This Chicken Quesadillas recipe is a cheesy, crispy, hearty, satisfying lunch or dinner with a filling that is 100% make ahead friendly!
This Chicken Quesadilla recipe is the meal everyone will beg for with its crispy, golden shell giving way to ooey gooey cheese, juicy seasoned chicken, bell peppers, onions, and black beans. Top the handheld heroes with guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa for the ultimate flavor explosion. Best of all, the chicken filling can be prepped 100% ahead of time for a heat-and-eat lunch or dinner, perfect for bustling school nights. I’ve also included many ways to customize your quesadillas with any mixture of chicken and veggies. Serve your quesadillas up with Cilantro Lime Rice and Pina Colada Fruit Salad for a complete meal!
How to Make Chicken Quesadilla Video
Chicken Quesadilla Ingredients
This chicken quesadilla recipe transforms ordinary, pantry friendly ingredients into extraordinary! Here’s everything you’ll need to make these unforgettable quesadillas (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
How to Make Chicken Quesadillas
Making chicken quesadillas at home is quick and easy! The cheesy chicken filling can be loaded with any mixture of veggies you have on hand, so consider this more of a quesadilla-making method rather than a strict recipe you have to follow exactly as written (printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
Step 1: Cook the Chicken
Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables
Step 3: Assemble the Quesadillas
Step 4: Cook the Quesadilla
What are the best Toppings for Quesadillas?
These chicken quesadillas are scrumptious on their own, but we love serving them with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Here are some tasty serving ideas:
Tips for the Best Quesadillas
This quesadilla recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips to make it the very best:
possible recipe variations
Chicken quesadillas can be made with any number of chicken recipes, vegetables or cheeses! Here are just a few ideas:
This recipe uses freshly cooked seasoned chicken in the filling, but you may use any kind of meal prepped or leftover chicken you have on hand. Shredded rotisserie chicken would also work well in this recipe. Or, use one of the following favorite recipes:
I wouldn’t swap out the sharp cheddar as it adds loads of flavor, but you can swap the Monterey Jack for:
Beans & Vegetables:
WHAT sides do you serve with quesadillas?
These chicken quesadillas make a tasty dinner with the help of a few sides:
Tools Used in This Recipe
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- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tsp EACH ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed, drained
- 3 tablespoons mild diced green chilies (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped (measure before chopping)
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas
- 2 cups freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Whisk the Spice Mix together in a small bowl.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then lightly rub with a drizzle of olive oil. Season chicken with 1 ½ tablespoons Spice Mix (reserve the rest for the vegetables).
- Transfer chicken to cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes before dicing.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the now empty skillet. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and remaining Spice Mix and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the diced chicken.
- Toss the cheeses together in a large bowl for easy assembly.
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add one tortilla to the skillet and top one side with some of the cheeses (about 1/3-½ cup). Top the cheese with chicken/vegetable mixture, then sprinkle with cilantro. Fold the empty tortilla half over the filling to create a half moon.
- Lightly press down with a spatula. Cook until the bottom is golden and crispy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the quesadilla over the folded edge (use the folded edge as a hinge, see video) with a spatula. Press down lightly and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the tortilla is golden and crispy and the cheese is completely melted.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut into triangles using a pizza cutter. Serve immediately with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, avocado crema. etc.
- To keep warm: Alternatively, keep the cooked quesadillas warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degrees F oven until all the quesadillas are done and you’re ready to serve.
- Variations: See post for all sorts of chicken and veggie options!
- Meal Prep: The filling can be made up to 4 days ahead of time and used throughout the week. The cheeses can also be shredded and refrigerated.
- Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Before storing, allow the quesadillas to cool completely, then stack with parchment paper in between each layer to help prevent them from becoming soggy.
- To freeze: Arrange wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet without touching. Flash freeze for 2 hours then transfer solid quesadillas to a freezer-safe plastic bag and squeeze out excess air.
- Air fryer: Place your quesadillas in the air fryer basket and cook for 3-4 minutes using the air fry “snack” setting, or air fry at 350 degrees F for 3-4 minutes. If reheating from frozen, air fry for closer to 10 minutes.
- Microwave: Microwave on high or 30 seconds then at 5-second intervals as needed. If reheating from frozen, microwave for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is oozing. You may wish to toast the quesadillas in the skillet afterwards.
- Stove: Heat a pan to low then add the quesadilla. Cook over low until reheated, flipping once.
- Oven: Place quesadillas on a baking rack placed over a baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes or until warmed through. If reheating from frozen, bake for 15-25 minutes at 350 degrees F until the cheese is oozing.
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