Chicken Cheese Pasta Quesadilla
I know what your thinking that the Chicken Cheese Pasta Quesadilla doesn’t sound very Mexican. Well the Mexican flavours are there but its the pasta the sticks out. Having three children you have to adapt recipes and you do especially if you want cheap dinner ideas. This Quesadilla was made virtually from leftovers, the chicken was from our Sunday roast. The pasta was from our Tuesday pasta dish. We quite often have pasta on a Tuesday as it ties into our meal planner. It may be lasagne or my similar version made with fusilli pasta Bolognese, it taste’s the same and its a lot quicker to make.
So yes its a very tradition Italian staple but if you have some as leftovers then it just makes plain sense to use it creatively. So I had some leftover in the fridge so the idea struck me, chop them up into little pieces about the same size as the chicken. The perfect solution towards Zero Food Waste. So not Mexican lets call it Multicultural Mexican Quesadilla.
To tie in with my meal planner I try to make dishes throughout the week with what meat I had as a Sunday roast. So it was leftover chicken and usually the kids only really eat the white meat on a Sunday roast. They just do not know hat they are missing from all that juicy chicken meat from the bone. So the chicken was stripped of all the tender juicy meat and placed into a bowl ready to make the Quesadilla later.
The Mexican Part Of The Quesadilla
Now that was the kids sorted so I needed to make it a little more authentic for the two of us. The first port of call was the freezer and I had some previously cut up red peppers, perfect. Above my freezer is where I keep some of the vegetables in the house where its cold to preserve them. I grabbed an onion as well and off to the chopping board. So the pasta was leftover. The chicken was leftover and the pepper was leftover as well.
- Chicken Leftovers
- Cooked pasta fusilli
- 1 onion sliced
- 1/2 a red pepper
- 3 spring onions chopped
- 200g cheese grated
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 pack of tortilla
Turn the oven on to 130 c to warm up Chop the leftover chicken into bite size pieces and place into a bowl Chop up the pasta into the same size pieces as the chicken Fry the onions and peppers in a pan and add the spices for 5 minutes Once the onions and peppers are soft and starting to go brown turn off the heat and add the spring onions Stir the spring onions around in the pan so they get coated in the spice mix Grab a cold frying pan big enough to take your tortilla
For the Kids Version of Quesadilla
Place the tortilla in the pan and add a scattering of chopped pasta Now add the chicken to fill in the spaces left by the pasta Cover with cheese and place a tortilla on top and squeeze down This will compact the cheese pasta and chicken together Place on the hob on a medium heat, not to high or you will burn the tortilla After about 4 minutes cooking grab a large plate to put over the frying pan Twist the frying pan over so the Quesadilla falls onto the plate The tortilla should be starting to go brown in places and becoming crispy and not soft Cook for another 3 minutes before removing it from the frying pan with the plate again Place the kids Quesadilla on a tray in the oven to keep warm
For the Adults Quesadilla
Add the chicken cheese and pasta as above Then add the spiced peppers, onions and spring onion mix Cook as above
Cheese, add your own favourite cheese, ours is mainly cheddar cheese, occasionally if we have friends round we put in chilli flavoured cheese as they like things hot. Serve with you favourite sides
How To Cook A Quesadilla
Some people just cook their Quesadilla in a skillet on the hob. They can be arranged on a baking sheet and cooked in the oven. I prefer to use a combination of the two methods as it gives me greater control on how they turn out. The other reason is because I only have one frying pan big enough to take large tortilla. I obviously have to make two versions of my chicken cheese pasta Quesadilla. Yes those children who don’t like it to spicy. So using both methods of cooking quesadilla is a must to keep the cheese hot and melting.
What Do You Serve With Quesadilla
Well for us its quite simple. Without question there has to be pico de galo on the table, sharp citrus lime yum. We also usually serve with Quesadilla oven roasted Sweet Potatoes. The a simple salad of what ever we have in the salad draw at the time. This time I also served some barbecue beans made from supermarket home brand beans. I then added some sticky barbecue marinade to the beans before cooking them. The kids thought they were ace, even better than the ones from KFC.