Chicken quesadillas are one of my favorite weeknight meals (and make a yummy lunch, too, if you have 15 minutes to spare).

Of course, most of us are familiar with Mexican-flavored quesadillas flavored with cumin, cilantro, oregano, chili, and perhaps diced onions & peppers, and accompanied by guacamole or sour cream (here’s an example of what they might look like).

While this recipe is utterly delicious, I like to mix up my flavors and have therefore come up with the following Mediterranean-inspired quesadillas.

The version I share here is inspired by Italian flavors, where shredded, cooked chicken is flavored with pesto, olives, tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella, and a light tomato dipping sauce.

A Greek-inspired flavor profile might include lemony hummus, kalamata olives, fresh oregano and mint, feta cheese (in addition to the mozzarella, which is needed for the thing to hold together), oregano, lemon, and tzatziki for dipping.

A North African quesadilla, meanwhile, might comprise chermoula (a delicious herb paste of cilantro, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and spices), preserved lemon, green olives, and mint, and harissa or lemony yogurt dipping sauce (examples here).

Mexican quesadillas are typically made with white flour tortillas but feel free to choose a different type you prefer. Low-carbers might like to use a keto tortilla like this brand or this one, whereas people eating gluten-free diets might like this type (my current favorite) or traditional corn tortillas (though the latter are too small to fold in half).

I ate A LOT of quesadillas before I was happy with this recipe — not just with the fillings, but also the cooking methods. I baked them on a baking sheet in the oven (a great way to make several quesadillas at once), fried them in the skillet (with and without oil), and even toasted them in my tabletop grill. All three methods worked well, though the skillet remains my favorite, mostly because it’s easiest to clean. If you have improvements to suggest, please post them in the comments section below.

Mediterranean Chicken Quesadillas

Keyword: 15 Minutes Max., Appetizers & Snacks, Gluten-Free (or can be), Keto (or can be), Low-Carb, Lunch, Meat & Chicken, Vegetarian (or can be)
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 quesadillas
Calories: 357kcal
Crisp, tasty, filling and SO easy to prepare!
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp basil pesto jarred (I like DeLallo's and Gotham Greens') or homemade
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • ½ tbsp olive tapenade
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes cut into ¼'s or ⅛'s
  • 4 oz cooked chicken shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 oz part-skim mozzarella coarsely grated (I prefer grating the cheese myself rather than buying it pre-shredded -- up to you)
  • 2 8-inch tortillas/wraps whichever you like best: regular flour tortillas, traditional corn tortillas, low-carb/keto (e.g., LaBanderita or Mission), or gluten-free (Mission)
  • ½ cup tomatoey dipping sauce if I'm too lazy to make my own sauce, I like to use Rao's Homemade Pizza Sauce

Instructions

  • Mix pesto, yogurt, and tapenade in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • Fold in the tomatoes and chicken, and season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • Preheat a 9- or 10-inch skillet over low to low-medium heat.
  • Lay one tortilla or wrap onto a cutting board and spread half with ¼ of the cheese. Spoon half the chicken mixture on top and cover with the same amount of cheese. Fold the tortilla/wrap over the filling so the outer edges align. Repeat with the second tortilla/wrap.
  • Place the tortillas snugly in the pan, straight edges facing each other. Cover with a lid – this heats the filling through and melts the cheese faster. Cook until the underside is golden and crispy, then remove the lid. for about 2 minutes (until the surface is golden-brown), then use two spatulas to flip them. Fry for another 2 minutes until golden brown on the other side.
  • Using a spatula, lift the quesadillas out of the skillet and place them on a cutting board. Let them set for a minute, then cut them into three even triangles with a sharp chef's knife.
  • Spoon the dipping sauce into a small bowl. Place the quesadillas on a plate and serve alongside the dipping sauce.
  • Tastes delicious served with a pile of mixed greens tossed in a lemony olive oil dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla (using Mission GF wrap) | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 951mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1106IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 424mg | Iron: 2mg