Shredded Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

Born from the bustling kitchens of Mexico and brought to international fame for their heartwarming simplicity and zest, quesadillas have become a beloved staple the world over. Whether it's a quick midweek dinner, a casual weekend lunch, an exciting game night with friends, or just that midnight craving, an ooey-gooey cheesy quesadilla is an effortlessly perfect fit. Tracing their popularity, it's not hard to see why — imagine tenderly spiced shredded chicken tinga or pickled jalapeños intertwined with a mixture of melting cheese, all tucked into a tortilla kissed by the golden hue of the grill. This universal crowd-pleaser transcends borders and time zones, giving anyone, anywhere, a delicious taste of Mexican heritage anytime they desire a bit of authentic comfort food.

This quesadilla recipe was developed by recipe developer Taylor Murray and features common ingredients that can be found in any kitchen for a simple yet delightful take on this classic recipe. Make some homemade guacamole to pair with, or pick some up from the store.

Gather the ingredients for a shredded chicken quesadilla

The first ingredient you'll need for a shredded chicken quesadilla is the shredded chicken. This could be from a rotisserie chicken bought at the store or just simple poached or baked chicken made at home. If you have some leftover chicken tinga from another purpose, that can also be used. Choose your favorite salsa roja, which will be used to add flavor to the chicken. "The cheese could be cheddar or Monterey Jack, if that's what you can find, but I like to use Chihuahua-style shredded cheese because I can find it at most Hispanic grocery stores near me," says Murray. The final ingredients are two 8-inch flour tortillas and 2 tablespoons of softened butter. 

Mix the chicken and salsa

If you're starting this recipe with some plain shredded chicken, like from a rotisserie chicken, then this is an important step in the recipe. Combine the chicken with the salsa, making sure to break up any large pieces of chicken. The salsa adds moisture and flavor to otherwise unseasoned chicken. If you have some chicken tinga to start with, you can skip this step as your chicken will have plenty of flavor already.

Ready the pan

Grab a cast iron skillet and heat it over a medium flame. Too hot and you risk scorching your quesadilla. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Add the chicken and cheese

Start with about ½ cup of the cheese and sprinkle it over half the tortilla. Add ½ cup shredded chicken and top with another ¼ cup of cheese. Let the tortilla cook for a few minutes until you see the cheese on the bottom starting to melt.

Fold and flip

Flip the empty side of the tortilla over the chicken and cheese. Flip the entire thing over so that the cheese on top can melt. Cook until the cheese is completely melted and tortilla is golden brown.

Cut and serve

Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and cut in half. Repeat the process with the other tortilla and remaining chicken and cheese. Serve immediately with fresh guacamole. In general, quesadillas don't keep long and are best eaten fresh. If you absolutely need to prep them in advance, you can stuff the tortilla with the chicken and cheese and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Shredded Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
When you're in the mood for a cheesy snack that's quick to make, try out this easy recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
melty chicken quesadilla with guacamole
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • ¼ cup salsa roja
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Chihuahua-style cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 cup guacamole, for serving
  1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and salsa. Set aside.
  2. Heat a cast iron pan over a medium heat. Add one tablespoon butter and swirl to coat pan.
  3. Add one tortilla to pan and sprinkle ½ cup cheese over one half. Top with ½ cup chicken then another ¼ cup cheese. Let cook until cheese begins to melt on bottom.
  4. Use a spatula to flip the empty side of the tortilla over the chicken and cheese. Flip the whole thing over so the cheese on the top can melt. Continue to cook until tortilla is golden brown and cheese is completely melted.
  5. Transfer to a cutting board and cut. Repeat steps with remaining tortilla, chicken, and cheese. Serve with guacamole.
Calories per Serving 957
Total Fat 69.4 g
Saturated Fat 32.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 233.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 3.1 g
Sodium 1,339.8 mg
Protein 53.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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