These cheesy chicken quesadillas make a light and delicious weeknight meal. They’re made with shredded white meat chicken, corn, sweet bell pepper, two kinds of cheese, and a fresh lime crema dipping sauce.

Cutting board with cut chicken quesadillas, a bowl of lime crema, lime wedges, and sprigs of fresh cilantro.

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.

Key Ingredients for This Recipe

  • Shredded chicken: Any type of cooked, shredded chicken you have on hand will work in these chicken quesadillas, but we like to cook up some chicken tenderloins for our quesadillas. Instructions for doing this in under 10 minutes can be found below.
  • Cream cheese: Spreading a light coating of cream cheese combined with lime zest over the tortilla before layering in the cheese and the chicken filling adds creaminess and a burst of citrusy flavor.
  • Monterey Jack cheese: Smooth-melting Monterey Jack is the perfect choice for quesadillas. If you can, grate it fresh rather than use the pre-shredded variety. Pre-shredded cheese contains an anti-caking agent and it doesn’t melt as smoothly as freshly grated.
  • Flour tortillas: 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.
  • Red bell pepper: Crisp-tender, sautéed red bell pepper adds a touch of sweet flavor and a bit of crunch that cuts through the richness of the cheese.
  • Fresh cilantro: Cilantro adds bright, herbaceous notes to the flavor of these quesadillas, but if don’t care for it, substitute fresh parsley or chives.

How to Make Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

This is an overview of how this dish is made. You’ll find detailed measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version of the recipe below.

  1. Make the lime crema by combining lime zest, lime juice, and sour cream in a small bowl.
  2. Sauté diced red bell pepper until tender, add chopped scallions, cook for another minute and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine more lime zest with cream cheese.
  4. Arrange the tortillas side-by-side, divide the cream cheese mixture between them, and spread it to within 1-inch of the edges.
  5. Add cooked, shredded chicken, corn kernels, and fresh cilantro leaves to the bowl with the bell pepper and scallions. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground cumin.
  6. Wipe out the frying pan and brush it with a small amount of oil.
  7. Lay a tortilla (cream cheese side up), in the pan and layer shredded Monterey Jack cheese over half.
  8. Top with a portion of the chicken mixture and more cheese, then fold the other side of the tortilla over the fillings and press gently to seal.
  9. 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.
  10. Transfer finished quesadillas to a baking sheet and place them in a 200°F oven to keep warm while you make the rest of the tortillas.
  11. To serve, cut each quesadilla in half, plate, and serve with sour cream for dipping.

How to Make Tender Shredded Chicken

Here’s a quick way to make tender shredded chicken:

  1. Trim the white tendons from 1 lb of chicken tenderloins and place them in a shallow pan.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, turning the tenderloins several times until cooked through, about 5 minutes total (do not overcook).
  4. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for 2 minutes, then shred using two forks.

More Quesadilla Recipes

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Easy Chicken Quesadillas

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

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Made with shredded chicken, corn, red bell pepper, two kinds of cheese, and a fresh lime crema dipping sauce, these cheesy chicken quesadillas are perfect for a light weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime zest, divided
  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken, (see notes)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 low-carb flour tortillas, (8-inch)
  • 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)

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine about half of the lime zest, lime juice, and sour cream until well blended and set aside.
  • 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 separate small bowl, combine the remaining 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 shredded chicken, corn, and cilantro to the bowl with the bell pepper and scallions. Combine and season to taste with ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Wipe out the frying pan, put it back on the stove over medium heat, and brush the surface 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

  • If possible, grate your cheese 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.

How to Make Tender Shredded Chicken

We like to use chicken tenderloins for our quesadillas. Here are some instructions for cooking them up quickly. 
  1. Trim the white tendons from 1 lb of chicken tenderloins and place them in a shallow pan.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, turning the tenderloins several times until cooked through, about 5 minutes total (do not overcook).
  4. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for 2 minutes, then shred using two forks.
Serving: 1quesadilla, Calories: 637kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 152mg, Sodium: 815mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g
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