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A featured image of layers of quartered carne asada quesadillas on a cutting board.
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5 from 7 votes

Carne Asada Quesadillas

These simple carne asada quesadillas are filled with traditional Mexican carne asada, cheese and charred green bell peppers. Tender, juicy asada makes these steak quesadillas all the better and more flavorful!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinating Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: bell pepper, cheese, quesadilla, steak
Servings: 3 quesadillas
Calories: 433kcal
Author: Elise Shivamber

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces flank steak
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese

Carne Asada Marinade

  • ¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed about 1 orange
  • ¼ cup Lime Juice about 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

Optional Garnish

  • ¼ cup cilantro roughly chopped

Instructions

Prep Ingredients & Marinate the Carne Asada

  • Pat the flank steak dry and sprinkle both sides with salt.
    ½ teaspoon Salt
  • Mix together both of the marinade ingredients in a bowl or resealable bag.
    ¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed, ¼ cup Lime Juice
  • Add the flank or skirt steak (whole) into the bag or bowl with the marinade. Use tongs to evenly coat the steak with marinade.
    10 ounces flank steak
  • Marinate the carne asada for 30-60 minutes (in the refrigerator).
  • While the steak marinates, dice the bell pepper. First, cut the pepper off of the stem. Next, slice thin ½” strips of pepper. Lastly, chop each strip into cube-sizes. The result should be ½-1” thick squares. Leave to the side.
    1 small green bell pepper
  • Once marinated for 30-60 minutes, take the steak out and pat dry.

Cook the Carne Asada & Peppers

  • Pre-heat your cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Allow it to preheat until hot.
  • Place the marinated steak on the cast iron skillet. Let sit without touching for 3 minutes.
  • Flip the steak to the other side. Let sear for an additional 3-5 minutes, until internal temperature is 135ºF for Medium-Rare to Medium.
  • Remove the carne asada steak from the skillet and onto a cutting board and let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes. While the steak rests, toss the cubed green peppers into the cast iron skillet for 2-3 minutes, until slightly softened and charred. Remove from the pan and to the side.
  • Once rested, cut the carne asada in 1” cubes.

Make the Quesadillas

  • Preheat a large skillet pan on medium-high heat.
  • Spray neutral oil on the pan and place a corn tortilla on top of the pan. (If you don’t have spray oil, use 1 teaspoon of regular oil)
    6 corn tortillas
  • Add ¼ cup of shredded cheese, ¼ cup of cooked steak, and ⅓ cup of charred pepper.
  • Top the corn tortilla with another ¼ cup of cheese and the top half of the quesadilla (the second corn tortilla).
  • When the cheese is semi melted and the quesadilla bottom is crispy and browned (about 3-minutes), flip the quesadilla to the other side. If you have issues with the items falling out, try cooking the quesadilla for longer on one side, or carefully use tongs and a spatula to flip.
  • Once the second side is browned (about another 3-minutes), remove from the pan. NOTE: Quesadillas typically take longer at first as your skillet gets hotter. By the second or third quesadilla you may have to turn down the heat to prevent the tortilla from burning.
  • Spray with more spray neutral oil, or regular oil. Repeat with additional quesadillas, following steps 2-6.
  • Once all quesadillas are complete, cut into halves or quarters, sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro, and enjoy while warm!
    ¼ cup cilantro roughly chopped

Video

Notes

Storage directions: keep leftovers (or meal prep) in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Make sure to allow quesadillas to cool completely before moving to the refrigerator.
Reheat directions: Reheat in the oven at 325ºF on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until cheese is re-melted and tortilla is crisp. To reheat in a skillet, spray oil on skillet and heat each side for about one minute. You can reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals, however the results will be a slightly soggy quesadilla.Freezing directions: To freeze quesadillas, wrap each quesadilla individually in plastic wrap. Arrange in a layer on a baking sheet and freeze until completely firm. Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Store in the freezer for up to two months.
You need a hot pan or cast iron skillet: If you are cooking your carne asada steak inside (aka not on the grill), make sure the grill pan or cast iron skillet is really hot. This will allow for a charred outside, but keeping the inside juicy. 
Heat your pan for at least 4 minutes to make sure it’s hot enough. To check, you can splatter a drop of water and if it sizzles in the pan it’s hot.
Make sure to not over marinate: Don’t over marinate. Leaving a steak (or any protein) in an acidic marinade for longer than 4-hours can actually hurt it. That is because the acidity of the lime juice can actually negatively affect the steak. I recommend 30-60 minutes.
Marinate in the fridge: When you marinate the carne asada, you want to keep it in the fridge. Use a resealable plastic bag or even use a glass baking dish.
Cut the flank steak properly: When cutting flank or skirt steak, make sure to cut against the grain! Look for the lines in the meat and cut perpendicular to them! This makes it less chewy and easier to eat, especially in quesadilla form.
Use a meat thermometer: The USDA recommends steaks be cooked through to 145ºF (medium) and to rest at least 3 minutes to avoid foodborne illness. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to confirm, as color is not always an indicator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadillas | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 668IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 355mg | Iron: 3mg