Caramelized pineapple, jalapenos, and crispy bacon give these Spicy Chicken Quesadillas a sweet, smoky flavor. Kick them up a notch with a jalapeño lime aioli on the side!
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 Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple, 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 jar of jalapenos I had sitting in the fridge.
The real genius was when I decided to use bacon grease as the fat in the caramelization.
And then, those standard, gotta-keep-em-in-your-fridge pickled jarred jalapenos. They sit right next to a handful of olive jars that are only opened when a client recipe calls for them.
Ugh. 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 Chicken Quesadillas!
Meh, so be it. Here’s to vacations, staycations, aioli on everything, and caramelizing all the things!
More quesadilla recipes!
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Spicy Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple
Jalapeno Lime Aioli
- 1 cup pickled jalapenos + 2 teaspoons juice from jar
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon garlic diced
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 ¼ cups fresh pineapple chunks
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2 chicken breasts cooked & shredded
- ½ cup pickled jalapenos + 1 teaspoon juice from jar
- 6 ounces shredded monterey jack cheese
- 3 large flour tortillas
Jalapeno Lime Aioli
- 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.
Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
- 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 ⅓ of the chicken-bacon mixture, leaving empty ¼ inch from the edge. Top with ⅓ 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!
Sarah Sonnamaker says
Such a good idea!!! They look delicious.
Erica @ Coming Up Roses says
These look SO YUM, Erica!! I’m with ya on carmelizing pineapples…the juice gets beyond good! Grilling them is the best. I’m pinning this and suggesting to the fiance for our meal plan next week!
I love the mix of spicy, sweet and smoky in this quesadilla. I could go for one right now.
Artney @ My Pretty Brown says
Wow! These look amazing! That jalapeno-pineapple sounds like a winner! Pinning. 🙂
Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) says
These sound amazing! I love quesadillas, so I have to try out your recipe!
Sue Lau says
I love this idea! One of my fav Tex-Mex type of recipes is an al pastor taco with pineapple and pork, but I also love quesadilla. I imagine these are good with either type meat. And the sauce sounds fabulous. This is definitely worth a try!
heather @ divas run for bling says
These look so good. I haven’t tried to make quesadillas at home but you have inspired me now 🙂
YUM! This sounds amazing! I never think to add pineapple my a quesadilla. Totally going to try that!
I don’t know about the Jalapeno but yes to the pineapples I bought some the other day to make a smoothie but never did now I have something else to make with them
Oh wow, I so wish I would have read this post earlier, it would have been great to make for dinner. I have already prepped for shrimp tacos tonight though. However, tomorrow I can definitely make this since all of the ingredients are already here. Thanks for the idea.
We are huge pineapple fans here and I have never caramelized them! I have also yet to roast any type of fruit, I tell myself I am going to roast pit fruit every summer (never happens) I need to get off my tushy and switch it up a bit. We love the Mezetta jalapenos but I have to disagree with you on the olives, I could easily eat a whole jar in one sitting!!
Gah!!!! Love some pineapple and quesadillas. Cannot wait to try this. Pinned for sure!
Tammilee Tips says
These quesadillas look amazing and it sounds like it would be great! My husband would love this flavor combination with the jalapenos on it. This would be a great lunch for him to take to work as well.
Joanne T Ferguson says
I LOVE recipes hot and spicy Erica! Your photo make me say, I WANT ONE NOW!! Maybe to if I was being honest! Looks delicious and YUM!
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says
I have never tried Spicy Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas With Jalapeno Lime Aioli, this recipes looks like a must try and definitely perfect for summer!