Napoleon: Well, what is there to eat? Grandma: Knock it off, Napoleon! Make yourself a dang quesadilla! [pronounces it “case-a-dill-a”] – Napoleon Dynamite
Grain-Free Chicken Quesadillas
Whether they’re stuffed to the brim with meat and veggies or simply made with cheese, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a piping hot quesadilla. The best ones are delightfully crunchy on the outside and hot and melty on the inside. A freshly-made quesadilla is so tempting that I don’t think I’ve ever made one and said to myself “Jenni, let that thing cool down first before shoving it in your gob.” Instead, I plow on immediately, always scorching the inside of my mouth with hot, melty cheese. Will I ever change? Probably not, and I have the mouth burns to prove it.
These Grain-Free Chicken Quesadillas with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce are a tasty upgrade from the traditional fast casual dish. They come together with limited fuss and make for a delicious dinner or midnight snack >> (don’t tell me you weren’t thinking the same thing).
Skip the drive-through and use my go-to shortcut
As much as I love a good bougie fine dining experience, I will probably always have a soft spot for the ultimate casual meal of quesadillas. Because I’m in my 30s and no longer have the ability to eat fast and feel ok afterward, I get my quesadilla fix at home where I have control of the ingredients.
Grain-Free Chicken Quesadillas are one of my favorite things to make with leftover rotisserie chicken or when I’ve prepped one too many chicken breasts from a prior night. Sure, I could save that chicken as a topper for salads during the week, but isn’t it more fun to stick it between two tortillas with some hot melty cheese and a super creamy jalapeno sauce?
My tortilla of choice is grain-free Siete Tortillas, which come in several awesome varieties. The new Cashew Flour variety is my new favorite, which has a simple ingredient list comprised of: cashew flour, arrowroot, water, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, guar gum, and konjac root flour. These have the most similar consistency to a traditional flour tortilla that I’ve found so far. I will also vouch that the Cassava variety and the Almond Flour variety are also both very good. The ingredient list on Siete’s products is pretty clean, and though I personally could do without the addition of the gums, they are an awesome alternative to traditional flour tortillas. I’ve found Siete tortillas at Whole Foods and New Seasons markets as well as on Amazon.
Let’s talk about the sauce for a minute
The Creamy Jalapeno Sauce should make approximately 1 1/2 cups, which should be enough for 16 quesadillas (using 1 1/2 tbsp of sauce in each quesadilla) or exponentially less if you choose to drizzle some on top – and I like to drizzle! If you find yourself with leftovers, it makes for an awesome fry sauce or drizzled on roasted vegetables. I don’t find this sauce too spicy, but if you appreciate a milder flavor, you can cut the cayenne pepper in half.
A note for special diets
These Grain-Free Chicken Quesadillas with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce are grain-free and gluten-free. I personally use Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free Sour Cream and a sharp cheddar cheese in this dish (cheddar is generally listed as low-lactose – 0.5 grams or below). If you are not lactose sensitive, you can use your favorite sour cream in this dish the same way.
If using a lactose-free sour cream, the sauce itself (sans quesadilla) is friendly for Low-FODMAP diets.
Chicken Quesadillas with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
Yield 1 quesadilla
For the creamy jalapeno sauce:
- 1/2 cup sour cream (I like Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free Sour Cream but you can use regular)
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 3 tbsp jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic oil (may sub 2 tbs olive or avocado oil + 2 cloves garlic)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (reduce by half if you'd like a milder sauce)
For the chicken quesadilla:
For the creamy jalapeno sauce:
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until well blended and creamy.
- Refrigerate for one hour prior to use for a creamier consistency.
For the chicken quesadillas:
- Heat avocado oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Add 1 tortilla to the pan and place the chicken, cheese, pickled jalapenos, and 1 1/2 tbsp of the creamy jalapeno sauce on top. Cover the mixture with the second tortilla.
- Cook until the bottom side is lightly brown. Flip the quesadilla and allow the second side to brown lightly as well.
- Remove quesadillas from pan and cut into 4 quarters.
The Creamy Jalapeno Sauce should make approximately 1 1/2 cups, which should be enough for 16 quesadillas (using 1 1/2 tbsp of sauce in each quesadilla) or exponentially less if you choose to drizzle some on top. If you find yourself with leftovers, it's also awesome as a fry sauce or drizzled on roasted vegetables.
The nutrition facts supplied in the box below account for one chicken quesadilla AND 1 1/2 tbsp jalapeno sauce. The nutrition facts calculated on myfitnesspal.com for the Creamy Jalapeno Sauce on its own are as follows:
Serving Size: 1 tbsp (1/24 of recipe)
Cal: 52, Total fat: 6 g, Sat fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 7 mg, Sodium: 80 mg, Total carbs: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 0 g
Serving Size 1 quesadilla
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 37 g
Saturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 58 mg
Sodium 609 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 19 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.