Salsa And Ranch Are The Key To A Saucy Applebee's Quesadilla Burger Copycat

bacon cheeseburger on tortilla bun
bacon cheeseburger on tortilla bun - Mikayla Marin/Mashed

Did Applebee's invent the quesadilla burger? We can't say for sure, but the chain has had this item on its menu for nearly 30 years and counting. The restaurant even marked the sandwich's 20th anniversary by designating it a "legend." Still, as chain restaurant burgers go, it's not the cheapest (the one sold by the Applebee's in West Milwaukee costs $13.79 at the time of writing), and what's more, despite the fact that "Neighborhood Grill + Bar" is part of the chain's name, you won't find an Applebee's in every neighborhood. Luckily, you can quench your quesadilla burger cravings with our not-too-difficult DIY recipe.

We'll get more into specifics a bit later, but the burger gets much of its flavor from a copycat condiment meant to mimic Applebee's "signature Mexi-ranch sauce." Recipe developer Mikayla Marin thinks this secret sauce, which is also used on Applebee's fiesta lime chicken, chicken fajita rollup, and quesadilla chicken salad, is nothing more than ranch dressing mixed with salsa. Even if you don't wish to cook an entire quesadilla burger for your dinner, the mini-recipe for Mexi-ranch is worth a try since you could use it on any homemade salads and sandwiches you think would pair well with it. Luckily, the recipe's short enough that we can disclose it right here: Simply mix equal portions of salad dressing and salsa. So if you use the store-bought kinds of both, it may take you no more than 10 seconds to make.

Read more: 31 Popular Applebee's Menu Items, Ranked Worst To Best

Here's How To Make A Homemade Version Of Applebee's Quesadilla Burger

salsa and ranch dressing
salsa and ranch dressing - Mikayla Marin/Mashed

Marin's copycat Applebee's quesadilla burger recipe contains more than that one condiment, of course. According to Appkebee's menu, its quesadilla burger consists of a beef patty sandwiched inside a cheddar-filled quesadilla and topped with the aforementioned Mexi-ranch sauce alongside a few pieces of bacon, slices of pepper jack cheese, shreds of lettuce. There's some pico de gallo for extra piquancy. Our burger, too, retains all of those same elements, although you are welcome to include any additions or ingredient substitutions that suit you such as switching out the cheddar for Colby or the pico de gallo for salsa verde. You could even swap the ranch for sour cream if you're not a super fan of what may be America's favorite salad dressing.

The first step in building this burger is to season the ground beef with salt and pepper, then form it into a patty and fry it. You then make the quesadilla by topping a pair of flour tortillas with shredded cheddar and baking them until the cheese melts. Spread the pico de gallo and lettuce on one cheese-topped tortilla, plop the burger on top, then layer on the pepper jack and bacon and drizzle the whole thing with Mexi-ranch (which you can mix up whenever you have a moment). Close up the quesadilla burger with the other tortilla, and soon you'll be eating good in your own neighborhood.

Read the original article on Mashed.