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Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas

Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas are a delightful fusion of flavors, textures, and culinary traditions. They are sweet, smoky, spicy, and cheesy, and are delicious from the first bite to the last. Easy to make and always a favorite, these cheesy quesadillas are always a dinner winner!

Two hands pulling apart a Chicken Al Pastor Quesadilla.

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What Is Al Pastor Chicken?

Al Pastor style of cooking originates from the Lebanese immigrants who moved to Mexico in the early 20th century. They introduced the concept of shawarma, or spit-grilled meat, which over time, was given a Mexican twist. The meat, typically pork, is marinated in a rich blend of chilies, spices, and pineapple, before being stacked onto a vertical rotisserie to grill.

However, our star dish for today adds a unique variation to this tale – we’ll be using chicken, rather than pork, as the main ingredient. This twist not only makes the dish more accessible to those who do not consume pork, but it also brings a unique flavor and texture to the quesadilla.

A top-down shot of Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas cut in wedges with salsa nearby.

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas


  • Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas offers a unique blend of sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors.
  • The contrast of textures in Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas makes every mouthful exciting.
  • Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas can be easily customized; see all my suggestions below!
  • These quesadillas are a great way to use up leftover chicken al pastor.

What are Al Pastor Quesadillas?

Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas are essentially a Mexican sandwich, where the bread, a tortilla, encloses a rich filling of al pastor chicken and cheese. The tortilla becomes crispy and slightly charred when it’s cooked, contrasting with the soft, juicy chicken and the creamy, melted cheese.

Ingredients

  • Leftover Chicken Al Pastor – This is my famous recipe for chicken al pastor.
  • Cheese – Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a combination.
  • Green onions – A few sliced green onions really perk up the flavor.
  • Cilantro – Optional.
Labeled ingredients to make Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas.

How To Make Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas

  1. Heat your leftover Al Pastor Chicken in a skillet over medium heat until it’s warmed through. Set it aside.
  2. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a tortilla and let it warm for about 30 seconds.
  3. Place half the shredded cheese on the warmed tortilla. Add your warm Al Pastor Chicken on top of the cheese, a sprinkle of green onions, and a pinch of cilantro. Top with another layer of cheese. This double layer of cheese helps hold the quesadilla together during cooking.
  4. Add another tortilla over the filling. Cook the quesadilla in the skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted.
  5. Flip the quesadilla with a large flipper or place a plate over the top of the quesadilla, and invert the pan, then slide the quesadilla back into the pan, uncooked side down.
  6. Cool the quesadilla for one minute before cutting into it. This will give the cheese a chance to set a bit and makes them less messy to eat.
  7. Serve with your choice of salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.
A horizontal shot of two hands pulling the quesadilla apart with gooey cheese in the middle.

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Don’t Overstuff. While it’s tempting to load up your quesadillas with lots of chicken and cheese, adding too much can make the quesadilla difficult to flip, and the filling may not heat evenly.
  • Cook slowly over medium heat to achieve a perfectly toasted tortilla and properly melted cheese. If the heat is too high, the tortillas might burn before the cheese has a chance to melt.
  • Place the cheese on both sides of the filling. This does two things: it balances the flavors, and it helps hold everything together. When the cheese melts, it acts like glue, securing the fillings inside the quesadilla.

Recommended

Toppings for Quesadillas

Garnish your quesadillas with these tasty toppings:

  • Guacamole: The creamy, fresh taste of guacamole pairs beautifully with the robust, spicy flavors of the quesadilla. It also adds an appealing visual element to the dish.
  • Salsa: Whether it’s a classic salsa roja, a tangy salsa verde, or a fruity mango salsa, a spoonful on your quesadilla can provide a burst of freshness that balances out the rich flavors.
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream on top or on the side can add a cool, creamy contrast to the hot quesadilla.
  • Pico de Gallo: This fresh, uncooked salad made from chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, fresh serranos, salt, and lime juice adds a crisp, refreshing contrast to the quesadilla.

Make It A Meal

Wondering what to serve with Al Pastor Chicken Quesadillas? Stay with the Tex-Mex theme and serve your cheesy quesadilla with a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup or a serving of this Tex-Mex Caesar Salad. You can also just eat it like it is and save room for a slice of Strawberry Upside Down Cake for dessert.

Storage

Quesadillas are never as good as they are right out of the skillet, but you can wrap up your leftovers and pop them into the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat them in the microwave, or pop them back into a skillet and heat it over low heat.

Step By Step Process

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Two hands pulling apart a Chicken Al Pastor Quesadilla.
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5 from 49 votes

Chicken Al Pastor Quesadilla

With lots of ooey gooey cheese and flavor-packed chicken al pastor meat, this jazzed up quesadilla is brimming with flavor! Ready in minutes and the perfect size for 1, you can double or triple the recipe to make as many as you need.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword al pastor, chicken al pastor, chicken al pastor quesadilla, quesadilla
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 1 servings
Calories 540kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 2 tortillas about 8-10 inches diameter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken al pastor meat diced
  • 1 green onion sliced white and green parts
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped

Instructions

  • Heat your leftover al pastor chicken in a skillet over medium heat until it's warmed through. Set it aside.
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Once it's hot, add a tortilla and let it warm for about 30 seconds.
  • Place half the shredded cheese on the warmed tortilla. Add your warm al pastor chicken on top of the cheese, a sprinkle of green onions, and a pinch of cilantro. Top with another layer of cheese. This double layer of cheese helps hold the quesadilla together during cooking.
  • Add another tortilla over the filling. Cook the quesadilla in the skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted.
  • Flip the quesadilla with a large flipper or place a plate over the top of the quesadilla, and invert the pan, then slide the quesadilla back into the pan, uncooked side down.
  • Cool the quesadilla for one minute before cutting into it. This will give the cheese a chance to set a bit and makes them less messy to eat.
  • Serve with your choice of salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

    • Don’t Overstuff. While it’s tempting to load up your quesadillas with lots of chicken and cheese, adding too much can make the quesadilla difficult to flip, and the filling may not heat evenly.
    • Cook slowly over medium heat to achieve a perfectly toasted tortilla and properly melted cheese. If the heat is too high, the tortillas might burn before the cheese has a chance to melt.
    • Place the cheese on both sides of the filling. This does two things: it balances the flavors, and it helps hold everything together. When the cheese melts, it acts like glue, securing the fillings inside the quesadilla.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 792IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 502mg | Iron: 3mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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5 thoughts on “Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas”

  1. 5 stars
    I love these pastor quesadillas as much as anything I’ve ordered from a restaurant or truck! I appreciated the tip about putting cheese on both sides of the filling to make everything glue together. I use this trick for all my stuffed quesadillas now.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I really love these chicken al pastor quesadillas. It was so delicious that it makes me want more! This recipe is great to try!

    Reply

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