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 melty monterey jack cheese. Tender butter lettuce tossed with pickled peppers, peanuts, and creamy dressing rounds out the dish.

    Get Cooking
    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      700 Cals (est.)
    fresh
    ingredients
    Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas with Butter Lettuce & Pickled Pepper Salad
    Title
    • 22 oz Chicken Breast Strips
    • 8 Flour Tortillas
    • 1 Lime
    • 1 head Butter Lettuce
    • 1 Red Onion
    • 1 clove Garlic
    • 2 Tbsps Grated Cotija Cheese
    • 3 Tbsps Roasted Peanuts
    • 4 oz Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
    • ¼ cup Sour Cream
    • 1 oz Pickled Peppadew Peppers
    • 1 Tbsp Mexican Spice Blend (Ancho Chile Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin & Dried Mexican Oregano)
    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. Peel 1 clove of garlic; using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate into a paste. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Place in a large bowl. Roughly chop the peanuts and peppers; transfer to the bowl of chopped lettuce.

    Cook the chicken & onion
    2 Cook the chicken & onion

    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; place in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Toss to coat.In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is slightly softened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat; carefully 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 half of each tortilla with the monterey jack 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 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in batches, 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 creamhalf the cotija2 tablespoons of olive oilthe juice of the remaining lime wedges1 teaspoon of water, and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Make the salad & serve your dish
    6 Make 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 coat. 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!

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    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. Peel 1 clove of garlic; using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate into a paste. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Place in a large bowl. Roughly chop the peanuts and peppers; transfer to the bowl of chopped lettuce.

    2 Cook the chicken & onion

    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; place in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Toss to coat.In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is slightly softened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat; carefully 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 half of each tortilla with the monterey jack 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 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in batches, 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 creamhalf the cotija2 tablespoons of olive oilthe juice of the remaining lime wedges1 teaspoon of water, and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    6 Make 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 coat. 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!

    Make the salad & serve your dish