Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken Quesadillas
5 from 7 votes
Venture on a flavourful journey with chicken quesadillas, a dish rooted in the heart of Mexico, perfect for a family dinner or a festive feast. Quick to prepare, it's an art in itself, blending the love of cheese and tender chicken with an array of spices, guaranteed to kick your taste buds into overdrive.
Chicken Quesadilla

Dive right in folks, because we’re about to embark on a culinary adventure featuring our star dish, the Chicken Quesadillas. A staple in Mexican cuisine, these cheesy delights trace their roots back to colonial Mexico where they were originally prepared using corn tortillas filled with little more than cheese.

From humble beginnings, this dish has evolved to become an emblem of hearty, flavourful cooking worldwide. 

Now, how would I categorize the difficulty level of our chicken quesadillas? Well, I’m happy to report that even kitchen novices will find this recipe to be a breeze.  

It’s all about mastering the art of balance. The perfect quesadilla is all about proportion – the right amount of cheese, the ideal blend of spices, and the art of cooking your tortillas to that golden-brown hue. It’s simple yet demanding, basic yet impressive, and always oh-so delicious. 

Speaking of variations, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to personalizing your quesadillas. If chicken’s not your thing, shrimp or beef can step right in. Vegetarian?  

No problem! A medley of veggies like mushrooms, spinach, and black beans can take the reins. Even our vegan friends aren’t left out; swap out regular cheese for vegan cheese, and voila! You have a mouth-watering, vegan-friendly version of our star dish. 

Chicken quesadillas are a recipe for happiness, a perfect harmony of ingredients singing in unison.  

The chicken is marinated with an assortment of spices like chilli powder, paprika, black pepper, oregano, and cumin, giving it that spicy kick which is mellowed by the comforting, cheesy goodness of mozzarella. 

What makes this dish stand out is its heart – the chicken, cooked to tender perfection, paired with the vibrant veggies – onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes, which not only add a splash of colour but a burst of freshness too.  

The tortillas, toasted just right, provide that irresistible crunch, a perfect contrast to the soft, melty interior. 

The end result? A harmonious blend of textures and flavours that make you want to reach out for just ‘one more piece’. From the crackle of the tortilla, the warm, gooey cheese, the juicy marinated chicken to the pop of fresh veggies, every bite of our Chicken Quesadillas is a party in your mouth. 

So, there you have it – Chicken Quesadillas, a dish that’s as fun to make as it is to eat. Whether you’re serving it up for a family dinner or cooking for a crowd, this versatile, crowd-pleasing dish is sure to win hearts. Bon Appétit! 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Welcome, folks, to the canvas that paints our recipe to perfection, the building blocks of our Chicken Quesadillas. Let’s journey into understanding how each ingredient contributes its unique charm to the recipe, offering depth and dimension to our dish. 

Chicken: Ah, the star of our dish. The chicken brings in a hearty, protein-rich element that’s not only nutritious but incredibly satisfying. Marinated and cooked to perfection, it infuses our quesadillas with a burst of flavour.  

If you’re looking for alternatives, feel free to replace chicken with beef, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. 

Spices: Meet the supporting cast – our spice blend. These spices are vital in adding that Mexican flair to our chicken, each adding its unique touch.  

Chilli and paprika provide heat, black pepper and salt enhance natural flavours, oregano brings in a herby touch, garlic adds depth, and cumin imparts an earthy, warm aroma. If you don’t have these exact spices, a pre-made taco or fajita seasoning can serve as an excellent substitute. 

Oil: We need oil to cook our chicken and veggies and give our tortillas that golden, crispy exterior. Any neutral oil will work, but olive oil adds a little more flavour. For a healthier twist, you can use cooking spray instead. 

Onions, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes: Our trinity of veggies, add freshness, colour, and texture to our quesadillas. Each vegetable contributes its distinct sweetness, tang, and crunch, providing a counterbalance to the rich, savoury chicken and cheese. 

If bell peppers aren’t your thing, feel free to swap them out with other veggies like mushrooms or spinach. 

Tomato Purée: Tomato purée is our secret weapon, providing a rich, tangy, tomato-y depth to our filling. If you don’t have purée, a good squeeze of tomato ketchup or even a dash of tomato sauce can work wonders. 

Tortilla: This is our vessel, the holder of all the goodness inside. The tortilla gets toasty and crispy on the outside, while staying soft and pliable on the inside, offering a delightful textural contrast.  

Corn tortillas are a traditional choice, but feel free to use flour tortillas if you prefer. For a healthier alternative, whole wheat tortillas are a good option. 

Mozzarella Cheese: The melty, stretchy, ooey-gooey heart of our quesadillas. Mozzarella gives our quesadillas that iconic, stringy cheese pull, and adds a creamy, rich element that binds all our ingredients together.  

Other types of cheese like cheddar, Monterey Jack, or even a Mexican blend can be used for a different flavour profile. 

And there you have it, folks! Every ingredient in our Chicken Quesadillas recipe is a chapter in the story of flavour and texture we’re trying to tell. Each one is important, each one is special.  

The next time you find yourself assembling these quesadillas, you’ll appreciate the role each ingredient plays in this symphony of flavours and textures. Happy cooking! 

Unlocking the Secret to Perfectly Marinated Chicken for Quesadillas 

Ah, the humble chicken. The staple ingredient in so many dishes worldwide, and rightfully so. It’s versatile, it’s flavourful, and when prepared right, it’s absolutely delicious. Let’s talk about marinating chicken for quesadillas – a process that’s just as important, if not more, as the actual cooking. 

The perfect marinade is a balance of flavour, texture, and colour. For our chicken quesadillas, we’re aiming for a punch of heat, a bit of tang, and that succulent, tender texture that makes you go, ‘Oh, this is good!’  

The key is in our choice of spices – chilli powder, paprika, black pepper, oregano, garlic paste, and cumin powder. 

When these spices come together, they create a melody of flavours, transforming the chicken from something plain into something absolutely drool-worthy. 

Chilli powder and paprika add heat, black pepper and salt enhance the natural flavours of the chicken, garlic paste adds a layer of depth, oregano introduces a hint of herbiness, and cumin powder brings warmth. When marinated, the chicken absorbs these spices, leading to every bite being a flavour explosion. 

But what if you don’t have these exact spices? Well, don’t worry. There’s always room for improvisation in the kitchen. A pre-made taco or fajita seasoning could serve as an excellent substitute.  

The next time you’re planning to make chicken quesadillas, remember, the secret lies in the marinade. It’s the first step to creating a deliciously unforgettable dish. 

Diving into the Colourful World of Veggies in Quesadillas 

If you think quesadillas are all about the cheese and chicken, think again. Enter the vibrant world of vegetables, a world that’s not just about the fresh, crunchy texture, but also about a burst of colours and flavours that elevate your quesadilla experience. 

In our Chicken Quesadillas, we’re introducing three key players – onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Each one brings something unique to the table. The onions, when cooked, develop a beautiful sweetness that balances out the heat from the spices.  

Bell peppers, on the other hand, introduce a certain level of crunchiness, providing a contrast to the soft chicken and melted cheese. The tomatoes? They’re there for a dash of freshness and a hint of tanginess that cuts through the richness of the dish. 

Now, what if you’re not a fan of bell peppers? Or maybe you’re looking to experiment?  

The beauty of quesadillas is that they’re incredibly flexible. Feel free to replace the bell peppers with other vegetables like mushrooms or spinach. You can even throw in some corn or black beans for that extra layer of flavour and texture. 

The Role of Tortillas in Crafting the Perfect Chicken Quesadilla 

When we talk about quesadillas, the most vital ingredient that often goes unnoticed is the tortilla itself. But let me tell you this – a quesadilla is as good as its tortilla. So let’s take a moment to appreciate and understand this crucial component. 

Tortillas are the edible canvas on which we paint our delectable masterpiece. They’re the vehicle carrying all that cheesy, meaty goodness we love so much in quesadillas.  

The tortilla is responsible for that delightful crispiness on the outside while maintaining a soft, pliable texture on the inside. In essence, tortillas provide that perfect textural contrast in each bite. 

Traditionally, corn tortillas are used in making quesadillas. They bring a unique earthy flavour and firm texture to the dish. However, if you prefer a slightly softer, more pliable quesadilla, flour tortillas are your best bet.  

They also tend to get a bit more crispy on the outside when grilled, adding to the overall eating experience. 

For those who are more health-conscious, whole wheat tortillas are an excellent alternative. They’re high in fibre and offer a slightly nutty flavour that pairs well with the filling ingredients. Remember, the quality of your quesadilla is directly influenced by the quality of your tortilla, so choose wisely. 

Tomato Purée: The Secret Ingredient to a Flavourful Quesadilla Filling 

When making chicken quesadillas, every ingredient matters, and sometimes it’s the most humble components that make all the difference. Enter tomato purée, the unsung hero of our filling. 

Tomato purée does a lot more than you might think. It provides a beautiful colour, adds a rich, tangy depth to the chicken filling, and works in harmony with the other ingredients to create an overall balanced flavour profile.  

It’s the subtle hint of acidity and the depth of flavour that tomato purée brings, which sets apart a good quesadilla from a great one. 

Now, you might be thinking – what if you don’t have tomato purée? Well, all is not lost. Tomato ketchup can be a quick and easy substitute. While it’s slightly sweeter, it still gives you that much-needed tang and richness. You could also use tomato sauce, though it might be slightly thinner and less concentrated. 

Discovering the Magic of Mozzarella in Chicken Quesadillas 

In the culinary world, cheese holds a special place. It’s versatile, delicious, and brings a level of comfort that is hard to match. But in the case of chicken quesadillas, it’s more than just comfort—it’s the heart and soul of the dish. So let’s delve into the role of mozzarella cheese in our beloved quesadillas. 

Mozzarella, with its delicate flavour profile and outstanding melting properties, is an ideal choice for quesadillas. When heated, it turns beautifully gooey, making each bite an absolute delight.  

Its mild taste also balances out the spicy chicken marinade, creating a harmony of flavours in every bite. You might say that mozzarella is what makes a quesadilla, a quesadilla. 

But what if you want to mix things up a bit? Well, quesadillas are quite forgiving.  

You could opt for cheddar for a stronger, more pungent flavour. Or perhaps Monterey Jack for its mild flavour and superb meltability. The cheese world is your oyster when it comes to quesadillas.  

However, remember to choose a cheese that melts well to ensure that gooey, cheesy delight we all love in a quesadilla. 

The Role of Oil in Perfecting Your Chicken Quesadillas 

Oil in cooking is like the invisible force holding everything together. It’s often overlooked but plays a vital role in the preparation and overall outcome of a dish. And chicken quesadillas are no exception. 

The role of oil in quesadillas is two-fold. First, it’s used to cook the chicken and vegetables, helping to brown and caramelise them, which, in turn, boosts the flavour of the filling.  

Second, it’s used to cook the assembled quesadilla itself. This helps achieve that golden, crispy exterior that is so characteristic of a good quesadilla. 

When it comes to choosing an oil, a neutral one such as canola or vegetable oil works best for quesadillas. These oils don’t interfere with the flavours of the other ingredients.  

If you want to add a touch of richness, butter is a good alternative. However, bear in mind that it burns more quickly, so you’ll need to manage the heat carefully. 

While oil may seem like a simple, insignificant ingredient, it’s anything but. It’s a key player in creating the perfect chicken quesadilla – golden, crispy on the outside, and full of flavour on the inside. 

Paprika and Chili Powder: The Spicy Duo in Chicken Quesadillas 

In the realm of chicken quesadillas, the fiery duo of paprika and chilli powder hold their prominent place. They are the gateway to that hint of smokiness and the kick of heat that make quesadillas exciting. 

Paprika, with its deep red colour, brings a mild sweetness and a hint of smokiness. It lends the quesadillas their vibrant hue and an earthy flavour that pairs beautifully with the chicken. But it’s not just about the flavour; paprika also packs a nutritional punch with high levels of vitamins A and E. 

On the other hand, chili powder contributes the heat, the zing that elevates the dish. It harmonizes with the other spices, creating that well-rounded flavour profile, a complex symphony of taste. It’s like the spark that lights up the whole show. 

Of course, one can play around with these spices. For those seeking less heat, reducing the chili powder is a way to go. For a smokier undertone, try using smoked paprika.  

And for those who like to venture out, chipotle powder can be an intriguing alternative, providing a spicy, smoky flavour that’s quite distinctive. 

The Incredible Impact of Cumin in Chicken Quesadillas 

In the symphony of spices that constitute the chicken quesadillas, cumin plays a melody that’s both subtle and impactful. It’s an ingredient that might seem small but makes a world of difference in the taste and aroma of the dish. 

Cumin has a warm, earthy flavour with a hint of both sweetness and bitterness. This unique flavour profile helps to balance the other spices and adds depth to the overall dish. The fragrance that wafts off a quesadilla while it’s cooking – that’s the cumin doing its magic. 

So, what if you run out of cumin or want to experiment a bit? Ground coriander can be a viable substitute. While it has a slightly more citrusy flavour, it still brings a similar warm, earthy note.  

Alternatively, caraway seeds can also be used; they have a flavour profile similar to cumin, though a bit more bittersweet. 

Cumin is like the secret backstage crew in a play, unnoticed but indispensable. It enhances the flavour, imparts aroma, and brings a unique depth to your chicken quesadillas. It’s a small ingredient with a big impact. 

The Crucial Role of Garlic in Chicken Quesadillas 

What’s a recipe without a little garlic? In the case of chicken quesadillas, garlic holds the sceptre. It’s a seemingly small ingredient that packs a massive flavour punch, and without it, the dish just wouldn’t be the same. 

Garlic, with its distinct aroma and taste, adds a depth of flavour to the quesadillas that is hard to replicate. 

It marries well with the chicken, spices, and vegetables, enhancing their flavours while bringing its unique note to the dish. It’s that hidden nuance in the taste that your palate savours but can’t quite place. 

If you’re not a fan of garlic, or simply out of it, you can substitute it with a dash of asafoetida. While this might not provide the same robust flavour, it will impart a unique aroma and a slight hint of flavour that’s akin to roasted garlic.  

Alternatively, garlic-infused oil can be used in place of regular oil to infuse that garlicky goodness into the quesadillas subtly. 

The Art of Choosing the Perfect Tortilla for Chicken Quesadillas 

A great chicken quesadilla hinges on the right tortilla. You see, the tortilla is not just a vessel carrying the fillings; it’s an integral part of the dish, playing a significant role in both texture and flavour. 

Typically, flour tortillas are used in chicken quesadillas. They’re soft, pliable, and have a mild flavour that doesn’t compete with the filling. When cooked, they develop a slightly crispy exterior while remaining soft and chewy on the inside – a textural contrast that makes quesadillas oh-so delightful! 

Now, if you’re looking to shake things up, you can try a whole wheat tortilla. It brings a nuttier flavour to the quesadilla and is a bit more substantial, giving a different twist to the classic recipe. There’s also the corn tortilla, a gluten-free alternative that imparts a more rustic flavour. 

Remember, a chicken quesadilla is not just about the fillings; the tortilla plays a starring role too. So, choose wisely, experiment bravely, and find your perfect tortilla fit! 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

There I was, staring at the deliciously crispy, melty chicken quesadilla I just whipped up when I realized – I could have a whole Mexican fiesta right here in my kitchen! My mind began whirling with all the spicy, zesty, mouth-watering recipes I could put together. 

For instance, imagine combining that cheesy quesadilla with a hearty serving of Mexican Salsa. Picture the fresh tomatoes, the tangy lime, the bite of onion, all mingling with the cheesy delight that is the quesadilla. It’s an explosion of flavour, isn’t it? 

But wait, the taste adventure doesn’t stop there! It’s like I can already smell the rich, enticing aroma of Chicken Chimichanga. The crispy tortilla filled with tender chicken and vibrant spices, paired with our star dish, the quesadilla, would only elevate this fiesta to heights unknown. 

And how could I forget the versatile Tuna Quesadilla? Swapping chicken for the slightly salty, delicate flavour of tuna adds a completely new dimension. Pair this with our classic Chicken Quesadilla, and you’ve got a quesadilla duel of epic proportions. 

Then I thought about those Cheesy Potato Quesadillas. Can’t you just hear them sizzling away on the stove, the sound of cheese and potato blending in perfect harmony? These quesadillas, alongside the chicken ones, would be like a symphony of flavours – one that I can’t wait to conduct. 

Finally, for a little crunch, I pictured those Vegetable Spring Rolls, light, crispy and so packed with vegetables, they could be a garden within a roll. The perfect partner for those creamy, savoury quesadillas, don’t you think? 

So, why not join me on this flavourful journey? I invite you to try these recipes and then tell me about your experience. Share your thoughts, your tweaks, and your culinary adventures in the comments section. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Chicken Quesadilla

Chicken Quesadillas

by Nabeela Kauser
Mexican food at its finest! This Mexican classic recipe is made with flour tortilla and a delicious chicken filling then loaded with cheese. Serve with salsa or pico de gallo to take these chicken quesadillas to the next level!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marination Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 272 kcal



  • 500 g Chicken
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder

Stir Fry


  • Cut the chicken into small bite-size pieces and add into a bowl along with the rest of the marinade ingredients then mix until fully incorporated and set aside for 30 minutes to marinate
  • Once the chicken has marinated for at least 30 minutes in a pan heat up 2 tbsp of the oil on medium heat until hot
  • Add the marinated chicken and cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes
  • As the chicken is cooking finely dice the onion and bell pepper then add into the pan and cook on medium heat for a further 4-5 minutes
  • Finely dice the tomato then add into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 2-3 minutes on medium heat then set the mixture aside
  • In a griddle pan heat up the remaining oil on medium heat until hot – ensure that you spread the oil all over the pan
  • Reduce the heat to low and add a single tortilla then top with mozzarella cheese
  • Add the chicken mixture on top then top with the remaining cheese and cover with another tortilla
  • Increase heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side
  • Baste the top of the tortilla and flip over then cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • Serve alongside a dip of homemade salsa, a side of yellow rice and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 13gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 603mgPotassium: 256mgFibre: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1111IUVitamin C: 32mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 124mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Quesadilla, Cooking, Food, Quesadilla, Recipe, Tortilla
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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