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Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

by Amy D
Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

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Smoke off the grill, smoky heat in the sauce. Juicy, tender, and spiced just right grilled chicken and mexican cheese fill crisp flour tortillas in these Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas.  Serve them up with a quick spicy cilantro ranch for a dish that’s the perfect eat for the big game.

One person in my family goes a little bit nuts during football season. Um…It’s me.  I didn’t used to be really into it, but then my daughter made the football cheerleading squad and I started going to every game to watch her cheer. Fast-forward 4 years and now I’m a screaming, jumping, clapping, whooping and hollering kind of gal at the games. My kids find it kind of embarrassing.

( I say I get it from my mom.)Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

Going to at least one game a week, combined with all the other activities around here, can make mealtime on game nights a little hectic to say the least.  Last year, I had to pack meals to take with us because the games started so early. Thankfully they are a little later in the evening now, but it still can be a challenge to get everything ready and then cleaned up before it’s time to go. Grilling is a life-saver on those game nights, because it leaves virtually no mess inside. And, these Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas are something that you easily take with you to the game and eat there. You know, in case you have one kid that eats so slowly that they’re just finishing their plate as you’re getting ready for bed. Not that that happens here. Okay, it does. It so does. 

The other week, when I was at Wal-Mart, for like the 50th time that week, this Black Label Reserve Hot Sauce from El Yucateco caught my eye. Mostly because I’d never seen a black hot sauce and I was instantly intrigued by it. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. El Yucateco Black Label is hot, they aren’t wimpy pepper sauces, they are full on habanero baby, which is good, because we like spicy around here. This sauce is spicy, smoky, with a hint of earthiness and mystery, you know,  like me, except for the smoky part, maybe we can amend that to smoking hot! LOL. (I crack myself up I tell you!) Anyhoo, it is perfect for grilling with.

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

I took a bunch of my family’s favorites and combined them to make this recipe. An easy marinade goes on the chicken first and is then grilled. My husband has become addicted to grilled chicken, we’ve eaten more of it this summer than I have in my whole life. Then the grilled chicken is shredded and combined with a blend of Mexican cheese and melted into a nice gooey mess inside a toasted flour tortilla. Quesadillas are one of the only things my whole family will eat and no one will complain about. And lastly, we bring it all together with a spicy cilantro ranch dip. According to my kids, spicy ranch is the only thing worthy to dip quesadillas in.  Altogether, no surprise, this one was a touchdown with my family. (I’m sorry with the corny jokes again. I’m just on a roll today folks. I’ll be here all week. ba-dum-ch)

Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

What’s your family’s favorite way to spice it up with El Yucateco?

Smoky Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

Smoky and spicy grilled chicken is the star of these quesadillas, served with a creamy, yet spicy cilantro ranch dip.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Amy D.


For the smoky grilled chicken breasts

  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Black Label Reserve El Yucateco hot sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

For the quesadillas

  • 4 smoky grilled chicken breasts
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 10-12 flour tortillas

For the spicy cilantro ranch:

  • 1 16 oz carton sour cream
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 teaspoons red El Yucateco hot sauce


  1. First, in a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, Black El Yucateco hot sauce, melted butter, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Place the chicken breasts into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal it well, and turn the bag several times to get the chicken well coated. Place in the refrigerator to marinate at least one hour.
  2. To make the Spicy Cilantro Ranch Dip, combine the sour cream, ranch dressing mix, chopped cilantro and red El Yucateco hot sauce. Start off with 1 teaspoon of hot sauce and adjust to your spice preference. Place in refrigerator until time to serve.
  3. Prepare the grill and grill the chicken breasts until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then shred with two forks, or thinly slice with the grain of the chicken.
  4. Mix the shredded chicken with 3 cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese. Place about a 1/4 cup of the chicken and cheese mixture onto flour tortillas and cook on the grill until the cheese is melted. Fold the tortilla in half and remove from the heat.
  5. Serve with Spicy Cilantro Ranch

Recipe Notes

Quesadillas can be prepared inside on a griddle if preferred.



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Thalia @ butter and brioche September 23, 2015 - 2:21 am

Craving quesadillas right now.. these look awesome!

KC September 22, 2015 - 1:12 am

Quesadillas are a favorite at our house. Will have to give this version a try. I too am intrigued by black hot sauce.

Amy D September 22, 2015 - 2:36 pm

At first I was a little intimidated by the black hot sauce as well as intrigued, because yanno it’s black, and most food isn’t. I was afraid it would make things look weird. But I like it a lot. It makes a great addition to bloody marys!

Kathie September 21, 2015 - 2:11 pm

I love quesadillas! this sounds yummy!

Amy D September 22, 2015 - 2:36 pm

You’ll have to let me know what you think of them when you try them Kathie!

Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious September 21, 2015 - 1:15 pm

I’ll be looking for that sauce, because the menfolk here like spicy hot stuff!

Amy D September 21, 2015 - 1:33 pm

What is it with guys and hot sauce? My husband likes to eat so much of it that he can make himself sick. Well…I shouldn’t talk, because I do the same thing sometimes!

Emily | Rainbow Delicious September 21, 2015 - 12:52 pm

Wow! Quesadillas have never looked so good and the cilantro ranch is totally calling my name!

Amy D September 21, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Yes, this cilantro ranch dip is great with any kind of quesadilla.

Cristi Comes September 21, 2015 - 12:27 pm

These quesadillas sound delicious, and perfect for taking to the game. I love how you added extra flavor to the grilled chicken and spiced up the ranch sauce too! #client

Amy D September 21, 2015 - 1:36 pm

Cristi, we made a huge batch and my kids actually packed them around all week to have as snacks at their different activities they liked them so much.

Brittany September 21, 2015 - 10:56 am

These look delicious! I love quesadillas and am always looking for new things to fill them with! Pinning!

Amy D September 21, 2015 - 1:39 pm

“Pinning!” Brittany, that’s a magic word I like to hear! I like it almost as much as, “Let me clean that up for you, dear.” Okay, just kidding I never hear that second one, but I’d like to hear it!

Mirlandra @ Mirlandra's Kitchen September 21, 2015 - 10:46 am

This looks wonderful! I’m a huge quesadilla fan and my husband is a huge hot sauce fan. This would be a perfect dinner. Or snack. Or midnight kitchen raid. Or lunch… You get the point. Thanks!

Katerina @ Diethood September 21, 2015 - 9:42 am

Goodness, that first paragraph made me drool! 😀 This sounds so, so good!!!

Amy D September 21, 2015 - 1:41 pm

Thanks Katerina, then I feel I’ve done my job well.


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