Chicken and bean quesadillas

Photographer: Adam
Serves four as main, many more as a snack

I first made these cheesy morsels for a morning tea (slightly unorthodox I know), as the savoury option and they were gobbled up as fast as I could flip them out of the pan!  Ever since they have been one of those crowd-pleasing favourites that always result in many warm compliments to the chef (aww shucks, thanks guys!).

They are perfectly paired with freshly blended margaritas, or when we made them on Friday afternoon last week they went down very well with cold beers and corn chips as a well-deserved wind-down at the end of a hectic week.

You can play around with the filling – for a vegetarian option double the kidney beans and slowly cook the onion in the spices you would have used to marinate the chicken.  Black beans work well too.  For ground beef, again slowly cook the onion in the spices, and then add mince and brown before adding the rest of the ingredients.

I used Tasty cheese, but any sharp cheddar works well, something with a bit of bite to stand up to the spicy bean filling and the zesty guacamole.



400g chicken (breast or tenderloins) cut into bite-sized pieces

Combine the following ingredients to marinate chicken:
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground chilli (mild/hot depending on taste)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced
1 each medium-sized red, yellow, green pepper, finely sliced
1 cup corn kernels
410g can red kidney beans (or black beans), rinsed and well drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
2x 410g cans whole peeled tomatoes

12 flour tortillas
Grated cheese – approx 2 cups
Sour cream and guacamole to serve

2 ripe avocados
4 stalks spring onion, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
Juice of one lime
Juice of one lemon
2 ripe tomatoes (or a good sized handful of cherry tomatoes), finely diced
1 minced red chilli (optional)
1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Marinate chicken for around 30mins
2. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add chicken. Brown, then add diced onion and cook for a few minutes before adding sliced peppers, corn kernels, kidney beans, and tomato paste.
3. Cook for a few minutes until peppers have softened, and then finally add tinned tomatoes. Simmer on low-med heat for 30 minutes.
4. Season to taste

To assemble
1. Heat a little oil in a large, clean frying pan.
2. Place a tortilla in the pan and sprinkle with a little grated cheese.
3. Spread over a couple of spoonfuls of warm chicken and bean filling.
4. Sprinkle over a little more cheese and top with a second tortilla.
5. Fry for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. (You can peel back the top tortilla and see if cheese is melting.)
6. Carefully flip the quesadilla over and fry the other side for a couple of minutes until golden.
7. Once cooked, remove from pan to a chopping board and cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges.
8. Place cooked quesadilla in a low oven to keep warm.
9. Repeat with remaining tortillas and fillings

1. Mash avocado
2. Add all other ingredients, seasoning to taste