30-Minute Dinner/ american/ Chicken Recipes/ Dinner/ meat/ mexican and tex-mex/ Party

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

11 July 2021 | Last Updated: 1 August 2021 By Aleksandra

These cheesy bbq chicken quesadillas are filled with tender chunks of chicken smothered in bbq sauce, sauteed red onion, bell pepper, and corn. They will be ready in about 30 minutes and make an amazing quick snack or weeknight dinner that your whole family will love!

If you love all things bbq – try my bbq pulled chicken sandwich with coleslaw!

A stack of BBQ Chicken Quesadillas on a blue plate.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make bbq chicken quesadillas:

  • Chicken – I used chicken breast but you can also use thighs (they take a little bit longer to cook). You can also use rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken.
  • BBQ sauce – I used honey bbq sauce but just use your favorite one.
  • Spices – I used chili powder and garlic powder. If you’re not in the US, please note that the chili powder is not pure ground chili but a spice mix that contains ground chili among other spices. If you’re using a homemade bbq sauce or a store-bought bbq sauce that is already well-spiced you don’t need to use these spices.
  • Veggies – I wanted to sneak some vegetables for my kids to make this a wholesome meal – I used onion, bell pepper, and corn. Feel free to omit bell pepper and corn and sub them with other vegetables.
  • Tortilla – wheat tortillas work here best.
  • Cheese – I used mild cheddar. I have tried these quesadillas with sharp aged cheddar but its strong flavor was too overpowering for bbq sauce.
Labeled ingredients for BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.

Step by step instructions

Grated cheese in a bowl. Chopped red pepper and red onion on a wooden board. Chicken with spices on a plate.

STEP 1: Grate the cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Cut the bell pepper into thin strips. Cut the onion in half then into thin slices.

STEP 2: If you have small/medium chicken breasts pound them into thinner fillets, if you have large chicken breast, cut them horizontally in half to get 4 thinner fillets. Season the fillets with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder on both sides.

Cooked chicken in a pan. Cooked red pepper and red onion in a pan.

STEP 3: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook on both sides until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cut it into strips.

STEP 4: Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and add bell pepper and onion. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. If they brown too much, add some water to the pan.

Chicken, bell pepper, onion and corn in bbq sauce in a pan. Quesadilla filling ingredients are being tossed with cheese in a bowl.

STEP 5: Add the chicken back to the pan. Add the bbq sauce and corn. Stir everything together. Take the pan off the heat and add its content to a large bowl, let it cool slightly.

STEP 6: Add the cheese and stir until evenly distributed.

Bbq chicken filling on a tortilla. Two quesadillas are being cooked in a pan.

STEP 7: Spoon some of the filling onto half of a tortilla. Fold the other half over the filling.

STEP 8: Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add two quesadillas, cook them over medium-low heat on both sides until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted. You can flip the quesadilla over using a wide spatula.

Transfer the quesadillas to a chopping board, sprinkle with salt while still hot. Cut into two or four parts.

Enjoy!

Serving suggestions

You could serve it with more bbq sauce to dunk quesadillas but I actually prefer them on their own (they are already a little bit saucy) or with something lighter like pico de gallo, guacamole, or lemon-yogurt-garlic dip (just combine plain yogurt with some fresh garlic and season with lemon juice).

Storage + how to make it ahead

How to store: Store the quesadillas for up to 2-3 days in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic foil. They will be a little bit soggy the next day – the tortilla will soak up the sauce.

How to reheat: just put the quesadillas on a non-stick dry pan and cook on both sides until warm and crispy.

How to make it ahead: Make the filling and keep it covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Assemble quesadillas and cook them just before serving.

How to freeze: Wrap each quesadilla in plastic wrap or place it in a tightly closed container (but separate each quesadilla with a piece of baking paper so they won’t stick to each other) and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge then warm up in a pan.

Top tips – how to make great quesadillas

  • The key to a good quesadilla is a proper amount of cheese that holds the filling together. I like them the most with cheddar cheese but every other melting cheese will work. It’s also important to mix the filling with the cheese so that the cheese is evenly distributed through the filling and holds it nicely together.
  • Make sure your filling has cooled down a bit before adding the cheese or you will end up with big clumps of melted cheese instead of a filling with evenly distributed cheese.
  • Make sure to season tortillas on the outside with salt directly after cooking them so that the salt can stick to the tortillas. They should be seasoned on the inside and on the outside!
  • How to easily flip the quesadillas: I really like to make quesadillas from a single large tortilla, not two, because it’s easier to flip over. If you have small tortillas you can make one quesadilla from 2 tortillas (in this post for broccoli cheddar quesadillas you can see that on the photos).
A stack of BBQ Chicken Quesadillas on a blue plate.

More quesadilla recipes

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

These cheesy bbq chicken quesadillas are filled with tender chunks of chicken smothered in bbq sauce, sauteed red onion, bell pepper, and corn. They will be ready in about 30 minutes and make an amazing quick snack or weeknight dinner that your whole family will love!
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Bbq chicken quesadillas on a blue plate.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 quesadillas
Calories 485kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 lb chicken breasts 2 large breast, 450g
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup bbq sauce I used honey bbq sauce, 100g
  • 1/2 cup corn 85g
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar 150g
  • 4 large tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Grate the cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Cut the bell pepper into thin strips. Cut the onion in half then into thin slices.
  • If you have small/medium chicken breasts pound them into thinner fillets, if you have large chicken breast, cut them horizontally in half to get 4 thinner fillets. Season the fillets with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder on both sides.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook on both sides until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cut it into strips.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and add bell pepper and onion. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. If they brown too much, add some water to the pan.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan. Add the bbq sauce and corn. Stir everything together. Take the pan off the heat and add its content to a large bowl, let it cool slightly.
  • Add the cheese and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Spoon some of the filling onto half of a tortilla. Fold the other half over the filling.
  • Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add two quesadillas, cook them over medium-low heat on both sides until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted. You can flip the quesadilla over using a wide spatula.
  • Transfer the quesadillas to a chopping board, sprinkle with salt while still hot. Cut into two or four parts.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Ingredient notes:
    • Chicken – you can also use thighs (they take a little bit longer to cook). You can also use rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken.
    • BBQ sauce – I used honey bbq sauce but just use your favorite one.
    • Spices – I used chili powder and garlic powder. If you’re not in the US, please note that the chili powder is not pure ground chili but a spice mix that contains ground chili among other spices. If you’re using a homemade bbq sauce or a store-bought bbq sauce that is already well-spiced you don’t need to use these spices.
    • Veggies – Feel free to omit bell pepper and corn and sub them with other vegetables.
    • Tortilla – wheat tortillas work here best.
    • Cheese – I used mild cheddar. I have tried these quesadillas with sharp aged cheddar but its strong flavor was too overpowering for bbq sauce.
  • Calories = 1 quesadilla (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq chicken quesadillas

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