Beef & Spinach Quesadillas with Smoky Ranch-Dressed Salad

Beef & Spinach Quesadillas

with Smoky Ranch-Dressed Salad

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

These quesadillas pack plenty of cheesy, zesty flavor thanks to monterey jack cheese and a mix of cumin, paprika, and more—all layered with verdant spinach and tender sliced beef. For a kick of heat, we’re mixing creamy ranch dressing with that same smoky blend of Mexican-style spices to dress our side salad.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    640 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Beef & Spinach Quesadillas with Smoky Ranch-Dressed Salad
Title
  • 1⅛ lbs Thinly Sliced Beef
  • 4 Flour Tortillas
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 4 oz Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts
  • 1 oz Sliced Pickled Jalapeño Pepper
  • 3 Tbsps Ranch Dressing
  • ⅓ cup Crispy Onions
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican Spice Blend (Ancho Chile Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin & Dried Mexican Oregano)
  • 4 oz Fontina Cheese
Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. Halve the tomatoes. Roughly chop the lettuce. In a large bowl, combine the halved tomatoes and chopped lettuce. Roughly chop the pepper. Thoroughly wash your hands, knife, and cutting board immediately after handling. In a bowl, combine the ranch dressing, 1 teaspoon of the spice blend, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the beef:
2 Cook the beef:

Separate the beef; pat dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl; season with salt, pepper, and the remaining spice blend. Toss to coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned beef in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beef is browned and just cooked through. Carefully drain off and discard any excess oil. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. 

Wilt the spinach:
3 Wilt the spinach:

In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Turn off the heat. 

Assemble & cook the quesadillas:
4 Assemble & cook the quesadillas:

Assemble the quesadillas using the tortillas, grated cheese, cooked beef, wilted spinach, and as much of the chopped pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Wipe out the pan used to cook the spinach. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in two batches, add the quesadillas. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and the cheese is melted (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil between batches). Transfer to a cutting board; immediately season with salt. Carefully cut into equal-sized wedges.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
5 Make the salad & serve your dish:

Just before serving, to the bowl of prepared tomatoes and lettuce, add the dressing and crispy onions. Toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the quesadillas with the salad on the side. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. Halve the tomatoes. Roughly chop the lettuce. In a large bowl, combine the halved tomatoes and chopped lettuce. Roughly chop the pepper. Thoroughly wash your hands, knife, and cutting board immediately after handling. In a bowl, combine the ranch dressing, 1 teaspoon of the spice blend, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2 Cook the beef:

Separate the beef; pat dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl; season with salt, pepper, and the remaining spice blend. Toss to coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned beef in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beef is browned and just cooked through. Carefully drain off and discard any excess oil. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. 

Cook the beef:
Wilt the spinach:
3 Wilt the spinach:

In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Turn off the heat. 

4 Assemble & cook the quesadillas:

Assemble the quesadillas using the tortillas, grated cheese, cooked beef, wilted spinach, and as much of the chopped pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Wipe out the pan used to cook the spinach. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in two batches, add the quesadillas. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and the cheese is melted (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil between batches). Transfer to a cutting board; immediately season with salt. Carefully cut into equal-sized wedges.

Assemble & cook the quesadillas:
Make the salad & serve your dish:
5 Make the salad & serve your dish:

Just before serving, to the bowl of prepared tomatoes and lettuce, add the dressing and crispy onions. Toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the quesadillas with the salad on the side. Enjoy! 

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