Quesadillas {Chicken Fajita Style}

04.21.2019

The ultimate Quesadilla recipe! These are loaded with two kinds of gooey melted cheese and a flavorful, fajita style chicken and pepper filling. Talk about delicious Mexican comfort food everyone will go crazy for!

Serve them with guacamole, salsa or pico de gallo to really take them over the top!

Overhead image of eight quesadilla wedges on a white oblong platter served with pico and guacamole.

Best Quesadilla Recipe

If I had to choose one type of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life it would probably have to be Mexican food. I mean could we ever get tired of that fresh, zesty, deliciously seasoned flavor?

Quesadilla Video

 

And quesadillas, who doesn’t want to live on them? When a simple, humble tortilla is layered generously with cheese in the center and pan fried with butter to a crisp golden brown exterior you get something truly satisfying out of just three simple ingredients.

Then when you want to take it to next level flavor, you stuff it not only with cheese but with sauteed sweet peppers, onions and garlic and a seasoned, tender chicken too. And now we’re talking best quesadilla ever!

Overflowing flavor meets melted cheesy bliss. You’ve got to try these! Let’s take a peak inside….

Hand opening quesadilla in a skillet to show filling of cheese, bell peppers, onions, and seasoned chicken pieces.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken breasts – they’re leaner than thighs so with the fatty cheese it’s a good balance.
  • Chili powder and ground cumin – these are classic Mexican spices that add lots of flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – used to season the filling.
  • Olive oil – you only need a little to saute the chicken.
  • Bell pepper – I like to use a blend of red and green but any color will work.
  • Red onion – yellow onion can be substituted.
  • Garlic – use fresh garlic for best flavor.
  • Lime – this adds a delicious bright note to the quesadillas.
  • Cheddar and Monterey jack cheese – I like this blend for quesadillas. Shredded Mexican cheese will work fine too.
  • Butter – this is used for the tortillas not only for flavor but it helps them cook up crisp. Salted or unsalted is fine.
  • Flour tortillas – use the large burrito size tortillas, they’ll be able to fit a lot more filling and cheese than the taco size tortillas.

Quesadilla ingredients shown here including tortillas, butter, cheese, chicken, bell peppers, red onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and lime.

How to Make Quesadillas

  • Season chicken: toss chicken with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper).
  • Saute chicken: heat 2 tsp olive oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook and turn occasionally until fully cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Sautéing spiced chicken cubes in a large black skillet for quesadillas.

  • Saute veggies: heat remaining 2 tsp oil in same skillet. Add bell pepper and red onion and saute until tender, about 6 minutes, while adding in garlic during last 1 minute. Transfer to bowl with chicken, pour in lime and toss.

Sauteing bell peppers and onions in skillet to use as a filling for quesadillas.

  • Butter tortillas: brush top side of tortillas with melted butter. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels, heat over medium heat. Toss cheeses together.

Brushing tortillas with melted butter to make quesadillas.

How to Cook Quesadillas

  • Assemble quesadillas in skillet: Transfer one tortilla buttered side down to skillet. Working quickly sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over one half of the tortilla top with about 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture. Fold top half over, repeat with a second tortilla (since you can fit two in the skillet at once).
  • Cook: let heat until golden brown on bottom then carefully turn to opposite side and continue to cook until golden brown on bottom.

Showing how to cook quesadillas, two at a time in a skillet. Layering tortilla then filling half with cheese and fillings and folding over.

  • Repeat process with remaining tortillas, cheese and filling.
  • Cut each quesadilla into 2 or 3 wedges. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Two quesadillas in a skillet shown after cooking with golden brown exterior.

How Can I Make an Easy Cheese Quesadilla?

My family loves plain cheese quesadillas for a quick lunch, they can be ready in minutes! To make them with cheese only:

  • You’ll need flour tortillas (small or large), butter and shredded cheese.
  • Brush 2 tortillas with melted butter on top side.
  • Place one tortilla buttered side down in skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the top.
  • Top with second tortilla buttered side up.
  • Cook until golden brown on bottom, then flip and cook opposite side is golden brown and cheese has melted through.

Stack of loaded quesadillas.

What’s the Best Kind of Cheese for Quesadillas?

  • Cheddar
  • Moneterey jack
  • Colby Jack
  • Asadero
  • Oaxaca cheese

These are semi-hard cheeses that melt perfectly and all have great flavor. Asadero and Oaxaca are more Authentic options for Mexican Quesadillas.

More Quesadilla Filling Ideas:

This chicken and pepper blend is my personal favorite quesadilla filling but there are endless options, here’s a few ideas:

Quesadillas on a plate served with guacamole and salsa.

More Mexican Recipes You’ll Love:

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Quesadillas

4.75 from 4 votes

The ultimate Quesadilla recipe! These are loaded with two kinds of gooey melted cheese and a flavorful, fajita style chicken and sautéed pepper filling. Talk about delicious Mexican comfort food everyone will go crazy for!

Servings: 6
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped bell pepper (about 2, I use red and green)
  • 2/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 6 (10-inch burrito size) flour tortillas
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 oz. monterrey jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • Guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo or salsa, for serving (optional)*

Instructions

  1. Toss chicken with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper).

  2. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook and turn occasionally until fully cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

  3. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in same skillet. Add bell pepper and red onion and saute until tender, about 6 minutes, while adding in garlic during last 1 minute. Transfer to bowl with chicken, pour in lime and toss.

  4. Brush top side of tortillas with melted butter. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels, heat over medium heat. Toss cheeses together.

  5. Transfer one tortilla buttered side down to skillet. Working quickly sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese evenly over one half side of the tortilla then sprinkle with about 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture. Fold top half over, repeat with a second tortilla (you can fit two in the skillet at once).

  6. Let cook until golden brown on bottom about 2 minutes, then carefully turn to opposite side and continue to cook until golden brown on bottom.

  7. Repeat process with remaining tortillas, cheese and filling. Cut each quesadilla into 2 or 3 wedges. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

  • Guacamole recipe HERE, Salsa recipe HERE. Fresh from the produce section of the store will work great too. Toppings not included in nutritional estimate.
  • If you have time use freshly grated cheese as it will have the best flavor, but if you don't have time a pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese will work here as well. Look for a package with the thicker shreds.
Nutrition Facts
Quesadillas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 643 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 51%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 130mg 43%
Sodium 1208mg 50%
Potassium 646mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 5g
Protein 39g 78%
Vitamin A 50.6%
Vitamin C 81.1%
Calcium 50.1%
Iron 18.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Quesadillas
Calories: 643 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

5 comments

  • MM: Tasty! Next time, we will increase the spice. Saved time by not buttering the tortillas and, instead, melted the butter in the frying pan then added the tortilla. June 30, 2019 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Stan: My wife and tried these the other night – excellent! The lime gives it just a little more zing. June 9, 2019 at 8:39am Reply

  • Nicole: Amazing!! My husband and my son loved them. Definitely would recommend this recipe. May 22, 2019 at 2:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Nicole! So glad your family loved them! May 22, 2019 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Courtney: 10/10 would recommend May 1, 2019 at 3:55pm Reply

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