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Posted on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 11:22 a.m.

Cheesy Chicken, Spinach & Red Onion Tortillas make a quick and easy dinner

By Peggy Lampman


Cheesy Chicken, Spinach & Red Onion Tortillas

Peggy Lampman | Contributor


The new dinnerFeed web site is a lean, 
mean fighting machine!

Quesadillas are quick and easy to make, and are a marvelous vehicle for using up leftovers - the flat, flour or corn wraps reminding of a canvas on which you sketch a meal.


Last year I made a similar recipe for Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese quesadillas that is a bit more involved than this recipe, but worth the effort.

Long, thin chicken tenders, flattened with a mallet, are the perfect fit for tortillas. I love tortillas fried and glued together with abundant cheeses, however you could bank calories by cutting the cheese in half, baking them, and using plain Greek-styled yogurt instead of sour cream.

Yield: 6 tortillas
Time: 35 minutes


2 tablespoons lime juice, divided

1 pound chicken breast tenders, pounded flat

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1-2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as canola or grapeseed

4 cups fresh packed spinach 

1/2-1 cup grated cheese, such as pepper jack, sharp cheddar, Manchego, Asadero or mozzarella

3 tablespoons diced red onion (for salsa) plus several, thin slices (for stuffing)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra sprigs for garnish

1 small avocado, pitted and diced

6 (7-8-inch) tortillas

Sour cream, optional


1. Sprinkle one tablespoon lime juice over flattened tenders. Combine the cumin, salt and cayenne (1/4 t for mild seasoning; 1/2 t for spicier palates), and evenly sprinkle over chicken tenders.In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium- high heat.

2. Cook tenders about 2 minutes per side, or until lightly seared and just cooked through. Remove chicken and reserve. Turn off heat and place spinach in hot oil to wilt just slightly. Remove and divide chicken, 1/2-1 cup cheese, spinach and sliced onion between tortillas; fold over.

3.Heat additional 2 teaspoons oil over medium-low heat. When a bit of tortilla sizzles when placed in oil, cook quesadillas until golden brown on each side, adjusting heat as necessary to insure tortillas don’t burn but sizzle. Cook tortillas in batches, adding an additional teaspoon of oil if necessary. Drain on paper towels. (Tortillas may be kept warm in a 200 degree oven at this point, if desired.)

4. Meanwhile, make a salsa by combining diced avocado, diced onion, cilantro and remaining tablespoon lime juice. Drain on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream, if desired.



Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

I was right!! This is a great recipe. Made it yesterday (2/29) and really enjoyed it. Wonderful flavor and the crisped tortillas add a nice texture. I added 1/2-cup of quartered grape tomatoes to the salsa for an extra "pop" to its flavor that the acid of the tomatoes provided as well as the color they contributed.

Peggy Lampman

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Cherry tomatoes would be a wonderful addition...nice...very, very nice! Thanks for the comment and so glad you enjoyed them!

Peggy Lampman

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

Bless you, poobah! It's stuffed in with the other goodies. Thanks!!! Peggy


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

Looks like a great recipe -- but where does the cheese come in?