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Taco seasoned chicken and refried beans make up the filling in this Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe that is family friendly and filling.

My favorite chicken quesadilla recipe - Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

Photos Updated January 2015


Originally posted June 1, 2008 – As I go back and remake recipes from the archives here on Taste and Tell, I will sometimes look for favorite recipes that I think need a new chance in the spotlight. Other times, I’ll look for the really, really bad photos that need retaken asap. This chicken quesadilla recipe falls into both of those categories. Not only has it been a family favorite for many, many years, but the original photo was so bad that it’s not surprising that it’s been lost in the archives. I’ve seriously made these quesadillas more times that I could count. They are a little different from your typical quesadillas because of the refried beans. They make these substantial enough for a filling dinner that my family loves!

Below is the original post from 2008.

Taco seasoned chicken and refried beans make up the filling in this Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe that is family friendly and filling.

I just think that quesadillas are a very un-photogenic food. And it’s too bad, because this recipe is my all-time favorite chicken quesadilla recipe. I say that I rarely make the same thing twice – and that really is true – but I’ve made these probably a dozen times in the last few years. That really says a lot!
Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
The recipe calls for cooked, shredded chicken. I’ve done this a few different ways in the past – the easiest is if you have some chicken left over. This particular time, I used leftover roasted chicken and it was delicious. But if you don’t have any chicken leftover, the easiest thing to do is throw some chicken breasts in some boiling water, and once it’s cooked and cooled, the chicken shreds quite easily.

And you might notice that the recipe calls for Monterey Jack, but in the picture below, I used cheddar because I had it on hand. They both work equally as well.

This is a very filling quesadilla, so although it could work as an appetizer, they work even better as a main meal. I like to serve them with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole (if I have some avocados on hand). This one is highly recommended!
Easy weeknight dinner - Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

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Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Taco seasoned chicken and refried beans make up the filling in this Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe that is family friendly and filling.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2-4 teaspoons taco seasoning (depending on preference)
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans
  • 6 large flour tortillas
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Combine chicken, water and taco seasoning in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) for 15 minutes. Stir in retried beans.
  2. Spread approximately ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture over half of each tortilla. Layer cheese, green onions and cilantro evenly over the chicken mixture. Fold each tortilla in half.
  3. In a large skillet, heat a small amount of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Quickly fry each quesadilla until slightly crisp, turning once. Cut each quesadilla into quarters.


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Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

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29 Responses to Rio Grande Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

  1. HoneyB says:

    I just took a chicken out of the freezer this morning for later this week. I will have to use leftovers from this to try your quesadilla recipe! Looks yummy to me.

  2. HoneyB says:

    p.s. I wouldn’t mind your taco seasoning recipe!

  3. glamah16 says:

    I made CS som elast week with leftovers. Its a great dish because you can use what you have on hand and come up with great combos.

  4. Laurie says:

    I guess you can call me a lurker fan of your blog. I love a tasty new recipe. These look like something my family will enjoy.

    I would love to see your taco seasoning recipe! Please post!!

  5. Kevin says:

    Those Quesadillas look really tasty!

  6. Jeena says:

    This sounds so lovely. 🙂

  7. Melanie says:

    I love, love quesadillas and we eat them a lot so I will try this recipe. Can I have your taco seasoning recipe? I bet it is delicious.

  8. mimi says:

    that top photo is definitely not non-photogenic! it looks delish!!

  9. Day to Day Chronicles says:

    Looks great. I’ll add it to my recipes for sure.

  10. Jenny says:

    Quesadillas are one of my favorite things to eat! These sound delicious and they look great to me!

  11. Grace says:

    quesadillas (you oughta hear my grandma pronounce that word, it’s hilarious–kiss-a-dill-a) may not take the best pictures, but they sure do make one of the best meals. a little salsa, a little guac, maybe some black beans on the side, and i’m good to go.

  12. LizzyBee says:

    I would love to check out your taco seasoning recipe! These quesadillas look very yummy.

  13. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Deb, that looks so good, it shouldn’t be called a bad photo, not in a million years…

  14. Sylvie says:

    I’ll have to try these next time I have leftover chicken!

  15. Rosie says:

    This really sounds SO good!!

    Rosie x

  16. Suzana says:

    That’s my type of recipe! Sounds delicious – I’m sure it tasted great!

  17. Tracy says:

    I love quesadillas! I love the idea of bad photo Sunday — although those photos really aren’t bad. I think I should do the opposite — good photo Sunday, and just assume the rest are bad.

  18. Ruth Elkin says:

    I’ve only had a quesadilla once and loved it…. why have i never made it before! You’ve inspired me!

  19. finsmom says:

    Your quesadillas have inspired me to make (and write!) about my own! Yours look delightful, and similar to the ones I make!

  20. Elle says:

    I LOVE these, they look so good! Quesadillas are such a great, quick meal. I am bookmarking this one! Oh, and I really like this photo, too.

  21. Mama Goose says:

    This looks awesome. I think I’ll try it tonight. I’d love your taco seasoning recipe when you get a chance. Thanks!

  22. kellypea says:

    Love quesadillas! And who says melty cheese is unphotogenic? It looks droolworthy to me.

  23. Bellini Valli says:

    I now know what I am having for supper with my leftover spatchcock chicken… I just need some cheese, although what about goat cheese:D

  24. Kim says:

    Made these for dinner last night minus the cilantro (we’re not cilantro fans). We really enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing!

  25. These look fantastic! I agree about photographing them. Mine tend to look sloppy, but these turned out great in the photos :).

  26. Matea says:

    I’ve only recently discovered the magic of turning left-overs into quesadillas. So now that I’m going through a quesadilla-phase, these quesadillas showed up right on time! Yummy!! 🙂

  27. Hot dang, girl. I’m on board.

  28. Chels R. says:

    I think you photographed them beautifully! I’d eat it! 🙂

  29. bristol says:

    These sound so good, thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe.


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