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Caramelized pineapple and crispy bacon give these Spicy Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas a sweet, smoky flavor, and are given a kick with a spicy jalapeño lime aioli drizzle, made with Mezetta peppers!
The (short-version) countdown begins! That’s right, people: The Crumby Summer 2015 Staycation kicks off in exactly two days.
(As you read this, I’m already at work, so I’m not even counting today since I already rolled out of bed.)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I’m living for this vacation. For the laziness, the relaxation, the fun, and actually being able to eat like a normal human being who’s not on a wonky work schedule.
Summer was made for lazy appetizers, and one of my favorites is the classic quesadilla. Simple, fast, and incredibly versatile.
Personally, the plain cheese variety doesn’t do anything for me anymore. My taste buds have turned on me and demand flavor! A stroke of inspiration led me to these incredible Spicy Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas with Jalapeno Lime Aioli, and I reeeaaallllyyy want you to make them because I think you’ll fall as hard for them as I did!
My kitchen experiments over the last year have introduced me to a few new methods of cooking that I’d never tried before.
Roasting fruit (previous experiences only included potatoes;)
Soaking & cooking risotto (rice cooker for the win;)
Poaching eggs (hello scrambled;)
And, most recently, caramelizing pineapple.
I’m so IN LOVE. I honestly have no idea why I’ve never done it before!
I found the loveliest pineapple at the farmer’s market last week that was perfectly ripe and begging to be devoured. So, of course, Mr. Crumby cut into it as soon as I got home, and I had the immediate idea to caramelize it and somehow pair it with the Mezetta jalapenos I had recently bought.
The real genius was when I decided to use bacon grease as the fat in the caramelization.
And then, there’s these peppers. These super-duper tasty pickled jarred jalapenos that need to #bringtheheat on everything ever.
I’ll admit, Mezetta is the only brand of peppers I buy any more. They have a nice selection, and I’m fairly certain I have one jar of everything in my pantry.
Except the olives. They can keep those.
Keep them, or maybe blast them all in to space. Along with the world’s supply of blue cheese and all the flying Australian spiders.
There you go. I just shared with you my perfect world: no olives, moldy cheese, or abominations of nature. Annnnnd I’d have the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, but we won’t even go there. I’m sure as hell not gonna have one of those scarfing down these lazy Spicy Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas!
Meh, so be it. Here’s to vacations, staycations, aiolis on everything, and caramelizing all the things!
[Tweet “Bring the heat to summer eats with @MezzettaFoods & enter to win a summer survival kit! #bringtheheat #sp “]
- Jalapeno Lime Aioli
- 1 cup Mezetta Deli-sliced Tamed (or Hot) Jalapeño Peppers + 2 teaspoons juice from jar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, diced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple chunks
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
- 1/2 cup Mezetta Deli-sliced Tamed (or Hot) Jalapeño Peppers + 1 teaspoon juice from jar
- 6 ounces shredded monterey jack cheese
- 3 large flour tortillas
- Place jalapenos, juice, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor or blender, and pulse until mostly pureed.
- Add mayonnaise and pulse until well blended. With the processor on low, drizzle in the olive oil slowly. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a skillet, fry bacon on medium heat until crispy, then place on paper towels and blot to dry.
- In reserved bacon grease, add pineapple chunks and season with salt and cinnamon, stirring to coat pineapple with grease. Allow pineapple to caramelize for 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally to brown all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine shredded chicken breast and jalapeno juice with crumbled bacon, tossing to distribute flavors. In a separate bowl, combine pineapple and jalapenos.
- Cut tortillas in half and build each one;
- Place a tortilla on a clean work surface; Layer 1 ounce of cheese on half of the tortilla, then 1/3 of the chicken-bacon mixture, leaving empty 1/4 inch from the edge. Top with 1/3 of the pineapple-jalapeno mixture. Top with 1 ounce more cheese and fold gently to close.
- Place the quesadilla on lightly sprayed/oiled grill (or grill pan) and cook for about 4 minutes, until the cheese in fully melted and tortilla is toasted.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling, being sure to re-spray grill between quesadillas.
- Cut into quarters with a pizza cutter, drizzle generously with Jalapeno Lime Aioli, and enjoy!