Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Chicken Quesadillas will quickly become a new favorite weeknight dinner or entertaining essential just like they are at my house! Look at all that melty cheese, what’s not to love???
Sweet, Smoky, Spicy Homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce is combined with grilled chicken, roasted corn, black beans, and all that ooey, gooey cheese, stuffed in a crispy, toasted tortilla Quesadilla-style!
These quesadillas come together fast and are the perfect weeknight meal, game day treat, or party appetizer.
Part of what makes them special is the Homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce. I use it all the time on Chicken Wings and Grilled Pork Tenderloin. It is sweet from brown sugar and smoky and spicy from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. BUT don’t think these are too spicy! I had absolutely zero complaints from all three of my kiddos, even the picky redhead! And that is pretty incredible!
Homemade BBQ isn’t the only thing that really bumps these to the next level. Pan roasting the corn transforms the starches to make sweet corn even sweeter and a bit smoky. Sure, you can skip this step, but it really is another layer of fabulous flavor that really makes these Quesadillas the BEST you have ever had!
Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Chicken Quesadillas really are simple to make.
- Season and pan sear chicken breast—or use leftover, like rotisserie!
- Quick saute fresh or frozen corn until golden and fragrant.
- Whip up a 5 minute batch of Homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or use store bought.
- Layer cheese, sauce, chicken, corn, beans, and green onion between tortillas.
- Toast tortillas until golden and cheese is melty in a hot skillet.
- Dip in Homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce and sour cream!
How to make Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Chicken Quesadillas
Begin by making a batch of Homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce. It is easy to whisk together the ingredients in a small sauce pan, simmer for 5 minutes, and then let it cool a bit.
Can I use store bought barbecue sauce?
Absolutely! If you can find a sweet and spicy version, that is my recommendation, but feel free to choose your favorite. Although, I promise you will not regret trying the homemade!
While the barbecue sauce simmers, season chicken tenderloins or strips of chicken breast with salt, pepper, chili, garlic, and onion powder.
Sear the chicken in a hot skillet with a little olive oil just until the pink in the middle disappears. Chicken breast is notoriously easy to dry out, so do not overcook. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs also work great for quesadillas.
After the chicken is removed from the pan, add a little more olive oil and either fresh corn cut from the cob or defrosted frozen corn to the hot pan. Leave untouched in the pan until the corn starts to become fragrant and turns golden brown. Stir, and let sit again until another side of the kernels are golden brown and roasted. Then remove from the heat.
Wipe out the pan and so it is ready to toast the quesadillas.
What size tortilla should I use for quesadillas?
There is no wrong answer here. I usually have the 6″ ‘fajita’ size on hand. For a small size like this, I find it works best to use two tortillas, one on top and one for the bottom. For larger tortilla sizes, they are easier to handle in the pan if the filling goes on one side and the tortilla is folder over it, half moon style.
Assembling the quesadillas before you start to toast them does make for a smoother cooking process.
Now a few choices…
I like to toast my quesadillas in a little melted butter. The flavor is the absolute best! BUT the other options would be a little cooking spray or even just a hot skillet without oil.
Depending on the tortilla size, two usually fit in a pan at a time. Keep the cooked ones in a warm oven while the remaining quesadillas are working. Cut in the quesadillas in halves or quarters to serve. Include a side of the Chipotle Barbecue Sauce, sour cream, salsa, or anything else you like.
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Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Chicken Quesadillas
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips or breast tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil – divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 3 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
- 12 6" flour tortillas
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Prepare a batch of Chipotle Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce OR choose your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce.
- Preheat a large skillet to a medium-high heat.
- Season chicken tenderloins or chicken breast strips with salt, pepper, chili, garlic, and onion powder.
- Sear the chicken in the hot skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for 4-6 minutes or less, just the chicken just until the pink in the middle of the chicken disappears. Do not overcook.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and then the corn kernels, spread out evenly in the pan.
- Leave untouched the corn starts to become fragrant and turns golden brown. Stir, and let sit again until another side of the kernels are golden brown and roasted. Then remove the corn from the skillet.
- Dice the chicken and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the corn, black beans, green onions, and barbecue sauce and stir to combine.
- Lay out six (6) of the tortillas. Layer 1/4 cup of cheese, 1/3 cup of the barbecue chicken mixture, and another 1/4 cup of cheese and top with a second tortilla. Repeat so you create 6 quesadillas ready to be grilled.
- Wipe out the pan and return to a medium heat. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in the hot skillet. Cook each side of the quesadilla for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Watch them carefully so they do not burn.
- Keep finished quesadillas in a 200 degree or warm oven until they are all finished. Cut them in halves or quarters and serve with barbecue sauce and sour cream to dip.