How To Make BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Photo credit: elsiehui on Flickr

The Best Barbecue Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

A tasty twist on classic chicken quesadillas, this recipe combines two of my favorite things - grilling and Mexican food. We make these quesadillas all year round in my house, but they are truly a summertime favorite when we can easily grill the chicken and quesadillas outdoors. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Barbecue Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla Recipe


  • 2 medium size purple onions, caramelized
  • 20 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 6 oz smoked cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (your favorite brand - we use Sweet & Sassy Famous Dave's)
  • 5 - 10" flour tortillas

Photo Courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen


  1. Caramelize the 2 medium onions in a saucepan and set aside for later use (see instructions below for tips on caramelizing onions).
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill either on an outdoor grill or inside on a Foreman grill for 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside (you could also use a stove top grill pan inside). Let chicken rest 4 minutes, and then thinly slice on the bias.
  3. Once onions are done, remove them from the saucepan. To cut down on dishes, pour the BBQ sauce into the onion saucepan and cook on medium low for 3 minutes until slightly reduced and sticky. Stir in the sliced chicken to coat.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F or outdoor grill on medium heat. Place 5 tortillas on a large greased baking sheet for indoor baking or directly on a greased outdoor grill. Divide and layer the cheese, chicken and onions among the 5 tortillas and season with salt and pepper, to taste (put ingredients on only 1/2 of each tortilla because they will be folded over to form half circle shaped sandwiches). Fold the tortillas in half pressing down to hold in place. Brush the top tortillas with olive oil or spray with Pam. Bake in oven or grill for 7 minutes, then carefully flip the quesadillas over baking or grilling for about 5 more minutes (or until the tortillas are slightly crisp and the cheese has melted). Cut into thirds or quarters and serve on a platter with sour cream.
How To Make Caramelized Onions

How To Make Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions Recipe


  • 2 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Few drops of balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Photo credit: Buff Chick Pea


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and they have a brown caramelized hue, about 30 to 35 minutes. If you want to add some Italian balsamic vinegar, do so about half way through the cooking process. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside to cool.

NOTE: Vidalia onions also work great for this recipe as they have a high sugar content that adds to the caramelized appearance and taste.

How To Caramelize Onions Video

Want To Save Time?

If you don't have time to grill your own chicken breasts, just buy a rotisserie chicken and dice it up or purchase those Perdue chicken shortcuts that are available in your grocer's refrigerated section.

Tips from the Chef

Do not use fat-free tortillas. Tortillas are already low-fat, but you need that 1 or 2 grams in the tortilla or they will not get crispy when you cook them. My favorite brand is La Banderita Smoked cheddar is available in most grocery stores in the deli section, near the blocks of Parmesan and Gouda cheeses.

When grating the cheese, if you want to cut down on the smoky flavor, you can trim the outside edges of the cheese first, as this is the smokiest part. You can also add a little fresh cilantro to the quesadillas, and/or use it as a garnish.

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