Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Caramelized, cumin-spiced onions, tequila-spiked chicken, tomatillos and Monterey Jack cheese add layers of perfectly-blended flavor to these unique, easy-to-make quesadillas.

Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Uniquely flavorful quesadillas filled with tequila-spiked chicken, fresh lime, caramelized onions, tomatillos, jalapeños, cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese.


  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
  • 4 medium tomatillos, cored and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. Using a sharp knife, trim away any white tendons from the chicken tenderloins and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, 3 minutes.
  3. Season with the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized, 6 to 7 minutes longer.
  4. Add the chopped tomatillos and jalapénos and continue cooking until the tomatillos are slightly softened, 2 minutes longer. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.
  5. In the same skillet, heat an additional tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan.
  6. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice along with the tequila.
  7. Continue cooking until the liquid evaporates, 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to the plate with the onion-tomatillo mixture and set aside.
  8. Wipe out the skillet and brush lightly with a bit of the remaining oil. Add a tortilla and sprinkle with 2 ounces of the shredded cheese.
  9. On one half of the tortilla, add a layer of the onion mixture, top with a layer of chicken and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
  10. As soon as the cheese is melted, fold the other half of the tortilla over the filled side.
  11. Using the back of a large spatula, press the quesadilla flat and cook until the tortilla is lightly browned on the bottom.
  12. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  13. Transfer the quesadilla to a serving platter and keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
  14. Cut the quesadillas in half before serving.