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Leftover Brisket Quesadillas with Pepper Jack Cheese

Sneak Preview: Brisket Quesadillas with Pepper Jack Cheese and barbecue sauce are a great way to use up leftover brisket.

Beef briskets seem to come only in large and X-large sizes. At my house, that means brisket leftovers. Try these quesadillas with brisket, barbecue sauce, and shredded cheese if you have a similar problem.

leftover brisket covered with barbecue sauce inside crispy tortillas to make quesadillas

Although we like Pepper Jack cheese the best, making quesadillas is an excellent opportunity to use whatever bits and pieces of cheese you have in the fridge, from Mozzarella to Cheddar to Jack cheese.

What makes these quesadillas unique?

Make these brisket quesadillas more sophisticated by spreading a layer of Brie on the bottom tortilla.  It adds a subtle, slightly-musty flavor I adore. I think you will, too. If you don’t like Brie or don’t have it on hand, leave it out. It’s not a deal-breaker.

Even without the Brie, the Pepper Jack cheese adds some kick.  If you are cooking for somebody who doesn’t do “spicy”, stick with Monterey Jack. Cheddar will also work.

The amounts given below are only a suggestion.  I don’t measure.

Ingredients and Substitutions:

Ingredients needed to make brisket quesadillas
  • TORTILLAS: Flour tortillas work better than corn tortillas because they are more pliable. As the cheese melts, the tortillas will soften and hold the ingredients together better. Whole wheat tortillas or gluten-free tortillas are also acceptable. If you don’t have access to good flour tortillas, check out this recipe for homemade flour tortillas.
  • CHEESE: The recipe specifies Pepper Jack cheese because it’s our favorite. We enjoy the flavor the peppers add to the quesadilla. If you don’t favor “spicy” foods, use Monterrey Jack or Cheddar of any color.
  • BRIE: A smear of Brie adds a nice flavor, but it’s not an essential ingredient. Don’t hesitate to leave it out if you don’t have it or don’t like Brie.
  • BRISKET: Brisket is one of our favorite types of beef. We especially love to bring chopped brisket leftovers home from our favorite barbecue restaurant. In place of brisket, use chicken, ground beef, or pulled pork if you prefer.
  • BARBECUE SAUCE: Use your favorite barbecue sauce or make it yourself.
  • OTHER OPTIONS: The simplicity of quesadillas begs for creativity. Try adding cooked mushrooms, green onions, red onions, jalapenos, or corn.

Kitchen tips for quesadillas:

1. Layers of cheese are the “glue.”

Be sure there is a layer of cheese next to the underside of each tortilla. When melted, it will glue everything together. Also, it makes the quesadilla easier to flip without losing all the goodies.

2. Too much filling can make things messy.

Just like piling too many ingredients on a pizza, getting all the ingredients hot and melty inside becomes a challenge. Overloaded quesadillas are also hard to eat.

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3. How to flip a quesadilla without losing the filling inside:

When turning a quesadilla, grab another plate. In my case, it would be another paper plate because it’s very lightweight. But, of course, you could also use a piece of paper.

Place the plate upside down over the quesadilla you want to flip. Use one hand to hold the plate over the quesadilla and the other hand to hold the skillet handle.

Now turn the skillet upside down, so the quesadilla falls onto the plate in one piece. You should see the browned side on top. Slip your quesadilla back into the skillet. Return the skillet to your stovetop to finish browning.

4. Use a pizza cutter to portion your quesadilla.

A pizza cutter makes quick work of cutting a pizza. If you don’t have a pizza cutter, kitchen shears will also work.

using a pizza cutter to portion quesadillas

Q and A about quesadillas:

Can I make quesadillas ahead of time?

Quesadillas are best served straight out of the pan. However, you can reheat them in an oven, if necessary. Reheating them in an air fryer works quite well.

Why are my quesadillas soft and greasy?

If you use too much oil in the pan when heating them, quesadillas will turn greasy. Don’t use more than 1/4 teaspoon of oil. One squirt from this oil sprayer is all you need.

Raw tortillas that you cook yourself seem to have more fat (and consequently, more flavor). You may not need to grease the pan at all.

How to assemble leftover brisket and Pepper Jack quesadillas:

mixing leftover brisket with barbecue sauce
Add barbecue sauce to the chopped brisket and stir to coat the beef.
smearing the flour tortillas with Brie
Assemble your tortilla on a plate or piece of wax paper. Next, spread the Brie over the top of the first tortilla. (Brie is optional.)
Sprinkle tortillas with cheese
Then, sprinkle with shredded Pepper Jack.
Then, a layer of saucy brisket
Cover cheese with chopped brisket.
and one more layer of cheese
Add another layer of cheese.
cover with another tortilla
Cover with a second flour tortilla.
use the paper or plate you assemble the quesadilla on to transfer it to a hot skillet
Spritz a hot skillet with a touch of oil. Transfer the assembled tortilla to the skillet.
Occasionally press the tortilla with a flat spatula to help the cheese melt.
Use a spatula to press down on the quesadilla and melt the cheese.
Flipping the tortilla
Flip the tortilla using a plate or piece of paper. (See the video.)
Cutting the tortillas with a pizza cutter
Cut the tortilla with a pizza cutter, scissors, or a sharp knife.
Serve immediately
Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

This recipe is slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather.

More food you can eat with your hands:

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p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

brisket quesadillas cut and served on a plate with avocadoes, jalapenos and salsa

A Leftover Brisket Recipe: Brisket and Pepper Jack Quesadillas

To make these tasty quesadillas, chopped brisket, Brie, and Pepper Jack cheese get dressed up with barbecue sauce for a party between a couple of flour tortillas.
Paula Rhodes
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Beef
Servings 2 servings


  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 2-3 ounces cooked brisket - shredded
  • 2 7 or 8-inch cooked flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon Brie - enough to make a thin layer (optional)
  • cup shredded PepperJack cheese
  • Cilantro for garnish


  • Add the barbecue sauce to the meat and stir to coat.
  • Assemble tortilla in the following order: tortilla, Brie (if using), half of the Jack cheese, brisket, then the other half of the Jack cheese, and finally, the remaining tortilla.
  • Briefly preheat a medium non-stick skillet. Coat pan with a quick spray of cooking oil. (No more than 1/4 teaspoon of oil.)
  • Carefully lay a tortilla into a skillet over medium-low heat. Press lightly to help the cheese melt and hold everything together. When the bottom is golden brown and crispy, spray the top tortilla with vegetable spray and turn the quesadilla with a spatula. (See my kitchen secret above for turning quesadillas without losing their innards.) Continue grilling until the second side is also brown and crispy.
  • Transfer to cutting board and cut into four or six wedges. I like to use a pizza cutter. Scissors also work well. A knife would be my third choice.


Serving: 1quesadillaCalories: 597kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 36gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 1130mgPotassium: 347mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 833IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 385mgIron: 2mg
Keyword beef entree, beef snack. beef brisket recipes, Brie in quesadillas, brisket quesadillas, leftover brisket recipe, PepperJack quesadillas, TexMex entrees
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating


Friday 4th of January 2013

Youre absolutely awesome! I have a soirée on Saturday and I did not know hat appetizers to chose! Short, sweet and to the point! Thank you! Your quesadillas look spectacular and I'm all over it!

Ps awesome tribute to your dad..I'm a daddy's girl too!


Saturday 5th of January 2013

Thanks Penny, Hope your soiree is a success.


Sunday 20th of June 2010

92!!!! THAT is an amazing age - he looks wonderful - congrats on an early birthday! Easy Quesadillas... so easy I just will have to make these! Have tortillas in my freezer and haven't used them - so I'm all set except for the brisket! That looks easy as well!


Sunday 20th of June 2010

Your Quesadillas look scrumptious and just might motivate me to make some. You know I've never made a quesadilla before. Yes, I eaten tortillas, mostly with Chicken Caesar Salad rolled inside. Being a farmer all his life must have agreed with your Father. He looks wonderful and I hope he has a wonderful 92nd birthday next month. I thank him and all those in his profession who helped put good food on our tables.


Sunday 20th of June 2010

Looks great. Will have to pass this on to Brent as you have listed his favorite ingredients- cheese, beef, and tortillas. Agree with Scooter- Dad looks great and 92 is amazing!!


Saturday 19th of June 2010

Looks great! Wish I had some right now. I especially like the tribute and picture to your Dad.

Good for him with the scrabble!