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Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas

Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas bring some Indian spices to a batch of easy, cheesy quesadillas — for a deliciously different take on your next taco night.

Here’s a new and different recipe mashup for your Taco Tuesday (or, you know, any night…). I’ll be the first to admit that Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas are not particularly authentic, but they have the flavor I was craving — using the easily-accessible ingredients I had on hand.

Hope you enjoy them, too! Try out these Indian-spiced quesadillas for a differently delicious twist on your next taco night.

Keema (or kheema) matar is an Indian spiced ground meat & peas dish more traditionally made with mutton). My somewhat less authentic version here lacks the whole spices (and some of the complex depth) of the traditional dish, but still adds a deliciously different flavor profile to this ground beef quesadillas recipe.

I used mozzarella in today’s quesadillas to let the flavor of the spiced ground beef shine through. Another mild cheese such as jack or chihuahua would also work nicely. As always these days, let’s get cooking with what we have on hand!

Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/4 of a medium yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
12 medium flour tortillas
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Directions

First, make your beef mixture:

Dice the onion and garlic.

Brown the ground beef, garlic, and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up as you go, until beef is fully cooked. Drain and return to the pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the spices until nicely combined with the beef mixture.

Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and frozen peas. Simmer until most of the liquid is gone.

Then, make your quesadillas:

Make quesadillas three at a time in a 12″ cast iron skillet. To do so:

add cheese and beef to the tortillas

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella across half of each tortilla. Top that with the beef mixture, and fold each tortilla in half over the filling.

Brown the quesadillas in your skillet, three at a time over medium heat, until tortillas are nicely browned and cheese is melted.

brown the quesadillas in the pan

Flip carefully (I used a pancake turner), and repeat on the other side. Repeat this process until all quesadillas are browned. Enjoy!

divide the meat into quarters in the pan

Note: To help make the ground beef mixture come out even, just use your spoon to divide it into quarters in the pan and use 1/4 of the meat for each set of three quesadillas.

Deliciously Different Quesadillas

Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas bring some Indian spices to a batch of easy, cheesy quesadillas -- for a deliciously different take on your next taco night.

Yum! How’s that for the best of both worlds? These quesadillas sport satisfying layers of savory meat & melty cheese. The keema has only a slight kick (which you could spice up more to your taste, if desired), which is mellowed out by the complementary mozzarella. Peas work surprisingly well in quesadillas, too, adding a pleasing pop of sweetness and texture.

I have an ongoing habit of throwing all sorts of leftover meat & veggies into quesadillas for lunch (tortillas and cheese just make everything better…). Sometimes, though, it’s also fun to plan a whole filling quesadilla dinner from scratch: Add a side and/or some fruit, and this recipe feeds a family of four.

Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas, printable recipe

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5 from 2 votes

Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas

Keema Inspired Ground Beef Quesadillas bring some Indian spices to a batch of easy, cheesy quesadillas — for a deliciously different take on your next taco night.
Course dinner
Cuisine quesadillas
Keyword ground beef, ground beef quesadillas, keema, keema quesadillas, kheema, quesadillas
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 of a medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 12 medium flour tortillas
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella

Instructions

First, make your beef mixture:

  • Dice the onion and garlic.
  • Brown the ground beef, garlic, and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up as you go, until beef is fully cooked. Drain and return to the pan.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the spices until nicely combined with the beef mixture.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and frozen peas. Simmer until most of the liquid is gone.

Then, make your quesadillas:

  • Make quesadillas three at a time in a 12″ cast iron skillet. To do so:
  • Sprinkle shredded mozzarella across half of each tortilla. Top that with the beef mixture, and fold each tortilla in half over the filling.
  • Brown the quesadillas in your skillet, three at a time over medium heat, until tortillas are nicely browned and cheese is melted.

Notes

To help make the ground beef mixture come out even, just use your spoon to divide it into quarters in the pan and use 1/4 of the meat for each set of three quesadillas.

Recipes in the real world

weekly ALDI meal plans from Mashup Mom -- six complete dinners for four, $60 out the door! MashupMom.com, every Wednesday.

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Recipe Rating




Neil Szuch

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Delicious recipe. Made as written with the exception of only using half the cayenne since I have a picky about cayenne spice 7 year old.

Very easy. Absolutely packed with flavor.

Elizabeth

Sunday 31st of May 2020

Husband said "yum".

Christine

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

We had this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. It has a slight kick to it since I added a bit more cayenne which we like. I did not have ginger and it still tasted great. A bit time consuming, so if you are in a hurry be prepared to flip the quesadillas. I realize we are a house divided on cinnamon flavor. This has a definite cinnamon flavor. Overall, a nice change for dinner/lunch than the average quesadilla. Thanks Rachel!

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