Looking for a quesadilla recipe for a quick and easy weeknight dinner?
With back-to-school, fall, and all their accompanying activities in full swing, we all could use a recipe that is QUICK, EASY, and DELICIOUS, and my Smoky Chicken Spinach Quesadilla recipe is all of the above, and it utilizes leftover rotisserie chicken! How easy is that??? The garlic and shallots can be minced in a heartbeat, the spinach and chicken mixture cooks in a flash, and you’ll have dinner on the table in 15 minutes! And it’s so GOOD!!!
My family absolutely DEVOURED them last night, with many appreciative, “Mmmms” and a “Them’s good victuals, Susie.” (That last one from my husband.)
I’m a huge believer in *not* wasting food: it’s bad for the planet, not to mention hard on the wallet. We often find ourselves with leftover rotisserie (or just plain old regular roasted) chicken. And the bother is that it’s usually not enough for a *nice* second meal. Let’s face it: a partially carved chicken carcass is not particularly attractive to set on the dinner table.
This recipe for Smoky Chicken Spinach Quesadillas is the answer to that problem. Non-wasteful? Definitely. Frugal? For sure. But delicious? Most of all!
The “smoky” part comes from the spice I add to the chicken and spinach. I love a little smoke flavor, and a little heat, so I added some chipotle chili powder to this recipe. A chipotle chile is merely a jalapeño chile that’s been roasted. If you don’t have any chipotle chili powder, you could try cumin, or even smoked paprika and a few red pepper flakes.
I also added a squeeze of lemon juice, because I find that a hit of acid brightens up the flavor of spinach, or any type of greens.
You barely need a recipe for this, but, I’ll do my best to make it sound like you do.
Smoky Chicken Spinach Quesadilla Recipe:
2 or 3 pieces of leftover chicken, shredded or chopped (whatever you can manage: I had 3 leftover thighs, from roasting 8 thighs the day before; they don’t shred easily, so I ended up chopping them)
1 T. butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. chipotle chile powder
1/2 bag of fresh spinach (approx. 4 oz)
1 lemon wedge (to squeeze the juice over the spinach/chicken mixture)
freshly ground black pepper
soft butter to spread on each tortilla
6 corn tortillas
1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When butter is melted and hot, sauté the shallots for about a minute, until they become translucent.
Add spinach, garlic, chipotle chile powder and shredded chicken to the pan and sauté till the spinach is wilted and the chicken is warm: about one minute. Squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon wedge over top, and give everything a nice stir. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place your tortilla on a heated griddle. Butter the top of the tortilla and flip the tortilla over.
Sprinkle that side of the tortilla with a handful of cheese.
Place a large spoonful of the chicken mixture on half of the tortilla.
Fold the other half over.
Press down with a spatula, to encourage the browning process.
Cook until golden brown, on both sides of quesadilla.
Frugal cooking tip:
A big hint for the frugal non food-wasters among us: save your rotisserie chicken carcasses/bones in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag in the freezer, and when the bag is full, you’ll be able to make a lovely pot of Homemade Chicken Stock.
Click through to find that recipe over on my blog, That Susan Williams. Hope you enjoy this quesadilla recipe!