This brisket quesadilla is the ultimate way to use up brisket leftovers. Melted cheddar, red onions and smoky BBQ sauce are stuffed in a brisket filled tortilla with crispy edges and a gooey delicious center.
Quesadillas aren’t something that normally pop up on my radar for quick and easy meals. I sorta just forget about them.
How it’s possible to forget about something involving just a handful of simple ingredients including melted gooey cheese and in this case, mouthwatering shredded BBQ brisket is beyond me.
When you make almost 4 pounds of Instant Pot brisket however, you tend to have a bit of leftovers.
And then things like these brisket quesadillas and brisket chili do pop onto your radar out of necessity.
These quesadillas have just 5 simple ingredients to them but they’re BIG on flavor.
Whether you decide to serve them for an easy dinner or a game day appetizer, I promise they’ll be devoured in minutes and you’ll be asked for more.
HOW TO MAKE BRISKET QUESADILLAS
The ingredients you’ll need for these simple quesadillas are:
- shredded/pulled leftover brisket (see how I make it in my Instant Pot brisket story)
- shredded cheddar cheese
- red onion
- BBQ sauce
Get a skillet large enough to fit the tortilla you’re using and place it over medium heat. Once it’s hot, place the tortilla on the skillet and sprinkle the cheese all over the entire surface of the tortilla.
Spread the shredded brisket on top of the cheese on half of the tortilla, lay some sliced onion (I like to slice it very thin) on top of the brisket and then spoon the BBQ sauce on top.
Once the cheese has melted slightly, pick up the cheese only side of the tortilla and flip it over to the side with the toppings.
Press down lightly with a spatula to secure the tortilla into the ingredients. It should do this easily since there’s semi-melted cheese on it.
Cook until the bottom is golden brown and crispy. Then, gently flip the tortilla and cook on the other side for a couple of minutes until it’s browned on the bottom.
The cheese should be melted, gooey and spilling out the sides. YUM.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THE QUESADILLAS
We like to garnish the brisket quesadillas similar to how you would top nachos:
- sliced green onions
- extra BBQ sauce
- sour cream/Greek yogurt
WHAT KIND OF TORTILLAS TO USE
Quesadillas are best made with flour tortillas because they’re much more malleable than corn tortillas.
You can use a 10″-12″ traditional flour tortilla made with wheat flour.
Or, to keep the brisket quesadilla gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free tortilla.
I like cassava tortillas from Siete when cooking gluten-free for things like this.
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE TO USE
Personally, I think sharp cheddar cheese tastes best with the BBQ brisket but any shredded Mexican blend cheese will also work. Pepper jack or Colby would also be good for some additional spice.
I’m just partial to a sharp orange cheddar when it comes to a quesadilla like this. I swear the yellow/orange tastes better than the white even though I’ve been told there’s no difference.
Anyone agree with me on that?
TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST BRISKET QUESADILLA
- If the brisket you’re using wasn’t already tossed in BBQ sauce before shredding, do that! Add a couple tablespoons to the cup of shredded brisket before putting it in the quesadilla for an extra saucy result.
- Love a really gooey quesadilla with a good cheese pull? Double the cheese in the recipe.
- For some extra flavor and tang – use pickled red onions. Pickled pineapple would also be amazing in these quesadillas. In fact, spicy garlic pickles or even just simple homemade pickles would add a great tangy contrast to the sweet BBQ sauce.
A stack of these brisket quesadillas and your favorite sports game is a match made in heaven.
They’re all equally delicious ways to use up leftover shredded brisket.
MORE QUESADILLA RECIPES:
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 cup leftover shredded beef brisket
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- chopped cilantro
- sliced green onion
- sliced avocado
- additional BBQ sauce
- Place a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once hot, lay a tortilla in the pan, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over the entire surface of the tortilla.
- Lay 1/4 cup of shredded brisket on top of the cheese and place a few onion slices on top of the brisket.
- Spoon the BBQ sauce on top then fold the tortilla in half pressing down on the top with a spatula to "seal" the two halves together.
- Cook until golden and crispy on the bottom then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and edges become crispy.
- Remove to a cutting board, cut into thirds and garnish as desired.
- Repeat with remaining 3 tortillas and ingredients.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.