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.
Preparing 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.
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.
How to how to cook chicken quesadillas
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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How to make the Best Chicken Quesadillas (Full Recipe & Video)
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!
- 4 Flour Tortilla Wraps
- 3 Chicken Breasts
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp Fajita Seasoning
- 3 Peppers (red, yellow & green), cored & sliced
- 2 cups / 200g Cheese (I prefer cheddar)
- 1 White Onion, peeled & sliced
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Oil Spray
- Fresh Coriander/Cilantro
- Sour Cream
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.
Spray each side with oil and fry for 3-4mins over medium heat, flipping once.
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.
Watch how to make it!
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.
For inspiration on what to serve with these chicken quesadillas, check out my selection of Quesadilla Side Dishes!