Cheese-Crusted Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Cheese-Crusted Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Servings: 4-6 servings
These aren't your ordinary chicken quesadillas. The special crust makes them a cheese-lovers' delight!

Serve them simple or dress them up! Chicken quesadillas are Mexico’s version of a grilled cheese sandwich. So many options for fillings, and these days you can find quesadillas on any popular restaurant menu. They are kid-friendly, but even more so, big kids and adults love them as well.

What else could you possibly do to a quesadilla besides load it with delicious cheese? How about a toasted cheese crust on the outside? Tasty! This recipe includes three different Mexican cheese flavors: my favorite, stringy Oaxaca, buttery jack cheese and that sharp and salty crumbled cotija on the outside crust. Complete the dish with a simple chicken filling mixed with a smoky chipotle salsa and fresh avocado. Now you're ready for happy hour, game day or just a special dinner with friends and family.

Ingredients

  • For the Chipotle Crema
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • salt to taste
  • For the Tomatillo Chipotle Verde
  • 4-5 large tomatillos
  • 2 chile guajillo stems and seeds removed and torn into pieces
  • 2 chipotles in adobo
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt to taste
  • You Will Also Need
  • 6 flour tortillas no bigger than 6 inches
  • 1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Oaxaca cheese or string cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado sliced into 12 thin wedges
  • 2 cups chicken cooked, shredded
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups cotija cheese finely crumbled
  • 1 cup pico de Gallo
  • 2 cups lettuce shredded

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Directions

For the Chipotle Crema
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or mini chopper. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt. Transfer to serving bowl.
For the Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
  1. Remove husk from tomatillos and rinse under lukewarm water. Slice in half and transfer to a pot of simmering water along with the guajillo peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos and guajillos to the blender. Add the garlic, chipotle peppers and salt to taste. Pulse to blend and then blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt. Take 1/2 cup of the salsa and mix it into the cooked, shredded chicken. Reserve the rest of the salsa for garnish.
For The Quesadillas
  1. Preheat a large skillet or griddle pan to medium heat for 5 minutes. Place one to two tortillas onto the hot surface. To the tortilla, add 1/4 cup jack cheese and 1/4 cup Oaxaca cheese, and spread out evenly.
  2. To one half, add 2 avocado slices and about 1/3 cup shredded chicken. Fold tortilla over like a taco to cover chicken.
  3. Press down lightly so it holds in place. As soon as cheese begins to melt, spoon out 1/4 cup of cotija cheese along the inside edge of quesadilla. Use the spoon to shape resembling the tortilla half. Flip quesadilla over and onto the cotija cheese to cover it completely.
  4. After a minute or so, when the cheese begins to brown, again add 1/4 cup of cotija along the inside edge. Using a flat, metal spatula, carefully flip it over onto cheese to cover. Cook for 1 or 2 more minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Keep quesadillas warm in a low temperature oven.
  5. Before serving, slice in half, garnish with lettuce, crema and salsas.

Chef Notes

If adding a cheese crust to both sides of the quesadilla, you will need 3 cups of cotija. If you cannot find cotija, a good substitute is Parmesan cheese.

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