Like Chicken Fajitas, but with lots of Cheese.
These chicken fajita quesadillas are easily a new favorite recipe for me! They’re easy, really flavorful, and packed with veggies and cheese, and shredded chicken.
What is a Chicken Fajita Quesadilla?
A traditional fajita is comprised of grilled meats and veggies that are served on a flour tortilla, and accompanied by awesome toppings. (Think guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, etc.) So grilled veggies, seasoned chicken, and melty cheese are all you really need to make this killer quesadilla! This recipe walks you through cooking the chicken (with some bacon :)), sautéing the veggies in the crazy-flavorful bits left behind from the chicken (and bacon), then building the quesadilla.
As far as veggies go, red peppers, green peppers, and onions are the star of the show here. We also toss in some tomatoes, jalapeños (totally optional), and cilantro (also totally optional!) for extra oomph. 🙂
What is the Best Cheese for a Chicken Quesadilla?
Using melty Mexican cheese (such as Chihuahua cheese, Oaxaca cheese, or even Monterey Jack) is also the best option here, but I like cheddar in just about everything, so there’s some of that, too. Truly, just use a really good melting cheese! The flavors of the cheese I mentioned are definitely best for this quesadilla, though.
This recipe makes four “mini” quesadillas. Look for 6″ flour tortillas, or the “fajita” sized tortillas at your local store. This size is perfect for individual quesadillas at dinner (or lunch), and would be awesome with a side of Spanish rice or creamy black beans!
Throw in a blueberry cilantro margarita (since you’re already using cilantro for the quesadillas), too! Or a skinny blackberry margarita. Both are awesome, and the perfect companions if you’re feeling like a cocktail night!
You can always leave out the chicken to make these vegetarian, too! The veggies can be cooked in a neutral oil, some seasoning, and salt and pepper! You can’t go wrong as long as you let the veggies cook down to a soft texture. They melt into the cheese and create a super decadent texture this way!
chicken fajita quesadillas
- 2 strips thick cut bacon chopped into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 6 oz. chicken breasts trimmed
- 2 Tbsp. chicken fajita or taco seasoning mix divided
- 1 large red bell pepper stem and seeds removed, sliced thin
- 1 large green bell pepper stem and seeds removed, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
- 1 small white or yellow onion sliced thin
- 1/2 small jalapeño deseeded, sliced thin (jalapeño is optional!)
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro finely chopped (cilantro is optional!)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated divided
- 1 cup melty cheese, such as Chihuahua, Queso Asadero, or Monterey Jack divided
- 8 6" (fajita) tortillas
- Cook the chopped bacon in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once browned and crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove it to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Season chicken breasts with chicken fajita or taco seasoning, using about 1/2 tablespoon of seasoning per breast. Add olive oil to the cast iron skillet, and cook chicken in olive oil and remaining bacon fat until no longer pink. Place cooked chicken in a large bowl and allow to cool.
- Turn the heat down slightly, and toss the red peppers, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños into the cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of fajita/taco seasoning, garlic powder, and a little salt and pepper. Add the chopped bacon to the vegetables, then the cilantro. Cook vegetables, stirring frequently, until they are really soft and fragrant - about 10 minutes.
- As veggies are cooking, shred the cooked chicken in the large bowl it's in.
- Heat a large, non-stick pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lay one tortilla inside of it. Spread 1/4 cup of the cheddar across the tortilla. Immediately top the cheese with shredded chicken.
- Use tongs to transfer as many cooked veggies as you like on top of the chicken, then sprinkle 1/4 cup of the melty cheese on top of the veggies. Place a second tortilla on top of the final layer of cheese, and use a large spatula to press the tortilla down. Cover the pan with a lid to help trap the heat and melt the top layer of cheese.
- After 2-3 minutes, or once the bottom tortilla is browned, carefully flip the quesadilla over to cook the other side. Cook another 2-3 minutes until browned and crispy.
- Transfer quesadilla to a cutting board, and cut into quarters. Repeat for remaining quesadillas. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, like sour cream, guacamole, or salsa!