The key to this delicious quesadilla recipe is the zippy make-ahead chicken that's stewed with charred tomatoes and smoky chile powder, though canned tomatoes (especially the fire-roasted kind) and chipotles in adobo will do in a pinch. The spice level is up to you, so feel free to season to taste with chipotle.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2018


Recipe Summary test

1 hr
1 hr 40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.

  • Place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, cored sides up. Broil until blackened on top and soft but not falling apart, 12 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel (discard skins).

  • Meanwhile, combine chicken, 1 garlic clove and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, skimming the surface occasionally, for 20 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and let the chicken stand in the liquid until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes. Coarsely shred the meat (discard bones). Discard the garlic clove and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse out the pan.

  • Place the tomatoes in a blender and add vinegar, 1 teaspoon chile powder, oregano, salt, the remaining garlic clove and the 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid. Puree until smooth.

  • Heat oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and bring to a boil, occasionally scraping the bottom to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by about half, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken and the remaining 1 teaspoon chile powder. Cook until the chicken is hot, about 5 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

  • Heat a large cast-iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas at a time, topping one side of each with 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon mozzarella. Using a spatula, fold the bare half over the topping and press down firmly. Cook until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adjusting the heat and wiping out the pan as necessary.

  • Arrange quesadillas on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped onion, cilantro, Cotija cheese and lettuce, if desired.


To make ahead: Refrigerate chicken (Steps 1-4) for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

299 calories; protein 23.6g; carbohydrates 27.5g; dietary fiber 4.6g; sugars 3.4g; fat 10.9g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 54.2mg; vitamin a iu 972.4IU; vitamin c 11.1mg; folate 22.8mcg; calcium 168.7mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 66.9mg; potassium 468.6mg; sodium 510mg.