Blackened Chicken Quesadillas

Blackened Chicken Quesadillas Stacked on a cutting board

Always on a quest for something easy, cheesy, and delicious, I am very happy to have landed on the combo of blackened chicken and buttery, cheese/onion/pepper-stuffed tortillas. These Blackened Chicken Quesadillas are spicy, smoky, oozy, and simple as all get out. The next time you have chicken in the fridge and lots of laziness in your bones, please give these a shot.

Blackened Chicken Quesadillas stacked on a plate

Blackened chicken thoughts

After coating them generously in cajun seasoning, I grilled the chicken breasts, basting them with melted butter the whole time.

Raw chicken breasts coated in cajun seasoning

A note about seasoning here – use whatever you want, just use lots of it. I think this, and a good amount of butter/oil to get the spices really hot and toasty, are key to good blackened flavor. There are plenty of great blackening spice blends out there and you can easily make your own with paprika, garlic and onion powder, cayenne, etc. Here is a great recipe from Delish. And here is a great blend we carry at our shop, you can order it online. Also, I sliced the chicken in half, through the center to make 4 thinner breasts. This allows them to cook through at high heat and still get the spices nice and blackened without burning.

Grilled, blackened chicken on a cutting board

Once the chicken has cooled a bit, shred it and throw it in a skillet with some sliced onion and jalapeño.

Filling for blackened chicken quesadillas

Or… if you’re feeling super lazy… skip the whole grilling part. Use shredded rotisserie chicken, toss it in some oil and cajun/blackening seasoning before adding it to the skillet with the onion and chili. I support and respect laziness.

buttery meltage

Next: Quesadilla Assembly. My approach is this: tortilla, layer of cheese, layer of chicken filling, layer of cheese, tortilla. I think this allows for optimal coverage and meltage of cheese. Isn’t optimal cheese coverage what life is about, after all?

Naturally, my quesadillas also require butter. Melt butter in a big skillet and lay all your tortillas in there at once, allowing one side of each to get coated in buttery goodness. Layer cheese/ chicken mixture/ cheese on two tortillas. Place the other tortillas on top, butter-side up. This ensures both sides have just enough butter to get crispy brown. (If you’re the type of person with your life together and you have softened butter on hand at all times, feel free to just spread soft butter on one side of each tortilla and go. I am not that person.) Cook till golden brown, flip, and cook till golden brown on side 2.

Blackened Chicken Quesadillas Stacked on a cutting board

Guess what? You’re done! Slice your ‘dillas and move immediately to a couch or comfy chair with a cold beverage in hand and chill the heck out. You deserve it. My beverage of choice with these Blackened Chicken Quesadillas is this Fleur de Treille Rose from Trader Joe’s. It’s light and fruity, tastes like strawberries, but dry – not sweet. I don’t know if rose is known for being paired with quesadillas but, I’m here to tell you, it’s delicious!

If tex-mex is your jam, try my recipe for Stuffed Poblano Peppers!

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Blackened Chicken Quesadillas

Blackened Chicken Quesadillas Stacked on a cutting board

These quesadillas are spicy, smoky, cheesy, and super simple to make. There are two options on how to do the chicken, depending on your preferred level of laziness 😊 

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x
  • Category: Lunch, dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally to make 4 thin breasts, or pounded out to make them thinner *see note for a rotisserie chicken option
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS of melted butter for basting, + 2 TBS of butter for the skillet
  • a couple palmfuls of cajun or blackening seasoning
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 6” flour tortillas
  • 2 1/2 C shredded cheese of your choice
  • sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for serving, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill to high heat. Coat the chicken breasts with cajun or blackening seasoning and drizzle with oil. Grill the chicken until the internal temp is 165, about 5-6 minutes per side, basting with melted butter once you’ve flipped it the first time. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Heat 1 TBS of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the onion and jalapeño; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened a bit and a little charred on the outside. Add the shredded chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet and stir to combine. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and use a paper towel to wipe out the skillet.
  4. Add 1 TBS of butter to the skillet over medium heat and allow to melt. Place 4 tortillas in the skillet, allowing them each to get coated in butter on one side. Spread a layer of shredded cheese on 2 tortillas, pile on your shredded chicken/onion/jalapeño mixture, then cover that with more cheese. Place the other 2 tortillas on top, butter-side up. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on the first side, then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on the other side. Repeat with the remaining 4 tortillas.
  5. Slice into quarters and serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole if you like!

 

Notes

Slicing the chicken in half or pounding it out thinner allows it to cook quickly at high heat and still get the spices nice and blackened without burning. 

You can skip the grilling and use shredded rotisserie chicken for this! Just toss 3 C of shredded chicken with a little oil and your cajun/blackening seasoning, then add it to the skillet in step 3.

If you’d like to make your own seasoning, try this recipe from Delish. 

In a 12” skillet, you can butter, assemble, and cook 2 quesadillas at once. For a smaller skillet, assemble and cook them one at a time. 

Keywords: Grilled chicken quesadilla, rotisserie chicken quesadilla

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