Thai Peanut Chicken Quesadillas / by Chelsea Zwieg

Happy Labor Day! The day where we all pretend to be sad because that pretty alright situation called summer is ending but really aren't sad at all because we are heading straight into the BEST TIME OF THE YEAR. September has always been a good month because even as a kid, I always looked forward to school starting. Mostly because there is nothing better than back to school shopping. Even now I am racking my brain for any and every reason I might need a cute patterned little notebook every time I pass by those glorious bins of school supplies in Target. But then I remember that I bake all day for a living so my notebook needs are pretty much zero. Not that that stops me because I don't even want to talk about how many mostly empty (but still obviously necessary) notebooks I have lying around. But let's be real, I'll probably find a reason to buy a few more this month. 

But enough about my school supply hoarding, let's talk about these quesadillas. I'm never really sure where quesadillas fall on the lunch/snack/dinner spectrum, which is great because it means they work perfectly for all three. I also wouldn't be kicking a breakfast quesadilla out of the house so what I'm really saying is show me a time that isn't perfect for cheesy, crispy, hot quesadillas. 

These Thai inspired quesadillas have a super quick but unbelievably addicting peanut sauce that gets tossed with the chicken and then drizzled all over the top. Since quesadillas are one of the most low maintenance things, I like to keep the lazy times rolling and just use a shredded rotisserie chicken for the filling. But you can also bake up some chicken breasts if you have them on hand, especially if you want to make a giant batch of the filling to set you up for quesadilla time all week long. I admire that.  

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go eat some more quesadillas and then buy a notebook for writing down all of my quesadilla related feelings. And maybe a few love songs about melted cheese. I told you I would find a valid reason 👊🏼

Thai Peanut Chicken Quesadillas 

Serves 4

| Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken (I like to just get a rotisserie chicken but you could also bake chicken breasts if you have them) 
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 2-3 red thai chilies (if you can't find them, use fresno peppers) 
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • chopped peanuts, optional

| Instructions

  • Combine peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and garlic in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add 1/3 cup of the sauce to the chicken and stir until the chicken is evenly coated. 
  • Heat a clean, dry skillet over high heat. Add 1 tortilla (or more if you have a giant skillet) and top with 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 cup chicken and another 1/4 cup cheese. Make sure the filling reaches all the way to the edges. Top with a second tortilla. Cook until the cheese is melty and the tortillas is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 
  • To serve, cut each quesadilla into 4 triangles. Top with sliced chiles, cilantro and peanuts. Drizzle with the remaining sauce and serve.