Baked Chicken Quesadillas made in the oven so you can make multiple quesadillas at the same time! Stuffed with Mexican seasoned chicken and capsicum/bell peppers, plenty of gooey cheese and enclosed with crispy golden brown tortilla, this is how you can make quesadillas for a crowd without standing over the stove, making them one by one.
Last month I went on a mini break with friends and we hired a gorgeous swanky house right on the beach at Sapphire Beach (Coffs Harbour) on the New South Wales North Coast. And my darling friends, they insisted that I mustn’t do much cooking, that I must relax.
Well! Isn’t it lucky that I did get a bit organised with a shopping list and meal plan. Because in the entire 4 nights / 5 days we were there, we only went out for ONE MEAL. In fact, other than that brief 2 hour outing, we only left the house for a short 20 minute stroll on the beach before we declared that the pool and our sun lounges were beckoning us back (along with the frozen mango daiquiris we had planned to start making the minute the clock ticked over to 12 o’clock).
There were only 4 of us, and yet making Quesadillas for lunch was still a pain. As I stood over the stove cooking them one by one, popping them in the oven and praying they would stay crispy until I finished, I vowed to find a way to make a big batch in one go.
So I figured how to make crispy Chicken Quesadillas in the oven.
It wasn’t as easy as just wacking stuffed folded tortillas in the oven. I found a few little tricks made quite a difference:
- Letting the filling cool. As a general rule for anything, it’s takes longer to get a crispy surface in the oven than in a fry pan. So if you use hot filling, the extra steam inside the quesadilla makes the tortilla too soggy to go crispy (unless you way overcook it to the point of very brown);
- Spray the tray with oil and pop it in the oven to heat up. Yup, that really helps make the underside get crispy once it is flipped; and
- Crank up the oven – but not too much, otherwise the edges get too brown before the surface gets crispy all over.
I stuffed these Baked Chicken Quesadillas with the makings of Chicken Fajitas! Seasoned chicken, onion and capsicum / bell peppers. Plus cheese of course. Mustn’t forget the cheese!
There’s no denying that they don’t come out quite as shatteringly crispy as you can make them on the stove by pressing down firmly on the quesadillas while they cook. But these are still crispy – crispy enough!
Also the other thing I observed is that the tortilla starts to wrinkle after around 20 minutes. Here they are after I had been faffing around with the camera for around 30 minutes – you can see how different they look to when they are fresh out of the oven (photo above).
Small compromises for the sheer convenience of of being able to make a big batch in one go!
I hope you find this Oven Baked Chicken Quesadillas recipe handy! I’ve always felt like quesadillas are like pancakes – only make them in select circumstances, when there aren’t too any people to feed.
But now you can make quesadillas for a crowd – even with two trays so you can make 8 at the same time – or more if you have a large oven! – Nagi x
PS You can see how crispy they are in the video (below recipe) when I am stacking the quesadillas.
- 400g / 14 oz chicken, cut into small bite size pieces (thigh, breast or tenderloin)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (or adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- ½ tsp salt + black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ small onion, diced (brown, white, yellow)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 red capsicum / bell pepper, diced
- 1 green capsicum / bell pepper, diced
- 4 flour tortillas (20cm/8")
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup+ grated cheese (tasty, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or other melting cheese of choice) (Note 1)
- Place Chicken ingredients in a bowl and mix to coat chicken.
- Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Then add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes until starting to soften. Transfer into bowl.
- Return skillet to the stove. Add chicken and cook until browned. Add to same bowl. Set aside until the filling cools (to speed it up, cover and refrigerate, and/or spread out on plate).
- Preheat oven to 220C / 430F (standard) or 200C/390F (fan / convection).
- Spray baking tray lightly with olive oil. Heat in the oven while you assemble the quesadillas.
- Divide the filling between the tortillas, covering half the surface. Top with cheese. Fold in half and press down gently but firmly.
- Remove baking tray from oven. Transfer quesadillas onto tray (you should hear a soft sizzle).
- Bake for 8 minutes. Then turn the quesadillas (over the folded edge) then press down with the egg flip. Bake for a further 8 minutes or until the surface is crispy.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately!
2. The 3 things I found make all the difference so the quesadillas come out crispy (without baking them so long they are dark brown are):
a) Cooling the filling first (reduces steam inside the quesadilla while baking);
b) Heating oiled baking tray; and
c) Cooking in a fairly hot oven.
3. You can make 2 trays of this at the same time. It will take around 5 minutes longer and the trays should be swapped partway through. The tray that ends up at the bottom will probably need a few minutes longer after you take the top one out.
4. Nutrition per quesadilla.
Oven Baked Chicken Quesadillas recipe video!
Oven Baked Chicken Quesadillas nutrition per serving (1 quesadilla).
LIFE OF DOZER
Usually when I go away, I send Dozer to a Golden Retriever boarder’s place where he rules the house with other Goldies. However on this occasion, he was injured (#DefectDog) so I sent him to my mother’s place where he would be free of temptations to rumble with other Goldies.
My mother (and actually, my whole family) get sick pleasure in torturing me when I go away and they don’t send me Dozer updates unless I plead multiple times. Finally, she sent me ONE photo – this one.
Humph. His usual boarder is so much better. I get daily reports and tons of photos – without any begging!!!