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

A plate with chicken quesadillas

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.)

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

You can use store-bought tortillas or homemade. I particularly love this soft flour tortilla recipe when making quesadillas. You can also use homemade corn tortillas, which are also excellent.

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:

  1. Heat about 2 cups of the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add the chicken (I like chicken thighs, but chicken breast works, too)
  3. Adjust the heat so that the sauce simmers very gently around the chicken
  4. Cook until the chicken is very tender, 20 to 30 minutes
  5. Shred the cooked chicken with two forks
Shredded Green Chile Chicken ready for quesadillas

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).

More quesadilla recipes: Crave-worthy vegetable quesadillas and green chile breakfast quesadillas.

Serving them

I happily eat quesadillas straight from the pan, but here are some options for serving:

Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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!

6 quesadillas

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

For Quesadillas

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

Directions

  • Make Chicken
  • 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.

    • Make Quesadillas
    • 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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

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
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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7 comments… Leave a Comment
  • stephen guess September 6, 2021, 12:14 am

    just now finding your website. thanks!

    Reply
  • frances a kelley September 5, 2021, 4:55 pm

    made it loved it . will make again

    Reply
  • Elizabeth July 19, 2021, 8:47 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m such a dummy – I see now where it says under the “green chile chicken” recipe to use 3 lbs of breasts or thighs. I didn’t see it in the main recipe and assumed it wasn’t there (facepalm). Sorry about that! Must. Read. More. Carefully. I do still have a question, though: What do you use when you make this recipe – breasts or thighs? I see that it says you can use either, but breasts cook more quickly than thighs, so I’m wondering which one the cook time works best for. Thank you again!

    Reply
    • Adam July 21, 2021, 6:31 pm

      We prefer using chicken thighs because they are more tender but chicken breasts will absolutely work. We give a range of 20-30 minutes for the cook time since larger pieces of chicken may take a few minutes longer than smaller ones. Just keep an eye on the chicken.

      Reply
  • Elizabeth July 19, 2021, 8:41 pm

    I love the idea of cooking the chicken IN the salsa – brilliant! Question: what kind of chicken are you cooking? Breasts? Boneless thighs? An entire chicken? And how much chicken are you cooking? (I don’t know how much makes 3 cups – is it like, 1 lb? 2lbs?) Thank you! Your recipe looks delish and I’m excited to try it out 🙂

    Reply
  • Bonnie May 20, 2021, 7:25 pm

    OMGOSH these were delicious, so much more tasty and light than the chicken enchiladas I usually make. I will be making these again. Thank you for sharing the recipe

    Reply
  • Phyllis May 19, 2021, 8:25 pm

    Hi Adam and Joanne. I made these Quesadillas for the first time tonight and oh my! They are just delicious!! I will definitely be making these again and again. So tasty, and so easy to make! Thank you so much for such a great, easy recipe! Love you two!

    Reply

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