In the house where I grew up, we ate grilled cheese sandwiches all the time, but nary a quesadilla. Maybe it was a Northeast thing, but more likely, it was a my mother never heard of quesadillas thing. My own pantry always holds enough fixings for these simple Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches, a go-to meal on busy days. Most often I use Joseph's low-carb oat bran tortillas -- the gorgeous orange ones in these photos are habañero-lime tortillas from Trader Joe's -- and my friend Lucia keeps me supplied with her homemade peach salsa. Newman's Own peach salsa from the supermarket, or Trader Joe's peach salsa, will be fine substitutes that add a bit of fruity heat. Here's my secret to great quesadillas: tuck a few teaspoons of the salsa inside, and cook them on a dry griddle, to keep them from being greasy on the outside.
Chicken, avocado and peach salsa quesadillas
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (or 1-1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken)
2 large (8- or 10-inch) tortillas
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 Tbsp salsa, store-bought or homemade
1/2 cup grated or shredded cheese
Cook the chicken breast by poaching, grilling, steaming, or sautéing, whatever you prefer. Let it cool, then shred. Or, prepare 1-1/2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken (or turkey).
Preheat a panini press or griddle over medium-high heat.
Set out two tortillas on the counter top. Sprinkle half of each tortilla with one-fourth of the cheese. Top the cheese with half of the chicken, half of the sliced avocado and half of the salsa. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the two tortillas. Fold each tortilla in half, to create a half-moon shape.
Place the two quesadillas on the panini press, and close the top (or, on a griddle, weight down the quesadilla). Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the bottom is starting to brown slightly and the cheese is melting. On a panini press, allow the quesadilla to cook for 30-60 seconds more; on a griddle, flip the quesadilla and cook for one minute or until the cheese is melted throughout.
Remove from the heat and let the quesadilla sit for 30-45 seconds, to allow the cheese to regroup. Slice into wedges, and serve warm, with additional salsa on the side.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Black bean and shrimp quesadillas
Banana or strawberry Nutella quesadillas
Slow cooker Cuban-style ropa vieja
Chicken, black bean, avocado and cheese quesadillas
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chipotle chicken (no-flip!) quesadilla, from Panini Happy
Easy green chile quesadilla, from Gluten-free Goddess
Shrimp, kale and avocado quesadillas, from In Good Taste
Chicken, avocado and caramelized onion quesadillas with chipotle mustard dipping sauce, from Taste & Tell
Crab quesadillas with mango avocado salsa, from Mike's Table
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