Chicken Fajita Quesadilla is the perfect marriage of two amazing Mexican inspired dishes. The chicken fajita mixture is incredible all by itself. However, when paired with a flour tortilla and gooey melted cheese, the chicken fajita quesadilla is out of this world. Leftovers, if any can be reheated without losing any flavor or texture.
Ingredients for Chicken Fajita Quesadilla
The main ingredients for the actual chicken fajitas are chicken, onion, bell pepper, garlic and seasoning. I used red, green and orange bell peppers because I had them on hand and like the color combination that they produced. However, you can use whatever bell pepper you happen to have on hand. For the seasoning, I used my go-to taco seasoning. To brighten the chicken fajitas, I added a splash of fresh lime juice
When you add quesadilla to the mix, you add flour tortillas and cheese. I like the combination of Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, which is what I used.
Making the Chicken Fajitas
I started by doing something called velveting the chicken. Velveting is a technique that Chinese restaurants use to tenderize meat using baking soda mixed with little water.
According to Cooks Illustrated, the process of briefly soaking meat in a solution of baking soda and water raises the pH on the meat’s surface. The higher pH makes it more difficult for the proteins to bond excessively. As a result, the meat stays tender and moist when it’s cooked.
Therefore, I started by mixing ½ teaspoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water. Then, I added the baking soda solution to the chicken and gave it a good stir. I let the chicken sit for about 15 minutes after which I rinsed it well in cold water, drained and patted it dry.
After I patted the chicken dry, I heated some oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Then, I added the chicken and taco seasoning and stirred to combine (Photo 1). I cooked the chicken, stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes until it was done.
Next, I pushed the chicken to the side of the pan and added the onions and bell peppers (Photo 2). I cooked the onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally until they were crisp tender. This took about 7 minutes.
After that, I added the garlic and cooked the vegetables for 30 seconds until the garlic was fragrant. (Photo 3). Then, I mixed together the chicken and vegetables and added the lime juice (Photo 4). After giving the fajita mixture a good stir, I transferred it to bowl.
Actually, I could have stopped here and just eaten the chicken fajita mixture – it was that good and the chicken was amazingly tender!
Making the Chicken Fajita Quesadilla
The first thing that I did was to rinse and dry the skillet that I had used for the chicken fajitas.
Then, I brushed one side of the first flour tortilla lightly with some vegetable oil.
Next, I placed the skillet over medium heat and added the flour tortilla oiled side down. Then, I proceeded to build the Chicken Fajita Quesadilla as follows: First, I placed about ¼ cup each of the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses on half of the flour tortilla (Photo 5).
Then, I placed half of the fajita mixture on top of the cheeses (Photo 6).
Next, I topped the fajita mixture with another ¼ cup each of the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses (Photo 7). Finally, I folded the other side of the tortilla over the filling (Photo 8).
I cooked the quesadilla on the first side for about 3 minutes until it was golden brown. Then, I carefully flipped the quesadilla and cooked the other side for another three minutes.
When the first quesadilla was done, I transferred it to a cutting board to cool a bit and made the second quesadilla.
I let the quesadillas cool for about 10 minutes before cutting them into four pieces. The reason was that the melted cheeses were piping hot.
I served the Chicken Fajita Quesadillas with salsa, guacamole and sour cream on the side.
To say that the Chicken Fajita Quesadillas were out-of-this-world good is an understatement. Yum!
Chula’s Expert Tips
- I like to use my own taco seasoning in this recipe but you could also use the store-bought packaged taco seasoning.
- I like to use an assortment of bell peppers for the visual appearance of the chicken fajitas. However, feel free to use whatever you have on hand, even if it’s just a green bell pepper. The taste will be the same.
- Rather than using 2 extra-large flour tortillas, you could use 4 8-inch flour tortillas and make round quesadillas. Take one of the 8-inch tortillas and add the filling over the entire tortilla. Top with another 8-inch flour tortilla and cook as above. Repeat with the other two flour tortillas.
- You could use 2 cups (8 ounces) of Mexican blend cheese in place of the Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese for the quesadillas.
- If I happen to have leftovers, I refrigerate or freeze them and reheat the quesadillas in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until fully heated.
Other Quesadilla Recipes
If you’re a quesadilla fan like I am, you should check out the following awesome recipes:
- Reuben Quesadilla: If you like Reubens, you’ll go crazy over this easy to make Reuben Quesadilla. Mounds of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese are sandwiched between a flour tortilla, with Russian dressing on the side.
- Tasty Breakfast Quesadilla Wraps: Move over Taco Bell, there’s a new and better Breakfast Crunchwrap® wannabe in town! Tasty Breakfast Quesadilla Wraps are Oh So much better. Imagine melty cheese, crunchy hash browns, and scrambled eggs, topped with crispy bacon and Pico de Gallo wrapped in a flour tortilla and cooked to perfection!
- Tasty 7-Layer Quesadilla Wrap: If you like the Crunchwrap Supreme from a local fast food chain, then you’ll absolutely love this Tasty 7 Layer Quesadilla Wrap. While it’s somewhat of a copycat, it’s so much better. Tasty 7 Layer Quesadilla Wrap is not at all doughy, and you can actually taste the yummy ingredients!
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Chicken Fajita Quesadilla
- ½ pound (8-ounces) skinless and boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
- 2 ½ teaspoons Taco seasoning (See Tip 1)
- ½ cup thinly sliced onions
- ½ cup assorted bell peppers, julienned (See Tip 2)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 extra large (10-inch) flour tortillas (See Tip 3)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (See Tip 4)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided (See Tip 4)
- Salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole to serve on the side (optional)
- Combine ½ teaspoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water. Add to chicken; stir to combine. Let chicken sit for 15 minutes. Rinse well in cold water and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and taco seasoning. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally for 6 to 7 minutes, or until chicken is done. Push cooked chicken to one side of the pan.
- Add onions and bell peppers to skillet with chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are crisp tender, about 6 or 7 minutes. Add garlic to vegetables; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Stir chicken and vegetables together. Add lime juice; stir to combine. Transfer chicken fajita mixture to a bowl.
- Rinse and dry skillet used to make chicken fajita mixture. Place over medium heat.
- Brush one side of flour tortilla with ½ teaspoon vegetable oil and place in skillet, oiled side down. Add ¼ cup of Cheddar cheese and ¼ cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Top cheeses with half of chicken fajita mixture. Finish with ¼ cup of Cheddar cheese and ¼ cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Fold other side of flour tortilla over quesadilla mixture. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown on bottom. Flip quesadilla and cook other side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to cutting board to cool. Repeat process with other flour tortilla.
- Allow quesadillas to cool for 10 minutes. Cut each quesadilla into four pieces. If desired, serve with salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole on the side.
- Yield: 4 servings. (See Tip 5)
Chula's Expert Tips
- I like to use my own taco seasoning, but you could also use the store-bought packaged taco seasoning.
- I like to use an assortment of bell peppers for the visual appearance. However, feel free to use whatever you have on hand, even if it's just a green bell pepper. The taste will be the same.
- Rather than using 2 extra-large flour tortillas, you could use 4 8-inch flour tortillas. Take one of the 8-inch tortillas and add the filling over the entire tortilla. Top with another 8-inch flour tortilla and cook as above. Repeat with the other two flour tortillas.
- You could use 2 cups (8 ounces) of Mexican blend cheese in place of the Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese.
- If I happen to have leftovers, I refrigerate them or put them in the freezer and reheat the quesadillas in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until fully heated.