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Food Network personality, chef and cookbook author of 101 Epic Dishes, Jet Tila, uses leftover braised beef chuck, which is simple and inexpensive to make, in what he calls his super-cheesy "fric-adillas." Get it? Quesadillas with a frico coating. He likes to include a grain, a green and a vegetable in his quesadillas, but you can use whatever you like. Canned unsalted black beans that have been rinsed and drained thoroughly are another good option. 

Note that this recipe makes two "loaded" quesadillas that are quartered for four servings. If you don't have two large nonstick skillets to cook the quesadillas at the same time, you can make them one by one. 

Pro Tip from Chef Tila: When measuring the braised beef, there's no need to separate the onion, celery, carrot and juices. They help flavor the quesadillas.  

For more of Chef Tila's recipes made with leftover braised beef chuck, check out his Korean Beef Tacos with Homemade Gochujang Salsa, Quick Pizza with Braised Beef, Peppers and Onions and Shortcut Braised Beef Ragu with Pappardelle


  • 1 2/3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 packed cups fresh spinach
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Nonstick non-aerosol cooking spray, as needed
  • Four 8-inch flour tortillas
  • ½ cup frozen whole-kernel corn or the kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn
  • ¾ cup packaged precooked quinoa or rice
  • 1 cup leftover Braised Beef Chuck, shredded
To Serve:
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Your favorite salsa


Serves: 4


In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano with the cheddar and mozzarella and blend together with your fingers. Set aside. 

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and a splash of water, season with salt and pepper and saute, tossing occasionally, until wilted. Transfer the drained spinach to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess moisture.  

Meanwhile, heat two large nonstick skillets over medium-low heat, then spray with nonstick spray. Place 1 tortilla in each pan, briefly toast the bottom, then flip it over. 

Spread one-fourth of the blended cheeses on half of each tortilla. Top that with half the corn, half the beef, half the spinach, half the quinoa and another one-fourth of the blended cheeses. (The cheeses usually provide enough salt, but season with salt and pepper, if desired.) 

Fold the bare half of each tortilla over the fillings to create a half-moon shape and let cook until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom of the tortilla is light brown. Flip the quesadillas and cook until lightly brown the other side. Transfer to a cutting board. 

Keep the pans over medium-low heat and spray with more nonstick spray. Sprinkle half of the remaining 1 cup Parmigiano cheese over the bottom of each pan, let melt for a few seconds, then set one quesadilla on half the cheese in each pan. Let cook for another few seconds, then flip and cook a few seconds more; be careful not to over-brown.  

Transfer to a cutting board, slice each quesadilla into four wedges and serve immediately with avocado, cilantro and salsa. (The quesadillas can also be reheated later on a sheet pan in a 350°F oven until the filling is hot and the cheese inside is gooey.)