Chicken Enchilada Quesadillas are made with slow cooker shredded chicken in enchilada sauce for an easy to assemble, quick weeknight meal.
It may almost be Halloween, but I think we probably all agree that Mexican food is welcome any time, anywhere. It’s always nice to break up the seasonal fare with meals that are hits all year round, and this is definitely one of them.
I whipped up a huge batch of chicken, which is cooked in the slow cooker with my homemade enchilada sauce, just so I could make a few quesadillas.
I used the rest to make regular enchiladas…and then I froze the rest for future enchiladas.
That right there is the whole enchilada. 😉
Chicken Enchilada Quesadillas
While I love regular enchiladas more than I can say, it’s nice to have an easier way to get my enchilada fix. That’s where these quesadillas come in.
My shredded chicken was ready by late afternoon, and I added some black beans and corn to the chicken, and made a quick salsa for a nice topper.
These chicken enchilada quesadillas were ready in minutes on the stove top, and were they ever good.
I need to warn you that this homemade enchilada sauce is not the kind you get in the can. The canned kind is more saucy, while this is much like the sauce in my Homemade Chicken Enchiladas — it’s almost gravy-like. Enchilada gravy…let’s go with that.
After I removed the chicken from the slow cooker, I added a cornstarch slurry to the sauce and cranked up the slow cooker to high heat just to thicken it slightly. You can add more if you like it thicker, and you can even remove it from the pot and do this portion over the stove top if you’re so inclined. Since I’m lazy and I didn’t want to dirty up another dish, this worked for me. 🙂
I served my quesadillas the way I always do, with a nice fresh salsa and a dollop of Greek yogurt. They were delicious, and the best part was, I know I have more of this in the freezer the next time a Mexican food craving strikes.
Which probably means tomorrow. 🙂
Chicken Enchilada Quesadillas
Yield: About 8 quesadillas with 3 cups of chicken enchilada sauce left to freeze!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Chicken Enchilada Quesadillas -- now you can have your enchiladas in a fraction of the time, with no rolling required!
For the chicken enchilada sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lbs. bone-in chicken breast, skin removed
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(1) 15 ounce can reduced sodium tomato sauce
2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
For the quesadillas:
2 cups of the chicken enchilada sauce
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup cooked corn
About 8 soft taco size tortillas (use corn tortillas for a gluten free meal!)
Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken, breast side down, and cook until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Turn when the meat releases easily from the pan, and cook on the bone side another 2-3 minutes until browned. Remove the chicken from the panand place in the slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook 1 minute. Add chicken stock and scrape up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and stir in the tomato sauce. Remove from heat and pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
When the chicken is done, remove from the slow cooker, debone, and shred it with 2 forks. Set aside.
Stir the cornstarch slurry into the enchilada sauce in the slow cooker, and turn the heat to high. Let cook until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the chicken to the sauce and stir to combine.
Assemble the quesadillas:
Place the two cups of chicken enchilada mixture in a medium bowl and gently stir in the black beans and corn.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken enchilada mixture over half of the tortilla, and sprinkle with cheese. Fold over and place in the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, flip and repeat on the other side. Serve hot with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, and fresh salsa. Enjoy!
Total time above includes 4 hours slow cooker time, and stove top time for the enchilada sauce and the cooking of the quesadillas. You can bypass browning the chicken and cooking the onion and garlic on the stove top, but you will lose some flavor in the process.
I chose to use only 2 cups of the sauce mixture for quesadillas, and made some regular enchiladas with some of the remaining, with a bit extra to freeze for future enchiladas!
If you use different size tortillas, the amount of filling will vary.