Quesadillas have always been a childhood favorite, probably the first thing I ever learned to cook on my own. For years it was pre-cooked chicken strips, shredded Mexican cheese, and tortilla. Nothing else. That’s how a chicken quesadilla comes at Mexican restaurants, so that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Granted, it did satisfy my young tastebuds for a while, until I discovered the ENDLESS possibilities that come with a tortilla and a skillet.
I had trouble coming up with a name for this one. I guess I could just call it “my favorite quesadilla ever”…not very descriptive, but certainly accurate. It veers from the traditional in the best, most flavorful and mouthwatering way possible.
Think juicy chicken, savory herbs, melty smoked gouda, tender spinach, succulent mushrooms and onion and flavorful sun-dried tomatoes glossed in rich balsamic vinegar, all in a crisp, toasty tortilla.
Bonus: It’s quick, easy, and customizable. You can use leftover chicken or turkey; if you can’t get smoked gouda, try fontina, mozzarella, or swiss, muenster, or asiago; and experiment with ingredients you have on-hand, like white beans or avocado.
Bonus #2: This is a perfect way to get all the benefits of whole grains, lots of protein, nutrient-dense veggies, and all-natural cheeeeeeese (health food in my book).
Side of veggie chips + fruit 🙂
- 1/4 tsp EVOO
- 4 oz raw chicken breast*
- pinch sea salt
- black pepper
- 3 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
- handful sliced red onion
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 14g dry sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- sprinkle dried herbs de provence
- 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 medium whole grain tortillas
- 1.5 oz shredded smoked gouda**
- handful baby spinach
- Lightly rub EVOO in a nonstick skillet with a paper towel (or spray with oil mister) and heat over medium. Add chicken to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes per side, or until done. Remove and set aside.
- Add sliced mushrooms and onion to the skillet. Add a splash of water or chicken broth as necessary to scrape browned bits from pan. Cook a couple minutes, until tender.
- Stir in garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, a sprinkle herbs de provence, and pepper to taste; cook about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. When the skillet has slightly cooled, stir in balsamic vinegar.
- Meanwhile, tear chicken into small pieces and shred cheese.
- On one side of each tortilla, layer chicken, mushroom mixture, cheese, and spinach. Fold in half.
- Heat a large, clean skillet over medium-high. (If using the same one, just wipe it out with a damp paper towel.) Add folded, stuffed tortillas and cook on each side until browned and crisp.
- *I use 2 tenderloin strips for quick and easy cooking.
- **I use maple smoked gouda. For the best texture, I recommend buying a block and shredding it yourself.