Grilled Chicken and Red Onion Quesadillas


by: Christina

A party at my house means a barbecue. Fun and simple. Virtually everything is cooked on the grill. No messy pots and pans. And I’ve adopted an easy approach I want to share with you. I make a meal out of appetizers. Rather than serving a big main course that requires a lot of work at once, I grill a series of smaller things. As the host, the advantage of this idea is that there is no make-it-or-break-it moment when the whole meal has to be juggled at once. Plus no one feels obligated to have the main course. Guests can pick whatever they want whenever they want it.


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serves: 4-6

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each)

1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

Extra virgin olive oil

2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

4 flour tortillas (10 inches)

1 cup good-quality tomato salsa


2 large garlic cloves

1 jalapeno chile pepper, stem removed

1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Chicken and Red Onion Quesadillas

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 690

  • Total Fat: 37.9 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 15.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 113.2 mg
  • Sodium: 1884.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 45.1 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 4.2 g
  •     Sugars: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 41.7 g

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1.  To make the paste: In a food processor, mince the garlic and jalapeno. Add the remaining paste ingredients and process until smooth. Coat the chicken breasts on all sides with the paste. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

2.  Lightly brush or spray the onion slices with oil. Grill the chicken and onions over Direct Medium heat until the chicken is opaque in the center and the onions are tender, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once. Remove the chicken and onions from the grill and allow to cool. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/8-inch slices and the onions into 1/4-inch pieces.

3.  Evenly divide the chicken, onions, and cheese over half of each tortilla. Fold the empty half of each tortilla over the filling, creating a half·circle, and press down firmly. Grill the quesadillas over Direct Medium heat until well marked and the cheese has melted, 4 to 6 minutes, turning carefully once. Allow the quesadillas to cool for a minute or two before cutting into wedges. Serve warm with the salsa.

Cooks' note:
I make these quesadillas a lot for parties. If a big crowd is coming over, I fill and fold the tortillas a few hours ahead and stack them on a tray. As people arrive, I grill the quesadillas for about five minutes to melt the cheese and toast the tortillas. The warming rack is a convenient place to hold them once they have been grilled.

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