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Homemade chicken quesadillas

Delicious Chicken Quesadillas Recipe

Yield: 8 Quesadillas

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

Seasoning Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon salt (preferably coarse, kosher salt)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, smoked or regular
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (preferably coarsely ground)

Quesadillas:

  • 4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 cups sliced mushrooms (optional – see note)
  • 2 medium bell peppers (any color), cored and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin half moon strips
  • 2-3 tablespoons broth or water
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the seasoning ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Toss the chicken with half of the seasoning mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms (if using), onions, and bell peppers. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture over the veggies. Cook, stirring often, until the onions start to turn translucent and the vegetables start to soften.
  4. Add 2-3 tablespoons water or broth (omit this if there is already liquid in the pan from the mushrooms or other veggies). Continue cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are crisp-tender and the liquid has reduced slightly.
  5. Assemble the quesadillas by spreading cheese on half of each tortilla. Top the cheese with chicken, veggies, more cheese, and then fold the tortilla in half over the filling ingredients.
  6. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium or medium-low heat. Add a touch of oil to the pan for a crispier quesadilla. Cook the quesadillas on one side until golden, moderating the heat as needed, pressing lightly with a spatula to compress and flatten a bit, if desired. Carefully flip the quesadillas with the spatula and cook on the other side until the tortilla is golden and the filling and cheese are hot and melted.
  7. Cut into triangles and serve immediately. (Or keep the cooked quesadillas warm on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve.)
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Notes

Easily Adapted: This recipe can easily be adapted to change up the veggies, cheese, and meat to your liking.

  • Veggies: Any color or variety of bell pepper would work. Add jalapenos for some heat, use red onions or yellow onions, add extra mushrooms or leave them out, add corn kernels or zucchini, or any other vegetable you like.
  • Cheese: I prefer grating my own Monterey Jack and cheddar, but you can use pre-shredded Mexican blend or another variety of cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts better than pre-shredded cheese (and Monterey Jack melts better/creamier than mozzarella).
  • Meat: You could leave the meat out and amp up the veggies for a veggie quesadilla, or switch out the meat and use ground beef or ground turkey (if doing so, add the seasoning mixture while the meat cooks).

Tips

  • For a crispier texture, lightly oil the skillet or griddle before cooking the quesadillas.
  • Use freshly grated cheese for the best melting and flavor.
  • Customize your quesadillas by adding your favorite toppings such as avocado, salsa, sour cream, or cilantro.

FAQs

1. Can I make these quesadillas ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the quesadillas ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Alternatively, you can cook them ahead of time and reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

2. Can I freeze these quesadillas?
Yes, you can freeze cooked quesadillas. Wrap them individually in foil or plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to three months. Reheat in the oven or microwave until warmed through.

3. Can I use different meats in these quesadillas?
Absolutely! Feel free to substitute the chicken with cooked beef, pork, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.