The Best Quesadillas! Crispy Chicken al Pastor Quesadillas

A Little of Everything

Can I crown these quesadillas as the best quesadillas?! These Crispy Chicken al Pastor Quesadillas deserve every award, every honor, and every “yuuuuuuum” that will come from your mouth while eating them. It’s just basic science.

This dish has been on repeat for the past several months! The flavor combination of the sauce plus the crispy cheese on the outside, plus the soft flour tortilla is a win for everyone.

Al Pastor meat is traditionally pork which is cooked on a spit and then sliced off. But we’re grilling these so I use chicken thighs! The sauce is usually made with a combination of adobo chilies, vinegar and garlic. I add pineapple juice to mine to add a touch of sweetness!

Watch me bring this quesadilla together in a step by step tutorial on The Cook’s Channel!

The recipe below includes stovetop and grilling method for the chicken!




For the Sauce:

  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup pineapple juice

For the Quesadillas:

  • Flour tortillas
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs or 2 cups shredded chicken from a rotisserie
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese

For Serving:

  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa verde guacamole
  • Tortilla chips



For the Grill:

  1. Place chicken thighs in a large bag and add ¾ cup chipotle sauce. Set aside to quickly marinate (you can also do this overnight).

  2. Heat grill on medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill for 5 minutes on each side. Place on a plate and loosely tent to keep warm. When ready to make the quesadillas, cut into strips.

For Stovetop:

  1. Place chicken thighs in a large bag and add the juice of two limes and 2 tsp kosher salt. Set aside. Place a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Once heated add chicken thighs (discard lime marinade). Saute on each side for 5 minutes. Place on a plate and loosely tent to keep warm. 

  2. When ready to make the quesadillas, shred or cut the chicken into strips and toss with ½ cup of the chipotle sauce.

For the Sauce: 

  1. Add everything to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add any more heat or sweetness as desired. Set aside.

 For the Quesadillas:

  1. Place a large nonstick saute pan over medium high heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, brush one side of the tortilla with the chipotle sauce. In the saute pan sprinkle a layer of mozzarella that is the size of the tortilla. Place the side of the tortilla with the sauce down onto the cheese. Lightly turn the tortilla in the pan so the cheese will adhere to it. 
  2. Brush the side of the tortilla facing up in the pan with another layer of sauce. Add strips of chicken to one side. Flip half the tortilla over onto the chicken. Allow the cheese on the bottom side to get nice and crispy. Flip and allow the other side with the cheese to get crispy. About 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board (if making multiple you can also place on a baking rack so cheese does not get soggy). 

  3. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

To Serve:

  1. Cut tortillas into triangle shaped sections. Place on a plate and drizzle with extra chipotle sauce. Serve with favorite sides like sour cream and the salsa verde guacamole.

The Best Quesadillas from Bri McKoy

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