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Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

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.
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


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

Pineapple Salsa:

  • 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


Pineapple salsa:

  • 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.


I like to do fresh pickled jalapeños instead of the canned ones. For quick pickled jalapeños combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a small saucepan. Add a pinch of sugar and salt. Heat until sugar and salt have dissolved and pore over your sliced jalapeños. You just need enough liquid to fully submerge them. Chill in fridge until ready to use. 
Keyword Quick & Easy