Here’s How to Make Easy and Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

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Why you’ll love chicken quesadillas 

Looking for a delicious way to use up leftover chicken? Chicken quesadillas are a simple meal that you and your crew are sure to love. All it takes to make them are some everyday ingredients and following some straightforward steps. What’s more, they’re ready in minutes, which makes them a perfect treat for after school or work.

This easy chicken quesadilla recipe is so tasty – or better yet, “delicioso” – that you’d swear it’s as authentic as the original Mexican dish. Read on for some variations and dipping sauce ideas for the ultimate quesadillas.

How to make chicken quesadillas

This recipe for the pan-fried chicken quesadillas makes four servings, takes 10 minutes to prepare, and five minutes to cook, for a total cooking time of 15 minutes.

Ingredients

4 large tortillas

2 cups shredded cheese

1 cup black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups leftover shredded chicken

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Note: For the cheese, you can use cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Oaxaca, asadero, or a combination of any or all of these. Leftover grilled chicken is an excellent choice for this simple quesadilla recipe.

Directions

  1. Prepare your ingredients ahead of time.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.

  3. Place a tortilla open on the counter in front of you and top half of it with a quarter cup of the cheese, a half cup of chicken, two tablespoons of beans, and a dash of the onions and cilantro, followed by another quart cup of cheese. If you’re quick and confident, you can do this directly in the pan if you’re careful not to burn yourself. It’s OK if the mixture moves into the middle slightly. 

  4. The next step is to fold the tortilla over evenly, which will place the ingredients where they should be. Carefully place the folded tortilla in the skillet and cook until golden.

  5. Gently flip and cook it on the other side, cooking until the ingredients inside are hot. The cheese should also melt completely.

  6. Place the quesadilla in the oven at the lowest temperature while repeating these steps with the remaining tortillas.

  7. Serve warm with your choice of dips.

Nutritional values per serving

Calories: 790

Total fat: 45 grams

Saturated fat: 16 grams

Trans fat: 1 gram

Unsaturated fat: 25 grams

Cholesterol: 114 milligrams

Sodium: 796 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 54 grams

Fiber: 7 grams

Sugar: 1 gram

Protein: 40 grams

Original recipe: House of Nash Eats

Some variations

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  • Chicken avocado quesadilla: Add one diced avocado to the ingredients. Use one quarter for each quesadilla.

  • Buffalo chicken quesadilla: In a large skillet over medium heat, toss the chicken in half a cup of buffalo wing sauce and two tablespoons of ranch dressing before adding it to the tortillas.

  • Baked chicken quesadilla: Try baking your quesadillas instead of frying. You can do this without using oil, simply preheat your oven to 425℉ and cook them for 10 minutes, flipping them at five. This will result in a slightly healthier chicken quesadilla recipe.

  • Spicy chicken quesadilla: Divide one sliced jalapeño between the four tortillas. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a habanero. Ensure you wash your hands well with soap and water after handling hot peppers.

Best dipping sauce for chicken quesadillas

  • Creamy cilantro sauce: You can make this sauce by blending two cups of cilantro leaves and stems with half a cup of plain Greek yogurt, half a cup of sour cream, four garlic cloves, a quarter cup of lime juice, a quarter cup of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Additionally, you can add a half teaspoon of cumin or a jalapeño.

  • Chipotle mayonnaise, also known as “Mexican secret sauce”: Make your own chipotle mayonnaise by mixing a half cup of mayonnaise with a tablespoon of water, two teaspoons of lime juice, a pinch of salt, a half teaspoon of chili powder, a teaspoon of paprika, and a quarter teaspoon of ground chipotle. 

  • Spicy mayonnaise: You can easily whip up your own spicy mayo using items from your kitchen. Mix one cup of mayonnaise with a tablespoon of hot sauce, a tablespoon of lime juice, and a teaspoon of cajun seasoning.

  • Guacamole: You can use store-bought guacamole, but here’s a recipe for some great homemade stuff.

  • Get creative: Quesadillas go well with various condiments and spreads like salsa, sour cream, and salsa con queso.

Useful tips: 

  • You can store leftover quesadillas in an air-tight container for up to four days in the fridge. When using leftover chicken, you’ll want to go by the date you cooked the meat initially.

  • Simply reheat your leftovers in a skillet over medium heat, the oven, or the toaster oven until the ingredients inside are hot and the cheese melts.

  • If you want to make some ahead of time, you can batch cook and freeze quesadillas. The fastest method for this is preparing them in the oven so you can make multiple quesadillas at once. Once they cool, freeze them separately in air-tight containers. If freezing in a single container, be sure to separate each quesadilla with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. 

Chicken quesadilla FAQs

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How do you make quesadillas crispy?

The oil in this recipe is what makes these quesadillas crispy. It also helps to prevent sticking.

What do you put in a quesadilla?

This recipe calls for cheese, beans, chicken, green onions, and fresh cilantro. However, quesadillas are a dish you can get really creative with. For different vegetables, you can try adding white onions, corn, rice, mushrooms, bell peppers, or jalapeños. Additional spice ideas are Tex Mex seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, taco seasoning, or cayenne. You can also swap the chicken for pulled pork or ground beef.

How do you make a quesadilla with two tortillas?

You can make your quesadillas like a sandwich between two tortillas following the cooking instructions listed here or in the oven. It is more challenging to flip, however.

What goes with chicken quesadillas?

Chicken quesadillas pair wonderfully with various dishes such as rice, refined beans, avocado salad, coleslaw, black bean salad, corn salad, green salad, tomato, and cucumber salad, stuffed peppers, or chili. Here’s a recipe for an amazing homemade chili – what’s more is you can dip your quesadillas into it.

Treat yourself

Quesadillas are a breeze to put together on a busy work night or a day off when you’re not feeling up to cooking something more involved. However, they certainly taste like you spent hours in the kitchen, and you and your crew are definitely going to want seconds. Since they’re so versatile, you can change the dips and ingredients and make quesadillas a different meal each time you serve them. 

If you’re looking to make some quesadillas and you’re missing some ingredients, order them in seconds and get them to your door in a matter of minutes with Gopuff. With Gopuff you can spend more time cooking and less time shopping.

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