Are you in need of a quick, delicious, and satisfying dinner that your whole family will love? Look no further than these cheesy chicken quesadillas! These tasty treats are perfect for a weeknight meal and can be easily customized to suit everyone’s preferences. In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect cheesy chicken quesadilla.
To get started, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
- 2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, or Monterey Jack)
- 8 medium-sized flour tortillas
- Optional: sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or other toppings
Preparing the Chicken
Seasoning the Chicken
First, prepare the cooked, shredded chicken by seasoning it with taco seasoning. If you have leftover chicken, this is a great way to use it up. If not, simply cook and shred chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken, then toss with the seasoning.
Cooking the Chicken
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender, about 5 minutes.
Assembling the Quesadilla
Choosing the Right Tortilla
Select medium-sized flour tortillas for the best results. These tortillas are more pliable and less prone to cracking than corn tortillas, making them ideal for quesadillas.
Layering the Ingredients
Lay out a tortilla on a clean work surface. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on one half of the tortilla, followed by a layer of the chicken mixture. Top with another layer of cheese and fold the other half of the tortilla over to create a half-moon shape. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and filling.
Cooking the Quesadilla
Preheat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook the quesadillas for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown.
Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Place the assembled quesadillas on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown.
Serve your cheesy chicken quesadillas hot, alongside your favorite toppings such as sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo. For a more filling meal, consider adding sides like rice, beans, or a simple salad.
There are countless ways to customize your quesadillas based on your preferences or what you have in your pantry. Some popular variations include:
- Adding black beans or corn to the chicken mixture
- Substituting the chicken with steak, shrimp, or roasted vegetables for a vegetarian option
- Using different types of cheese, such as pepper jack for a spicy kick
- Spreading a layer of refried beans on the tortilla before adding the other ingredients
Storage and Reheating Tips
If you have leftover quesadillas, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the quesadilla in a skillet over low heat, cover with a lid, and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. You can also reheat them in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10 minutes.
These cheesy chicken quesadillas are an easy, delicious, and versatile dinner option that the whole family will enjoy. With the various customization options and serving suggestions, you can make this recipe your own and never get bored. So go ahead and give this tasty dish a try for a quick and satisfying meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas for quesadillas? Although flour tortillas are more pliable and easier to work with, you can use corn tortillas for a gluten-free alternative. Just be cautious, as they can crack more easily.
- Can I make these quesadillas ahead of time and freeze them? Yes, you can assemble the quesadillas, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To cook from frozen, bake them in a preheated 400°F (205°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- What can I use instead of taco seasoning? If you don’t have taco seasoning on hand, you can create your own blend with spices such as chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
- How can I make this recipe spicier? To add some heat to your quesadillas, you can include chopped jalapeños or other spicy peppers in the chicken mixture, use a spicy cheese like pepper jack, or add hot sauce to your toppings.
- What other protein options can I use instead of chicken? You can easily substitute the chicken with other proteins such as steak, shrimp, or even tofu. Just be sure to cook them thoroughly before adding them to your quesadilla.