Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Ingredients

1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

1 pound ground beef (I used extra lean beef)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (or to taste, optional)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons unsalted beef broth

12 ounces shredded cheese mixture (about 3 cups (or a combination of cheddar, Monterey jack and mozzarella for pizza))

6 flour tortillas (mine were about 7-8 inches in diameter)

cooking spray or oil (to grease the pan)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (to keep quesadillas warm while baking batches).

In a skillet (I used a non-stick pan), add the olive oil over medium heat.

When it shimmers, add ground beef, chili powder, chipotle powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper powder (if using). Heat until meat is cooked through and crumbles with a wooden spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and broth and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove beef from pan and place in a bowl. If there is excess fat, drain/remove it.

Divide about 8 ounces (or 2 cups) of cheese between all tortillas (on one side).

Note: Reserve the remaining 4 ounces (or 1 cup of cheese).

Also, if your tortillas are smaller or larger than the ones I used, the amount will vary.

Spread the ground beef over the top of the cheese.  Then sprinkle the remaining 1 cup or 4 ounces of cheese over the ground beef. Fold tortilla into a half-moon shape.

Working in batches (about 2 quesadillas per batch), spray pan with cooking spray and cook quesadillas (over medium-low heat) for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and cheese is melted (turning carefully and watching to make sure they do not burn). Continuing in batches, place the cooked quesadillas on a baking sheet in the preheated oven to keep warm.

Cut each half-moon in half. Serve with salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream. Enjoy!

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