Simple Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla Recipe. There is a lot to ask of weeknight dinners. We want them to taste good, take no time, be healthy, and use no dishes. This is the dinner for those nights – you can make tacos, fajitas, rice bowls. The options are endless when it comes to this simple and easy, chicken taco filling. This is cheesy, packed with spinach, and takes one skillet (so just one annoying dish to clean). We have your dinner this week covered in 25 minutes.
Simple & Easy Stove Top Chicken Quesadilla
An important step in this recipe is, as I often say, heat the oil in the pan BEFORE you place the chicken in. The chicken pieces are small and not too thick, so they will cook quickly. Getting that golden brown crust of seasoning is added flavor, and why would we turn that down? The chicken should sizzle right when it hits the oil. The tenderloins are nice and easy to cook because you can see it get more and more opaque. I like to let the chicken cook about 4-5 minutes on one side and only 2-3 on the next side to ensure some good flavor.
Next, remove the chicken to let it rest. Add a splash of water to deglaze the skillet & add some extra flavor to our spinach. These simple steps are the ways we create extra flavor on a dish that’s just a few ingredients. Let the spinach simmer for a second, you want it to still be nice and green so it retains lots of nutrients. It’s also going to wilt a little more if you make a quesadilla, so there is no reason to stress about undercooking the spinach.
Home Cook’s Notes – Variations & Ingredients
Is this a stove top recipe?
I love to make quesadillas on the stove top to get the most golden crispy outside. Heat a small bit of oil, or brush the outside of the tortilla with oil. Heat pan on medium & cook quesadilla on both sides until they are golden and crispy. BUT – I like to view this recipe as a FILLING recipe. My favorite way to eat it is a quesadilla, but Nick loves it in a classic corn tortilla as a cheesy chicken taco.
Can I use store bought taco seasoning?
I have my own blend in the recipe notes below, but I love a shortcut. Use your favorite seasoning: taco, fajita, one of those sauce-y packets. This is the American Chicken Quesadilla
You do not have to add the spinach. Feel free to make this JUST a cheesy chicken quesadilla. But I am always looking for ways to make my meals more balanced and nutritional, and that’s why I love this meal. It’s packed with spinach.
From the Kitchen
Use what you love when it comes to toppings too! Salsa, avocado, sour cream and a squeeze of lime & cilantro. I also love to add fajita veggies once in a while.
Finally, when you make these Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Recipe with spinach, please share your rating on the recipe card or thoughts in the comments. How do you like to eat it!? You can always tag me on Instagram @quartersoulcrisis where I post the step by step videos of recipes and save them to a highlight.
I love these Crispy Chicken Katsu Bowls for another delicious and easy-to-come together dinner.
Cheesy Chicken Spinach Quesadilla (One Pan, 25 minutes)
- 1-1.5 lb chicken tenderloins tendons trimmed off
- 1-2 tbs olive oil
- 5 oz fresh spinach
- 1 packet favorite taco seasoning *or my blend in notes below*
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- corn or flour tortillas
- topping ideas: sour cream, squeeze of lime, avocado slices, cilantro
- Cook Chicken: Season chicken with taco blend (1 packet or my blend below). In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tbs of olive oil. Place chicken into hot oil & cook until nice and golden brown on one side and caramelized seasoning. Flip to finish cooking – about 3 more minutes. Remove chicken from pan and let rest.
- Make Cheesy Taco Filling: Add 1/4 cup water to empty hot skillet, scraping brown bits off of the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer a bit. You can add a little more if it cooks out quickly. Cut up chicken pieces & add them and any juices back into the pan. Add spinach & lightly toss with chicken. Once the spinach is wilted, but still a nice bright green, cover with cheese & let melt.
- Make Tacos or Quesadillas: Serve once cheese is melted in warmed corn tortillas or flour tortillas. I love to make quesadillas with this filling. To warm the tortillas, microwave 15-30 seconds or warm in oven at 350° until they are warm & soft. Quesadilla: Add chicken filling to one half of flour tortilla and press closed. Heat a skillet on medium high and spray with cooking spray or a little drizzle of oil. Cook on both sides until golden brown 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite toppings: extra squeeze of lime, salsa, sour cream & cilantro are my favorites
Home Cook’s Notes
- 1tbs chili Powder
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 1tsp onion powder
- smoked paprika
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt