Chicken/ Hearty Dinners/ Spice

Best Ever Chicken Quesadillas

September 9, 2018 (Last Updated: May 29, 2020) by Chris Collins

These Chicken Quesadillas are easy, cheesy and packed full of flavour. Here I’ll show you just a few tips & tricks to make the best chicken quesadillas imaginable!

Chicken quesadillas are perfect for literally any occasion. Dinner? Quesadillas. Parties? Quesadillas. Not even hungry but gonna eat anyway and enjoy it because you’ve worked hard today and you deserve a damn good meal? Quesadillas. You get my drift. So essentially if you’re gonna live off quesadillas, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, you’re gonna want to live off the best quesadillas in the world right? So let’s cut right to the chase, I’ve eaten enough chicken quesadillas to last me a life time, and along the way I’ve picked up some tips that’ll enhance your quesadilla experience. So let’s tuck right in.

quesadillas on chopping board garnished with coriander served with sour cream

How to prepare Chicken Quesadillas

What cut of chicken should I use?

Personally I always go for breast, but you could use boneless/skinless thigh or ready cooked rotisserie chicken. If using breast then butterfly it right through to produce two thinner breasts, which in turn will be easier to fry. In all cases generously coat with fajita seasoning.

How to cook chicken for quesadillas?

For breast, you’re gonna want to pan fry it in a little oil over medium-hight heat. Because they are now thin, you want to get a nice colour on the outside and only just have it cooked through the centre. Then take out the pan and allow to rest. This will not only continue cooking the chicken but will also allow it to stay moist. If the thighs are thin it’s the same process and rotisserie chicken won’t need further frying.

How to cut chicken for quesadillas?

For maximum tenderness I like to slice the breast into strips. After they’ve rested, begin slicing thin strips, at an angle, and against the grain. You could also cube the chicken or shred it with two forks.

How to cook chicken for quesadillas - step by step

Chicken Quesadilla Fillings

I like to keep it simple and just use cheese, peppers and onion. I tend to stay away from adding salsa/guac inside as it makes the quesadilla go soggy.

What cheese to use in quesadillas?

I usually go for a classic cheddar. Monterey Jack cheese is also another popular choice for quesadillas. I tend to stay away from mozzarella for the simple fact it’s not as flavoursome as other cheeses, and quesadillas are all about big flavour.

How to fold a quesadilla

First of all, you can stack a quesadilla like a pizza without folding the tortilla, which I do for my sweet potato quesadillas, but for chicken it’s much better to fold. Just for the simple reason that it stays intact better. Either way, start and end with a pinch of cheese. It’s like edible glue for quesadillas.

Quesadilla fillings - step by step

How to how to cook Chicken Quesadillas

Option 1: Pan Frying

Spray both sides of your quesadilla and fry for around 3-4mins on each side, or until golden brown with the cheese melted. I find the best way to flip the quesadillas is to grab a plate, lay it over the top and flip the pan. Then slide them back into the pan.

Option 2: Oven Bake

Spray both sides of your quesadilla with oil and pop in the oven at 220c/430f for 6-8mins. Take out, flip over and pop back in until dark golden (approx another 6-8mins).

How to make crispy quesadillas

  1. It doesn’t matter so much for pan frying because you’ve got more direct heat, but for oven baking make sure you cool the filling. I find that using hot fillings and baking causes too much steam and tends to steam the tortilla instead of baking it.
  2. Make sure you’ve got a fairly high heat for either method. If the heat’s too low the tortilla is going to go too soft, and with the melted cheese is going to be way too sloppy.

How to cook quesadillas - 2 step by step photos

What to serve with quesadillas?

Well, as a self-appointed quesadilla connoisseur I actually have an entire page dedicated Easy Quesadilla Side Dishes, so do check that out. But when it comes to chicken quesadillas specifically, I like to top with:

Like I said earlier, any sauces or dips I recommend chucking on after, otherwise you’ll be compromising the crispiness of the quesadilla. He says whilst pouring an entire tub of sour cream of the top 🤭

Okay so just to summarise before we tuck into the full recipe:

  • Use chicken breasts, slice in half and fry over medium-high heat. Let them rest then cut at an angle and against the grain.
  • Keep sauces/salsas out of the filling and use to top at the end.
  • Cool the fillings beforehand if you’re baking in the oven.
  • Use cheese on the top and bottom to use and glue to keep the quesadillas in tact.

And whilst you’re here why not check out my Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas too!

quesadillas stacked on each other with heart shaped spoon pouring over sour cream

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How to make the Best Chicken Quesadillas (Full Recipe & Video)

quesadillas stacked on each other with heart shaped spoon pouring over sour cream

Best Ever Chicken Quesadillas

These Chicken Quesadillas are easy, cheesy and packed full of flavour. Here I'll show you just a few tips & tricks to make the best chicken quesadillas imaginable!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican / Tex Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 618kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Tongs
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):

Quesadillas

  • 4 Flour Tortilla Wraps
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 3 tbsp Fajita Seasoning (save 1 tsp)
  • 3 Peppers (red, yellow & green), cored & sliced
  • 2 cups / 200g Cheese (here I use cheddar)
  • 1 White Onion, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil, plus more as needed
  • Oil Spray

Topping ideas

  • Salsa
  • Guac
  • Fresh Coriander/Cilantro
  • Jalapeño
  • Sour Cream

Instructions:

  • Begin by butterflying your chicken and slicing right through the centre to create 6 even breasts. Fully coat with your seasoning, sparing 1 tsp for later.
  • Heat your oil over medium/high heat and fry your breasts for a few minutes each side until they begin to char and are just cooked through the centre. Place to one side to rest. When ready to use, slice into thin strips, ensuring you cut at an angle and against the grain.
  • In the same pan, lower to a medium heat, add your onions & peppers and fry until they begin to brown. Add your 1 tsp of seasoning and fry for a few minutes longer until fully coat and softened.
  • Top half of your tortilla wrap with a pinch of cheese, 1/4 of your chicken strips, 1/4 of your onion/pepper mix and finish with another pinch of cheese. Fold over and press down to secure. Repeat for the 3 other wraps.

Pan Fry

  • Spray each side with oil and fry for 3-4mins over medium heat, flipping once.

Oven Bake

  • Spray each side with oil and place in the oven at 220C/430F for 6-8 minutes, then take out and flip until the second side turns deep golden (another 8mins or so depending on size). With this method it is better to allow the filling to cool before you build the quesadillas, to prevent them from steaming in the oven, which in turn would turn them soggy.
  • Serve with your favourite toppings!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) What to serve with quesadillas? - Here I topped with fresh jalapeño, coriander/cilantro, lime, sour cream and creamy avocado dip. Check out my Easy Quesadilla Side Dishes for more inspiration!
b) What cheese to use in quesadillas? - Beside cheddar, Monterey Jack is a popular option. I tend not to use mozzarella because it lacks in flavour, and quesadillas are all about big flavour!
c) Marinade for chicken quesadillas - Just mix your fajita seasoning with a drizzle of olive oil and a good squeeze of lime juice, then coat your chicken and leave to marinade. If you have the time of course 🙂
d) Calories - Based with no additional toppings.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Best Ever Chicken Quesadillas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 618 Calories from Fat 250
% Daily Value*
Fat 27.8g43%
Saturated Fat 12.139g61%
Trans Fat 0.591g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.71g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.671g
Cholesterol 161mg54%
Sodium 1217mg51%
Potassium 613mg18%
Carbohydrates 31.63g11%
Fiber 2.6g10%
Sugar 4.29g5%
Protein 56.71g113%
Vitamin A 2350IU47%
Vitamin C 53.6mg65%
Calcium 420mg42%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Ros
    September 13, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I am so so hungry now! These quesadillas looks so delicious! I’m definitely going to try this recipe this weekend.
    xoxo Ros (ZenHealth.net)

  • Reply
    camila
    September 10, 2018 at 2:34 am

    5 stars
    Man, you do such a great job. every time I come to your blog I get impressed over your pictures, your details, and not to mention how drool worthy everything you make is!! Just keep doing it! This chicken quesadilla is the best indeed, like the title says!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 10, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Camila, you’re too kind, thank you!! Very encouraging words which are much appreciated 🙂 🙂

  • Reply
    Valentina
    September 10, 2018 at 2:29 am

    5 stars
    I’d agree, they look like the best! My jaw literally dropped when I saw that last image. Oh my is that mouth-watering!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 10, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      What can I say, I’m slightly addicted to sour cream thanks, Valentina!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 10, 2018 at 1:42 am

    5 stars
    Quesadillas are my most perfect food. The filling on these look delicious. I need to make these quesadillas ASAP!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 10, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      You so do!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly Anthony
    September 9, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    5 stars
    100 %, these absolutely look like the best quesadillas! I’m totally going to make these for dinner soon!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 10, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Ah thank you so much! Enjoy! 🙂

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