Chicken Quesadillas

Ingredients (10)

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 (1.4-ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar nacho cheese
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas, plus more as needed
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tostada shells
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup medium-diced fresh tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese: Monterey Jack, cheddar, or a mix
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Chicken Quesadillas

Think of this recipe as a late-night munchies homage to that most perfect of all late-night munchies, the Taco Bell Crunchwrap. It’s a deceptively simple layering of textures and flavors: a soft flour tortilla wrapped around seasoned ground chicken, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and the thing that makes it crunch: a crispy corn tostada shell. It’s a thing that has to be eaten straight from the pan (10 minutes out of the pan, the crispy tostada layer is no longer, well, crispy). Serve it a party where everybody’s standing around the range, and you can cook in multiple batches (with lots of helping hands to aid with the layering and rolling). You can give everybody their own, or cut in two (if you try and go smaller than that, everything tends to fall out).

For more, check out our Rajas Quesadillas, Chipotle Pork Quesadillas, Grilled Steak Quesadillas. And see how to make other healthier homemade versions of fast food favorites here.

Tips for Chicken


  1. 1Add the chicken to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Break up the chicken with a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula as it cooks. When the chicken is fully cooked, drain off any excess grease and stir in the taco seasoning mix and water. Simmer until the flavors combine, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. 2Scrape the nacho cheese into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until hot. Spread out the flour tortillas on a large plate (they’ll overlap) and cover with a moist paper towel, Microwave until warm and pliable, 20 to 40 seconds.
  3. 3Lay 1 flour tortilla on your work surface. Spread a heaping 1/4 cup of the warm chicken in the center. Spoon about 2 1/2 tablespoons of nacho cheese sauce over the chicken and top with 1 tostada shell. Spread about 2 tablespoons of sour cream evenly over the tostada shell, and top with lettuce, tomato, and about 2 tablespoons of cheese.
  4. 4To fold, start at the edge of the flour tortilla closest to you and stretch it up and over the center of the quesadilla. Continue to work your way around the tortilla, folding up and over the center in rough pleats. If you end up with an exposed part in the center, tear a patch from an extra flour tortilla and tuck it underneath the tortilla folds—the fillings should be completely covered. Repeat until you’ve assembled all the quesadillas.
  5. 5Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray set it over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 4 quesadillas to the pan seam-sides down and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip, and cook on the other side until golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Serve this first round immediately; repeat with the remaining quesadillas.
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