Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadilla

I’ve been seeing a lot of new and innovative cooking ideas recently. Maybe the best ones are those where everything is done on a sheet pan. I love it! Also, you know how I love using the grocery store as my Sioux chef whenever I can. Well, they’ve just made available a new cheese called Queso Quesadilla cheese and it melts beautifully. This is my Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadilla.

The Sheet Pan Quesadilla has a slightly crunchy texture is lightly golden brown and the inside is super flavorful and oozing with cheese.

Okay, I just want to say this dish is super versatile. You could definitely make these quesadillas your own by using, different ingredients like, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, substitute rotisserie chicken, add jalapenos, use a taco seasoning on the chicken, garnish with avacodos and lime wedges. The combinations are endless.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1/4 rimmed baking sheet pan, chef’s knife, hand-held sieve, butter-flavored non-stick spray, small cast-iron pan or skillet (any type of heavy pan), meat-safe cutting board

3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts (equals approx. 2 heaping cups of shredded chicken)
1 quart of chicken broth, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

butter-flavored non-stick spray
8 burrito-sized flour tortillas
2 cups of shredded Quesa Quesadilla cheese, divided (substitute any shredded cheese you like)
2 heaping cups of shredded white meat chicken (substitute rotisserie chicken)
1 (4-ounce) can dice green chilies, drained
1/2 a Fresno chili, seeded and finely diced, substitue jalapeno
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1/2 cup of salsa, Cantina-syle (substitute jarred)
Garnishes, choice of cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, and avacodo, salsa

Note: If you are using rotisserie chicken, skip the first step below.

Start by poaching, on low heat, the chicken breasts in chicken broth. Add the Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to the pot. Cook until the chicken juices run clear or reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, around 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot onto a meat-safe cutting board. Using two forks shred the chicken.

While the chicken is poaching, prep all the ingredients for the quesadilla. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Spray the 1/4 rimmed baking sheet pan with the butter-flavored non-stick spray. Place 2 tortillas on one long side of the sheet pan, half hanging over the edges: repeat with the other long side. Arrange 1 tortills at each end and hang it over. Cover the center of the sheet pan with 1 tortilla to ensure the entire pan is covered.

Add half of the shredded cheese, then the shredded chicken, diced Fresno chili,  green chilies, black beans on top of the tortillas in one even layer.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese and lastly distribute spoonfuls of the salsa over the top. Spread the salsa evenly over the cheese.

Place 1 tortilla (the last one) in the center of the pan, on top of the filling, and fold up the overhanging tortillas so that they completely cover the filling.

Spray the entire top of the tortillas with the butter-flavored non-stick spray. Top the quesadilla with another sheet pan, and press down firmly. I like to use a small heavy cast-iron pan to set on top of the sheet pan while it’s baking. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Be careful when removeing the skillet and top sheet pan. To ensure the top of the quesadilla is lightly  golden and crispy, bake for an additional 5 minutes at the same temperature, uncovered. Keep a very close eye on them so they do not burn.

Allow the quesadilla to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This will give the cheese a chance to set a bit. Slice into 6 equal portions. Place the quesadilla on a plate with the garnishes of you choice and serve.

There you have it, my Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadilla.

Note:  To freeze cooked quesadillas, allow the quesadillas to cool until room temperature. Cut the quesadillas into portions. Place each quesadilla portion into a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bags. Write the freezing date on each freezer bag. Freeze until ready to use.