Barbecue Chicken and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

barbecue chicken quesadillas

This one I wasn’t going to post because it’s so basic (which is really the best kind of recipe though, isn’t it?) and I’ve made something similar before. But then I kept thinking about how darn delicious it was and since its predecessor is buried in the archives, photo-less, I changed my mind. So barbecue chicken and caramelized onion quesadillas it is. I just finished breakfast and I’m already drooling over them.

The onions do take some time. But caramelized onions are always worth it. If you don’t have the better part of an hour to stop and stir every so often, then you’re welcome to grill or roast or pickle, or prepare your onions however you choose. But oh my gosh the sweetness of caramelized onions just does something for me. They’re one of those magical ingredients that I want to add to everything. And doing so is usually a good idea.

You’ll notice I didn’t bother specifying amounts in the ingredients. I didn’t measure. My rule for quesadillas is to cram as much cheese and filling between two tortillas as possible (keeping in mind that you don’t want to lose half of it during the flipping). If the inner goodness isn’t oozing out the sides when you’re done cooking you didn’t do it properly.

I had a gorgeous yellow tomato from the farmers market that I added to some smashed avocado, diced onion and garlic, squeeze of lime and dash of each cumin and cayenne for an impromptu guacamole. But serve it with your condiment of choice- salsa, sour cream, even more barbecue sauce- or enjoy it exactly as is.

Barbecue Chicken and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas


flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)
cooked shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
favorite barbecue sauce, just enough to coat chicken
fresh cilantro, chopped
caramelized onions (recipe found here)
smoked Gouda, grated (or a combination of Monterrey Jack and smoked Gouda or Cheddar and smoked Gouda)

salsa, sour cream, guacamole, for serving (all optional)


1. To caramelize onions, follow these directions.

2. Toss chicken in enough barbecue sauce to lightly coat.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in the bottom and sprinkle with cheese. Top with shredded chicken, caramelized onions, cilantro, and more cheese. (HINT: I’ve found that using slightly more cheese than you think you need is usually the right amount.) Top with the second tortilla.

4. Cook until the bottom tortilla is golden brown and the bottom layer of cheese has started to melt. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling and oozing out.

5. Remove to a cutting board to slice (a pizza cutter works great for this purpose). Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole (all optional).

(Inspired by this recipe and Pinch of Yum)

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4 Responses to Barbecue Chicken and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

  1. Eileen August 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Hey, quesadillas may be easy, but they’re also too delicious to pass up! Now I am jonesing for barbecue chicken and fresh herbs. 🙂

  2. Whitney August 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    What kind of whole wheat tortillas do you use? I bought some in the past but they stuck together and I was lucky if I could salvage half of them.

    • Jessie Davis August 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      I’ve bought various brands but the best I’ve found at Whole Foods (and some Trader Joes carry good ones). If you microwave them for a short time (try 15 seconds) they should come apart without ripping. Good luck!

  3. Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper August 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Thank you for posting! This looks delicious!