Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas

$6.31 recipe / $1.58 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 16 votes
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Y’all know how I love a good quesadilla, right? My unofficial motto is, “everything is better in a tortilla with cheese.” I have several awesome quesadilla recipes on the website already, but I wanted to make one that was seriously simple and easy enough for quick weeknight meals. These Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas hit the spot with a super short ingredient list and a seriously delicious and creamy flavor. 

If you want a vegetarian version of this recipe, go to the post for my Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas!

A hand pouring red salsa onto a plate of creamy chicken and spinach quesadillas

How to Serve Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas

Because the filling in these quesadillas is so rich and creamy, I highly suggest serving this with salsa, instead of sour cream and guacamole, like you’d normally see in a restaurant. The acid in salsa is absolutely perfect for balancing and brightening up the creamy quesadillas. In the photo above I served it with a Chipotle Pepper Salsa (the red one) and a Tomatillo Poblano Salsa (the green one). Both are from Kroger’s Private Selection label. 

How Many Does This Serve?

Quesadillas are a little unique because you can either eat them as a side dish, or a meal on their own. I’m sure the preferred serving size will vary quite a bit from person to person (I ate one, my boyfriend at three), so I’m just pricing them out per quesadilla. You can decide your own serving size. ;)

A hand dipping a piece of Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas into a dish of salsa

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas

5 from 16 votes
These Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas are seriously simple, but still deliciously dinner-worthy. Perfect for busy weeknights or picky eaters! 
A plate of Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas with two dishes of salsa and a cilantro garnish
Servings 4 quesadillas
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) ($2.97)
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin ($0.03)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach ($0.87)
  • 4 oz. Monterey jack cheese, shredded ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream ($0.35)
  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas ($0.96)

Instructions 

  • Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin or mallet to briefly pound the chicken breast to an even thickness (this should only take 15-20 seconds). This will help it cook quickly and evenly without drying out.
  • Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the chicken breast.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken breast and cook on each side until cooked through (about 5 minutes each side, use a thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF). Allow the chicken to cool for 5 minutes on a clean cutting board, then chop into tiny pieces.
  • While the chicken is cooking, roughly chop the spinach into smaller pieces. Add the chopped chicken, spinach, cheese, and sour cream in a bowl and stir until evenly combined.
  • Divide the filling between four tortillas, then fold the tortillas closed. Place the quesadillas (one or two at a time) in a skillet* over medium heat. Cook on each side until the tortillas are brown and crispy, and the filling is melted (3-5 minutes each side). Slice each quesadilla in half and serve.

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Notes

*I prefer to cook my quesadillas in a dry skillet, but you can add oil if you prefer a more "fried" texture to your quesadillas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 394.6kcalCarbohydrates: 32.48gProtein: 13.4gFat: 23.08gSodium: 672.95mgFiber: 3.68g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Quesadillas are life. <— I need a t-shirt that says that.

A plate of Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas with two dishes of salsa and a cilantro garnish

How to Make Creamy Chicken Quesadillas – Step by Step Photos

Chicken Breast covered in plastic wrap being pounded with a rolling pin

Cover a boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) with a piece of plastic wrap and pound it to an even thickness using a rolling pin or mallet. This helps the chicken cook quickly and evenly in the skillet, preventing it from drying out before the thick end cooks through.

Chicken breast seasoned with chili spices

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken breast.

Cooked Seasoned Chicken Breast in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and cook on both sides until cooked through (about 5 minutes each side). I highly suggest getting a simple instant read meat thermometer (affiliate link) to take the guess work out of this. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

Chopped Cooked Chicken

Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board, let it rest for five minutes, then chop it into small pieces. Small is critical here. Once you think that it’s in small pieces, chop it up a little more. ;)

Chopped spinach

While the chicken is cooking, roughly chop about 2 cups of fresh spinach.

Quesadilla filling ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped chicken, spinach, 4oz. shredded Monterey Jack (1/2 of an 8 oz. block), and 1/2 cup sour cream to a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined.

Quesadilla filling covering half of a tortilla

Divide the filling mixture between four 8″ flour tortillas (I spread it over half) and then fold them closed.

Cooked Quesadilla in a skillet

Cook the quesadillas one or two at a time in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the the tortillas are brown and crispy and the filling is hot and melted (3-5 minutes each side). I prefer to not use oil in the skillet (it doesn’t stick), but you can if you prefer a more fried texture to the tortillas.

Quesadillas on a cutting board, cut in half

After cooking in the skillet, transfer them to a cutting board and slice in half, then serve.

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas on a plate with two types of salsa

I definitely like to serve these Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas with salsa to balance the creamy filling. It’s absolute perfection. 👌

TRY THESE OTHER QUESADILLA FLAVORS

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Comments

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  1. Made these tonight and really enjoyed them! I had one eye on my toddler, one eye on my husband, and only winked at the recipe so I messed up and cooked my chicken in the oven with just salt and pepper instead of in the skillet all seasoned up. After baking, I chopped and chopped, added the seasonings and other ingredients and mixed away. They still turned out fine. I had too much chicken for the recipe so I didn’t add enough sour cream so next time l’ll adjust for how much other stuff I have. I served with sour cream and salsa. 

    1. The texture isn’t going to be quite as nice, but I’d totally use it in a pinch. :) And if it’s not chopped frozen spinach, I’d go ahead and give it chop so you don’t get stringy bits in the quesadilla.

  2. I cant believe it… my extremely picky eater 6 year old son LOVED these. I have never seen him eat anything with such speed and enthusiasm!!! I had to make a few alterations so I didn’t have to run to the store.

    Instead of sour cream I used plain yogurt.
    I used a package of already grilled chicken, so I coated it with the spices and threw that in a skillet for a few mins to heat it up.
    I used about a cup of mozzarella, and a quarter cup of mild cheddar. I also mixed in half of a package of Boursin cheese. (YUM)

    I cant believe how quickly it was devoured!!!! I am going to double the recipe next time so everyone can have their seconds!

  3. My husband loooves this recipe! It has everything – delicious, easy, affordable!

  4. Has anyone frozen these for later? I’d like to add them to my meal prep

    1. A lot of times dishes with sour cream don’t freeze so well, so definitely test it with just one quesadilla first before possibly sacrificing a whole batch. :)

  5. Delicious 😋 I didn’t have any salsa on hand so I decided to toss together some Pico de Gallo. Perfect. The heat from the jalapenos and tart from the lime was a perfect combination for these. I also didn’t have any thawed breasts so I had to use boneless skinless thighs instead. Which I usually prefer anyway since breasts can dry out so easily when you reheat them. Absolutely delicious. Then again all your recipes are. I’ve stopped checking other sites for recipes and just stick to yours. I know they’ll always turn out even better than restaurant food.

  6. The flavor of these is phenomenal considering the simplicity of the ingredients. Best quesadillas I’ve ever had.

  7. I realized as I was making these for about the 4th time that I was getting really excited just in the preparation. I already knew I was in for a great meal. We increase the cheese because….well it’s cheese. Everyone in my family enjoys these. Thanks again for a great recipe.

  8. Spectacular!! This will become a regular addition to our house. I even cheated and used canned chicken 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Oh wow – these are divine!
    Didn’t have sour cream so used Greek yogurt, used whatever cheese I had left over, garlic power, salt, pepper, pinch of cumin. The wraps were wholemeal and I used sweet chili sauce for dipping. Nom, nom, nom!

  10. Just made these and holy man. They’re on another level. I used oil to fry them a bit. I’m so glad I found this site

    1. We haven’t tried the recipe with an air fryer yet. But you could definitely try it and let us know how it goes!