Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken quesadillas loaded with tender chicken cooked in flavorful salsa verde and gooey cheese. These quesadillas are so good, it’s hard to eat just one. I’m serious, these are that good! Jump to the Chicken Quesadillas Recipe
The Best Chicken Quesadillas
Quesadillas are made with tortillas — flour or corn — that are filled and folded while being cooked on a hot surface. Whatever is inside the tortilla heats up and, if there is cheese, it melts and the exterior of the tortilla becomes toasted. (If you don’t eat cheese, try this vegan queso. Either spoon a little over the chicken or serve it as a dip on the side.)
Here in the United States, we are used to seeing quesadillas made with flour tortillas and almost always see them filled with some sort of cheese. In Mexico, where quesadillas originated, the type of tortilla used and whether or not there is cheese involved depends on where you are. For these easy chicken quesadillas, we love the combination of flavorful, juicy chicken and a mild melting cheese like queso de Oaxaca or Monterey Jack.
Making the green chile chicken quesadillas
The chicken for these quesadillas is so flavorful and very simple to make. We use the same method as our popular shredded chicken, but swap the poaching liquid in that recipe with a green tomatillo based sauce. We’ve used this homemade salsa verde to make it as well as store-bought green enchilada sauces and have loved them all. If you do buy your sauce, we are partial to the Hatch brand as well as the Frontera pouches. (Make enchiladas! We use a green chile based sauce to make these green chicken enchiladas.)
Whichever sauce you do decide on, the method for making the chicken is the same:
- Heat about 2 cups of the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat
- Add the chicken (I like chicken thighs, but chicken breast works, too)
- Adjust the heat so that the sauce simmers very gently around the chicken
- Cook until the chicken is very tender, 20 to 30 minutes
- Shred the cooked chicken with two forks
As for the assembly, you can make a full quesadilla by stacking two tortillas on top of each other with the filling and cheese between them or you can do what we did in our video and add the chicken and cheese to one side of a tortilla and then fold the other side on top. I like the folded method since it makes eating the quesadilla easier.
A heavy-bottomed pan or skillet works nicely for cooking quesadillas — think cast iron pan, heavy stainless steel skillet or the more traditional comal (a flat griddle used in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America).
I happily eat quesadillas straight from the pan, but here are some options for serving:
Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken quesadillas loaded with tender chicken cooked in flavorful salsa verde and gooey cheese. These quesadillas are so good, it’s hard to eat just one. I’m serious, these are that good!
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
6 medium to large flour or corn tortillas, see our homemade flour tortilla recipe
3 cups shredded green chile chicken, recipe below
8 ounces mild melting cheese like queso de Oaxaca or Monterey Jack, shredded (about 2 cups)
Spray oil or oil brushed onto pan
Fresh cilantro and lime wedges, for serving
Green Chile Chicken
3 pounds boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast
2 cups green enchilada sauce or salsa verde, try our roasted tomatillo salsa recipe
Salt to taste
- Make Chicken
- Make Quesadillas
This recipe makes about 5 cups of shredded chicken. This recipe should make enough chicken for 6 quesadillas (maybe more). Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Combine chicken and enchilada sauce (or salsa) in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat so that the sauce simmers very gently around the chicken.
Partially cover the pan with a lid, and then cook until the chicken is cooked through and very tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat.
Stir the shredded chicken back into the sauce. Taste the chicken, and then, if it needs it, season with salt.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray the pan or brush it with oil, and then place one tortilla down into the pan.
Spread about 1/3 cup of cheese over the tortilla and then spoon about 1/2 cup of shredded chicken onto one half, shaking the chicken lightly so that most of the excess sauce falls back into the saucepan.
Carefully fold the tortilla in half, and then use a spatula to press the top down so that it stays folded. Cook until the underside is toasted, about 2 minutes.
Carefully flip the quesadilla and cook until the second side is toasted and the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and cut in half. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
Keep cooked quesadillas warm in a 200° Fahrenheit oven while you finish making the remaining quesadillas.
Adam and Joanne’s Tips
- Add any leftover chicken to rice bowls, tacos or salad.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 quesadilla / Calories 444 / Total Fat 19.7g / Saturated Fat 8.8g / Cholesterol 127.7mg / Sodium 1003.7mg / Carbohydrate 31.9g / Dietary Fiber 1.7g / Total Sugars 3.9g / Protein 34.6g