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Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

February 3, 2012

When you come home from a long day at work, and don’t have the energy or the time to make a complicated dish, why not throw together some quesadillas?  Quesadillas are super simple to make and yet so full of flavor.  It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.  What could be better than that combination of melted cheese sandwiched between a tortilla.  It’s like the traditional comfort food standby of grilled cheese, just in a different format.

My husband and I make quesadillas as a quick dinner meal every so often, but instead of just making plain cheese quesadillas, we like to kick our quesadillas up a little bit by adding some protein and flavor to make a delicious, yet filling, dinner meal.  Meet the grilled chicken quesadilla!

The ingredients for the grilled chicken quesadilla are: flour tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese, minced green onions, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and grilled chicken.

Start by preparing the chicken and then grilling it.  I use chicken breast for this dish, but you can also use dark meat chicken as well.  Since chicken breast meat tends to be the least flavorful and most dry part of the chicken, I generally start by slicing the chicken breast into strips, and then marinating the chicken breast to try to infuse flavor and moisture into the meat.  Start by creating a simple marinade with whatever you have on hand.  I tend to gravitate towards vinaigrettes and use ingredients such as lemon juice, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and olive oil.  Allow the chicken strips to sit in the marinade for at least 30-45 minutes, if not longer.  Keep the chicken chilled by putting it in the refrigerator while it’s marinating.  When you’re ready to get going, throw your chicken into a hot skillet, grill pan or on the grill and cook it up.  Once cooked, slice the chicken into small bite-sized pieces for your quesadilla.

When the chicken is ready, it’s time to start assembling the quesadillas.  On a heated, non-stick, flat griddle, lay out 2 flour tortillas and allow them to start heating up on the griddle.  Add freshly shredded cheddar cheese right on top of both flour tortillas.  The heat emanating from the bottom of the tortilla will start to melt the cheese.  It’s best to put the cheese on both pieces of tortilla, that way when you sandwich the two tortillas together, the cheese will act as a glue to stick them together.

Next, add your “stuffing” ingredients for the quesadilla right on top of the cheese.  I like tomatoes, so I removed the seeds and juices from a tomato and small diced it.  My husband doesn’t like tomatoes as much as I do, so where I would put a lot of tomatoes into my quesadilla, he doesn’t put nearly as much.  You’ll only need to put the “stuffing” onto one tortilla, not both.  Putting “stuffing” onto both tortillas will just create a mess when you try to sandwich the tortillas together.

For more flavor and a nice contrast of colors, we next added minced green onions.  The green onions provide the very mild and subtle onion flavor and add a nice touch of color to the quesadilla.  Also add the grilled chicken that you chopped up earlier to the quesadilla.

Take the tortilla that only has cheese on it, and flip it over on top of the tortilla that has the “stuffing” on it.  You’ve basically created a tortilla sandwich at this point.  Press down on the tortillas to ensure that the cheese really does act as a binding agent and the two tortillas stick together.  When the tortillas are as crispy, or not crispy as you want, you’re done.  Transfer your finished quesadilla to a flat surface.

Since eating a huge quesadilla like this is a bit cumbersome, you will want to slice the quesadilla into manageable pieces.  Quarter-sized cuts are probably best.  Look at the melted cheese oozing out of the quesadilla.

Serve your quesadillas with some extra minced green onion, if you have any.  It just looks pretty.  Also, if you like condiments for the quesadilla, such as salsa or sour cream, don’t forget to serve that with your grilled chicken quesadillas.  A quick, easy, and delicious meal done in minutes!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Malou permalink
    February 4, 2012 5:20 am

    It seems like quesadilla is a very American thing. We don’t do this here in Holland but from seeing a lot of wonderful posts on this dish like yours, I’m now so curious to try. Thanks for this lovely recipe. 😉

  2. Amanda permalink
    February 8, 2012 9:47 am

    I’m going to try this on the weekend, with homemade tortillas, yikes! I love quesadillas, they really are such a quick and yummy to have and you can do so much with them – meat, veggies, cheese, salsas, yum!

  3. Amanda permalink
    February 13, 2012 10:45 am

    OMG, I LOVED the homemade tortillas. I think Greg didn’t love them as much as I did, but he thought they were very good. To me they tasted so much better and I just..wow. We just made cheese quesadillas with a mix of jalapeno, cilantro, and onion. They were so good; I could eat that every night 🙂

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