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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

These cheesy chicken quesadillas make for a tasty lunch or dinner. They’re filled with hearty herbs and cozy fall flavors. Keep reading for plenty of tips on storing, freezing and re-heating!

Quesadillas are kind of a no-brainer right? How can you go wrong?

If you ever meet someone who doesn’t like quesadillas, you should run far and fast away from them. That’s my two cents.

I started making these a few years ago. It was one of my “famous” spontaneous recipes i.e. the meals made with what’s left in the fridge at the end of the week.

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    What’s in these quesadillas?

    If you’ve never had one, quesadillas are essentially Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches made with tortillas instead of bread.

    These chicken quesadillas however are in no way traditional Mexican or Tex-Mex themed. This recipe showcases some of the earthy, hearty flavors of fall and winter.

    When you cut into these cheesy chicken quesadillas you’ll see that they’re filled with:

    • Chicken
    • Cheese (duh) aka queso in Spanish, which is the root of the word quesadilla
    • Plenty of rosemary
    • Caramelized onions
    • Pepper jelly (I use the Trader Joe’s brand, but you can find pepper jelly in your supermarket jam aisle)
    • Crispy kale
    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Quesadillas |

    How to assemble these chicken quesadillas

    The great thing about these chicken quesadillas are the layers of flavor.

    A sweet layer, followed by salty, then spicy, then crunchy. It’s really a fully balanced meal all in one whole wheat tortilla.

    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Quesadillas |

    Here’s how you assemble these cheese-a-dillas:

    1. Smear your tortilla with pepper jelly
    2. Top with an even layer of cheddar cheese (Tip: I use cheddar because most cheddar is naturally lactose free; if you struggle with dairy like I do, you don’t need to quit cheese)
    3. Add your rosemary chicken on top of the cheese
    4. Optional: Finish it off with some crispy kale for texture

    Storing and re-heating quesadillas

    Once you’ve cooked your chicken quesadilla all you have to do is let it cool to room temperature and wrap it in foil paper.

    When you’re ready to eat it the next day, just pop it in the toaster for roughly 3 -4 minutes a side, until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Quesadillas |

    Another option would be to make a bunch of these (cool and wrap in foil) then stack them in a large ziploc bag and freeze them. When you’re ready to eat them, pop them in the oven/ toaster oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

    The quesadillas will stay good in the freezer for 3 months.

    Pin this recipe on Pinterest, share it on Instagram and let me know what you think in the comments!

    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

    Rate this Recipe:
    5 from 1 vote
    These cheesy chicken quesadillas make for a tasty lunch or dinner. They're filled with hearty herbs and cozy fall flavors.
    Pin Recipe Print Recipe
    Main Course
    Prep Time10 minutes
    Cook Time15 minutes
    Total Time25 minutes


    • 4 whole wheat tortillas
    • 6-7 chicken tenderloins, cut in small cubes
    • 1 sweet onion (medium or large), sliced
    • 4 tbs pepper jelly
    • 1 cup cheddar cheese
    • 2 tbs fresh rosemary, stem removed and finely chopped
    • 2 tbs olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper

    Crispy Kale (optional)

    • 2 cups kale
    • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper


    • Heat a nonstick skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan then add the sliced onions. Leave the onions in the pan without stirring for 2-3 minutes. Stir and repeat the process of leaving them untouched for 2-3 minutes about 4 times until they get nice and golden brown.
    • Lay all of your tortillas on a flat surface like a cutting board. Smear 1 tbs of pepper jelly on each one, then top each one with 1/4 cup of cheese in an even layer. Set aside.
    • Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium high heat. Season your chopped chicken in a glass bowl with salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the hot skillet. Add the chicken to the pan in one even layer and allow to cook, unstirred ,for 3-4 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, wash your hands with soap and water. Stir the chicken, add the chopped rosemary and stir again. Continue to cook the chicken for another minute or two (p.s. the time might be greater if you cut your chicken in larger chunks), until you no longer see any raw, pink pieces. Add the cooked chicken to the onions and stir until evenly combined. Keep the heat on in that large skillet.
    • Add 1/4 tsp of olive oil to the hot skillet. Place the prepped tortilla in the pan (cheese side up, facing you). Scoop 1/4 of the chicken mixture onto half of your tortilla. Allow the cheese to melt fully, then use a spatula to fold over the quesadilla. Repeat the process for all 4 tortillas. Optional: Open each cooked tortilla and add the crispy kale to it. Enjoy!
    • Crispy Kale: Preheat oven/toaster over to 400 degrees. Place kale on a lined baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Use your hands to massage the oil into the kale. Spread the kale out on the sheet so that there aren't any clumped together bits of kale (clumping will make it steam rather than crisp). Bake for 15 minutes until crispy. Set aside.
    Did you try this recipe?Tag your recipe pics on Instagram @brightrootskitchen : )

    Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.

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