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Lunch box quesadillas

Nicole Avery
Nicole Avery

These lunch box quesadillas are the perfect way to use up leftovers from dinner and give the kids a filing lunch.

Lunch box quesadillas
Lunch box quesadillas Photo: Nicole Avery


Taco meat

  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbp coconut oil (or preferred oil)
  • 1kg beef mince


  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • ½ Spanish onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup coriander

Making the quesadillas

  • 16 flour tortillas
  • Taco meat
  • 3 cups grated tasty cheese
  • Fresh tomato salsa 


While the list of ingredient lists for this recipe look long if you are making it all at once, these lunch box quesadillas are the perfect way to use up leftovers from dinner and give the kids a filing lunch.

You could put any filling you like in them, these ones stick to traditional Mexican flavours. When we have tacos for dinner, I just ensure I cook a large batch of meat and salsa so there will be leftovers.

Note: The above ingredients are for 1kg of beef mince with these spices, so if you are cooking only 500 grams and don't like your tacos too spicy, I would recommend halving the ingredients and reducing the chilli by more than half.

Taco meat

1. Combine all spices with the exception of the garlic. Finely chop onion and prepare garlic for crushing. Heat oil on a med-low heat in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Crush garlic into fry pan and stir for a minute or so.

2. Add your preferred meat and cook until browned. Add the spices and stir for a couple of minutes until well combined. Serve for dinner and keep the left overs in the fridge for these quesadillas.


3. Finely chop tomatoes and onion and place in a medium sized bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lime and pour over the tomatoes and onion.

4. Remove the seeds from the chilli, finely dice and add to the bowl. Roughly chop the coriander, place in the bowl and mix together. If you have time, cover and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour before using. This will make approximately 2 cups of salsa.

Making the quesadillas

5. You can use a variety of methods to cook these quesadillas once they have been assembled, but the easiest is in a sandwich press.

6. Place tortilla flat on a bench and cover with a light layer of cheese. Add meat and salsa and any other additional toppings you may like, then cover with a second tortilla.

7. Place into a heated sandwich press, close and press firmly down. Cook for a couple of minutes then turn the quesadilla over and cook for another minute or two.

8. Remove from the sandwich press and cut into quarters or eighths. Repeat the process until you have used up the tortillas. If not eating straight away, allow them to cool on a rack and them place in an airtight container in the fridge.

Note: Ensure with whatever ingredients you use, there isn’t too much liquid in the filling as it will make the tortillas soggy. 

Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged four to 15. She is the master organiser behind the popular parenting blog Planning With Kids and the author of a book by the same name, where she shares tips and tricks for organising the chaos of family life.

Family meals


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