These healthy chicken quesadillas are super easy to make and are loaded with roasted veggies, shredded chicken, and organic cheddar jack cheese.
Why, oh why, are quesadillas so damn good?
Oh, I know, because what could be better than melty cheese ready to explode out its crispy prison shell in every bite. So. Damn. Good.
And apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so because my healthy breakfast quesadilla continues to be one of my most popular recipes for YEARS. It’s crazy when I put up that recipe; I didn’t even really consider it a recipe. It was just something I made for breakfast every morning, and you guys went wild for it.
I don’t blame you. It’s still one of my favorite breakfast options.
This recipe is kind of like that too.
It’s not a “real” recipe, it’s just something I find myself throwing together a couple of times a month. I often find myself with leftover chicken and roasted veggies, feeling uninspired to eat them as is. So, I throw them in whole grain (usually brown rice) tortilla with some cheese, crisp and melt in a pan, and HELLO lunch/dinner come to Mama.
And I’m not the only one that loves it this recipe. When I made this to photograph it, my mom was helping with the baby, and she LOVED these. So surprising, because, let’s say healthy food is not and will likely never be at the top of her priority list. Point being, if it passes her taste test, it will probably pass just about anyone.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Quesadillas
Start by roasting veggies (or getting out roasted vegetables from the fridge leftover from the night before.) In this case, I did it a little backward. I chose to roast veggie for these quesadillas and use the leftovers with dinner.
You’ll also need some chicken, I usually use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken, or if I’m desperate, I’ll make some shredded chicken in my Instant Pot. Now, it’s time to build your quesadillas! Start with a layer of cheese, then chicken, and then roasted veggies plus other veggies.
Next, add another layer of cheese, you can never have too much cheese in a quesadilla. Never. Then spread some guac on a tortilla and top it face down on the other half. Now it’s time to carefully slide it off the counter into your oil sprayed pan. Carefully! You’ll need a very wide spatula to flip this bad boy, or you can use multiple spatulas.
Takes about five minutes on each side for this thing to get melty and crispy. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
I think this recipe would be GREAT for meal prep. I’d throw one serving of quesadilla (about half of a full one) with some sweet peppers, guac, and salsa for a delicious lunch all week. Of course, it won’t be as crispy if you reheat it in the microwave, but still delicious!
Let’s talk ingredients:
Whole Grain Tortillas – Make sure to get 100% whole wheat tortillas, or for gluten-free, I love Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas. For low carb, La Tortilla Factory makes an excellent low carb tortilla. You can use any tortilla you want, BUT, you want it to be big enough to get in all the ingredients, should be at least 10-inches.
Organic Cheddar Cheese – Organic dairy has more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Grassfed has the most nutrients, but it’s hard to find, stick with organic if you can’t get 100% grass-fed.
Veggies – This recipe is intended to be basic enough to swap any roasted vegetable you have on hand. Zucchini would be delicious, so would roasted butternut squash. Anything you have leftover from dinner, or are planning to make for dinner that night would work! Feel free to roast your bell pepper if you don’t love the taste of fresh bell pepper. I just like the little bit of crunch!
Shredded Chicken – I use rotisserie chicken or make my shredded chicken in the Instant Pot.
Healthy Chicken Quesadillas
These healthy chicken quesadillas are super easy to make and are loaded with roasted veggies (dinner leftovers?), shredded chicken, and cheddar jack cheese.
Preheat oven to 400F. Roast veggies (or use any leftover roasted veggies you have) by placing on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray or toss with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.*
Build quesadillas by adding 1/4 cup organic shredded FULL FAT cheddar jack blend to one tortilla, top with 1/4 cup shredded chicken, 1/2 roasted veggies, 1/2 chopped bell pepper (de-seeded & deveined), and finish with 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spread 1/4 cup guac accross the second tortilla and place on top of the first one, guac side down.
Heat a skillet on medium and add quesadilla to the skillet. When quesadilla is crispy on one side and beginning to get hot throughout, flip to the other side using a very wide spatula or two spatulas at once. It should be about 5 minutes on each side.
Enjoy your quesadilla!