Crispy Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

The quesadilla is one of the simplest and cheesiest Mexican dishes out there. In this iteration, recipe developer Kate Shungu has elevated the chicken quesadilla beyond simple munchie food to something really special, thanks largely due to the use of mashed sweet potatoes. "Sweet potatoes add a hint of sweetness to the quesadillas," Shungu explains. According to Healthline, sweet potatoes are a healthy starch, full of antioxidants, minerals and fiber. Sweet potatoes have been linked with many health benefits, from improved gut health to improved vision. So, needless to say, when you can incorporate such a healthy component into a recipe, it's nearly always a good idea to do so!

Of course, the chicken, cheese, and tortillas are pretty great too. Not to mention that this recipe makes 12 mini quesadillas, making it easier than ever to share and divide among friends and family. Quesadillas are also notoriously quick and easy to make, and despite the unique flavors in this recipe, the basic quesadilla qualities still shine through.

Gather the ingredients for crispy chicken quesadillas

For this recipe, you'll need a large sweet potato, small flour tortillas, cooked black beans, and cooked chicken. "I used pre-cooked and pre-sliced chicken from my local grocery store," Shungu explains. "You can also use a rotisserie chicken, or roast/grill your own."

You will also need shredded Mexican cheese, cilantro, some mayonnaise, cumin, chili powder, and salt. As an option for serving you can pick up a container of pico de Gallo or salsa.

Mash the sweet potatoes

The first step in this recipe is cooking or cutting the chicken, unless you use the method Shungu suggests, buying it pre-cooked and pre-sliced. Once that's done, prick the sweet potato all over with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes. Turn it over and microwave and cook for another 4 minutes. Test it for doneness by trying to slide in the fork; if the fork slides into the potato easily, it's ready. Pull the potato out and let it cool for 5 minutes. Peel it, place it in a medium bowl, and mash it lightly. Stir in the cumin, the chili powder, and the salt so that it can be easily spread over the tortillas.

Make the bean chicken mixture

Start heating a skillet or griddle over medium heat. While that heats, stir together the black beans, chicken, and cilantro in another bowl. This mixture is the star of the show here — after all, they wouldn't be chicken quesadillas without chicken.

Start cooking the quesadillas

Spread out the 12 tortillas on a work surface and spread one side of each lightly with mayonnaise. Put six of the tortillas, mayonnaise-side down, in the oiled pan. While they cook, spread about 2 tablespoons of mashed sweet potato on each tortilla, topped with 3 tablespoons of the black bean/chicken mixture, and finally 3 tablespoons of cheese. "Since there's mayonnaise on the other side of the tortilla," Shungu explains, "it's easiest to spread the sweet potatoes on once the tortillas are in the pan."

Finish cooking quesadillas

Once each tortilla is golden brown, remove them from the heat. Top each one off with the remaining six tortillas, ensuring that the mayo side is on the very top, facing out. Make sure each tortilla holds together as you flip it over and place it in the skillet, with the uncooked mayonnaise side down. Cook for about 2 more minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese has melted. 

Serve these 6 mini-quesadillas as desired, though pico de Gallo or salsa is suggested. Guacamole would be another great addition. Or you can just enjoy them as is — enjoy is the operative word there.

Crispy Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
5 from 35 ratings
These crispy chicken quesadillas make for the perfect lunch or dinner.
Prep Time
Cook Time
stack of chicken quesadillas
Total time: 24 minutes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • 12 small (4-inch) flour tortillas

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Optional Ingredients
  • pico de Gallo, for serving
  1. Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork. Microwave for 5 minutes. Then flip and microwave for another 4 minutes. The potato is done when a fork slides into the side easily. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the peel from the potato, and place the potato in a medium bowl. Mash lightly, and stir in the cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, stir together black beans, chicken, and cilantro.
  4. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  5. Lay all 12 tortillas on a work surface. Spread one side of each tortilla lightly with mayonnaise.
  6. Place 6 tortillas, mayo-side down, in the skillet or on the griddle (you may need to do this in batches).
  7. Spread 2 tablespoons of mashed sweet potato on each tortilla, and top with 3 tablespoons of the black bean and chicken mixture. Then, top with 3 tablespoons of cheese.
  8. Cook for about 3 minutes, and once the bottom of each tortilla is golden brown, remove the tortillas from the skillet. Place the remaining tortillas on top of the cheese, mayo-side up. Carefully flip the quesadillas over and place them back in the skillet, mayo-side down. Cook for 2 minutes longer, or until golden brown on the bottom and the cheese has melted.
  9. Serve the quesadillas with pico de Gallo or as desired.
Calories per Serving 710
Total Fat 31.8 g
Saturated Fat 11.4 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 66.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 74.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Total Sugars 4.6 g
Sodium 1,107.0 mg
Protein 31.7 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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