Tomatillo Chicken Quesadillas Recipe

Simple Mexican weeknight fare. . Yvonne Ruperti

Notes: Use cooked chicken to get this on the table in under 30 minutes. The consistency of the salsa can be moist, but if too watery, set in a strainer to drain before using. The salsa should not be made ahead. When flipping the quesadillas, stick a spatula under the bottom and place your hand on top to gently flip the quesadilla in one piece.

Recipe Details

Tomatillo Chicken Quesadillas Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bunch cilantro (1 cup leaves, stems reserved), rinsed, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs, trimmed of visible fat
  • 10 ounces (about 5 or 6 small) fresh tomatillos, husks removed, washed, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons juice from 1 large lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


  1. If using chicken breasts, halve each breast on the bias so that pieces are of equal thickness. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat chicken broth to simmer. Add cilantro stems to broth.

  2. Add chicken to broth and gently cook until just cooked through (chicken should register 155 to 160°F on an instant-read thermometer), 8 to 10 minutes, reducing heat if necessary to maintain a bare simmer. Transfer chicken to plate and shred into small bite-sized pieces when cool enough to handle.

  3. While chicken is cooking, pulse tomatillos, onion, jalapenos, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cilantro leaves in food processor to form a medium chunky consistency. Do not puree. Season to taste with more salt as desired.

  4. Heat large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla in pan and sprinkle with 1/4 of cheese. Arrange 1/4 of the chicken pieces over cheese and spread 1/4 of the salsa over the chicken. Place a tortilla on top and gently press with spatula.

  5. Cook until both sides are crisp, brown, and spotty, and cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting heat so as not to burn tortillas. Continue with remaining ingredients to form 4 quesadillas total. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Special equipment

Food Processor