Chicken Quesadilla

  • Post last modified:April 16, 2022
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Easy Chicken Quesadilla! Flavorful, moist, juicy homemade chicken quesadilla. A perfect blend of chicken and veggies, makes this chicken quesadilla recipe the best. Try this quick and hearty chicken quesadilla for a weeknight dinner, or as an appetizer!!

Serve these chicken quesadillas with some guacamole, salsa, Pico de Gallo, or a dollop of sour cream!

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

 

CHICKEN QUESADILLA

My family is fond of Mexican food. And my kids love cheese quesadilla. Flour tortilla, topped with a generous sprinkle of cheese, and pan-fried with some butter, for that crisp, golden crust. I often make these cheese quesadillas for my kids, and they devour them with a dollop of sour cream.

To make the cheese quesadilla a little more interesting, I add some chicken and some sautéed bell peppers and onion. This is more like a fajita-style chicken quesadilla, where chicken and sautéed bell peppers and onions are added along with some cheese, thus making it a more filling and satisfying meal.

BEST CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Making these homemade chicken quesadillas is so easy and I make this recipe quite often. My family loves homemade chicken quesadilla. I think the simplicity of this dish is what makes it so flavorful and yummy. With 3 simple ingredients – chicken, cheese, and tortilla you can make these homemade chicken quesadillas in no time. 

Use any meat, instead of chicken, or keep it vegetarian. Add any combinations of veggies – bell peppers (mixed colors), mushrooms, corn. Use any cheese, add little or as much as you like. This is the best part of the recipe,  you can add as many or as few ingredients of your choice.

You can use store-bought taco seasoning or use homemade. I have shared the HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING recipe in this post. With just a few basic spices, you can make this homemade taco seasoning in no time. I generously use the seasoning, because I think the flavors in the chicken come from the seasoning. Well, seasoned chicken adds a ton of flavor to these homemade chicken quesadillas.

Making your quesadilla is so much fun. I make this as a family quesadilla night. I let everyone build their quesadilla, and that way we all enjoy this family time, I call it bonding time!!

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

EASY CHEESE QUESADILLA – KIDS’ FAVORITE

My kids devour these cheese quesadillas. I pack these for lunch or serve them as a quick appetizer. Quite filling and is ready in no time. Here’s how I make cheese quesadilla:

You can use any size flour tortillas (large, medium, small), whichever you have, some melted butter and shredded cheese of your choice. My kids love Mexican blend, or cheddar cheese, but feel free to add any cheese of your choice.

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium-high heat. Grease the skillet with some melted butter or oil. Place a flour tortilla in the skillet.

The top half of the tortilla with a generous layer of cheese. Fold the other half of the tortilla over, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden.

Apply some oil on top of the tortilla, carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side, and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

Slice the quesadilla into wedges, and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!!

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN QUESADILLA 

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 pounds)

1/3 cup chicken broth

12 medium (10-inch) flour tortilla

1 medium onion, sliced

1 small green bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips

2 cups grated cheese, as needed (Mexican blend, Monterrey Jack)

1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips

1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips

3 tablespoon olive oil

6 tablespoon olive oil, as needed for making a quesadilla

FOR HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to taste

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, adjust to taste

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste

FOR SERVING

Pico de Gallo

sour cream

INGREDIENTS FOR PICO DE GALLO

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 medium yellow or red onion, chopped

handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped, adjust to taste

1 lemon

salt to taste

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Making chicken quesadilla at home is very easy, and you can make restaurant-style quesadilla in no time. You can cook the chicken in Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Here’s a step-by-step recipe for a homemade chicken quesadilla.

PREP FOR CHICKEN QUESADILLA

STEP 1: PREP THE CHICKEN

Trim the fat from the chicken thighs.

Note: For chicken breasts, I prefer to keep chicken pieces thin, as these cook faster. Take 2 large chicken breasts, cut horizontally in halves, and then cut each piece into 2 to make 8 pieces.

In a shallow bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the seasoning. Add olive oil, and mix well.

Add chicken to the seasoning mix, and coat both sides of the chicken well with the seasoning. Keep the chicken aside for 10-15 minutes.

Slice the bell peppers and onions into thin strips. Keep it aside.

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

INSTANT POT CHICKEN QUESADILLA

STEP 2: SEAR THE CHICKEN

Turn ON Sauté Mode (more). When it displays “HOT”, add a tablespoon of oil. Add sliced onions, bell peppers, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Remove sautéed onions, and bell pepper, keep them aside.

Add a tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pot, work in batches. Remove the chicken and keep it aside. Finish with the remaining chicken pieces.

Note: You don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through, it will get cooked once we pressure cook it. Only need to sear it, to get a nice crust, adds great flavor to the quesadilla!

STEP 3: PRESSURE COOK THE CHICKEN

Add chicken broth, and deglaze the pot. Add seared chicken back to the pot.

Turn OFF Sauté mode. Close the Instant pot, vent on sealing position, and set it on Pressure cook (high) for 8 minutes. 

Note: For chicken breast, pressure cook (high) for 4 minutes.

Let it naturally release pressure, for around 5 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the lid, and remove the chicken pieces. 

STEP 4: COMBINE CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

Shred the chicken using a fork, and return the shredded chicken to the pot.

Turn ON sauté mode (high), and stir to coat the chicken in the remaining sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Add the sautéed onions, and bell peppers, and stir to combine well. Turn OFF sauté mode.

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla.

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

STOVETOP CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Heat a skillet or pan on medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Add sliced onions, bell peppers, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Remove sautéed onions, and bell pepper, keep them aside.

Add a tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan, work in batches. Remove the chicken and keep it aside. Finish with the remaining chicken pieces.

Add chicken broth, and deglaze the pan. Add seared chicken back to the pan. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove the chicken pieces. Shred the chicken using a fork, and return the shredded chicken to the pan.

Add the sautéed onions, and bell peppers, and stir to combine well. Turn OFF the heat.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium-high heat. Grease the skillet with some oil. Place a flour tortilla in the skillet. The top half of the tortilla with a layer of cheese, chicken-pepper-onion mixture, and some more grated cheese.

Fold the other half of the tortilla over, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden.

Note: I use a lid, to apply some weight evenly, for the extra crispy quesadilla. You can use the spatula as well.

Apply some oil on top of the tortilla, carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side, and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

Slice the quesadilla into wedges, and serve with Pico de Gallo and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!!

HOW TO MAKE PICO DE GALLA

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients – chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped jalapeno, and a handful of fresh cilantro. Squeeze fresh lemon juice, and salt to taste. Mix well to combine. Enjoy homemade Pico De Gallo!!

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla

 

Chicken Quesadilla

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST CHICKEN QUESADILLA

You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs, both would work just fine.

If using chicken breasts, cut chicken breasts horizontally in halves. I prefer to keep chicken pieces thin, as these cook faster.

Alternatively, you can pound the chicken, for thinner pieces. You can choose whichever method works best for you.

Depending upon the size of the chicken pieces, adjust the cooking time.

Use some chicken broth to scrape off any chicken bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. They add a ton of flavor to the sauce.

Simmer the shredded chicken in the remaining sauce, it adds flavor to this dish.

You can make quesadillas on the stovetop in a skillet or also use a panini press.

I prefer to use one tortilla, instead of two tortillas for making quesadillas. That way it is easy to fold the tortilla in half and you can also flip the tortilla easily without losing any filing.

VARIATIONS TO THIS CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Possibilities are endless! You can add any filling of your choice to this quesadilla. Here are a few of my family favorites:

CHOICE OF PROTEIN 

Chicken or meat of your choice. You can grill chicken, pan-fry or pressure cook chicken in Instant Pot.

Rotisserie chicken also works great in the recipe. Shred the chicken and use it as a filling.

HEARTY BEANS 

You can use your choice of beans such as black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans.

COLORFUL VEGGIES

Add veggies to your liking. Bell peppers, corn, and mushrooms make a great addition. I like colored bell peppers, but you can use any of your choices.

CHEESE AND DIP

I like to use buffalo chicken dip and spinach artichoke dip for a variation. When using dip, I skip the cheese, as the dip is already cheesy.

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW TO SERVE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

I like to serve Chicken Quesadilla with some homemade Pico de Gallo, and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy this delicious and hearty meal!!

TOPPINGS FOR CHICKEN QUESADILLA

This is where you can run your imagination and go wild. With endless possibilities to choose from, here are some of my family favorites.

PICO DE GALLO

Fresh salsa, made with freshly chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, and fresh cilantro. Seasoned with some salt and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, for a flavorful, refreshing topping.

GUACAMOLE

This fresh avocado dip is easy to make and comes together in no time. Made with freshly mashed avocado, freshly chopped tomatoes, and a handful of fresh cilantro. Seasoned with some salt and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.

HOMEMADE SALSA

Blend roughly chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and lemon juice to taste. And you have fresh homemade salsa, ready to serve with these delicious chicken quesadillas.

AVOCADO

Top it with some sliced or chopped avocados

SOUR CREAM 

A dollop of sour cream

HOT SAUCE

Oh yeah!! Like spicy, try these quesadillas with some hot sauce, we love it!!

BEST CHICKEN FOR CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, both work fine for this recipe. The recipe remains the same for both, however, adjust the cooking time. Chicken breasts take less time to cook, as compared to chicken thighs.

It is important to sear the chicken, this helps lock in the moisture, thus making the chicken juicy, and moist.

BEST CHEESE FOR QUESADILLA

You can use cheese of your choice. Some of my family favorites include:

MEXICAN BLEND

CHEDDAR

MONTERREY JACK

COLBY JACK

I use one or more combinations of cheese to amp up the flavors. You can use as much or as little as you like.

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Chicken quesadilla stays fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Store it in an air-tight container. You can reheat the quesadilla on a stovetop, in a skillet, or an air fryer.

SKILLET – Heat a skillet on medium-low heat. Grease the skillet with some oil or butter, and place the quesadilla in the skillet. Heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the chicken is heated through and the cheese is melted. Reheating the quesadilla on medium-low heat also crisps up the outer crust of the quesadilla.

AIR FRYER – Place the quesadilla in an air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is heated through and the cheese is melted.

You can freeze the chicken quesadilla in the freezer for up to 2 months. Follow the recipe and make the quesadillas. Slice them into wedges, and arrange the slices on a cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for around 20-30 minutes, or until quesadillas are firm. Place the quesadillas in a freezer-safe container and freeze them. Reheat the quesadilla and serve.

Pic Shown: Chicken Quesadilla

 

Chicken Quesadilla

 

FOR DAIRY-FREE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Instead of cheese, and sour cream, use plant-based or dairy-free cheese and sour cream. 

FOR GLUTEN-FREE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

Use gluten-free tortillas instead of a regular tortillas.

 

TRIED THIS RECIPE?

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Chicken Quesadilla

Chicken Quesadilla - Instant Pot, Stove Top

Jyoti Behrani
Easy, flavorful homemade Chicken Quesadilla. A perfect blend of chicken and veggies, makes this chicken quesadilla recipe the best!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 Quesadilla

Ingredients
  

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN QUESADILLA

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 12 medium (10-inch) flour tortilla
  • 2 cups grated cheese, as needed (Mexican blend, Monterrey Jack)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil, as needed for making quesadilla

FOR HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

FOR SERVING

  • Pico de Gallo
  • sour cream

INGREDIENTS FOR PICO DE GALLO

  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, chopped
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped, adjust to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

PREP FOR CHICKEN QUESADILLA

  • Trim the fat from the chicken thighs.
    Note: For chicken breasts, I prefer to keep chicken pieces thin, as these cook faster. Take 2 large chicken breasts, cut horizontally in halves, and then cut each piece into 2 to make 8 pieces.
  • In a shallow bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the seasoning. Add olive oil, and mix well.
  • Add chicken to the seasoning mix, and coat both the sides of the chicken well with the seasoning. Keep the chicken aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice the bell peppers and onions into thin strips.

INSTANT POT CHICKEN QUESADILLA

  • Turn ON Saute Mode (more). When it displays “HOT”, add a tablespoon of oil. Add sliced onions, and bell peppers, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Remove sauteed onions, and bell pepper, keep them aside.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pot, work in batches. Remove the chicken and keep it aside. Finish with the remaining chicken pieces.
    Note: You don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through, it will get cooked once we pressure cook it. Only need to sear it, to get a nice crust, adds great flavor to the quesadilla!
  • Add chicken broth, and deglaze the pot. Add seared chicken back to the pot.
  • Turn OFF Saute mode. Close the Instant pot, vent on sealing position, and set it on Pressure cook (high) for 8 minutes.
    Note: For chicken breast, pressure cook (high) for 4 minutes.
  • Let it naturally release pressure, for around 5 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually. Open the lid, and remove the chicken pieces.
  • Shred the chicken using a fork, and return the shredded chicken to the pot.
  • Turn ON saute mode (high), and stir to coat the chicken in the remaining sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sauteed onions, and bell peppers, and stir to combine well. Turn OFF saute mode.

STOVETOP CHICKEN QUESADILLA

  • Heat a skillet or pan on medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Add sliced onions, and bell peppers, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Remove sauteed onions, and bell pepper, keep them aside.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan, work in batches. Remove the chicken and keep it aside. Finish with the remaining chicken pieces.
  • Add chicken broth, and deglaze the pan. Add seared chicken back to the pan. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove the chicken pieces. Shred the chicken using a fork, and return the shredded chicken to the pan.
  • Add the sauteed onions, and bell peppers, and stir to combine well. Turn OFF the heat.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE CHICKEN QUESADILLA

  • Heat a skillet or griddle on medium-high heat. Grease the skillet with some oil. Place a flour tortilla in the skillet. The top half of the tortilla with a layer of cheese, chicken-pepper-onion mixture, and some more grated cheese.
  • Fold the other half of the tortilla over, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden.
    Note: I use a lid, to apply some weight evenly, for the extra crispy quesadilla. You can use the spatula as well.
  • Apply some oil on top of the tortilla, carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side, and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
  • Slice the quesadilla into wedges, and serve with Pico de Gallo and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!!

HOW TO MAKE PICO DE GALLA

  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients – chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped jalapeno, and a handful of fresh cilantro. Squeeze fresh lemon juice, and salt to taste. Mix well to combine. Enjoy homemade Pico De Gallo!!

Notes

Use 2 tablespoons of store-bought TACO seasoning, instead of homemade seasoning. 
You can also use 2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts for this recipe.
Please use timing as a guideline. Depending upon the size of the chicken pieces, adjust the cooking time.
Please refer to the post for the following:
  1. PRO TIPS FOR BEST CHICKEN QUESADILLA
  2. VARIATIONS TO THIS CHICKEN QUESADILLA
  3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Disclaimer

Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Chicken Quesadilla

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Amanda

    5 stars
    So good!!! Make plenty of leftovers!! Can’t wait to make it again!!

    1. Jyoti Behrani

      Awesome! I’m so glad you liked my recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback!

  2. Laurie

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! The homemade taco seasoning is THE BEST! I used 2 chicken breasts and a large package of chicken tenders because that’s what I had. I did not add the onions and peppers because my boys prefer just chicken and cheese in their quesadillas. My husband and two boys give high ratings to my cooking ONLY when they really mean it. All three said the instant pot chicken was so delicious. So, this recipe is going in my binder of approved recipes, and I will be returning to it often! Again, thank you 🙂

    1. Jyoti Behrani

      Hi Laurie, I am so glad you all liked my recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback!

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