Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas with Rice

Main Dishes  |  Published Apr 12, 2022  |  Updated Apr 12, 2022  |  By Tawnie

chipotle chicken quesadilla cut in half and stacked on top of each other topped with sour cream and guacamole

I know what you’re thinking…a quesadilla doesn’t even need a recipe, but THESE chipotle chicken quesadillas are going to change your mind.

This post has been sponsored by USA Rice. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Kroll’s Korner running!

When crispy, golden brown, stuffed flour tortillas are bound with gooey cheese, shredded chicken, and rice you can’t really go wrong.

They are easy to make, and they outshine most quesadillas I’ve ordered out at restaurants.

Let’s talk about these chipotle chicken quesadillas…

  • The chicken is baked in the oven (easy!)
  • The long-grain rice quickly cooks while the chicken is cooking in the oven.
  • Easily shred the cooked chicken in a Kitchen Aid Mixer (life-changing hack!)
  • The chipotle pepper adobo sauce and all seasonings are cooked with the chicken.
  • Leftovers can be quickly reheated in the oven for snacks.
a quesadilla on a blue plate topped with guacamole and sour cream

Ingredient Notes

  • U.S.-grown long grain white rice: Long grain white rice has a firm, fluffy texture due to its higher amylose content. It works exceptionally well in pilafs, stir-fries, and soups, and accounts for more than 70% of the rice grown in the United States. U.S.-grown rice is nutrient-rich and contributes more than 15 vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and other B-vitamins, as well as iron and zinc. Plus, rice is gluten-free and the least allergenic of all grains!
  • Chicken breasts: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts as I have found that they shred easily. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs to add more flavor to your quesadilla as another option.
  • Chipotle seasoning: This chipotle seasoning goes well with most meats, but we especially love it on chicken. It’s made up of: chipotle chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, ancho chili powder, crushed garlic, salt, pepper
  • Adobo sauce and adobo chili peppers: The adobo chili peppers add a smokey, fiery heat to the Adobo Sauce, which makes it a fantastic flavor in so many traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes.
  • Corn: The corn adds a slightly crisp counterpoint to the rich, creamy cheese.
  • Black beans: I like using black beans because they are a nutritional powerhouse, but you can substitute pinto beans for a creamier texture.
  • Tortillas: Flour tortillas are pliable and soft with a sweet flavor that compliments the heat of the fiery spices. I used a 10-inch tortilla but whatever size tortilla you have, just adjust your amount of filling for each quesadilla appropriately. 
  • Cheese: I used cheddar cheese in my quesadillas, but for a more traditional flavor pick up Mexican cheese like Oaxaca or Chihuahua.  Another option would be Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack for extra spice.
ingredients in small bowls needed to make quesadillas

Step by Step Directions

You’ll nestle the chicken breasts in a Dutch oven with a homemade chipotle seasoning that has a wonderfully smoky and peppery taste.

We love using the Dutch oven to cook the chicken breasts because it only takes 30-35 minutes and by cooking the chicken at a lower heat with chicken broth and the lid on, it helps to create tender, moist chicken that makes it so easy to pull apart.

shredded chipotle chicken in a large dutch oven
  1. Make the chicken, shred it and then put it back into its juices.
  2. Rinse the rice: add the rice to a fine mesh strainer or sieve and rinse until the water becomes clear.
  3. Cook the U.S.-grown long grain rice: Follow the package directions or use this easy stovetop method: Combine 1 cup long grain rice with 2 cups water and a dash of salt in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling; stir once or twice. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Allow the pot to sit, undisturbed, for another 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.
  4. Assemble the quesadillas: Divide shredded cheese on one half of a flour tortilla. Add the white rice on top, shredded chicken, corn, black beans, and an additional sprinkle of cheese. Fold the tortillas half over.
  5. Melt ½ Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully transfer the quesadillas to the hot pan and cook until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until golden.
  6. Remove from the pan. Slice and enjoy with your favorite quesadilla toppings.
chicken breasts in a dutch oven and the assembly of ingredients on a flour tortilla
chipotle chicken quesadilla cut in half and stacked on top of each other topped with sour cream and guacamole

Expert Tips

  • Use different cheese. For a more traditional flavor add Mexican cheese like Oaxaca or Chihuahua.
  • Once the chicken is cooked I use my kitchen aid mixer to shred the chicken.  It’s a quick alternative to pulling it apart, and you don’t have to let the chicken cool off before shredding.
  • Tortillas can burn easily, so make sure you keep the temperature on medium heat when frying up the quesadilla.
  • Filling the chipotle chicken quesadilla: The best way to fill the tortilla is to spread the chicken and cheese mixtures over half of a single tortilla. Once that is done, then top off the filling with more cheese and fold the other half of the tortilla over the top . Also, leave just a little boarder around the edges so that the filling doesn’t ooze out. 
  • I like using a pizza wheel to cut the quesadilla.  Just slide it onto a cutting board and cut away!  
  • This recipe makes a lot of leftover chicken. It can be used in a variety of other recipes like tacos, burritos, chicken and rice burrito bowls, taco salad and chicken tortilla soup .  These are just a few recipe ideas as your options are endless.
a chipotle chicken quesadilla cut into 4 triangles on a dark blue plate

FAQ

How do I flip quesadillas?

You can use a spatula but for the larger quesadillas this can be risky sometimes. An easy method is to cover the pan with a large plate, invert the pan to transfer the quesadilla onto the plate, then slide the quesadilla back onto the pan (golden side up).

How do you reheat a quesadilla?

To reheat your leftover chipotle chicken quesadillas to get  the original crispy texture just place it on a foil lined sheet pan and heat it up for 10 minutes at 325°F. Enjoy a hot, cheesy, crunchy quesadilla, just like it was when you first prepared it. 

How long do homemade quesadillas last?

Refrigerate cooked quesadillas within two hours of cooking and they should last up to three days. (But these are so good they will be gobbled up before then.) Just let them cool completely. Next, individually wrap the leftover quesadillas in plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge.  

How do you keep a quesadilla from getting soggy?

The secret to a crispy tortilla is butter. Just a half of a tablespoon of butter or even a bit less will give your quesadilla the perfect crunch you are craving.

Can I use corn tortillas for the quesadilla?

Yes, you can use the more traditional corn tortilla for the quesadilla but I recommend a flour tortilla.  The flour tortilla holds the filling inside the tortilla more securely than a corn tortilla. You get a soft crunchy bite with each mouthful.  

What if I don’t have a Dutch Oven to cook the chicken?

No problem! You can use a roasting pan, an oven-safe casserole dish or a cast-iron skillet. Just make sure that you cover the pan tightly to keep the steam inside.

chipotle chicken quesadilla cut in half and stacked on top of each other topped with sour cream and guacamole

Which do you love more: quesadillas or burritos?

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chipotle chicken quesadilla cut in half and stacked on top of each other topped with sour cream and guacamole
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Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas with Rice

These Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas feature juicy shredded chipotle chicken, perfectly cooked white rice, black beans, corn and melty cheese.
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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 quesadillas
Calories: 462kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup U.S.-grown long grain white rice
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~1 1/2 lb.)

Chicken seasoning

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Ancho chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce and 1 adobo pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the quesadillas

  • 8 burrito size flour tortillas (10-inch)
  • 2-3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • Garnish ideas: avocado, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken breasts in a Dutch oven and pour broth in. Add in all the seasonings and gently stir. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Shred chicken and keep in the juices. 
  • Rinse the rice: add the rice to a fine meshed strainer or sieve and rinse until the water becomes clear. Cook the U.S.-grown long grain rice: Follow the package directions or use this easy stovetop method: Combine 1 cup long grain rice with 2 cups water and a dash of salt in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling; stir once or twice. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Allow the pot to sit, undisturbed, for another 10 minutes.Fluff with a fork and set aside
  • Assemble the quesadillas: Divide shredded cheese on one half of a flour tortillas. Add the white rice on top, shredded chicken, corn, black beans and an additional sprinkle of cheese. Fold the tortillas half over. 
  • Melt ½ Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully transfer the quesadillas to the hot pan and cook until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until golden.
  • Remove from the pan. Slice and enjoy with your favorite quesadilla toppings. 

Video

Notes

  • For a more traditional flavor add Mexican cheese like Oaxaca or Chihuahua.
  • If you have one handy, use a kitchen aid stand mixer to shred the chicken. It’s a quick alternative to pulling it apart, and you don’t have to let the chicken cool off before shredding.
  • Use a pizza wheel to cut the quesadilla. Simply slide it onto a cutting board and cut away!  
  • Use the shredded chicken in a variety of other recipes like tacos, burritos, chicken and rice burrito bowls, taco salad and chicken tortilla soup.
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 3mg

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