I’m welcoming this first Thursday night of NFL football in right with these Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa. Is anyone else overly stoked about the start of football season? Honestly, everything about football season gets me excited. Cozier nights, lazy Sundays, and an excuse to eat chicken wings and drink beer at 11:00am, it’s just the best. Granted, my team always loses, but I’ll never give up hope 😉 Especially if I’m presented with great food and good drinks.
With my love for fall it’s no surprise I love throwing game day get together’s, but sometimes game days are during the week and I don’t always have time to make wings, chili, or really any time consuming dish. That’s where these quesadillas come into play. With only taking 25-30 minutes from start to finish they land in my go to dinner’s for any weeknight gathering. They are so quick, so easy, and SO good. These quesadillas are perfect amount of smokey, sweet, and spicy all in one, which in my opinion, is the best of combinations.
With September almost halfway over, and fall soon to be in full effect, I had to brighten up this dish with one last splash of freshness. Although I love fall flavors and cozy meals, I’m not quite ready to give up summer, so adding fresh pineapple salsa to these quesadillas was a complete game changer. It’s just the right amount of brightness to let summer live on a little longer. Which, I’m sure, many of you are here for.
Try these out and let me know what occasion you made these for in the comments below, because not only are these quesadillas great for summer, fall, game days, last minute get togethers, and an easy weeknight meal, but they are the perfect way to use up all that chicken you have leftover from Labor Day. So many wins.
Looking for a few other Game Night recipes? Here are some ideas:
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa
For the Chicken: (skip this step if you are using left over chicken)
- 1 lb chicken thighs or 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly torn
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- 2 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 8 8" tortillas
- 4 tbsp canola oil
- 2 cups pineapple, diced
- 2 tbsps pickled jalapenos, thinly sliced (see notes at bottom)
- 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Juice of half a lime
- Flaky sea salt, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in medium sized bowl and chill until ready to serve.
For the chicken: (Skip steps 1&2 if using already prepared chicken)
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine all spices in a small bowl. Season chicken with spice blend on both sides.
- Cook chicken 8-10 minutes or until fully cooked through. Let cool slightly and shred.
- Add shredded chicken to a saucepan with 3/4 cup of BBQ sauce. Heat until warmed through. Take off heat and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in large frying pan. Put bottom tortilla down and begin layering shredded cheese, BBQ chicken, red onion, cilantro, more shredded cheese and top tortilla. Cook until both sides are crisp and cheese is fully melted.
- Serve with pineapple salsa.