This crispy, flavor-filled chicken and spinach quesadilla is packed with nutrition and takes under 10 minutes to make! It’s a delicious and easy way to get more greens, protein, fiber, calcium and iron in your diet!
Disclaimer: I’m excited to partner with Fifth Season, a fresh food innovator that grows fresh, nutritious greens in a robotics-powered vertical farm, this post. As always, the recipe and all opinions are my own, and I only partner with brands and products I genuinely love using in my own kitchen.
If you look in my refrigerator on any given day, you’ll definitely find cooked chicken, a container of fresh spinach and a large package of flour tortillas. Those three foods, among others, are staples in my house. Almost every time I shop, I buy the 25-count package of small flour tortillas and a large package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. And, I get fresh spinach from Fifth Seasons – a Pittsburgh-based company that sells and delivers the freshest greens I have ever tasted. Since their greens are locally grown, and they don’t have to travel across the country to get to me, they stay fresh for weeks in my refrigerator.
I always bake between 6-12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the beginning of the week, then store it in the refrigerator. We use those items throughout the week to make quick, easy meals. Quesadillas are one of those meals.
There are endless ways to make them, but this chicken and spinach quesadilla is one of my personal favorites. If you have the chicken pre-cooked, it takes under ten minutes to prepare. It makes a perfect lunch or dinner. And, if you have hungry teenagers in the house, it’s something they can make as their nutritious, after-school snack.
How To Make A Chicken & Spinach Quesadilla
You’ll need 3 ounces of cooked, shredded, boneless, skinless chicken breast and ~2 tablespoons of chicken broth for this recipe. If you don’t have cooked chicken, and don’t feel like cooking it, you can use rotisserie chicken. To bake the chicken, I typically cut 6 large chicken breasts into large pieces, lay them in a baking dish with ~1/2 cup of chicken broth, cover, then bake them at 350 degrees for ~40 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on your oven, so be sure to use a food thermometer and allow them to cook until the center of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
STEP #1 – Season The Chicken
The first step is to season the chicken. Put the 3 ounces of shredded chicken in a sauté pan with ~2 tablespoons of chicken broth, and stir in the seasonings. I season the chicken with a combination of ground cumin, ground pepper and chili powder. You’ll want to stir in ~1/8 teaspoon of each spice.
STEP #2 – Add The Vegetables
Once that is well combined, add the diced red pepper and the fresh spinach to the sauté pan. Stir that mixture together until everything is well combined, and allow it to simmer for 1-2 minutes. You’re really just allowing the flavors to combine and the spinach to wilt.
STEP #3 – Brown The Flour Tortillas
There are a few different ways to brown and crisp the flour tortillas. If you have a large, flat skillet, you can brush the tortillas with the olive oil, then place them oil side down on the skillet to brown. I prefer to use a small skillet because it helps to keep the ingredients from falling off of the tortilla.
I warm ~ 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet, then lay one of the tortillas on the oil. Once the tortilla is coated in oil, remove it and lay it oil side up on a plate. Then, put the second tortilla in the pan. I do that so that each tortilla gets an equal amount of oil. You could also use a brush to coat the tortillas. My way results in fewer dirty dishes!
STEP #4 – Assemble The Quesadilla
With the second tortilla in the pan, add the cheese. Be sure to sprinkle it evenly so that every bite has cheese on it. Use a spatula to gently lift the tortilla from the pan so that it doesn’t stick, then, spoon the chicken and veggie mixture evenly over the cheese. Once you have all of the filling on your tortilla, use a spatula to lift it out of the pan and onto a plate.
Put the other oil-coated tortilla in the sauté pan to warm and brown. The sauté pan will still be hot, so you’ll only want to leave it in the pan for about 30 seconds. Use a spatula to remove it once it is brown and crispy, and place it on top of your quesadilla filling.
STEP #5 – Cut And Serve The Quesadilla
Use a spatula to press down on the quesadilla so that the filling sticks to the top tortilla. Then, use a pizza cutter to slice it into 4 even pieces.
Plate it with a side of salsa and sour cream, and that’s it! You have a delicious and nutritious, chicken and cheese quesadilla, that you made in under 10 minutes.
The nutrition information I provide is based on the ingredients and preparation method that I share in this post, but you can also add your favorite toppings. You can swap the cheddar for your favorite cheese, add more veggies or include a side of guacamole to the finished product. If you want a large quesadilla, use larger flour tortillas. Or, if you want a smaller portion, use only one flour tortilla that has been cut in half. Customize it and make it yours!
Nutrition Information For Chicken And Spinach Quesadilla
This recipe makes one serving, or one chicken and cheese quesadilla. It contains 500 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugars, 22 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol and 36 grams of protein. It also has 950 milligrams of sodium, 10% of the daily value for iron, 15% of the daily value for potassium and 20% of the daily value for calcium.
Swaps To Reduce The Sodium
As I shared in the nutrition facts above, this chicken and spinach quesadilla contains 980 milligrams of sodium. If you’re watching your sodium intake, consider the following swaps to help reduce the sodium content.
Use Corn Tortillas In Place Of Flour
The majority of the sodium is found in the flour tortilla. One small tortilla has 270 milligrams of sodium, so both provide 540 milligrams.
Corn tortillas, on the other hand, are low in sodium. You can reduce the total sodium significantly by using soft corn tortillas in place of flour varieties.
Use Water In Place Of Chicken Broth
Chicken broth is a high sodium food, and though this recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons, it adds up quickly. To help reduce the sodium, simply use water in place of the chicken broth.
Use A Lower Sodium Cheese
All cheese has some sodium, but some varieties have more than others. If you’re trying to cut back, use mozzarella or Swiss cheese in place of cheddar. This swap alone won’t result in a hg sodium savings, but it will cut it down som
Chicken & Spinach Quesadilla
- 2 flour tortila, small
- 3 ounces cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (shredded)
- 2 tbsp chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup red pepper, cooked and diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1/8 tsp cumin, ground
- 2 tbsp sour cream, light
- Put the shredded chicken, chicken broth and the spices in a sauté pan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the red pepper and the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.
- In a separate sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Place one of the flour tortillas in the pan and press down, so that it gets covered in olive oil. Remove that tortilla and place it oil side up on the counter, then put the other tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the tortilla and let it cook for ~30 seconds. Lift up on the tortilla so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Spoon the chicken and spinach mixture evenly over the melted cheese, then use a spatula to remove the tortilla. Place the other oiled tortilla in the pan and allow it to brown. Once done, remove it and place it on top of the chicken and spinach.
- Use a spatula to press down on the quesadilla, then use a pizza cutter to cut it into 4 equal triangles. Serve with salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!
- Recipe Makes: 1 Quesadilla
- Serving Size: 1 Quesadilla
- Nutrition Facts: 500 Calories, 37 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 22 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 36 g protein, 950 mg sodium, 10% DV for iron, 15% DV for potassium, 20% DV for calcium.
- Meal Planning Servings: 2.5 CHO; 5 PRO; 4 FAT
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