Quesadilla Burger

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This is our healthier, copycat version of our favorite burger at Applebee’s…the Quesadilla Burger! An easy sandwich with endless combinations for your summer picnics.

I’ve always loved Memorial Day.  My memories from when I was little include going to a parade in our small town, then having a cookout for lunch after the parade.  It’s the kickoff to summer. The sign that school is almost done. The weekend we usually plant flowers. Ahhhh….it’s summer.

quesadilla burger cut in half

Copycat Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger

Several years ago, my son was on an Applebee’s kick. Anytime he was choosing our restaurant, he chose Applebee’s. I found something I loved on the menu.

The Quesadilla Burger.

Then shortly after that, I heard a news report that was telling the most unhealthy things to eat at restaurants. Guess what one of the most unhealthy thing to eat at Applebee’s was? Yep, you guessed it.

The Quesadilla Burger.

That brought a challenge to me…recreate the Quesadilla Burger at home! I didn’t try to make this burger exactly like the one from Applebee’s.  It is just inspired by my favorite restaurant burger. Does Applebee’s still make the quesadilla burger? Yes. But we like ours now. We use lean ground beef and leave off the bacon. That’s a lot of calories saved right there.

ingredients for quesadilla burger

What you’ll love about this burger:

  • it’s unique
  • uses flour tortillas instead of buns
  • easy 3 ingredient sauce
  • lighter than the Applebee’s version

How to Make Quesadilla Burgers

Grill the burgers.

We used ⅓ pound ground beef for each burger. We pressed the burgers wide and thin so that they’d fit the tortilla. Grill on a hot (400º Fahrenheit) grill for 5 minutes on one side, then flip and grill til the center reaches 165º Fahrenheit.

Toast the tortillas.

Spray a skillet with some non-stick spray and lightly toast the flour tortillas. This gives them a great little crunch on the outside, but they are still chewy on the inside.

Street taco size tortillas work the best. If you’d like, you can cut down regular flour tortillas a bit to fit the burger better, or just try to make your burgers big and flat.

Make the sauce.

The sauce for this burger is simply a mix of ketchup, mayo and pico de gallo. If you don’t have a recipe you use for Pico, try ours out.  I promise you, it’s easy.  Not as easy as buying a pre-made package in the store, but the homemade taste is soooo worth the 15 minutes it takes to cut up the veggies.

Build the burger.

Place a tortilla on a plate. Next, layer your burger, cheese, lettuce, sauce and more pico de gallo for an extra kick. Then serve!

loaded quesadilla burger on a plate

What to Serve with Quesadilla Burgers

If you’re looking to stick with a Mexican theme, try one of these sides:

hand holding bite of quesadilla burger

Recipe Variations:

  • Make this sandwich with your favorite veggie burger.
  • Use ground turkey for an even healthier option.
  • Use low fat mayonnaise and low sugar ketchup.
  • For a low carb option, use a lettuce wrap.
  • Serve on traditional hamburger buns if you’d like.
half of a quesadilla burger on a plate
half of a quesadilla burger on a plate

Quesadilla Burger {Applebee’s Copycat}

4.84 from 6 votes
This is our healthier, copycat version of our favorite burger at Applebee’s…the Quesadilla Burger!
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

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  • 2 pounds ground beef (we used 96% lean ground beef)
  • 12 street taco-size flour tortillas
  • 12 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Pico de Gallo
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup


  • Form 2 pounds of ground beef into 6 hamburger patties. To make them fit the flour tortillas better, make the patties thinner, with a diameter of about 4-5 inches. Grill the burgers on a preheated grill (400º Fahrenheit). The internal temperature should be at least 165º Fahrenheit.
  • While the burgers are grilling, spray a frying pan with cooking spray. With the stove on medium-low, lightly toast the flour tortillas for about 2-3 minutes on each side. They should be light brown, and still a little chewy on the inside.
  • Put one slice of cheese on a toasted flour tortilla. Place a burger over the cheese with another slice of cheese on top of the burger.
  • For the sauce, mix the ketchup and mayonnaise. Mix in ¾ cup Pico de Gallo to the mayonnaise/ketchup mixture.
  • Spread some of the sauce mixture on each burger, and top with another spoonful of Pico de Gallo and some lettuce. Top with another flour tortilla.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!


The calories shown are based on the recipe making 6 sandwiches, with the serving size being one sandwich. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**


Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 1421mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 721IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 330mg | Iron: 6mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 759
Keyword grilling, picnic, summer

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About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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5 years ago

My husband and I loved this burger! You don’t even miss the bun!! I added hamburger pickles, red onion, avocado on an Ezekiel wrap. So delish!

10 years ago

This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes. Pinned!

10 years ago

That looks delicious! x

Tumbleweed Contessa
10 years ago

Yum! I love that burger too. I also didn’t think the bacon was necessary. Thanks for reinventing it for us and sharing at the Burger Bash.

10 years ago

These look amazing!

Sarah | Yahoo! Shine
10 years ago

This is insane in the best, most delicious way possible! I hope you’ll contribute it to this month’s Shine Supper Club.