Who doesn’t enjoy a chicken and cheese quesadilla with a crispy outer shell? Quesadillas are especially delicious when cooked on a George Foreman contact grill.
Mexican cuisine is extremely popular throughout North America. Flour and corn tortillas are the base for many Mexican dishes. This round, unleavened flat bread is a great vehicle for serving endless ingredients on top of or wrapped inside of. The best part is that you can eat filled tortillas, such as tacos and quesadillas, with your hands.
The quesadilla is a filling packet of fresh ingredients that are very easy to assemble and cook. Quesadillas are also a perfect dish for sharing with others, as you would pizza. You just need a stack of napkins to wipe the gooey cheese from your hands. The recipe described in this article is for chicken and cheese quesadillas. It includes a simple tomato based pico de gallo that is basically a very fresh salsa. Flour tortillas grill nicely on the GF grill. If you are gluten free opt for white, yellow, or blue corn tortillas.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to chicken quesadillas, other than to grill or sauté them. You can change up or add ingredients to your liking. Some ideas for additional or substituted ingredients include:
- Black beans
- Shredded romaine lettuce
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- Red onion
- Corn kernels
- Sliced jicama
- Sour cream
Grilled Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas
For the chicken
- One 8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
For the quesadillas
- Grilled chicken breast, sliced thinly
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, sliced thinly
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1/4 of a fresh lime
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Four 8 inch flour or corn tortillas
- EVOO for grilling
Total time:25 min – Prep time:15 min – Cook time:10 min – Serves:2 people
1. If the breast is thicker than 3/4 inch, place it on a cutting board that is lined with plastic wrap. Add another piece of wrap on top of the breast. Pound the breast with a meat mallet to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thin. Coat the breast completely with EVOO. Season all sides with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the grill.
2. Preheat your Foreman grill on high with the top closed for approximately 5 minutes.
3. Place the chicken on the grill and close the top. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until juices run clear. Check with a digital meat thermometer. You are looking for an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
4. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow it to rest while you prepare the pico de gallo. In a medium bowl, combine the tomato, jalapeno, scallion, cilantro, lime, salt, and pepper.
5. Slice the chicken thinly. Brush EVOO on one face of each tortilla. Turn 2 tortillas over so the oiled face is down. Place 1/2 of the cheese on two of the tortillas. Add the chicken equally divided to each tortilla. Spoon the pico de gallo equally on top of the chicken. Top with the remaining cheese. Place another tortilla, unoiled face down, on top of the cheese.
6. Grill each assembled quesadilla with the top closed for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and there are golden grill marks. You might have to do this one at a time, depending on the size of your Foreman grill.
7. Remove the grilled quesadillas to a clean cutting board and cut into 4 equal triangles. Serve immediately while still warm with plenty of napkins and previously prepared side dishes.
Completing the Meal
While quesadillas can be a meal in themselves, they pair well with a couple of Mexican style side dishes to round out the meal. Take advantage of the grill by cooking up some Mexican style street corn. Add to that a lighter version of refried beans and you have a really nice Mexican inspired lunch or dinner. You will want to do both side dishes prior to grilling the quesadillas so that the quesadillas are served warm with the melting cheese.
Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- 2 ears sweet corn, husks and silks removed
- 1 TBS light vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup queso fresco, finely crumbled
- 2 wedges of lime
Total time: 13 min – Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 8 min – Serves: 2 people
1. Preheat a Foreman contact grill to high with the top closed for 5 minutes.
2. On a plate or cutting board, brush vegetable oil on the corn. Place the corn on the grill and close the top. Cook for 5 minutes. Roll 180 degrees and cook for another 3 minutes.
3. While the corn is grilling, mix together the mayonnaise, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
4. Remove the corn from the grill and brush with the mayonnaise mixture. Coat with the cheese and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the corn.
Light Refried Style Beans
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- One 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Sour cream for serving (optional)
Total time: 19 min – Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 9 min – Serves: 2 to 4 people
1. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium. Add the onion and cook until tender, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for an additional minute until fragrant. Stir in the beans and chicken broth. Cook until the beans are warmed through, approximately 5 minutes. Mash the beans coarsely with either a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add more chicken broth if needed to moisten the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in 1 TBS of the cilantro.
2. Place the beans in a shallow serving bowl and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 TBS of cilantro. Add a generous dollop of sour cream on top, if desired.