These chipotle chicken quesadillas are made with a spicy, smokey chipotle sauce layered into a tortilla with chicken and cheese and pan fried until crispy, melty, and dripping with sauce. The chipotle sauce for these chicken quesadillas is smokey, spicy, savory and tangy all in one. Frying the quesadillas in the pan on both sides means that you get a crispy tortilla on the outside and melty cheese on the inside.
We use this recipe for both chicken tostadas and chicken quesadillas. The tostadas tend to be a little healthier since we skip the cheese, but sometimes the melty cheese is too good to pass up. We serve this with extra sauce and toppings like avocados, sour cream and refried beans. The recipe below makes a lot of quesadillas, about 14. We’ll usually cook up all the chicken and then make just enough quesadillas for what we want for the night, somewhere between 4 and 6 (two adults, three little children). Then we’ll save the rest of the chicken and cheese, etc. for the next night. Then it’s pretty quick to fry up some new quesadillas with the chicken from the night before.
- We buy a jar of chipotle sauce at Whole Foods, called Frontera, Chipotle Pepper Adobo. You can find it in the aisle with the canned beans. They have two or three different varieties of the jarred sauce. We buy the chipotle sauce, which we use for a couple of different recipes.
- If making the quesadillas for kids, skip adding the extra sauce to the tortilla in the pan as it can be quite spicy.
- In an effort to make these healthier we always use whole wheat flour tortillas, but regular tortillas will work well too.
- If making tostadas brush the tortillas with olive oil and bake in the oven at 350° F for 10 minutes.
Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- ½ jar chipotle sauce (Frontera Chipotle Pepper Adobo: see note below)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 small limes, juiced
- ½ orange, juiced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼-½ cup olive oil adjust based on taste +more for the pan
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 lb Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
- 14 whole wheat tortillas
- Extra chipotle sauce (above)
- sour cream
- avocados or guacamole
- refried black beans
- In a blender combine the jalapeño, chipotle sauce, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, cumin, salt, black pepper, soy sauce, and olive oil. The sauce should be fairly thin, easy enough to use as a marinade and thin enough for dipping and drizzling over the chicken when assembling the quesadilla.
- Marinade the chicken in half of the sauce overnight or for a few hours. Reserve the remaining half of the sauce for drizzling and dipping later.
- Cook the chicken either on the grill or in the oven at 350° F for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked. Dice the chicken.
- Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat (on our electric stove, I turn the dial to between 3 and 4 on a scale of 10). Add a couple of tablespoons olive oil.
- Add a tortilla to the pan, laying it flat and adding the diced chicken, a handful of grated cheese, and a drizzle of the extra sauce over one half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half to make the quesadilla, then add a second tortilla to the pan (it will overlap the first one while you are filling it), fill with chicken, cheese, sauce and fold in half. Allow to cook until crispy, about 5 minutes, then flip and allow the second half to get crispy, a couple more minutes. Remove and repeat with remaining chicken, cheese, etc.
- Slice the quesadilla into 3-4 pieces each and serve with the extra sauce, sour cream, avocados or guacamole, and refried beans.
Recipe inspired by Chicken Fajita Quesadillas by Amy Wagner at Centercutcook.com