Chicken · entree · Salad

Quesadilla Chicken Salad

I’ve never been one of those people who loved big chain restaurants.

Applebee’s was the place to go when I was in college (probably for their cheap, potent mixed drinks during Happy Hour) and yet it was a place I would never step foot in.

Cheddar’s opened when I was in junior high in my hometown and you would have thought it was the second coming of Christ. I ate there a few times, but it was never my first choice when someone would ask where I wanted to go eat.

Chili’s is never on my list of places to go, either. I’ve heard horror stories about how they pay their waitstaff and it’s turned me off since then.

However, one night my coworker and I were trying to figure out where to get delivery from for dinner.

“Have you ever had Chili’s quesadilla explosion salad?” she asked me.

I answered “no” but my curiosity was thoroughly piqued. We ordered the salads and as soon as I opened the clamshell, I knew I was going to like it.

After eating the salad, I was kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner.

As soon as I had a chance, I was going to make my own quesadilla explosion salad. That chance came a few weekends later when I had all the ingredients I needed.

I ventured off the Chili’s recipe just a bit and made my salad with an avocado lime dressing and pre-cooked chicken.

The end result was a dream. Everything about this salad is delicious, and the cheese quesadilla is the icing on the cake.


Quesadilla Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A zesty Southwestern salad with a cheese quesadilla and avocado lime dressing.


  • 2/3 cup cooked, chopped chicken
  • 2 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 1/4 cup Mexicorn (or fiesta blend corn, or just regular corn)
  • 1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup tortilla chip strips
  • 3 avocados
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more if needed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large tortilla
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 TBS. creamy chipotle sauce (Herdez or Taco Bell brand)
  • Directions

    1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
    2. Sprinkle cheese over 1/2 of a tortilla. Drizzle chipotle sauce on top. Fold tortilla in half and put into large skillet. Cook until quesdilla is browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and brown on other side. Cheese should be melty and tortilla browned when done.
    3. Make the avocado lime dressing: in a blender, combine avocados, sour cream, lime juice, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Thin out with water, using 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
    4. Make the salad: top romaine with beans, corn, tomatoes and chicken. Add dressing. Sprinkle tortilla strips on top. Add quesadilla to the side, cut into triangles.

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