For the last dozen or so years, I’ve made dinner for our family almost every night. Along the way, I’ve learned a few valuable dinnertime lessons: A plate of eggs will do in a pinch when the cupboards are bare. A bag of ravioli comes to the rescue on a crazy night. And quesadillas are a home cook’s secret weapon.
After all, quesadillas are fast: A few minutes in a hot skillet and they’re set to serve. They’re versatile: If you have tortillas in your refrigerator, you have the fixings for quesadillas–because the fillings are completely up to you. They’re crowd-pleasers: Who doesn’t love a warm wedge of quesadilla, especially when there’s something inside sandwiched between oozing layers of melted cheese? And it goes without saying, but there’s no better makeover for boring leftovers than quesadillas.
A few notes on this spin, which combines savory chicken and cheese with sweet, crisp apples:
- I used Stemilt Pink Lady® brand apples. They have a white flesh that resists browning and a sweet-tart flavor that pairs well with Monterey Jack cheese. Feel free to use the apple and cheese combo you like best, such as Honeycrisp with Brie or Fuji with Havarti (get more pairing ideas here).
- As a dietitian, I recommend using whole wheat tortillas instead of white for extra fiber. I also like adding greens. It’s an easy way to get more vitamin-rich veggies, and it adds a bright pop of color.
- Feel free to substitute another kinds of preserve or spread for the blackberry jam, such as chutney or honey mustard. If you do opt for jam, look for one that’s mostly fruit (some are mostly sugar!).
In other words, there are no rules when it comes to quesadillas, so customize it to the way your family likes and enjoy this easy lunch or dinner!
- 4 7-inch whole-wheat tortillas
- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 apple, very thinly sliced
- Handful of baby spinach leaves
- 4 tsp blackberry jam
- Olive oil
These quesadillas are the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and tart.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Brush one side of a tortilla with olive oil. Place the tortilla, oil-side down, in the warm skillet.
- Top with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup chicken. Arrange half of the apple slices on top, then layer on pieces of baby spinach and top with 1/2 cup cheese.
- Spread 2 teaspoons jam on a second tortilla, place jam-side-down on cheese, and brush the top of the tortilla with olive oil.
- Cook the quesadilla for 2-3 minutes or until browned, then carefully flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat using other two tortillas. Slice into wedges and serve with crisp green salads.
- Calories: 354
- Protein Content: 22g
- Carbohydrate Content: 36g
- Fiber Content: 5g
- Fat Content: 14g
- Sodium Content: 560mg
- Sugar Content: 14g