Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Spinach and Mushrooms

What can I say about quesadillas? They are such a comfort food for me.  I think of them as a Mexican grilled cheese.  It’s mind boggling how many variations there are to this dish!  I like the classic combination of grilled chicken, spinach, and mushrooms.  It elevates the dish from a simple appetizer to a killer entree!  Of course the dish would not be complete without my Char-roasted Salsa and Chunky Guacamole. 

I start by cooking thin sliced onions and over high heat.  Once a nice color is achieved, I add minced garlic and cook just until brown.

Dump the spinach into the pan on top of the onions and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. 

The spinach will absorb the flavors in the pan and cook very fast.  Scrape this mixture into a large bowl.

Return the saute pan to the burner and reduce heat to medium-high.  Add the thin sliced mushrooms.  You can see the water that comes out of the mushrooms as they cook.

If you allow the water to evaporate and continue cooking you will reach this color.  The water is basically mushroom stock and will give the mushrooms an awesome flavor!  When the mushrooms are well caramelized scrape into the large bowl. 

Slice your grilled chicken thin and add to the bowl as well.  Mix everything together and adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

I like using the large flour tortillas when I make quesadillas.  You can stuff a lot of filling in each and you only need one per person.  You can substitute different size flour tortillas or even corn tortillas.  Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese on one half of tortilla.  Spread about a cup of filling on top of cheese.

Sprinkle another layer of cheddar over filling.  The two layers of cheese will melt and act like a “glue” to keep in all of the filling.  Fold tortilla in half to cover the filling.  Spread a teaspoon of unsalted butter over the top of each quesadilla. 

Place a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add two teaspoons of unsalted butter to the pan and when butter melts add two quesadills to the pan placing them back to back. 

After 2 minutes, use a spatula to check the underside of quesadilla.  Once it is nicely toasted, place a large plate on top and carefully flip pan and plate over together. 

Slide the quesadilla back into pan to cook the other side.

When the other side is toasted, slide onto a cutting board.  If you like you can place the cooked quesadillas on a sheet pan and pop in the oven at 225°F while you prepare the rest. 

These are delicious all by themselves but I love to eat Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Spinach and Mushrooms with sour cream, my Char-roasted salsa, and my Chunky guacamole.  ¡Buen Provecho!

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Spinach and Mushrooms
Serves 4
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2 Grilled chicken breast
1 small onion sliced thin
4 cloves garlic minced
1 12 oz. bag of spinach
8 oz. button mushrooms sliced thin
1 pound shredded cheddar
4 large flour tortillas
8 teaspoons unsalted butter softened
Pour one tablespoon of canola oil into a large saute pan. Add onions and saute over high heat until brown. Add garlic and brown as well. Dump spinach on top of onion garlic mixture and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until spinach wilts and scrape into a large bowl. Return pan to burner and reduce heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and saute until they release water and caramelize. Scrape into bowl with spinach. Add sliced chicken to bowl, mix, and adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Lay out tortillas on counter and sprinkle cheddar cheese to cover one half of each. Spoon about a cup of filling over cheese. Repeat with cheese to cover filling. Fold tortilla over filling and spread one teaspoon of butter on each quesadilla. Place large saute pan over medium-high heat and add two teaspoons of butter. Once butter melts add two quesadillas back to back and shake pan to coat bottoms with butter. Once the bottom has toasted, place a large plate on top and invert onto plate. Slide tortillas back into pan to toast the other side. Once toasted, slide onto a cutting board and repeat with remaining quesdillas.
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