BBQ Chicken Quesadillas are a fun, delicious snack. Tangy, cheesy, and done in under 15 minutes!
We’re looking at a busy weekend: the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, then Cinco de Mayo on Sunday. What will you be cooking? Lately, we’ve been making BBQ Chicken Quesadillas on the weekends. But we start craving them several days in advance!
The flavor of these quesadillas is out of this world: I love the smoky tanginess combined with the sharp meltiness of the cheese.
Plus, since they start with rotisserie/roast chicken, they’re incredibly quick and simple to make.
Building BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
“pizza style” or folded?
Phil likes to build the quesadillas right in the skillet using 2 tortillas. He puts the bottom tortilla in the skillet. Then, he layers on cheese, the meat mixture, minced onion, more cheese, and the top tortilla. I’m totally fine letting him do this: after all, he’s responsible for flipping the monster.
But last week, this approach ended in semi-disaster: a large portion of the filling ended up on the floor. D’oh!
If I’m the one making the quesadillas, I use one tortilla for each. The filling goes onto the bottom half, and then I fold the rest of the tortilla over the top. This version is much easier to flip.
To make two quesadilla servings, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of diced cooked chicken. Mix that with 1/4 tsp of coarse salt, 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/2 of your favorite BBQ sauce (ours is Sweet Baby Ray’s; step 1 in the photo collage below). Grate 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and finely chop 1/2 cup of sweet onion.
For the 2-tortilla approach
Lightly rub one side of a large, burrito-sized tortilla with olive oil. Place the tortilla, oiled side down, into a preheated skillet over medium-low heat. Add 3/4 cups of cheese (step 2 below). Add the meat mixture (step 3) and sprinkle with the onions (step 4). Top with the remaining cheese (step 5) and the other tortilla (step 6). Lightly oil the top tortilla and lid the skillet (step 7). Let cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the bottom tortilla is golden-brown. CAREFULLY flip the quesadilla and continue cooking (lid the skillet again) until golden-brown on the second side (step 8).
Carefully transfer your quesadilla to a cutting board. Cut into servings. If you used Phil’s method (pictured in the collage above), you can cut the quesadilla like a pizza. If you used my method (two folded quesadillas), cut each quesadilla into 3 slices:
From start to finish, these quesadillas will be on your plate in 15 minutes flat. That’s a win in my book! As a light party snack, up to 6 people can nosh on these quesadillas. Otherwise, this recipe will supply a nice lunch for two. For a lighter version, choose whole wheat tortillas instead of flour. They’re still really yummy.
That’s all there is to it! These barbeque chicken quesadillas are one of our favorite weekend snacks, right up there with Cubano Quesadillas and Perfect Loaded Nachos. I hope your family loves them too!
BBQ Chicken Quesadillas are pure tangy, melty goodness. They're a great use of leftover roast chicken! Serves 2 for lunch, or up to 6 as a light party snack.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken cut into small, bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup barbeque sauce (see Recipe Note #1)
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup sweet onion finely minced
- 2 flour tortillas (large/burrito size; see Recipe Note 2)
- 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin (divided)
Lightly rub one side of a large, burrito-sized tortilla with olive oil (1 tsp). Place the tortilla, oiled side down, into a preheated nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Spread 3/4 cups of cheese onto the tortilla, leaving about 1/2" of space between the cheese and the edge of the tortilla. Add the meat mixture and sprinkle with the onions. Top with the remaining cheese and the other tortilla. Lightly oil the top tortilla and lid the skillet. Let cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the bottom tortilla is golden-brown. CAREFULLY flip the quesadilla and continue cooking (lid the skillet again) until golden-brown on the second side, an additional 2–3 minutes.
Carefully transfer the quesadilla onto a cutting board and cut into slices as you would a pizza.
Divide the cheese into 2 piles with 3/4 cups each. For each tortilla, spread half of one cheese pile onto half of each tortilla, leaving about 1/2" between the cheese and the edge of the tortilla (see the photo here: these are not the same quesadillas, but you can see how I've arranged the filling). Add half of the meat mixture to the same half of each tortilla and sprinkle each with half of the onions. Now, for each tortilla, spread the remaining cheese in each pile over the top of the filling. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling. Rub 1/4 tsp of olive oil onto the top of each quesadilla. Place the quesadillas, oiled-side down, into a preheated non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Rub 1/4 tsp olive oil onto the exposed side of each quesadilla. Lid the skillet. Let cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the bottom tortilla is golden-brown. Carefully flip the quesadillas and continue cooking (lid the skillet again) until golden-brown on the second side, an additional 2–3 minutes.
Carefully transfer the quesadillas onto a cutting board and cut each quesadilla into 3 roughly equal slices.
- Use your favorite store-bought sauce. We like Sweet Baby Ray's.
- To lighten up these quesadillas, use whole wheat tortillas.