These Baked Chicken Quesadillas are prepared in the oven, allowing you to make multiple quesadillas simultaneously! Filled with Mexican-seasoned chicken, bell peppers, and plenty of gooey cheese, and enclosed in crispy, golden-brown tortillas, this method lets you whip up quesadillas for a group without the need to labor over the stove, cooking them one by one.
Last month, I embarked on a short getaway with friends, renting a luxurious beachfront house in Sapphire Beach (Coffs Harbour) on the New South Wales North Coast. My wonderful friends insisted that I take a break from cooking and just relax.
As luck would have it, I had taken some time to get organized with a shopping list and meal plan. It turned out to be quite fortunate because during our entire 4-night, 5-day stay, we dined out for only one meal. In fact, apart from that brief 2-hour outing, our only excursion from the house was a short 20-minute stroll on the beach before we decided to return to our pool and sun loungers (along with the frozen mango daiquiris we had planned to start making as soon as the clock struck 12).
Even though there were only four of us, preparing quesadillas for lunch proved to be quite a hassle. Standing over the stove, cooking them individually, and then putting them in the oven while hoping they would remain crispy until I finished was not an ideal situation. That’s when I resolved to find a way to make a large batch all at once.
So, I discovered how to make crispy Chicken Quesadillas in the oven. It wasn’t as simple as just placing stuffed folded tortillas in the oven. I found that a few tricks made a significant difference:
- Allowing the filling to cool: In general, achieving a crispy surface in the oven takes longer than in a frying pan. So, using hot filling causes extra steam inside the quesadilla, making the tortilla too soggy to become crispy (unless you overcook it until it’s very brown).
- Spraying the tray with oil and heating it in the oven: This helps the underside of the quesadilla become crispy once it’s flipped.
- Increasing the oven temperature (but not too much): This ensures that the quesadilla’s surface becomes crispy all over without the edges getting too brown prematurely.
I stuffed these Baked Chicken Quesadillas with the ingredients commonly found in Chicken Fajitas: seasoned chicken, onions, and bell peppers, along with a generous amount of cheese.
It’s undeniable that they don’t emerge as intensely crispy as when you press down firmly on quesadillas while cooking them on the stove. However, these oven-baked quesadillas are still delightfully crispy—crispy enough!
One more thing to note is that the tortilla may start to wrinkle after about 20 minutes. The photos show how they appear after approximately 30 minutes, as I was fiddling with the camera—you can see the difference from when they first came out of the oven (pictured above).
These small compromises are well worth the convenience of being able to make a big batch all at once!
I hope you find this Oven-Baked Chicken Quesadillas recipe to be a useful addition to your repertoire! I’ve always thought of quesadillas as being akin to pancakes—you make them on specific occasions, particularly when you don’t have too many people to feed. But now, you can easily prepare quesadillas for a crowd, and if you have a large oven, you can even make 8 at the same time using two trays!