Shredded Chicken Quesadillas with Caramelized Onion, Bell Peppers, and Chile

This is a new take on a dish from my last book Home at 7, Dinner at 8 that went down extremely well. It’s super-quick to make, involves minimal shopping as most of these ingredients are likely to be found in a well-stocked pantry, and, best of all, it’s inexpensive and cheerful. You’ll need some leftover chicken from one of the fabulous roasts on pages 46–50, as this recipe only works with shredded cooked chicken. However, it does also work very well as a veggie option—trying adding some leftover chili from page 118. Alternatively, tear or snip over some cooked ham if you happen to have some in the fridge.

Reprinted with permission from Cook on a Shoestring by Sophie Wright 2013 Kyle Books

Shredded Chicken Quesadillas with Caramelized Onion, Bell Peppers, and Chile

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    2 tablespoons olive oil 4 tortilla wraps
    3 bell peppers (you choose the colors), thinly sliced 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    2 red onions, thinly sliced 2/3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or even a goat cheese log works really well)
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    salt sour cream, for serving (optional)
    1 teaspoon sherry or red wine vinegar pickled chiles, for serving (optional)
    11 ounces cooked chicken, shredded crispy salad, for serving (optional)


    Prep: 10 min Total:
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    • 1

      Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the bell peppers and onions to the pan with the red pepper. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes before adding a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onions are soft and sweet, another 5 minutes. Once all the liquid has evaporated, add the shredded chicken and mix well.

    • 2

      Next, spread two of the four tortillas with the tomato paste. Add a grill pan on the stove and set the heat to medium. Place one of the tortillas spread with tomato paste in the pan, spread-side up. Lay on half the pepper, chicken, and onion mix and spread it out evenly. Add half the cheese and scatter over half the cilantro. Place a plain tortilla on top and cook for 3 minutes before turning over and cooking the other side for another 3 minutes. Once you can see the cheese has melted, remove the cooked quesadilla from the pan and repeat the process with the other pair of tortillas.

    • 3

      Serve with a big spoonful of sour cream, a few pickled chiles, and a crispy salad if you wish.


    TIP: This dish is lovely cold the next day for lunch if you have any left over.

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