Easy Chicken Quesadillas
Made with shredded chicken, corn and red bell pepper, these easy chicken quesadillas are a delicious combination of zesty flavor and cheesy goodness.
Quesadillas are a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine, and the ingredient possibilities for fillings are virtually limitless.
We’ve experimented with a few variations on chicken quesadillas and have settled on this easy version as our favorite.
Tips for Tasty Chicken Quesadillas
- Start with shredded white meat chicken (preferably tenderloins).
- Add sautéed red bell pepper, scallions, corn, and fresh cilantro.
- Spread a light coating of cream cheese combined with lime zest over the tortilla before layering in the cheese and chicken fillings. This adds creaminess and a burst of citrusy flavor.
- Use a smooth-melting cheese like Monterey Jack and grate it fresh rather than use the pre-shredded variety. Pre-shredded cheese contains an anti-caking agent and doesn’t melt as smoothly as freshly grated.
- Choose a thin, soft flour tortilla. We like La Banderita Carb Counter Tortillas. They toast up nicely, leftovers can be used for wraps, and the low calorie and carb counts are a bonus.
- Serve chicken quesadillas with a simple “crema” made by mixing sour cream, lime juice and lime zest for dipping.
Easy Chicken Quesadillas
- 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (see notes)
- Vegetable oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
- Zest of 1 lime, divided
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 large, 8-inch low-carb flour tortillas
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- Ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, add the bell pepper and sauté until crisp-tender, 3 minutes.
- Add the scallions and continue cooking for about 30 seconds, then transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine about half of the lime zest with the cream cheese until well blended.
- Arrange the tortillas side-by-side on a flat surface and divide the cream cheese mixture between them. Spread the mixture over the tortillas to within 1-inch of the edges.
- Add the sour cream to the bowl you mixed the cream cheese in and add the remaining lime zest along with the lime juice. Combine well, transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
- Add the shredded chicken, corn and cilantro to the bell pepper and scallions and combine.
- Sprinkle with ground cumin and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Wipe out the frying pan, put it back on the stove over medium heat and brush with a small amount of oil.
- Lay a tortilla (cream cheese side up), in the pan and layer 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese over half.
- Top with a portion of the chicken mixture and another 1/4 cup of cheese, then fold the other side of the tortilla over the fillings and press gently to seal.
- Cook until the tortilla is lightly toasted and the cheese on the bottom has melted, then carefully turn the quesadilla and continue cooking until that side is lightly toasted as well.
- Transfer finished quesadillas to a cookie sheet and place in a 200°F oven to keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining three tortillas.
- To serve, cut each quesadilla in half, plate and serve with sour cream for dipping.
Tips for Making This Recipe
No cooked chicken on hand? No problem.Trim the white tendons from 1 lb of chicken tenderloins and place them in a shallow pan. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth. Simmer, uncovered, turning the tenderloins several times until cooked through, about 5 minutes total (do not overcook). Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for 2 minutes, then shred using two forks.
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