Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas

Crispy, cheesy inside and packed with juicy seasoned chicken and veggies, this is the best chicken quesadilla recipe! Fast and always delicious.


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups cooked diced or shredded chicken about 2 medium breasts or 2 to 3 thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 orange, yellow, or green bell pepper diced (or 1 cup chopped veggies of choice: baby spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.)
  • Hot sauce optional
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided (or additional pepper/Monterey Jack)
  • 4 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • Oil, butter, or nonstick spray optional for cooking the quesadillas

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, salt, and garlic powder. Place the chicken in a separate, medium bowl and sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Stir to coat. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it is hot and shimmering. Add the onion and bell peppers, and any other vegetables you are using (wait to add spinach, however). Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the top and stir to coat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is turning translucent and brown and the other vegetables are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. If using spinach, stir it in a few handfuls at a time until it wilts. If you’d like the filling spicy, add a few dashes of hot sauce to taste. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the chicken and stir to combine.
  3. Assemble the quesadillas: For each, top half of a tortilla with an eighth of the pepper Jack (about 2 1/2 tablespoons) and an eighth of the cheddar (about 1 1/2 tablespoons). Spread one-quarter each of the vegetables and chicken evenly on top of the cheese (it will seem like a lot, but go with it). Top with one-eighth additional pepper Jack (2 1/2 tablespoons) and one-eighth additional cheddar (1 1/2 tablespoons).
  4. Fold the empty tortilla half over the toppings, pressing gently. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5. Cook the quesadillas: With a paper towel, carefully wipe out the skillet you used for the vegetables. Heat over medium to medium-low heat, adding a little butter or oil to the skillet if you’d like the tortillas crisper. Place 1 quesadilla in the pan with the folded edge running down the center and the open edge facing outward. Lay a second quesadilla down beside it facing the opposite direction so it fits in the skillet nicely. With the back of a spatula, lightly press down on the tops so they flatten (don’t worry if some of the cheese oozes out; it will become crispy and DELISH). Cook on the first side until golden and crisp, adjusting the heat as needed so the quesadillas crisp but do not burn, about 4 or so minutes depending upon your stove.
  6. Carefully flip and cook the other side for about 2 more minutes, until both sides are a yummy, lightly crisp golden brown.
  7. Let the quesadillas cool on a cutting board for a few minutes (or transfer to a 200 degrees F oven to keep warm while finishing remaining batches). When ready to serve, with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice into three pie-shaped wedges. Enjoy hot with toppings.