Judge my cooking standards if necessary. chicken quesadilla One of the great dinner standbys of our time. It’s cheesy, crispy, and ready in no time.
White tortillas + bagged cheese + different types of plain cheese quesadillas that melt in the microwave can be a bit of a joke when describing someone’s “cooking” abilities, but this juicy chicken quesadilla is the basics. far beyond.
Sautéed seasoned chicken thighs (or chicken breast if you prefer), fajita-style veggies, and, of course, cheese complete the perfect chicken quesadilla recipe.
It’s easy, but cooks of all levels will love it.
I decided to make my chicken veggie filling in bulk and freeze it in portions (I love it! These containers), then remove a portion and thaw overnight.
Come dinner time, all I need to do is pile it up on a tortilla with freshly shredded cheese and fry it in a skillet until it’s golden brown.
Dinner is ready in 10 minutes!
Even if you don’t make the filling first, this cheesy chicken quesadilla is faster than delivering a frozen pizza or preheating your oven.
It’s so fresh and good for you too!
how to make chicken quesadilla
Chicken quesadillas may be easy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the ultimate dish.
For the best chicken quesadillas, crispy on the outside and melty on the inside, with just the right ratio of filling to cheese, follow these tips.
- use less oilIf you use too much oil in the skillet when cooking, the quesadillas will be greasy. I usually make my quesadillas in a nonstick skillet with no oil (tortillas usually don’t need it) or with a little nonstick spray.
- grate your own cheeseHave you ever wondered why your quesadilla cheese isn’t as smooth and melty as your favorite restaurant? This is convenient, but it’s coated with a powdery substance to keep it from clumping. Unfortunately, that powder means the cheese won’t melt as smoothly.
- Be patientI know you want to turn the heat up and get started right away, but if the pan is too hot, the outside of the tortilla will burn before the cheese melts.
- Melt some of the cheese from the tortillaAlternatively, you can add a little extra cheese on top of the tortilla a few minutes before flipping.
Infinite filling options
I suggested my favorite blend of chicken, peppers, and pepper jack cheeses here, but once you have melty cheese, you can put whatever you want inside the quesadilla.
- Add a variety of vegetables such as zucchini or mushrooms (also try this mushroom quesadilla).
- Switch up your protein with beans (like this breakfast quesadilla) or pork like this pulled pork quesadilla.
- Use a different kind of melty cheese, like white cheddar.
- Or do a little bit of each to create the custom quesadilla of your dreams!
- chickenTender, protein-packed chicken breasts (or thighs) help make this quesadilla filling flavorful and nutritious.
Save even more time in this recipe by substituting cooked chicken made in one of these easy ways (or even store-bought rotisserie chicken):
- cheeseThe gooey cheesy middle is a big part of what makes this quesadilla so great.
- vegetableTo make this chicken quesadilla healthy, we’ve packed it with delicious veggies. Bell peppers and onions add flavor, vitamins and antioxidants.
- spicesChili powder, salt and garlic powder add just the right amount of flavor to the quesadilla.
- hot sauceOptional, drizzle with hot sauce if desired.
- whole grain tortillaWhole wheat tortillas have more fiber than regular tortillas, making them a healthier alternative.
- toppingSalsa, guacamole, queso, and sour cream (plain Greek yogurt works well too) are our go-to toppings. You can also add pico de gallo, fresh coriander, or shredded lettuce.
- Put the chicken in a bowl, add half the seasonings and mix.
- Fry vegetables with spices.
- Assemble the quesadilla by layering the filling on the tortilla halves.
- Fold the empty tortilla in half. repeat.
- Cook the quesadillas two at a time in the skillet.
- After about 4 minutes, flip over and cook the other side for a few minutes. Chill, slice and dig!
- to the storeRefrigerate leftover quesadillas in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- reheatReheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To freezeFreeze quesadillas for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
meal prep tips
Prepare the chicken and vegetable filling the day before. When you’re ready to complete the recipe, follow the instructions to assemble and cook the quesadillas.
Recommended tools for making this recipe
best non stick skillet
This set is an investment, but these nonstick skillets are built to last. High quality and easy to clean.
Whether served as a pinch hitter or part of your regular meal plan, this hearty chicken quesadilla is a home run!
Frequently Asked Questions
We enjoy this quesadilla with chicken, but try substituting cooked and shredded (or diced) pork, beef, or turkey. Try adding black beans for a vegetarian option.
If you want your quesadilla to be a little more bulky, you can add veggies, beans (Instant Pot black beans or Instant Pot refried beans), avocado slices, tomatoes, or any other toppings you like.
We recommend using whole wheat tortillas for their health benefits, but you can switch to regular flour tortillas if you prefer. Corn tortillas are also good for this recipe, but they are usually much smaller than flour tortillas and struggle to hold together while cooking.
Another good option for this recipe for those who are gluten-free and enjoy almond flour tortillas.
- 2 tea spoon Chili powder
- 3/4 tea spoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tea spoon garlic powder
- 2 cup cooked diced or shredded chicken 2 medium breasts or 2-3 thighs
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 orange, yellow, or green peppers diced (or 1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice: spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.)
- hot sauce option
- 1 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack or monterey jack cheese Divided
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese Split (or extra pepper/monterey jack)
- Four medium whole grain tortilla
- oil, butter, or nonstick spray Options for cooking quesadillas
- cooked salsa
- sour cream or plain greek yogurt
Mix chili powder, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl. Place chicken in another medium bowl and sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Stir to coat. set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until hot and shimmering. Add onions and bell peppers and whatever veggies you’re using (but wait to add spinach). Sprinkle remaining spice mixture over top and stir to coat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and brown and other vegetables are crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. If using spinach, stir a few handfuls at a time until tender. If you want the filling to be spicier, add a few dashes of hot sauce if desired. Transfer vegetables to a bowl with chicken and mix.
Assemble the quesadillas: Top half of each tortilla with 1/8 pepper jack (2 1/2 tbsp) and 1/8 cheddar cheese (1 1/2 tbsp). Spread a quarter of each of the vegetables and chicken evenly over the cheese (it looks like a lot, but it’s enough). Top with 1/8 pepperjack (2 1/2 tbsp) and 1/8 additional cheddar (1 1/2 tbsp).
Fold the empty tortilla in half over the topping and press lightly. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Cook the quesadillas: Carefully wipe the skillet you used for the vegetables with a paper towel. If you want your tortillas to be crispy, add a little butter or oil to the skillet. Place 1 quesadilla in skillet with folded edge in center and open edge facing out. Place the second quesadilla next to it facing the opposite direction so it fits nicely in the skillet. Lightly press the top flat with the back of a spatula (don’t worry if some of the cheese oozes out, it will be crunchy and delicious). Cook until golden and crisp on first side, about 4 minutes or so, depending on stove, adjusting heat as needed to keep quesadillas crisp and not burnt.
Carefully flip and bake the other side for about 2 more minutes until both sides are deliciously lightly crisp and golden brown.
Let the quesadillas cool on a cutting board for a few minutes (or transfer to a 200°F oven to keep warm while you finish the rest of the batch). When ready to serve, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice into 3 pie-shaped wedges. Enjoy hot with toppings.
- store: Store leftover quesadillas in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- reheat: Reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To freeze: Freeze quesadillas in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serving: 1(of 4) Quesadillacalorie: 523kcalcarbohydrate: 29gprotein: 40gthick: 27gsaturated fat: 13gPolyunsaturated fat: 2gMonounsaturated fat: 8gcholesterol: 112mgpotassium: 394mgfiber: Fivegsugar: FivegVitamin A: 2658IUVitamin C: 77mgcalcium: 517mgiron: 3mg
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