This Chicken Quesadilla is crispy on the outside and stuffed with juicy chicken, tender veggies, and loads of gooey cheese. These easy quesadillas are a crowd favorite!
What is a chicken quesadilla made of?
This simple ingredient list truly does make the best chicken quesadillas!
- Chicken – the original recipe calls for chicken thighs, but chicken breasts will work as well. Thighs are often cheaper and juicier, but if you like a leaner meat, chicken breasts are a great option. Either way, you’ll need 2 pounds cubed into bite sized pieces. Have leftover chicken? See directions here.
- Vegetables: Bell Pepper and Onion – classic veggies for a chicken and cheese quesadilla. They both add color, flavor, texture, and nutrients. Green bell pepper is used in the recipe, but any bell pepper (red, yellow, orange) will do. Yellow onion is used, but again, any onion will be fine (red, white, shallots).
- Taco Seasoning – we used 2 (1 oz) packets store-bought taco seasoning to keep things very easy, but feel free to make your own homemade taco seasoning instead!
- Olive Oil and Butter – used to cook the chicken and veggies. The combination provides a higher smoke point and rich flavor. Feel free to use one or the other, if preferred.
- Tortillas – flour tortillas are more commonly used (vs corn tortillas) for Americanized chicken quesadillas like these, because they’re heartier and hold up better next to the filling. We like using fajita sized tortillas, because they’re large, but not so big that they’re hard to flip when cooking. Any size tortilla will work, but you’ll need to adjust how much filling/cheese you use.
- Cheese: Pepper-Jack and Cheddar – pepper-jack is very creamy and adds just a hint of spice whereas cheddar has a sharp extra cheesy flavor. Any cheese that melts well will work. For the best results, shred your own cheese!
How to make
- Place cubed chicken, diced peppers, and onion into a large bowl then toss with taco seasoning until well combined. Set aside.
- Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add in the chicken and veggie mixture and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
- Top a tortilla with 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, layer on 1/2 cup filling, top with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, then place another tortilla on top.
- Cook in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese has melted, flipping once.
- Repeat to make remaining quesadillas. Cut into quarters, then serve with your choice of toppings and enjoy!
How to make with leftover chicken
These quesadillas would be the perfect way to use up leftover cooked chicken (store-bought rotisserie, shredded chicken, etc).
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in diced peppers and onion and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in 2 pounds leftover cubed or shredded chicken and the 2 (1 oz) packets taco seasoning and heat through.
- Proceed with the recipe as written.
Tips and tricks
- Make an extra crispy tortilla. Pan fry in oil instead of in a dry pan, if desired.
- Keep them warm. Preheat oven to the lowest setting and keep cooked quesadillas warm in the oven while cooking the others.
- Shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese contains an anti-caking agent which prevents it from melting as well.
- Switch up the chicken. Use any leftover chicken you have on hand or try ground meat such as beef.
- Try other vegetables. Throw in a diced jalapeno for some heat, or try sautéing zucchini and mushrooms.
- Use other tortillas. Try corn, spinach, or even low-carb tortillas.
- Mix up the cheeses. Any cheese that melts well will work: monterey-jack, Oaxaca, queso Chihuahua, etc.
What to serve with chicken quesadillas
Chicken quesadillas are a great appetizer; perfect for dunking in your favorite sauce. Don’t forget the toppings and extra side dishes to make them a complete meal.
- Dipping Sauce: cilantro lime sauce, chipotle ranch dressing.
- Toppings: pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, crumbled feta, hot sauce, cilantro.
- Serve next to: instant pot spanish rice, easy black beans.
How to store
Leftover quesadillas are best served immediately, but will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight if frozen then microwave or warm on the stove or in the oven until heated all the way through!
How many calories in a chicken quesadilla?
1/2 of a large quesadilla has 481 calories, 29 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 34 grams of protein.
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts cubed into bite sized pieces
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1/2 large yellow onion diced
- 2 (1 oz) packets taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
- 10 fajita sized flour tortillas
- 2 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Place cubed chicken, diced peppers, and onion into a large bowl then toss with the taco seasoning until well combined. Set aside.
- Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add in the chicken and veggie mixture and cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables have cooked to your liking.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat.
- While the pan is heating, assemble one quesadilla.
- Lay a tortilla flat on a clean work surface.
- Top with 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, layer on 1/2 cup filling, top with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, then place another tortilla on top.
- Cook until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese has melted, flipping once.
- Repeat to make remaining quesadillas.
- Cut into quarters, then serve with your choice of toppings and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.