- February 8, 2023
Southwestern Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
This show stopping blooming chicken quesadilla appetizer uses flavor packed smoked chicken mixture of Monterey jack cheese, black beans, and veggies to create the perfect appetizer to impress your guests.
No party, game day, or barbecue is complete without a great appetizer. I find that making a quesadilla ring is an easy way to use up leftover smoked meats (like smoked pulled beef, smoked pulled pork, and smoked BBQ pulled chicken) and create a wonderful dish to share.
While I love this Quesabirria Beef Taco Ring recipe, I wanted to make a Southwest inspired version with flour tortillas and leftover smoked chicken breast.
Why This Recipe Works:
- These quesadillas feature signature flavors from traditional Southwestern cooking. They’re a combination of spicy, savory, and smoky.
- Rolling the tortillas into a cone shape allows for them to be stacked and cooked in a ring shape which makes these easy to mass produce and fun to share.
- This appetizer is inspired by traditional Mexican quesadillas using shredded chicken, cheese, and veggies.
- Large Pan (baking sheet or pizza pan works best here)
- Large Skillet
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and begin.
What Is A Blooming Quesadilla Ring Recipe?
A blooming quesadilla ring is a fun, festive, and uniquely visual way to serve a traditional quesadilla.
This is done by halving a tortilla, adding the desired filling, rolling the tortilla up on an angle, and layering the quesadilla cones over one another, looking like a blooming flower.
- 8 Flour Tortillas
- 1 cup Diced Chicken (I used smoked chicken breast meat for this recipe to add more smoke flavor)
- 1/2 cup Corn (canned, frozen, or fresh)
- 1/2 cup Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup Chopped Spinach (fresh works best)
- 1/2 cup Red Pepper
- 1 Jalapeno, minced
- 4 Green Onions, diced
- 3 cups Shredded Cheese (divided for the filling and for each tortilla)
- 1-2 tsp Taco Seasoning
- 2 tsp. Olive Oil
How To Make Southwestern Chicken Quesadillas:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prep a round baking pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Start by cooking the bell peppers and jalapeno in a skillet over medium heat with the olive oil until tender. Cook for about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the fresh, chopped spinach and continue to cook until it has wilted.
- Add the drained black beans, corn, and chopped or shredded cooked chicken to the skillet and cook an additional 2-3 minutes to combine the filling ingredients.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in about 1.5 cups of shredded cheese and the taco seasoning. Use the heat from the hot mixture to help gently melt everything together.
- Take your flour tortillas and use a sharp knife to divide them in half.
- To each tortilla, add about 1/4 cup of the filling mixture across the tortilla and top with a few tablespoons of the remaining shredded cheese.
- Roll each tortilla half up on a slight angle tightly to form a cone shape.
- Place each cone onto the baking pan with the seam side down. Repeat this step until you have a ring of cones, leaving a space open in the center of the baking pan. Stack or layer the rolled up tortillas if needed and top with any extra cheese on top if desired.
- Bake in the oven (or smoke the same way on the grill) for 30 minutes. The tortillas should become slightly golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Remove the Southwestern chicken quesadilla ring from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving. Place smoked queso dip in the center or sour cream for dipping if desired. Garnish with pico de Gallo or fresh cilantro.
- Choose the right tortilla: Opt for a soft, pliable flour tortilla for the best texture and flavor.
- Grate the cheese: Using freshly grated cheese will melt better and taste better than pre-shredded cheese. You can use a blend of cheeses such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack for a more flavorful quesadilla.
- Prep The Tortillas: The tortillas are always a little easier to roll when warm and are less likely to tear. You can microwave them for 10-15 seconds wrapped in a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to keep them soft.
- Keep it simple: Don’t overfill the tortillas or they will be hard to roll up or the filling can fall out the sides.
Southwestern Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
- 8 6 inch Flour Tortillas halved
- 1 cup Cooked Chicken or other shredded meat
- 1/2 cup Corn fresh, frozen, or canned
- 1/2 cup Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Spinach chopped
- 1/2 cup Red Pepper diced small
- 1 Jalapeno seeds removed, diced small
- 4 Green Onions sliced
- 3 cups Shredded Cheese divided
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp. Taco Seasoning
- Preheat the oven (or a smoker) to 350 F. Prep a large circular pizza pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a skillet and cook bell pepper and jalapeno pepper for about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped spinach and cook a few more minutes until it is wilted.
- Reduce the heat to low and add in the corn, black beans, and chopped or shredded chicken to the skillet and combine everything until it's heated through.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and fold in the taco seasoning and 1.5 cups of shredded cheese. Combine everything together until mixed and the cheese is melted a bit.
- Divide the flour tortillas in half down the middle to create 16 pieces.
- Add about 1/4 cup of filling to each tortilla half. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons more of the shredded cheese over the filling.
- Carefully roll the tortilla on a slight angle into a cone shape. Don't overfill or they will be hard to roll.
- Place each quesadilla cone onto a baking pan, seam side down. Repeat this process until you create a ring of quesadilla cones, leaving a space open in the center. Once the circle is filled in, layer the cones over one another if needed.
- Top with any extra shredded cheese (optional) and bake or smoke for 30 minutes. The tortillas should be slightly golden brown and the cheese melted.
- Remove from the oven and let the southwestern chicken quesadilla ring rest about 5 minutes. Add hot sauce, sour cream, or smoked queso dip to the center and serve.