There’s nothing better than an easy dinner for busy weeknights! This chicken quesadilla is a wonderful option when craving something cheesy, creamy, and reminiscent of a restaurant-style dish.
This chicken quesadilla will remind you of the popular Taco Bell quesadilla but so much better. The mixture of shredded chicken, cheese, and a kick of hot sauce, makes this quesadilla unforgettable! The quality will greatly outshine anything you could get at a fast food restaurant.
Enjoy this copycat recipe with your favorite sides and dipping sauces!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Customizable. This recipe is easy to personalize to your liking and will satisfy the pickiest of eaters.
- Make-ahead. The mixture we use for the filling is easy to make ahead, so you can enjoy a quesadilla in as little as five minutes in the coming week.
- Kid-friendly. Your children will love this simple dish.
- Inexpensive. Most of these ingredients are very affordable and make for a great budget dinner! Especially in comparison to the price you would pay ordering at a restaurant.
- Healthier alternative. Although just as cheesy, creamy and saucy, making this quesadilla at home offers a healthier alternative to the Taco-bell version.
Ingredients for this Chicken Quesadilla
The ingredients for this quesadilla are simple and customizable.
- Cooked chicken – we use shredded chicken breast for this recipe. Cook your own chicken, or use canned, or even a rotisserie chicken.
- Cream cheese – at room temp, for easy mixing.
- Ranch – offers a delicious flavor while making this mixture come together.
- Cheese – we use cheddar cheese, but you can use Mexican Oaxaca cheese, Monterey jack, pepper jack cheese, or any other blend you love.
- Sriracha or Red Hot sauce – adds a subtle kick of spice and great flavor.
- Flour tortillas – large burrito tortillas work best for making quesadillas.
- Seasoning – a dash of salt, pepper, and paprika for flavor.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations
Try these add-ins, substitutions, and variations to make this chicken quesadilla perfect for you and your family.
- Protein: Swap out the chicken for ground beef, steak, or even leave it out altogether for a meatless option.
- Veggies: Add some extra nutrients and flavor by throwing in vegetables like red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes. Just like in our chicken fajita quesadilla.
- Spice: You can add more or less hot sauce to modify the heat in your quesadilla. You can also add diced jalapeños, chili powder, or taco seasoning for an extra spicy quesadilla!
- Healthier option: With a few modifications, you can make this delicious meal lower in calories. Use low-fat cream cheese, low-fat ranch, and corn tortillas, as well as low-calorie tortillas for a lower-calorie quesadilla. You can even air fry your quesadilla to make it even healthier!
How to Make Chicken Quesadillas
These quesadillas come together quickly, with just a few easy steps.
Step 1 – Combine: In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, softened cream cheese, ranch, shredded cheese, sriracha, and seasoning. Mix using a hand mixer.
Step 2 – Assemble: Spread mixture evenly on one side of a tortilla. Fold over and gently pat down.
Step 3 – Cook: Drizzle oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the quesadilla and press down lightly with a spatula. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side.
Step 4 – Enjoy: You may enjoy the quesadilla with sour cream, srirach or even avocado slices.
These quesadillas are greatly enjoyed on their own, but can be taken to the next level by pairing them with some Mexican-inspired dishes:
- Dips: Serve this quesadilla with various dips to enhance the flavors and add to the restaurant ambiance! A drizzle of sour cream or Guacamole offers authentic pairings and makes for a great flavor combination.
- Meal: Serve the quesadilla with cilantro lime rice, for a more filling meal.
- Soup: Serve your quesadilla with a warm bowl of chicken taco soup for the ultimate comfort meal.
Expert Tips for Making Chicken Quesadillas
- Tortilla: When choosing your tortilla, be sure that you are selecting the large flour tortillas for optimal quesadilla size, and shape.
- Spread: Evenly distribute your filling onto the tortilla, to ensure that every bite is overflowing with cheesy goodness.
- Crust: Make sure you are adding your quesadilla to a hot pan to give the quesadilla a beautiful crust.
- Control the heat: Keep an eye on the quesadilla and make sure that your heat is allowing the cheese to melt, without burning the outside.
You absolutely can bake your quesadilla for an easy and healthier alternative. You can also make air-frier quesadillas with a similar result.
We recommend enjoying the quesadillas right away, as they can get soggy, and stale when sitting for too long. It’s better to save the filling in the fridge and assemble quesadillas later.
Store & Reheat
- Storage. Refrigerate quesadilla filling in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat. Assemble quesadillas as you would, and cook the same way.
- Freeze. Prepare quesadilla per instruction, just don’t cook the quesadilla. Freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer bag.
- Reheat: Thaw overnight and sautee per instructions.
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Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
- In a bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, ranch, cheese, sriracha, and seasoning. Mix by hand or with a hand mixer until combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly on one half of a tortilla. Fold the tortilla over and press down gently.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add 2 quesadillas and press down gently with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with third quesadilla.
- Serve, and enjoy friends!
- Store the leftover chicken mixture in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- You can freeze the mixture for up to 3 months, just let it thaw before spreading onto tortillas.
- Pro tip: Use rotisserie chicken for quick and easy shredded chicken.