A chicken quesadilla is another one of my go-to recipes when I’m looking to whip up a quick meal. They are very tasty, they take less than 20 minutes to make and you can make it with 6 simple ingredients. In this recipe, we’ll be using rotisserie chicken (white meat only without the skin) -that way you won’t need to prepare the meat. It’s that easy!
Are Chicken Quesadilla Actually Healthy?
Chicken quesadillas don’t always come to mind when thinking about healthy meal options. That’s because the quesadillas that are served at restaurants tend to be very cheesy and very greasy. They also come with dipping sauce piled on top – all of which are again, not exactly “healthy”.
Luckily, there are so many fresh ingredients that you can use in your quesadillas to make them nutritious. Some of my favourites are adding diced tomatoes, onions, spinach, corn, beans, guacamole, hummus and more!
To make this recipe more calorie-friendly, we’ll be using less cheese than store-bought options (about ⅓ cup per serving). We will also be using low-carb, whole wheat tortilla shells. If you want you can make your own spinach or corn tortillas.
White vs. Dark Meat Chicken
White meat contains more protein than dark meat. It has 2.6 times less saturated fat per gram of protein. A white meat chicken breast (100g) has 165 calories, 31 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fat (1).
Dark meat contains an oxygen-binding protein called myoglobin which gives the meat it’s dark, reddish colour. A dark meat chicken thigh (100g) has 209 calories, 29 grams of protein and 10.9 grams of fat (2). Although dark meat contains less protein, it is rich in many nutrients such as niacin, phosphorous, B6, B12, Vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc.
Both white meat and dark meat chicken are more nutritious than other red meat. Chicken thighs are often cheaper than chicken breasts, making them a good choice for anyone on a budget.
- Spinach, brie, jalapeños
- Hummus, avocado
- Kale, sweet potato
- Red pepper, onion, roasted tofu
- Caramelized onion, spinach, mushrooms
- Tex mex: Corn, red onion, black beans, red pepper, cilantro
- Fajita: Red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onions, Montgomery jack cheese
Healthy Spinach Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
Servings: 4, Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 10 minutes
- 4 whole wheat tortillas
- 12 oz shredded rotisserie chicken, white meat skinless
- 1 1/3 cup shredded cheese (⅓ cup per quesadilla)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cup spinach
- Optional spices: Black pepper, basil, garlic powder, onion salt
- Remove the skin from rotisserie chicken. Chop white meat into small pieces.
- Set pan to medium-high heat, add olive oil and minced garlic.
- Cook bell pepper with spices. Then add in spinach until wilted. Remove from heat, transfer vegetables into another bowl.
- Place one tortilla in the pan.
- Layer cheese, vegetables mixture, chicken, more cheese (⅓ cups of cheese per serving) on half of the tortilla.
- Fold the tortilla in half to close. Cook until the outside is crispy and golden. Then flip it over to cook on the other side (3-5 minutes).
- Enjoy this quick meal with some fresh guacamole, sour cream, tzatziki or salsa!
Nutrition: Healthy Spinach Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
Calories: 372, Protein: 34.9g, Fat: 14.2g, Carbs: 27.5g
Chicken quesadillas can be healthy if you use less cheese and choose healthy options for the filling. You may also choose to put less cheese and some guac get that rich, creamy flavour. For another quick meal prep idea that takes less than 20 minutes to make, try out this Naan pizza recipe!