Crispy Baked Chicken Quesadillas
Cheesy, crispy baked chicken quesadillas are perfect for serving on weeknights! Layered with creamy chicken, topped with sautéed peppers and onions, and finished with melty cheese. Serve them with guacamole, sour cream, and fresh salsa for a family-pleasing meal!
Baked chicken quesadillas are the best thing.
They’re quick and easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Especially when you make quesadillas on a sheet pan where all you need to do is assemble them and let the oven do the work for you!
Can we also talk about how delish baked chicken quesadillas would be for your game day spread or even, thinking way in advance, for Cinco de Mayo?
I’m not even going to pretend like some days putting together a meal after working all day is even a priority. Nope. It’s a priority to fill your stomach, but sometimes it’s scrambled eggs, other times its fast food. I’m not above that. I mean, I cook for a living, and I assure you, there are times when I am perfectly okay with eating oatmeal for dinner because I don’t want to look at food for longer than 5 minutes. And if hubby is traveling, then for sure, on those days, it’s scrambled eggs or leftovers from the weekend.
And when hubby is back, and I’m beat, we declare it Quesadilla Night. Grab a bag of frozen shredded chicken out of the freezer, or a rotisserie chicken on the way home. Then, shove it all inside tortillas with cheese and peppers and onions. Dip melty cheesy quesadilla halves in your favorite guacamole, salsa, or sour cream.
Everyone is fed. Everyone is happy when finger food is involved.
What are baked chicken quesadillas?
Baked chicken quesadillas are quesadillas made on a sheet pan in the oven. When you spray the quesadillas with cooking spray and then pop it in the oven, they come out nice and crispy without having to slave over a stove with each quesadilla one at a time! The best part: the whole family can sit down to dinner together.
What do you need to make baked chicken quesadillas?
– Bell peppers
– Cream cheese
– Chipotle peppers + adobo sauce
– Seasonings (adobo, garlic powder, ground cumin)
– Shredded chicken
What kind of cheese do you recommend for baked quesadillas?
I recommend using a good melting cheese. I like to use freshly grated cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Oaxaca cheese. It just so happens that I had a bunch leftover from when I shared my green chili queso recipe, so I shredded it up and froze it. The medley of cheeses worked perfectly for this recipe.
Other than that you can use just about any cheese you like on your quesadillas:
- Monterey Jack
- pepper jack cheese (habanero jack, if you dare!)
- white cheddar
If possible, I do suggest buying blocks of cheese and shredding them yourself as it does melt much better.
TIP: You can even purchase cheese in bulk, shred it in a food processor, and freeze bags of freshly shredded cheese for when you’re ready to use it. I just defrost in the refrigerator overnight, and it’s good to use!
Where can I find adobo seasoning and is it the same as adobo sauce?
Adobo seasoning is usually available in the ethnic or international food aisle in many grocery stores. It’s a general all-purpose dry seasoning that consists of ingredients such as black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and turmeric. Other ingredients may also be in the seasonings. Adobo sauce is the liquid stuff that chipotle peppers come packed in.
We will need both the seasoning and the sauce for this recipe.
How to cook the chicken for baked chicken quesadillas:
I poach the chicken the same way I do for any recipe that requires cooked chicken breasts or thighs. Start by heating a 2-quart saucepan with water, along with ½ an onion, a few cloves of garlic, 6-8 black peppercorns, and a tablespoon of salt. When the water comes to a boil, gently lower the chicken into the water and reduce the heat setting so that it just simmers. Let the the chicken breasts (or thighs) cook until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF using a meat thermometer. It usually takes in the ballpark of 12-18 minutes, depending on the size of the thighs/breasts.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove and allow for it to cool completely. Then shred the chicken using two forks, I’ve even seen some people throw it in the stand mix and let the paddle break the chicken down for them!
Can I use rotisserie chicken to make the baked quesadillas quicker?
Yes, you can! Using rotisserie chicken is a great hack to get dinner on the table quickly. I’ve also got a recipe for a 1-hour oven-roasted chicken that you can make on the weekend and shred for meals throughout the week!
I don’t have an oven, how can I make these baked quesadillas?
If you don’t have an oven, you can assemble the stuffed tortillas and then spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and just sear each side for 1-2 minutes until it’s crispy and the cheese melts.
What do you suggest serving with baked chicken quesadillas?
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
– Mexican chili (instant pot)
– Shrimp cocktail stuffed avocados
– Mexican Shrimp salad
– Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
– Easy Guacamole Salad
– Mexican corn dip (elotes dip)
– The BEST steak fajitas
– Mexican street corn chicken tacos
– Street Corn Rice Salad with Avocados
– Ancho chicken street tacos
– Spiced up refried black beans
Baked chicken quesadillas are great for the big game and even better for weeknight dinners that will please the whole family!
- 1 tablespoon oil (plus more)
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- 1-2 minced chipotle peppers + 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon EACH: adobo seasoning, ground cumin, garlic powder
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 ½ cups shredded melting cheese (such as Monterey Jack)
- 6-8 flour tortillas (fajita size)
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or foil, sprayed with cooking spray) and set aside.
- SAUTE: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s super hot. Add the peppers and onions and cook for roughly 1-2 minutes or until the peppers start to smell fragrant and soften a little. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- QUESADILLAS: In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, chipotle pepper(s), adobo sauce, adobo seasoning, ground cumin, and garlic powder until a smooth paste form. Stir in the chicken and shredded cheese and continue to stir until thoroughly combined. On a clean work surface, lay out a tortilla. Spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture on one half of the tortilla, followed by a thin layer of peppers and onions (on the same side). Then fold the other side of the tortilla over the filling (so it looks like a flat taco.)
- BAKE: Place the prepared quesadillas on the baking tray in a single layer and brush with oil (or spray with cooking spray.) Bake for 12-14 minutes (flipping about 1/2 way through) until golden brown and crispy. Serve with homemade guacamole salsa, blender salsa, pico de gallo, or salsa verde.