Quesadilla is a Mexican dish traditionally made with corn tortillas, filled with cheese, meat, chicken or vegetables, folded and warmed on a gridle. Nowadays though, you will find many variations of the original recipe.. most common is the flour tortillas. Use the tortillas you have available in your region but if you’re after flavor, corn tortillas are the way to go.
In this recipe I will be making chicken quesadillas and salsa. Salsa is a condiment used in the Mexican cuisine alongside many dishes, tacos, or even as a dip for tortilla chips. In our house we can’t have quesadillas without salsa. It is a simple sauce, packed with flavors and will elevate every bite to the next level. Salsa is either made as a sauce in the food processor or if you’re like me, I prefer chopping everything finely. This way my salsa has body. Make yours the way you prefer it, there is no rule here.
In Mexico they use a stringy melty cheese called Oaxaca. It’s mild in flavor and melts like Mozzarella would. For my version, I used white cheddar. You could use a combination of cheddar and mozzarella or any cheese you prefer. An important piece of advice, pack those quesadillas up with cheese, now is not the time for skimping.
- 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried coriander
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- Salt, pepper
- 1 red onion
- Red, green, yellow bell peppers chopped
- 1 small tomato
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- Melting cheese
- 1 large tomato chopped
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 green chili chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Salt, pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
*Start by making the dry rub, mix all the spices.
*Chop the chicken breasts into small cubes. If you prefer longer strips feel free to cut them into strips, it won’t affect the outcome. Coat the chicken cubes with the crushed garlic clove and dry rub.
*In your pan drizzle some vegetable oil and drop in them in. Cook them until they change color and are done, it won’t take long, boneless chicken cooks fast.
*Once it’s done, drop in the onions, bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, give them a mix and cook until it they soften.
*Prepare the salsa so you’ll have it ready to eat with your hot quesadillas once they’re ready. As I mentioned earlier I like my salsa on the chunkier side than saucy so I chop everything finely rather than use the food processor. In a bowl, mix in all the salsa ingredients and set aside.
*Now we make the quesadillas. Lay a tortilla on a nonstick pan. Cover with cheese. I am usually generous with cheese, we love it stringy. Spoon on a spoonful or two of the chicken mix, now avocado slices, cheese again and then top with another tortilla.
*The heat from the pan will melt the cheese gluing everything together and give the tortilla the signature crunch.
*Flip on the other side.
*Cut into quarters and serve with the salsa and some pickled jalapenos. Absolutely delicious.