Slow Cooker Chicken Quesadillas

I'm pretty sure for those of us who are food-obsessed, sometimes it doesn't even matter what teams are playing in the Super Bowl (not that I wouldn't have liked to see the Patriots make it). We just get happy the Super Bowl is coming because it gives us an excuse to make party food. I'm hoping to throw together a big pot of chili this weekend, but another recipe that I think is perfect for the occasion is these slow cooker chicken quesadillas.

I have been making these, or some version of them, since I found the recipe for crockpot chicken tacos on Beantown Baker a year or so ago. The recipe includes a great spice mixture to give the chicken lots of flavor, and the leftover spice mixture can be used for future Mexican recipes in place of those store-bought packets of taco seasoning (not that there's anything wrong with those).

The chicken cooks slowly in the spices, broth, onions, and diced tomatoes until it can be easily shredded to make up the quesadilla filling.

The bulk of the recipe is hands off, and once the chicken is done and shredded, you'll just need to assemble and grill the quesadillas. You could even involve your Super Bowl party guests and have them assemble their own quesadillas, providing an array of fillings and salsas for them to choose from. I just go with the basics: chicken and cheese. And I'm a guacamole fiend, so that's the one topping I make sure to prepare and have on hand when I serve these.

Homemade Taco Seasoning (from Beantown Baker)


3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper


Mix all of the spices together. I like to measure them into a container that has a lid, so I can just throw the lid on and shake everything up.

The mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year, and 2 1/2 tablespoons is equal to one taco seasoning packet.

Slow Cooker Chicken Quesadillas (adapted from Beantown Baker)
(Print this recipe)


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
15 ounces low sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix (recipe above)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes and liquid
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
6 to 8 flour tortillas
1 8-ounce package of shredded cheese (cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend works well)
Salsa, guacamole, etc. (optional)


Heat olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Add diced onion, and saute until soft and starting to brown.

Transfer onions to slow cooker.

Measure the chicken broth into a large measuring cup, and whisk in the taco seasoning.

Pour the diced tomatoes and their liquid into the slow cooker.

Lay the chicken breasts on top of the tomatoes, and pour the broth/seasoning mixture over the chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Test the chicken before removing it, and make sure it pulls apart easily with a fork.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large bowl, and shred it using two forks.

Use the slotted spoon to scoop the diced tomatoes out of the slow cooker, and add those to the shredded chicken (unless you live with someone who doesn't like tomatoes, in which case, add them to your own quesadilla). Then stir about five spoonfuls of the liquid from the slow cooker into the shredded chicken to moisten it.

Preheat a panini grill with flat plates to 400. (You could also use a frying pan or griddle, but you'll have to flip the quesadillas to brown both sides.)

Brush or rub the grill with some butter, until it is well coated, and scrape off any excess with a spatula.

Place a tortilla on the grill, and spoon chicken on half of it. Top the chicken with cheese, and fold the empty half of the tortilla over the chicken and cheese.

Close the panini grill, and press down to make sure the quesadilla is touching the grill plate. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until quesadilla starts to brown and cheese is melted.

Transfer to a cutting board, and cut the quesadilla in quarters.

Place on a serving plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas until you run out of chicken. You may need to re-butter the grill between every two or three quesadillas.

Serve with salsa and guacamole (if desired).

If you need the perfect dessert to follow these quesadillas, try these Mexican chocolate crackle cookies.

What are you making (or eating) for the Super Bowl?