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Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

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These quesadillas are filled with gooey melted cheddar, shredded chicken and a smoky chipotle-tomato sauce.

Crisp tortillas filled with gooey melted cheddar and shredded chicken in a sweet and smoky chipotle sauce — these are the best quesadillas! The recipe is adapted from the website of Curtis Stone, one of my favorite chefs and cookbook authors.

What you’ll need to make Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

ingredients

What gives these quesadillas such distinctive flavor is the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They’re small peppers (usually red jalapeños) that have been dried and smoked, and they come in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce.

You can find them in the Latin section of most supermarkets. The recipe calls for six peppers, seeds and all. I know that might seem like a lot, but the quesadillas aren’t all that spicy. However, if you’re making them for young children you might want to cut back a bit.

How to make Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

minced-chipotle-in-adobo

Begin by cooking the red onions and garlic in olive oil.

sautéing-red-onions

Add the diced tomatoes and minced chipotle peppers.

sauteing-tomatoes-and-chipotle-peppers

And cook until the liquid is gone and the mixture is thickened.

cooked-tomato-mixture

Stir in the shredded chicken, salt, honey, green onions and cilantro. Keep the filling warm while you prepare the quesadillas. (Note: the chicken mixture can be made up to two days ahead of time.)

adding-chicken-honey-scallions-and-cilantro

Heat a flour tortilla on a griddle or in a sauté pan. Cover the entire tortilla with cheese and spread the filling over one side.

making-quesadilla

When the cheese is mostly melted, fold the tortilla over the filling into a half-moon shape.

folded-quesadilla

Cook until crisp and golden, a few minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve immediately with sour cream and lime wedges, if desired.

Chipotle-Chicken-Quesadillas

I altered the recipe primarily by increasing the ratio of chipotle-tomato sauce to chicken (for more intense flavor), increasing the honey (to add a bit more sweetness), omitting the avocado (I thought it was unnecessary and muted the other flavors), and decreasing the amount of cheese and filling in each quesadilla (to make them easier to eat).

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Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

These quesadillas are filled with gooey melted cheddar, shredded chicken and a smoky chipotle-tomato sauce.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you'll need about 6 chilis)
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes (about 1¼ pounds), seeded and diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2½ cups cooked shredded chicken (white and/or dark meat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 10-inch diameter flour tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the chipotle peppers and tomatoes. Cook until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the mixture is thickened, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir in the scallions, honey, chicken, salt and cilantro. Keep warm.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Lay a tortilla in the pan and heat until hot to the touch but not crisp (air pockets may form). Flip the tortilla over, then sprinkle ⅔ cup of the cheese evenly overtop, being careful to keep it off the pan. Spread a generous ½ cup of the chicken mixture over half of the tortilla. When the cheese is mostly melted, fold the tortilla over to cover the filling and form a half-moon shape. Cook until the tortilla is crisp and golden and the cheese is melted, adjusting the heat as necessary, a few minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Let the quesadillas rest a few minutes to allow the filling to set, then cut into wedges. Serve with sour cream and lime wedges, if desired.
  3. Note: If you have a large griddle, use that to make the quesadillas so you can make a few at a time. Also, be sure to serve your quesadillas hot of the pan (or off the griddle), otherwise, they’ll get soggy and the cheese will harden. If this does happen, you can pop them in a 350 F degree oven to heat them up, but they won’t be as crisp and gooey as they are fresh. The chicken mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated.
  4. Note: The nutritional information does not include the optional ingredients.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cooked quesadillas can be frozen for up to 3 months. After defrosting in the refrigerator, reheat them, wrapped in foil, in a 325°F oven until hot, 20 – 30 minutes.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 quesadilla
  • Calories: 694
  • Fat: 45 g
  • Saturated fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Sodium: 1383 mg
  • Cholesterol: 121 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • We made this recipe a few weeks ago and are making it again today. The only two things that we did differently, and will continue to do, was using two full cans of adobo chilis (and all of the sauce in the cans) and using 4 Tablespoons of honey. We ate this for a few days straight and raved about it with every bite!

    • — SJR on November 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious. I made them exactly as the recipe instructed and they’ll be my go to now. I thought the addition of the honey seemed strange but it worked perfectly.

    • — Mary Lou on November 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent! The Chipotle in Adobo really complimented these quesadillas! My husband labelled it “comfort food”!

    • — Hazel Jordan on October 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are the best quesadillas! My go-to recipe for the past 2 years.

    • — Joanne on October 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • These were delicious! Didn’t have honey so I used 1 tbsp brown sugar, which was the perfect sweetness for me.

    • — Nicky on October 1, 2022
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  • These are THE BEST. I made a double batch to freeze expecting the recipe would be great. Used more dark chicken meat than I normally would and I’m glad I did. Flavor is so much better. Used canned diced tomatoes because it was handy. Used sweet onions because I prefer them. Froze them individually when they cooled and they make the perfect light lunch or quick dinner. Just thaw a bit and reheat in a dry pan.

    • — Barb on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes Barb girl! I’m here for that tip!

      • — T on October 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • This has been a go to recipe for me and my partner. Once we had leftover filling but no tortillas – ended up using crunchy taco shells for chipotle chicken tacos which were even better than we were expecting!

    • — Alex on September 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • I love that these come together so quickly and are really flavorful. We enjoy spice, and the smoky chipotles were perfect. I was also happy to be able to use a couple of tomatoes from my garden since we’re a little overwhelmed with them right now. Thanks for another delicious recipe!

    • — Kay on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • We absolutely love these! We made them a couple of weeks ago and we have been thinking about them ever since. Instead of the chipotle peppers, we used some chipotle salsa which turned out really well but a little sweet… I’ll cut back on the honey next time. Excellent recipe!

    • — Anne on September 4, 2022
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  • These were very flavorful and easy to make, but I found them way too spicy. I went with 4 peppers and thought it would be OK, but it was still too hot. I don’t usually mind a little heat, but I think I will try 1-2 peppers next time. I did use a different brand, not sure if that makes a difference.

    • — Erika on August 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    The chipotle chicken quesdilla recipe looks delicious, like all your recipes! I have what may be a stupid question: If you make the chicken mixture ahead and refrigerate it, do you need to warm it up before adding it to the tortillas?

    Thanks for your help and awesome recipes!

    • — Hannah on August 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Not a stupid question! Yes, I’d warm it up a little before assembling the quesadillas. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is super yummy. Easy, quick. Used GF corn tortillas. Delightful. Thank you.

    • — Jane on August 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are so so good! I served them with lime wedges, sour cream, extra cilantro and my favorite taco sauce. They were restaurant quality and by far the best quesadillas I’ve made at home 🙂
    I try to follow recipes as written to leave a review but when I made these, I didn’t have any chipotle peppers in adobo on hand. In place, I used a small can of diced green chilies, cumin powder and chipotle pepper chili powder which made the filling sweet and mild. Definitely making these again and will use the peppers in adobo! And I’ll grab a rotisserie chicken to save time 😀

    • — amanda on July 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is my second time making this recipe and I made two slight changes. 1) My family thought it was a little too sweet the first time so I cut the honey by 1/2. 2) My can of adobo chilies had 9 in it so I used them all because I hated to waste the ingredients. We like spicy food and it was perfect. I make a full recipe and freeze the leftovers. These reheat very well.

    My husband suggested you maybe creating a soup recipe using these same flavors. 🙂

    • — Kelley on June 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • So flavorful! This has become my family’s “go to” quesadilla recipe!

    • — Terri F on June 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • ALWAYS add fresh herbs at the very end. Cooking them is useless and cancel their flavour completely. So Cilantro: away from the heat.

    • — Peter Rabbit on June 13, 2022
    • Reply

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