Chicken Quesadilla with lots of veggies, less cheese, whole wheat tortillas and baked instead of fried. Only 5 ingredients! Healthy, easy and delicious Mexican food.
Check out all of my tacos and finger food section. It doesn’t have to kill you.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Quesadillas
Stop the search! This chicken quesadilla recipe will rock your world aka family dinner menu. Just like my vegetarian quesadilla.
It has all the qualities of traditional quesadilla like cheesiness and flavour but healthy.
Do you have kids or family members who love quesadillas? I bet you do. The problem with all quesadillas out there is that they are overloaded with cheese and empty carbs.
Today we will change that!
All you need for easy and healthy chicken quesadilla recipe is:
- Cooked chicken breast
- Bell peppers
- Whole wheat flour tortillas
What we will do with these 5 ingredients in the next 30 minutes will change you forever! Good-bye, veggie haters and dinner table whiners.
My kids were chomping like the champs.
Baked vs. Fried Quesadillas
So, if you look up any chicken quesadilla recipe it is fried in butter and oil (this is crazy) and then “glued” with cups of cheese. Some even call for 1 cup mayo sauce in between.
Are you kidding me? Honestly, heart attack even reading the recipe.
That’s a lot of saturated fat nobody needs. It piles up in our bodies over the years causing heart diseases. Of course, it does. No exercise can help to unclog the arteries. Just “google” it.
Instead, we bake our homemade chicken quesadillas with just enough cheese for flavor and help tortilla shells stay together.
We start by making the filling. Combine cooked chicken breast, bell peppers, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl.
I like to use bright coloured peppers like orange, yellow and red with green bell pepper. Green pepper has more bitter and distinct fajita flavor to it. But not a big deal – you can use any colour.
We will not be sauteing veggies for the filling. Why? Because they will bake and soften in the oven. Extra step – gone.
We add just a pinch of salt because cooked chicken, cheese and tortillas already have enough of salt.
How to Assemble Chicken Quesadillas
To assemble chicken quesadilla, all you have to remember is that we pile up fillings only on 1/2 of tortilla to create half moon shape:
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp cheese.
- Spread heaping 1/2 cup filling on top.
- Sprinkle another 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese.
- Fold the other half of tortilla on top pressing on it somewhat gently-hard making a half moon shape. Place on a baking sheet.
Repeat and make 11 more quesadillas, arranging 3-4 quesadillas on a baking sheet. If you have any leftover filling – eat it.
What Is Best Cheese for Quesadillas?
Well, to be short and sweet – anything that melts and makes sense.
Depending where you live, cheese might have different names. I usually use white cheddar or Kerrygold Dubliner cheese. That’s what my Costco sells for healthy cheese. I stay away from orange cheddar cheese but it’s up to you. Also Tex Mex, Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese works. No judgement.
It is best to buy a chunk of cheese and grate yourself. Shredded cheese is coated in cellulose which is best not to eat and makes cheese not melt well.
How Long to Bake?
Bake chicken quesadillas for 25 minutes. No flipping required.
You can really fit 4 quesadillas on 1 baking sheet. And can bake on both racks – top and bottom. Top one might need a few minutes more.
How to Cut Chicken Quesadillas
Remove chicken quesadillas from the oven and let rest for 1-2 minutes. If you let them rest even longer, the filling will stick together even better. Great for car rides.
Cut each quesadilla in half using serrated or just sharp knife. To cut with a sharp knife, you just want to place it on top of the pie and press on it. Do not go back and forth – quesadillas will start falling apart in front of your eyes.
Also sharp pizza cutter works great.
How to Store Quesadillas
Homemade quesadillas make great family food on the go. As a hockey mom, I know that firsthand. I pile up quesadillas in an aluminum tray and loosely cover with a linen towel. You don’t want a tight cover because they will get soggy.
Then I grab a few extra towels for the road and kids eat above them and wipe with them. Then I wash the towels as I save money on paper towels. I also re-use the tray many times.
You can refrigerate loosely covered cooked quesadillas for up to 1 day. But It is best to refrigerate the filling and quickly bake quesadillas for another dinner.
What to Serve Chicken Quesadilla With?
Quesadillas are a meal on their own. Serve warm or cold with salsa or pico de gallo and yogurt.
Can I Freeze Quesadillas?
For each quesadilla, assemble and then wrap in plastic wrap as tightly as possible without compromising its shape. Lay flat in a gallon size Ziploc bag, squeeze as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, bake from frozen at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Or alternatively cook in a panini press.
Check out my full list of healthy freezer meals. I’m obsessed!
More Healthy Mexican Recipes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a large mixing bowl, add chicken, bell peppers, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Build each quesadilla: On a half of tortilla sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp cheese, spread heaping 1/2 cup filling and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese. Fold the other half of tortilla on top pressing on it somewhat gently-hard making a half moon shape. Place on a baking sheet.
- Repeat and make 11 more quesadillas, arranging 3-4 quesadillas on a baking sheet. If you have any leftover filling – eat it.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest for 1-2 minutes and cut each quesadilla in half using serrated or sharp knife.
- To cook chicken breast, I usually use Instant Pot frozen chicken, Instant Pot chicken breast or baked chicken breast recipes.
- You can use any colour bell peppers. I like to mix green with red, yellow or orange because green bell pepper tastes a bit differently.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.
- Make Ahead: Refrigerate filling mixture covered for up to 2 days, then make quesadillas.
- Freeze: For each quesadilla, assemble and then wrap in plastic wrap as tightly as possible without compromising its shape. Lay flat in a gallon size Ziploc bag, squeeze as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, bake from frozen at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Or alternatively cook in a panini press.
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