaping burgers, use your thumb or fingers to make an indentation in the center. This will help the burger hold its flat shape and ensure the beef cooks evenly.
  • To lighten these burgers, use less cheese in the bottom quesadilla, or use only one tortilla for the bottom "bun."