Growing up, “quesadillas” were one of many things my sister and I realized we could “cook” all by ourselves in the microwave.
Our recipe was simple: Two tortillas and whatever kind of cheese my mom had in the fridge. We just popped it all in the microwave until it was melted and garnished it with a dollop of sour cream if we were in the mood.
We definitely thought we had designed the epitome of classy after-school snacks.
Fortunately, our palettes and cooking abilities have both evolved since then. These days, you won’t often find me chowing down on a soggy microwave “quesadillas.” You will, however, find me trying lots of healthy, grown-up recipes that pay homage to one of my earliest attempts in the kitchen.
This baked chicken quesadilla casserole is one of my favorite takes yet. Classic chicken quesadillas get a spicy twist with cumin and chili powder. Meanwhile, preparing this dish as a casserole makes for easy prep and a perfect weeknight meal.
Mexican Made Easy
In many ways, this dish is basically a Mexican lasagna. It packs all of your favorite Mexican flavors into one healthy and delicious baked dish.
Whether it’s in quesadillas or tortilla soup, shredded chicken is a star in southwestern recipes. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat chicken, and you’ll find it in this baked chicken quesadilla casserole as well.
Along with the fun and flavorful spices mentioned above, this recipe also packs all the other can’t-miss staple ingredients of Mexican cooking. In this cheesy chicken bake, you’ll find tortillas, layered quesadilla style, and tons of corn and black beans for a delicious “fiesta” casserole. Meanwhile, this quesadilla casserole packs plenty of (reduced-fat) cheese and (fat-free) sour cream for a healthy twist on must-have quesadilla ingredients.
While this recipe may not be quite as easy as popping two tortillas in the microwave, it comes pretty close (and tastes much better). Casseroles are notoriously easy “make ahead” meals. This recipe will only take you about an hour to make. And, of course, we all know casseroles are ideal for leftovers. Pack them for lunch the next day or make this recipe ahead and serve for dinner all week.
Enjoy this healthy and delicious take on quesadillas, and prep an easy meal that fortunately doesn’t require the microwave.
Yields: 8 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 354 | Total Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 533mg | Carbohydrates: 35g | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 23g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 6
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
- 1/2 cup (fat-free) sour cream
- 1 cup (reduced-fat) shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen, thawed)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 larger whole grain tortillas, recipe for tortillas
- Preheat the oven o 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with non stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken, sour cream, half the cheese, half the cumin, half the chili powder, salt, and half the pepper. Mix well.
- In a second bowl, combine the corn, black beans, the remaining cumin, chili powder, and pepper. Mix well.
- Lay two of the tortillas in the bottom of the casserole dish. Spread half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas and half the bean mixture over the chicken. Place the remaining tortillas over the beans and repeat. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve hot.
More Quesadilla Recipes:
These clean eating quesadillas offer a healthy, veggie-packed version of the cheesy classic. Along with quesadilla staples like cheese and black beans, this recipe includes tons of healthy veggies, including bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and carrots. Delicious and cheesy, this vegetarian quesadilla recipe is perfect if you’re looking to cut meat and up your veggie intake.
This recipe brings two of my favorite summer foods together into one tasty, melty quesadilla. Barbecue chicken and avocado pair well whether they’re on a salad or in a sandwich. So it’s no surprise they make a delicious combination in a cheesy quesadilla as well.
Yep, that’s right: breakfast quesadilla. Probably the best words I’ve heard all day. This healthy spinach and white bean breakfast quesadilla is a clean and delicious way to start your day. If you’re a quesadilla lover, your mornings just got a whole lot better.