Tex Mex Chicken Quesadilla

5 from 8 votes

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There’s nothing like a quick and easy chicken quesadilla for dinner. Using shortcut options like shredded rotisserie chicken, canned corn, shredded cheese, and pre-made salsa get this cheesy Tex-Mex dinner on your plate in less than 30 minutes!

side view: stack of crispy chicken quesadillas on a plate


The humble chicken quesadilla is a very simple yet extremely tasty meal that can be surprisingly tricky to get just right! Getting the right ratio of meat to cheese and making sure the ingredients aren’t too heavy, wet, or slippery can make or break your tortilla dinner — literally!

But here I’ve laid out a rainbow of fresh ingredients you can pile on and still end up with that cheesy, melty quesadilla everyone at the table is waiting for: sweet corn, spicy salsa, creamy avocado, and crisp bell peppers!

stack of crispy chicken quesadillas with lots of melted cheese, sitting on a plate

Using pre-cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken makes a great, quick dinner. Sometimes I’ll use it to make enchiladas or filling chicken and beans.

For the record, poultry isn’t your only protein option — check out these crispy ground beef quesadillas too.

Serve my chicken quesadilla recipe with some homemade guacamole or pico de gallo for a bit of freshness and moisture.

bowls of ingredients to make my chicken quesadilla recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken – Shredded rotisserie meat adds some great texture and is easy to bite into. Some other options include shredded tenders, thigh meat, and even canned chicken! Just take time to really drain the liquid from the canned stuff. 
  • Bell Pepper I’m partial to crisp, sweet red bell peppers, but you can use any color bell pepper available. 
  • Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa I usually make my own tomatillo salsa, but you could also use any jarred salsa verde you have on hand. 
  • Corn – Fresh, frozen, or canned corn are all options. Whichever you choose, make sure the kernels are cooked and drained before using. 
  • Avocado A bit of avocado adds a very pleasant creamy, almost fatty flavor. If you’re looking to substitute the avocado, go for a similarly creamy ingredient like sour cream or unflavored Greek yogurt.  
  • Tortillas – The quantities in this chicken quesadilla recipe make four large quesadillas using 12-inch “burrito” tortillas. You could make more using small 4-inch or medium-sized 7-inch tortillas. 
  • Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese – I like to use these two cheeses for the combination of sharp flavor and all-around creaminess. However, feel free to substitute any shredded cheese!
step photos show how to make a Mexican chicken quesadilla
side view: my chicken quesadilla recipe on a plate with beer in the background

How to Make a Chicken Quesadilla

  1. Heat Chicken & Peppers. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shredded chicken and cook for one minute before adding the bell peppers. Stir to combine and cook for another minute.
  2. Prepare Filling. Add the salsa to the pan, stir, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the corn and avocado. Stir everything gently and cook for one more minute before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Layer Fillings. Wipe down the pan and coat with cooking spray before adding the tortilla to the pan. On one half of the tortilla, layer some shredded cheese, top with the meat and veggie filling, and add more cheese. Fold the tortilla over from the opposite side to cover. 
  4. Cook. Brown the tortilla for 2 or 3 minutes, flip, then cook for just another 1 or 2 minutes as the other side crisps and cheese melts. 
  5. Serve. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into thirds for easy serving. Plate with desired toppings and enjoy!
  • Grater – Shred your cheese right off the block for great-tasting shreds that melt easily and smoothly. 
  • Stand Mixer – This is the quickest way to shred cooked chicken. Throw it into the bowl and use the paddle attachment on low to pull the meat into bite-sized pieces. 

Storing and Reheating

Cooked quesadillas can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. If you know you’ll have leftovers, I recommend storing the filling by itself so you can brown the tortilla and melt the cheese fresh the next day. 

Otherwise, already-assembled quesadillas tend to get rather soggy even after just one night in the fridge.

Reheat on the stovetop once more to crisp the tortilla as much as you can, flipping often so it doesn’t burn while the center reheats.

overview: man's hand holding a quesadilla slice

Frequently Asked Questions

What else can I put in my chicken quesadilla?


Spicy jalapeno peppers, onions, meaty mushrooms, and greens such as spinach or lettuce are all great in a chicken quesadilla. 

Black beans, brown or white rice, and even some fruits are common add-ins as well. 

Experiment with what you have in your pantry, at your local market, or even in your own garden! Just avoid wet vegetables like squashes or tomatoes that might turn the tortilla into a pile of mush.

Should I make this chicken quesadilla recipe with corn or flour tortillas?


While corn tortillas are the traditional choice, they will be smaller. I prefer flour tortillas because they are larger and pliable for folding over and holding onto all of the fillings. Also you could layer them using two tortillas. The cheese also clings to the flour better, holding the quesadilla together.

What cheese is best for quesadillas?


Any shredded cheese is great in a chicken quesadilla — as long as it melts! Creamy Mexican Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, white cheddar, and even mozzarella. The only ones to avoid are your tough-to-melt hard or fresh cheeses, like parmesan and feta, which really are not Tex Mex or Mexican.

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stack of crispy chicken quesadillas on a plate

Tex Mex Chicken Quesadilla

5 from 8 votes
My crispy chicken quesadilla is loaded with shredded rotisserie chicken, two cheeses and fresh ingredients for that Tex Mex flavor punch — and it takes just 30 minutes to make!
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb rotisserie chicken shredded (See Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper diced (See Note 2)
  • 1 cup tomatillo green chili salsa (recipe on site)
  • 8 oz corn can drained or thawed
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 flour tortillas 12" size
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded (See Note 3)
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded (See Note 3)
  • cooking spray or oil

Instructions 

Filling

  • Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded chicken and cook for a minute. Add the red bell pepper and stir to combine, cook for another minute.
  • Pour in the salsa verde, stirring to combine and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the corn and chopped avocado, gently stirring to combine. Cook another minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

Assembly/Cook

  • This makes four large quesadillas so divide the filling and cheese accordingly.
  • Wipe skillet clean with paper towel. Heat skillet over medium low heat and coat pan with cooking spray.
  • Add a tortilla and on half of it sprinkle some of the cheeses and the chicken filling. Top with some more cheese and carefully fold tortilla over to cover filling. Cook for 2-3 minutes to brown and crisp tortilla and melt cheeses.
  • Flip quesadilla over and cook other side for 1-2 minutes and browned. Filling should be warmed and cheeses melted.
  • Remove from pan and slice into thirds on a cutting board. Serve with salsa of choice, guacamole or plain with sour cream.

Video

Notes

  1. Feel free to substitute any kind of chicken you prefer: shredded chicken tenders, thigh meat, canned that has been drained and shredded.
  2. Use whatever color bell pepper is available.
  3. Use and substitute any shredded cheese of choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 641mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2007IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 452mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinners, Snacks
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled photo (and shown): crispy chicken quesadillas

Kevin

Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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17 Comments

  1. 5 stars

    Oh these are making my mouth water! I think I’ve got everything I need to make this tomorrow, just need to pick up the chicken!

  2. 5 stars
    I need to try this chicken quesadilla immediately, it looks so good!

  3. 5 stars

    Yum! I made this for lunch today and it was out of this world! I will definitely be making this again! Thanks!