Grilled Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

in Chicken & Turkey, Cinco de Mayo, Cookouts & Picnics, Mexican & TexMex, On the grill, Tacos, Enchiladas & Quesadillas

Grilled Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

Quesadillas don’t get the respect they deserve. At the Tex Mex restaurant near our house, they show up a squishy, greasy mess. It’s “just” chicken and melted cheese and I get that it’s the “plain” menu option… but that really is a sad sight and a painful way to give away $10.

Maybe they’re expected to be boring, but they don’t have to be. Throw in a quick wet-rub marinade and some flame-kissed tortillas and you get a pretty remarkable transformation!

These quesadillas are far from that $10 plate of sad – they became a house favorite the very first time we made them. They’re stuffed with avocado slices, fresh jalapenos, cheese, chicken, and and then cooked outside on the grill. The wet rub for the chicken is absolutely awesome: it comes together in minutes and is really flavorful.

And because it’s made of things that I keep in my house all the time, it eliminates most of the need to plan or be organized (two things that I stopped trying to be good at long ago).

Grilled Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

Grilled Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

A flavorful wet rub transforms ordinary chicken quesadillas into a quick and delicious dinner.


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 6-8 tortillas (fajita size)
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar jack, shredded
  • Sliced avocado
  • Fresh jalapeno slices, optional
  • For the Wet rub
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder, optional
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • juice of 1 lime


  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Whisk wet rub ingredients together in a glass bowl, add chicken, and turn to coat.
  2. Place chicken on the grill and cook until the juices run clear (about 6-7 minutes per side). Remove from grill and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the chicken breasts into strips or small cubes. Top one half of each tortilla with chicken, cheese, and avocado and then fold the other half over, pressing down lightly. Brush or spray the outside of the quesadilla with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill two minutes on each side - keep an eye because they can scorch quickly.
  4. Remove from heat and serve with salsa, guacamole, or your topping of choice.


Yields: 6-8 servings

Wet rub adapted from My Husband Cooks

Estimated time: 30 minutes

20 comments… add one
  • I love quesadillas. They are our total fall back food during the week! Quick and easy! I’ve never made them folded over before though, interesting idea.

  • Hi there,
    Careful with those chillis! I would tell you to do what Nigella Lawson does and wear rubber gloves when handling them. But, that would be hypocritical, considering Ican never be bothered to do that! I can well recall the chilli in the eye experience, not good!

  • Love the idea of doing them on the grill! We only cook on the grill (except for boiling the pasta) in the summer so new ideas are always welcome.
    There are little green peppers served in Spain as tapas ‘Pedron’ Russian roullette with heat. Only 1 in 10 is hot…really hot. I don’t play…

  • I am lamenting apartment life as I read your post – I wish I had access to a grill!

  • Chillies in the eyes, oh the pain! I’ve once had a hot-chillie and garam masala paste in my eyes. I tripped moving the bowl with the paste from one counter to the next… oh it’s too painful to recall.

    Love, love, love your quesadillas and thanks for pointing out My Husband Cooks. What a site!

  • I’m glad these worked out so well for you and the photos work great. The grilling makes all the difference. Thanks for the mention. We very much appreciate it.

  • I hate jalapenos. They are SO inconsistent, and when they are hot, the set my entire throat on fire. I’m all about the serranos….

    The Quesadillas look kick ass.

  • And watch out for habanero and bird’s eye chilies! If you think
    jalapeños are hot…I rub the seeds out with a fingertip under under cold running water. It’s very fast and minimizes the heat left on your skin. Still wouldn’t rub my eyes, though. ; )

  • Grilling them is such a wonderful idea. I will have to give it a try! They look great.

  • Great post and I love the grilling idea!

  • Samara

    I do not see avacado listed in the recipe… How many do you use?

    • I don’t see the avocado used in the recipe either but I am going to either dice it or slice it up and put in with the chicken and cheese.

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