Cinco de Mayo is almost here and you'll want these Crockpot Adobo Chicken Quesadillas on the menu. Spicy, tender adobo chicken, peppers, onion and black beans layered between melted, gooey cheese and crisp tortillas topped with fresh Mango Salsa. What's not to love?!
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Flavor and texture abound in this sweet n' spicy, super delish, set-and-forget slow cooker recipe. These quesadillas are perfect as an app or the main event for game days, fiestas and whenever there's a craving.
This recipe takes all of 15 minutes of prep and the crockpot does the rest until it's time to assemble the quesadillas and crisp them up in a skillet. I started with some red and yellow onion, bell and poblano peppers, a can of black beans and lots of garlic. To that, I added crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, adobo sauce and a generous sprinkling of smoked paprika, roasted cumin and oregano.
The adobo brings smoky heat to the recipe and you can dial this up or down to your liking. And as always, feel free to customize the veggie combo to what you have on hand.
Stir this plentiful base of flavor until well combined then nestle the well-trimmed chicken on top. No pre-searing required! I used thighs but you can use breasts, too, and I sprinkled over a bit of jerk seasoning. Now, simply cover, set the timer and go about your day.
Once the chicken is fall-apart tender, grab a couple forks and shred into smaller pieces to get thoroughly coated in the thick, delicious sauce. Then it's just a matter of laying out the tortillas on a work surface and piling on freshly shredded cheese, the chicken mixture, and of course, more cheese!
I seasoned the outside of the tortillas with a little more jerk seasoning for extra zip. Be sure to press down on the assembled quesadillas slightly so the filling stays intact while cooking.
It takes just about four minutes on each side in a hot skillet to get the quesadillas perfectly crisp on the outside with tender chicken and oozing, gooey cheese inside. So now that you're ready to pop a cold one and dig in, here are some suggestions for quesadilla toppings. Enjoy!
- Mango Salsa (see easy recipe below)
- Sliced avocado and green onions
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro or parsley
- Mexican crema, Greek yogurt or sour cream
More Mexican Recipes for Cinco de Mayo and Beyond!
Crockpot Adobo Chicken Quesadillas with Mango Salsa
- 1 red or yellow onion , thinly sliced
- 1 small bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 1 poblano pepper , thinly sliced
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic , minced
- 1 14-ounce can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup canned crushed or diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons each dried oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs , well trimmed
- 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning , plus extra for tortillas
- 1 cup corn , thawed if frozen
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley , chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheddar, creamy jack cheese or a blend
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- Mango Salsa, sliced avocado and lime wedges for serving
- 1 ripe honey mango , peeled and diced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes , diced
- ⅓ cup red onion , diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro , chopped
- 1 fresno chile , seeded and minced
- 1 lime , zest and juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Place onion, peppers, garlic, black beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, adobo sauce and dried spices in a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Add chicken thighs to slow cooker and sprinkle with jerk seasoning.
- Cover and cook until chicken is fall-apart tender, 4-5* hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
- When done, transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks.
- Return chicken to slow cooker, and stir in corn, cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Chicken quesadilla filling can be made 3 days in advance of assembling. Cover and chill.)
- On a cutting board or work surface, drizzle one side of tortillas with a little olive oil. Sprinkle some jerk seasoning over and rub into tortillas.
- Flip 4 tortillas over so plain side is facing up. Spread about ½ cup cheese over the plain-sided tortillas. Top cheese with a generous amount of the chicken mixture and add more cheese. Place another tortilla on top with seasoned side up.
- Heat a ½ tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook quesadillas one at a time for about 4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp and cheese is completely melted. You can keep them warm in a low oven as you cook the others. Add more olive oil to skillet as needed between cooking each quesadilla.
- Cut into wedges, as desired. Serve with Mango Salsa, avocado and lime wedges. Enjoy!
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container and refrigerate.)
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