One of my favorite ways to use up leftovers is in Quesadillas. Especially when I have a leftover rotisserie chicken, some rice and black beans sitting in the refrigerator. One of our local grocery stores make awesome rotisserie chickens in several flavors. It’s not unusual for me to run by there and grab one after work for a weeknight meal adding some quick side vegetables and calling it ‘done’ in no time. Typically we will have about half of the chicken left and I’ll just put it in the fridge for the next night so I can fix another quick and easy dinner. In this case, I had chicken, rice and black beans as a great base for my Chicken Quesadilla. Add some cheese and sliced jalapenos and you’ve got one delicious meal!
For this recipe, I happened to have some fresh onions and a bell pepper that I decided to saute’ and add to mine. The other great thing about quesadillas is, you can customize each one without much effort. Top it with come Salsa, sour cream and fresh squeezed lime juice and I’m in Quesadilla haven! If you’re looking for some fabulous Salsa, check out that recipe! In that blog, I also show you how I can it for the winter months. It’s so so good!
Here’s how I make them.
Here was my leftover chicken. Pull the meat off the bone and just shredl it apart into pieces.
If you want some sauteed onions and peppers, heat a pan over medium heat. Add about 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, sliced onion and bell peppers and saute’ for about 5 minutes. There’s no real measurements for this, just to your liking.
I use flour burrito tortillas for these quesadillas. I buy them from one of those warehouse clubs and keep them in the freezer. When I want to make them, I just take out the number I need and by the time I get the other ingredients out and prepped, they’re thawed out.
I prepare them before turning on the cook top. In a large flat skillet, spray one side of the burrito tortilla. This will help the tortilla brown and get a little crispy.
Flip over the burrito tortilla so the oiled side is on the cold skillet.
I like to start with the cheese because I want it to melt nicely. Here I used sliced Colby jack cheese. I have also used Monterrey jack, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss… truly, just whatever I have on hand.
Then I add the hot sauteed onions and peppers.
I had made some black beans a couple nights prior and used the leftovers for this. You can open a can of beans too, I’ve done that.
Add the shredded rotisserie chicken.
And the leftover rice.
Add some jalapenos… or not.
And top it with more cheese. This is pepperjack.
Fold the back half of the flour tortilla over to the front. I also take my hand and press it down a bit to even out the ingredients and make it somewhat flat.
I made two that night. My pan is round and happens to hold both perfectly.
I kinda doubt this is traditional Mexican cooking, but since my quesadillas tend to be a bit thick, I cover them with a large lid to help them get hot all the way through.
NOW I turn on the burner to medium heat.
When the first side is golden brown, carefully turn them over. It can be a little tricky. I use a large sturdy spatula that can hold a big portion of the quesadilla and just carefully turn over. If some of the filling falls out, just stuff it back in. It’s really not a big deal.
Cover it again to help it heat all the way through. Brown the other side.
And that’s it! I like to cut mine in wedges, it’s just easier to eat.
Top it with some Salsa and sour cream with a side of lime wedges and that is dinner for me! Oh so good!
The best thing about quesadillas is, you can put anything you want on them. Keep it simple with just leftover chicken and cheese, or change it up with other toppings. The sky is the limit.
What is your favorite Quesadilla?
Looking for another quick weeknight chicken dish? Check out my Chicken in White Wine and Thyme Sauce!
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.