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Cheese-Crusted Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

May 1, 2023 (Last Updated: May 2, 2023) by Chris Collins

These chipotle chicken quesadillas are crusted with cheese and packed full of flavour!

Good grief are you in for a treat today. As if chipotle chicken quesadillas weren’t delicious enough, we’re going to make them cheese-crusted. Because, well, do we need an excuse load anything with extra cheese? Certainly not around here! Anywho, follow me…

overhead close up shot of hand holding halved chipotle chicken quesadilla showing filling

Chipotle Chicken

In reality, you can make this recipe with any kind of filling, but today I’m showing this delicious chipotle chicken version.

Preparing the chicken

Here I’m using chicken breast, but you could also use chicken thigh if you’d prefer. I recommend using 2 small breasts and pounding them flat. This will ensure the meat cooks through quicker and more evenly. It also tenderises the meat, which is always a bonus!

Chipotle Chicken Marinade

This is just a really simple concoction of chipotle paste, olive oil, lime juice and seasoning. You’ll find chipotle paste in a small pot, usually near the spice/seasoning section at the supermarket. It adds heaps of flavour, so don’t forget it!

How long do I marinate the chicken?

I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes, up to overnight. If you’re pushed for time just rest the chicken as you prep the other ingredients.

Process shots: lay cling film over chicken (photo 1), pound flat (photo 2), add marinade ingredients to dish (photo 3), combine with chicken and marinate (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to prepare chipotle chicken

Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

You’ll want to cook the chicken in a non-stick pan, just because that’s what’s needed for the cheese. You’ll still likely build up a bit of char/flavour in the pan, which is fine. In fact, as the peppers and onions fry, they’ll release moisture which will help pick off all the flavour from the pan!

Process shots: add chicken to pan (photo 1), fry then remove (photo 2), add peppers and onions (photo 3), fry then remove (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to cook chipotle chicken

Cheese Crusted Quesadillas

Okay, here’s where the fun begins.

After you’ve wiped/cleaned out the pan, add some cheese straight into the pan and add a tortilla wrap on top. On one side you can then stack the fillings. Here I’ve got:

  • More cheese
  • Peppers/onion
  • Avocado
  • Chicken
  • Chipotle Sauce (just sour cream, mayo and chipotle paste)

As the cheese melts, it’ll begin to release oil and turn golden. At this point, it’ll start crisping up and attaching itself to the wrap to form a cheesy crust. You can then fold the wrap over, with the cheese attached. And there you have a cheese-crusted quesadilla.

The crispy cheese on the outside has a more intense flavour than just melted cheese, so you won’t need a huge amount. It gives the quesadilla a gorgeous crispy, crunchy texture which is to die for!

What kind of cheese to use?

Definitely Cheddar on the outside – it crisps up really well and adds heaps of flavour. I opt for mozzarella in the middle, just so the mellow creaminess balances out the sharp Cheddar.

Process shots: wipe out pan (photo 1), add cheddar (photo 2), add wrap and fillings (photo 3), fold over once crisp (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make cheese crusted quesadillas

Serving Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

I typically just serve these with a little leftover sauce. They’re pretty hearty! You can add some Sides though if you fancy.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these chipotle chicken quesadillas shall we?!

4 chipotle chicken quesadillas quarters stacked on each other on wooden board

How to make Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas (Full Recipe & Video)

4 chipotle chicken quesadillas quarters stacked on each other on wooden board

Cheese-Crusted Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

These chipotle chicken quesadillas are crusted with cheese and packed full of flavour!
5 from 1 vote
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Servings (click & slide): 2
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican / Tex Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Calories per serving: 999kcal
Cost per serving: £5 / $6

Equipment:

  • Rolling Pin & Cling Film (for pounding chicken)
  • Small Pot (for sauce)
  • Kitchen Roll (for wiping pan clean)
  • Large Shallow Dish (for marinating chicken)
  • Large Non-Stick Pan & Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board

Ingredients (check list):

Chicken

  • 2x 5oz/150g Chicken Breasts (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lime, juice only
  • 2 tsp Chipotle Paste (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Salt, Black Pepper

Quesadillas

  • 2 large Flour Tortillas (10"/25cm)
  • 1 cup / 100g grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup / 50g shredded Mozzarella (see notes)
  • 1 small White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small Red Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small Avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp EACH: Mayonnaise, Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Paste

Instructions:

  • Lay cling film over the chicken breasts and use a rolling pin, mallet or heavy pan to pound them to an even thickness. Don't flatten them so much they break apart.
  • Whisk together chipotle paste, olive oil, lime juice, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt & black pepper in a large shallow dish. Coat the chicken and cover the bowl in cling film. Marinate in the fridge for as long as you have time for (up to overnight). If you're pushed for time just do 30 minutes at room temp.
  • In a small pot combine mayonnaise and sour cream with 1 tsp chipotle paste.
  • In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, fry the chicken for around 4 mins each side, or until lightly charred on the outside and white & piping hot through the centre. Remove and leave to rest to one side. Slice into strips just before needed.
  • Add the peppers and onion to the pan and fry until they begin to soften and lightly char, then remove them from the pan. Wipe/clean out the pan and place back on a medium heat.
  • Scatter half of the cheddar in the pan then lay a tortilla wrap on top. On one half, top with mozzarella, peppers & onion, avocado, chicken, and a drizzle of the chipotle sauce.
  • The cheese on the bottom will melt, then leak out oil, then turn a golden colour and crisp up. As it crisps, it'll attach itself to the wrap. Just try and gently press down on the wrap to remove any air bubbles. Once the cheese attaches to the wrap, use tongs to fold it over the fillings. This process should take around 4-5mins. Have faith - the cheese will attach as it crisps!
  • Remove and repeat with the second quesadilla, then slice in half and tuck in with more sauce if desired!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Chicken Breast - If you can't find small chicken breasts you can use one large (preferably 250-300g) and slice it in half through the centre to make 2 smaller even-sized breasts. You could also use 2 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, they'll just take a little longer to cook through.
b) Chipotle Paste - You'll find this in a small pot near the spice/seasoning section. 
c) Cheese - Make sure you're definitely using cheddar for the outside. It crisps up really nicely. In reality, you can use any cheese in the middle, I just like mozzarella for its more mellow/creamy flavour as the cheddar adds loads of flavour.
d) Calories - Per quesadilla assuming all the sauce is used.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Cheese-Crusted Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 999 Calories from Fat 545
% Daily Value*
Fat 60.61g93%
Saturated Fat 21.542g108%
Trans Fat 0.706g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10.51g
Monounsaturated Fat 22.564g
Cholesterol 201mg67%
Sodium 659mg27%
Potassium 1178mg34%
Carbohydrates 51.53g17%
Fiber 7.2g29%
Sugar 7.91g9%
Protein 61.94g124%
Vitamin A 2526IU51%
Vitamin C 60.1mg73%
Calcium 659mg66%
Iron 4.13mg23%
* 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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Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    María de Lourdes Aguirre Quiroz
    May 4, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    5 stars
    the recipe was delicious and easy, thanks a lot, we enjoyed it a lot

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 5, 2023 at 1:39 pm

      So happy to hear it went down well, María! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER