Easy BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ chicken quesadillas are a fun spin on classic quesadillas! They’re loaded with sweet & tangy shredded bbq chicken, cilantro, onion and melty cheese! Crispy, cheesy & full of smoky-sweet flavor – they’re perfect for an easy dinner!

A bbq chicken quesadilla topped with chopped parsley sitting next to a small bowl of barbecue sauce

Quesadillas were one of my favorite meals growing up- and these bbq chicken quesadillas have been a favorite in our family for years! (They’re are a much simpler version of my Loaded BBQ Chicken Quesadillas but are every bit delicious.) Crispy, cheesy, smoky-sweet and LOADED with shredded chicken! Need I say more?!

These are the BEST chicken quesadillas! There’s just something about bbq sauce, chicken and melted cheese that makes my heart swoon. It’s pure comfort food in the very best way! We love serving these for a hearty game day snack or when we’re in a hurry and need a quick lunch. Best served hot and gooey, these quesadillas will leave anyone with those warm and cozy feelings!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Flour tortillas: I use soft taco size flour tortillas for ours. (About 8-10 inch tortillas) You’ll need at least 2 tortillas per quesadilla. (If using extra large tortillas, I’d suggest layering half the tortilla with your filling in the pan then folding the other half over it. It’s much easier to flip this way.)

Shredded chicken: Use store bought rotisserie chicken or make your own shredded chicken at home. (See below for instructions on how I make my homemade shredded chicken.)

BBQ sauce: Feel free to use your favorite bbq sauce! (We love using Stubbs Sweet Heat for ours – it’s the perfect blend of sweet and spicy!)

Onion: Red onion works the best for this recipe. Keep your slices thin so they won’t overpower the rest of your flavors!

Cilantro: Use the leaves and stems for maximum flavor!

Shredded cheese: We use Monterrey jack cheese for our quesadillas. (I always suggest buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself. It has much better flavor and texture that pre-shredded cheese.)

A large clear mixing bowl filled with shredded chicken tossed in bbq sauce

Make Shredded Chicken At Home

I prefer making my own shredded chicken because I like being able to control what goes into it. (I also think it has a better consistency depending what you’re using it for.) Here’s how I make it:

  1. Season 1-1½ lbs. of chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  3. Shred using 2 large forks!
A cheesy bbq chicken quesadilla sitting on a serving tray next to a small jar of bbq sauce and fresh cilantro

How To Make BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

1. Make the filling. Mix your shredded chicken and bbq sauce together until it’s coated to your liking.

2. Assemble & cook. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and place one tortilla in the pan while it’s warming up. Layer the tortilla with a handful of shredded cheese, your shredded bbq chicken, sliced onion and cilantro. Add another layer of cheese and place another tortilla on top. Let the quesadilla cook for a few minutes or until the cheese begins to melt and the bottom tortilla is golden brown. Then flip and cook until the second side is golden brown.

3. Serve. Slide the quesadilla out of the pan and cut it into 4-6 slices. (A pizza cutter is fantastic for this!) Serve immediately with extra bbq sauce on the side.

Making several quesadillas at once? Place a large baking pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 300 degrees. Once each quesadilla is made, place them on the pan in the oven to keep warm until all your quesadillas are done.

A close up photo of a cheesy barbecue chicken quesadilla

Variations

Give them more protein! Add a small handful of black beans for added flavor and protein.

Add more veggies! Sweet corn or sautéed bell peppers would be a great addition!

Add some heat! Diced fresh jalapeños or pickled jalapeños are great options!

Serve them with ranch! BBQ and ranch dressing just seem to go together. (Plus it’s a great way to cool down the quesadillas if you made them spicy!)

Why you’ll love this chicken quesadilla recipe!

  • Nourishing & delicious! Using shredded chicken makes these quesadillas more satisfying while still keeping them light. (Add in a few extra veggies to make them even more nutritious!)
  • An easy lunch or dinner idea! If all the components are prepped ahead of time, this meal easily comes together in less than 15 minutes!
  • Perfect for kids! They’ll go crazy over the crispy exterior and cheesy smoky-sweet flavors!

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments – I love seeing what you create!]

Easy BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ chicken quesadillas are perfect for an easy dinner! They're loaded with sweet & tangy shredded bbq chicken, cilantro, onion and melty cheese! They come together quickly & are crispy, cheesy & full of smoky-sweet flavor!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken, quesadilla recipes, quesadillas, snacks
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 8 flour tortillas (2 per quesadilla)
  • 2 cups shredded chicken*
  • cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • cup cilantro, chopped (leaves & stems)

Instructions

  • Make the filling. Mix your shredded chicken and bbq sauce together until it's coated to your liking.
  • Assemble & cook. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and place one tortilla in the pan while it's warming up. Layer the tortilla with a handful of shredded cheese, your bbq chicken, sliced onion, cilantro and another layer of cheese. Place another tortilla over the top layer and let the quesadilla cook for a few minutes (or until the cheese begins to melt and the bottom tortilla is golden brown. Then flip and cook until the second side it golden brown.
  • Serve. Slide the quesadilla out of the pan and cut it into 4-6 pieces. Serve immediately with extra bbq sauce on the side.

Notes

*How to make shredded chicken at home:
    1. Season 1-1½ lbs. of chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
    2. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
    3. Shred using 2 large forks.
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