This Applebee's Quesadilla Burger is the perfect restaurant copycat made lighter at home, right down to the Mexi-ranch sauce!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Extra-lean ground beef – ground turkey can be used for a leaner option.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Flour tortillas – you can try using whole-wheat tortillas or even corn tortillas.
- Grated cheddar cheese – substitute for another cheese of your choice like Tex Mex or Monterey Jack.
- Pico de gallo – use store-bought for easy prep or make your own. You could also swap out for your favourite salsa.
- Iceberg lettuce – romaine lettuce would also work.
- Ranch dressing – use store-bought ranch or make your own.
- Sour cream – low-fat sour cream will cut down on the calorie count.
- Taco seasoning – make your own with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and pepper.
How to make a quesadilla burger
Step 1: Form and cook the burger patties.
Mix ground beef with salt & pepper then form into 2 large round patties. Add to a skillet over med-high heat and cook for 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, mix ingredients for Mexi-ranch sauce together in a medium-sized bowl.
Step 2: Start browning the tortilla.
Wipe out the skillet you used for the hamburgers, then place it back on the stove and add a tortilla. Sprinkle on some cheese.
Step 3: Add burger to the tortilla.
Put the burger on top of the tortilla.
Step 4: Add cheese and top with another tortilla.
Sprinkle on more cheese and another tortilla. Cover with a lid and fry until the cheese has melted, carefully flipping about halfway through.
Step 5: Remove burger from heat.
Once fully cooked, lift the burger off of each bottom quesadilla.
Step 6: Add toppings.
Drizzle in Mexi-ranch sauce and add a layer of lettuce and pice de gallo. Cut each quesadilla in half, then serve and enjoy!
What to serve with a quesadilla burger
Nothing goes better with a burger than fries. Use your favourite frozen variety or make your own – it’s super easy!
You can also try my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries for something a little different. Get these started while you’re cooking your Applebee’s quesadilla burger and let the air fryer do the work while you use the stove.
Some other side options to serve with your cheeseburger quesadillas are:
- Salad or coleslaw
- Veggie sticks (dip them in more of that Mexi-ranch sauce!)
- Chips and salsa
Frequently Asked Questions
This delicious meal is exactly what it sounds like: a juicy hamburger in the middle of a warm quesadilla. But it’s not just a cheeseburger in a tortilla – this recipe adds extra flavour and texture with lettuce, salsa, and a tangy sauce.
This Applebee’s quesadilla burger recipe makes two whole quesadilla burgers to serve four people. Each serving, which is half of a burger, has 550 calories. In comparison, the Applebee’s version has 1,400 calories per serving, so I've saved you a massive amount of calories to be able to enjoy this restaurant favourite at home!
The quesadilla burger from Applebee’s is made with chuck burger patties, sliced Pepper Jack cheese, Applewood-smoked bacon, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce and Mexi-Ranch sauce served in a cheddar quesadilla. My copycat recipe is a bit lighter on the calories as it omits the bacon and uses homemade Mexi-Ranch sauce.
Storing and reheating
It’s best to assemble your Applebee’s quesadilla burger when you’re ready to eat it. Refrigerating and reheating creates an unpleasant texture in the dish. That being said, you can easily prep your ingredients and store them separately until you’re ready to put everything together!
Shred the lettuce and cheese and store in Ziploc bags or airtight containers. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days to a week. The Mexi-ranch sauce can also be made ahead of time and stored for about a week as well.
If you want to have several patties ready-to-use, follow the instructions for cooking the hamburger in this recipe. Cool and wrap each individual hamburger patty well before placing them in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 3 to 4 days. Then, either bring the patites to room temperature or microwave them for about a minute before assembling your cheeseburger quesadillas as normal.
Freezing this recipe
Freezing these assembled cheeseburger quesadillas is not a great idea, but you can freeze the hamburger patties for future use! Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil, place them in a freezer bag and store for up to 4 months. When you’re ready to use the patties, defrost them in the fridge overnight before assembling your quesadilla burger.
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Applebee's Quesadilla Burger
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 4 large flour tortillas
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup store bought pico de gallo
- 1 cup iceberg lettuce
- 2 tbsp ranch dressing
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp taco seasoning
- Mix ground beef with salt & pepper then form into 2 large round patties. Add to a skillet over med-high heat and cook for 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, mix ingredients for Mexi-ranch sauce together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Remove burgers from heat. Add 1/2 cup cheese to one tortilla. Place burger on top, then add another 1/2 cup cheese and finish with another tortilla. Repeat process one more time to form a second quesadilla.
- Fry one quesadilla at a time in a large frying pan covered with a lid over med-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping very carefully. Once cheese is melted, remove from heat.
- Lift the burger off of each bottom quesadilla to drizzle in Mexi-ranch sauce and add a layer of lettuce and pice de gallo. Cut each quesadilla in half, then serve and enjoy!