Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas with Butter Lettuce & Pickled Pepper Salad

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

with Butter Lettuce & Pickled Pepper Salad

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

These zesty Tex-Mex quesadillas are loaded with bites of spiced chicken and two kinds of melty cheese. Tender butter lettuce tossed with pickled peppers, peanuts, and creamy dressing rounds out the dish.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    730 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas with Butter Lettuce & Pickled Pepper Salad
Title
  • 1⅛ lbs Chopped Chicken Breast
  • 4 Flour Tortillas
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 head Butter Lettuce
  • 4 oz Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Grated Cotija Cheese
  • 3 Tbsps Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 oz Sweet Piquante Peppers
  • ¼ cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican Spice Blend (Ancho Chile Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin & Dried Mexican Oregano)
  • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
Prepare the ingredients & start the salad
1 Prepare the ingredients & start the salad

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve, peel, and thinly slice the onion. Quarter the lime. Grate the monterey jack on the large side of a  box grater. Peel 1 clove of garlic; using a zester, finely grate into a paste (or use the small side of a box grater). Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Roughly chop the peanuts and peppers. In a large bowl, combine the chopped lettuce and chopped  peanuts and peppers.

Cook the chicken & onion
2 Cook the chicken & onion

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; place in a medium bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Stir to thoroughly coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat  2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is  slightly softened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat; stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Assemble the quesadillas
3 Assemble the quesadillas

Place the tortillas on a work surface. Top one side of each tortilla with the grated monterey jack, fontina, and cooked chicken and onion; fold the tortillas in half over the filling. Rinse and wipe out the pan used to cook the chicken and onion.

Cook the quesadillas
4 Cook the quesadillas

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in batches if necessary, add the quesadillas. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Transfer to a cutting board; immediately season with salt. Loosely cover with foil to keep warm. 

Make the dressing
5 Make the dressing

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the sour cream, half the cotija, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of the remaining lime wedges, 1 teaspoon of water, and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Finish the salad & serve your dish
6 Finish the salad & serve your dish

Just before serving, to the bowl of chopped lettuce, peanuts, and peppers, add enough of the dressing to coat (you may have extra dressing). Toss to combine; taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cut each cooked quesadilla into thirds. Serve the quesadillas with the salad on the side. Garnish the salad with the remaining cotija. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & start the salad
1 Prepare the ingredients & start the salad

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve, peel, and thinly slice the onion. Quarter the lime. Grate the monterey jack on the large side of a  box grater. Peel 1 clove of garlic; using a zester, finely grate into a paste (or use the small side of a box grater). Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Roughly chop the peanuts and peppers. In a large bowl, combine the chopped lettuce and chopped  peanuts and peppers.

2 Cook the chicken & onion

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; place in a medium bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Stir to thoroughly coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat  2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is  slightly softened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat; stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Cook the chicken & onion
Assemble the quesadillas
3 Assemble the quesadillas

Place the tortillas on a work surface. Top one side of each tortilla with the grated monterey jack, fontina, and cooked chicken and onion; fold the tortillas in half over the filling. Rinse and wipe out the pan used to cook the chicken and onion.

4 Cook the quesadillas

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in batches if necessary, add the quesadillas. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Transfer to a cutting board; immediately season with salt. Loosely cover with foil to keep warm. 

Cook the quesadillas
Make the dressing
5 Make the dressing

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the sour cream, half the cotija, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of the remaining lime wedges, 1 teaspoon of water, and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

6 Finish the salad & serve your dish

Just before serving, to the bowl of chopped lettuce, peanuts, and peppers, add enough of the dressing to coat (you may have extra dressing). Toss to combine; taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cut each cooked quesadilla into thirds. Serve the quesadillas with the salad on the side. Garnish the salad with the remaining cotija. Enjoy!

Finish the salad & serve your dish
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