This Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla recipe is my version of a Chili’s Bar and Grill classic. Gooey cheese and tender, grilled chicken layered between two golden brown tortillas and then served with homemade ranch dressing. Yeah, it doesn’t really get any better than that!
I absolutely love quesadillas because you can stuff them with literally anything. Sometimes, I’ll stuff them with pork and make Loaded Pulled Pork Quesadillas. Or, I’ll opt for chicken and make a Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla. For this recipe, I went with my favorite flavor combination – chicken, bacon, and ranch.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
- MARINATE THE CHICKEN FOR THE CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLAS
- CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLA
- LET’S GET THESE CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLAS COOKING!
- ASSEMBLE THE CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLA
- SERVE YOUR CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLA
- More Chicken Bacon Ranch Recipes
- How to Store Leftovers & Reheat
- What to serve with Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
- Recipe FAQs
- Flavor X Fire & FOOD X Fire
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Chicken bacon quesadillas are the real deal, my friend. It’s the kind of dish that’s not only ridiculously tasty but also a breeze to whip up. We’re talking about an easy recipe here, but these simple ingredients pack a punch of flavor. With succulent chicken, crispy bacon, and gooey melted cheese all embraced by a warm tortilla, it’s a flavor explosion!
This is your go-to for special occasions or those times when you want to impress without breaking a sweat. It’s an easy meal with tons of flavor, the kind that’ll have the whole family cheering for more.
CHICKEN & MARINADE:
- Chicken Thighs: I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, but rotisserie chicken would work also.
- Soy Sauce: Provides a salty, umami kick.
- Cilantro: Earthy and herbal.
- Limes: Provides vibrant flavor and cuts through the fattiness of the thighs to produce a tender result.
- Navel Oranges: Adds a zesty tropical touch.
- Garlic: Adds a pungent flavor.
- Ground Cumin: Adds a warm, earthy, and slightly nutty flavor
- Kosher Salt (to taste)
- Black Pepper (to taste)
- Cilantro: Adds an earthy, herbal note.
- Sour Cream: The base for our ranch and also adds a little tang.
- Mayonnaise: Another component for the base for our ranch. Use full-fat mayonnaise for best results.
- Jalapenos: Adds a slightly spicy kick.
- Limes: Adds zestiness.
- Buttermilk: The final component for the base for our ranch. Thins out the ranch.
- Salt (to taste)
- Cooked Bacon Bits: These add that smoky flavor to our quesadillas.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Feel free to use any type of cheese you like.
- Large Flour Tortillas: Because we want large and in charge kind of quesadillas.
- Pico de Gallo: Slightly spicy and adds a burst of freshness.
- Chopped Cilantro: Adds an earthy, herbal touch.
- Chopped Red Onion: Adds a little tang.
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How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
MARINATE THE CHICKEN FOR THE CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLAS
Our Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla begins with a marinade. No, we’re not soaking the actual quesadilla in liquid… Because that would make it soggy. We’re marinating the chicken first because a great Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla starts with great chicken, and great chicken starts with a great marinade.
First, place the chicken thighs into a food-safe bowl or bag. I recommend using boneless and skinless chicken thighs because they’re a bit fattier and carry more flavor.
CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLA
Next, add in soy sauce, chopped cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper. Then, cover the chicken and marinade and place it in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. If you have time, I recommend marinating it overnight because we want all that flavor to soak in!
For other chicken marinades, check out my Butterflied Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Green Sauce, Lemon Chili Rye Rotisserie Chicken, and Grilled Mojo Chicken.
LET’S GET THESE CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLAS COOKING!
Now it’s time to grill the chicken for your Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas. First, preheat your grill for direct cooking at about 350ºF. Place the chicken thighs onto the grill and let them cook until they reach an internal temperature of 170ºF. I usually achieve this in roughly 7-9 minutes, but it will, of course, depend on your grill and the size of the chicken thighs you’re using.
Next, pull the chicken off of the grill and set it aside for five minutes to give the flavor and moisture time to distribute back into the meat. Slice into it too soon, and all that goodness will seep out. And we definitely do not want that.
Lastly, chop the chicken into small cubes (think small enough to be layered into a quesadilla), then set the chicken cubes aside while you prep the rest of your Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla ingredients.
ASSEMBLE THE CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLA
Now, onto the easy part: assembling the quesadilla. First, clean off the grill grate and then add on a large plancha or cast-iron skillet to preheat.
Lay large flour tortilla shells down into the hot skillet and top one half of the tortilla with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. I highly recommend shredding your own cheese for this Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla because the flavor of pre-shredded cheese just isn’t quite the same.
Next, add 2-3 tablespoons of the chopped chicken on top of the cheese, followed by a sprinkle of cooked bacon bits. Then fold the tortilla over to make the quesadilla. Cook, flipping every minute or so, until the cheese is nice and melty and the tortilla is slightly crispy and golden brown.
SERVE YOUR CHICKEN BACON RANCH QUESADILLA
Last but definitely not least, it’s time to serve up your finished quesadillas.
I like to slice mine up and serve it with a side of spicy ranch and fresh pico de gallo because who doesn’t love some killer dipping sauce?!
- Add some veggies by throwing some chopped bell peppers inside the quesadillas.
- Don’t fold the tortilla until the cheese melts. We don’t want shredded cheese falling out everywhere.
- Check the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant-read thermometer.
How to Store Leftovers & Reheat
Store leftover chicken bacon ranch quesadillas in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you have the ability to store the chicken separate from the tortilla, then that’d be preferred. I like to keep them separate because sometimes the tortilla can get soggy.
- Place a large skillet on the stovetop on medium heat.
- Add your quesadillas and let them heat up for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove and serve with your favorite toppings and dipping sauces.
What to serve with Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
You have a few options when serving up these bad boys. You could serve them by themselves or add a few sides to bulk things up. Adding a side of Mexican rice for a hearty touch to compliment the bold flavors. Or, a spring for a crisp side salad with a zesty dressing to bring freshness and balance would also be great. Another great side dish is coleslaw for a cool crunch between bites. The last option is to top it all off with a generous dollop of guacamole for that creamy avocado goodness.
You can make these in a large skillet on the stovetop or an electric griddle.
I used shredded cheddar cheese but Monterey Jack cheese, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, or any other type of melty cheese you like.
I highly recommend using flour tortillas as they hold up better than corn tortillas.
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Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla
Chicken & Marinade:
- 5-6 Chicken Thighs boneless & skinless
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce
- ⅛ cup Cilantro chopped
- 3 medium Limes juiced
- 2 Navel Oranges juiced
- 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1.5 tbsp Ground Cumin
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- 2.5 tbsp Cilantro chopped
- 2.5 tbsp Sour Cream
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Jalapenos finely chopped or pureed
- 2 medium Limes juiced
- Buttermilk to desired consistency
- Salt to taste
- Cooked Bacon Bits
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Large Flour Tortillas
- Pico de Gallo
- Chopped Cilantro
- Chopped Red Onions
- Begin by adding your chicken thighs to a food safe bowl or bag. Add the rest of the marinade to the chicken and mix thoroughly. Once mixed, cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight.
- Next day, mix together all the ingredients for the Spicy Ranch in a bowl and set aside. Pull out the chicken and discard any excess marinade.
- Preheat a medium high heat grill for direct cooking (about 350F).
- Add your chicken to the grill and cook for about 7-9 minutes per side or until they have reached 170F internal. Once the chicken is done cooking, pull it off and let it rest for 5 minutes. Once rested, chopped the chicken up into small cubes and set to the side.
- Clean off your grill grate and either add a large plancha or a large cast iron skillet. Let it heat up over the flames for 2-3 minutes (without any oil).
- Add your large flour tortilla down and spread out a handful of shredded cheddar cheese on one half of the tortilla.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of chopped chicken over the cheese then fold the empty half of the tortilla over to make your quesadilla. Let this cook, flipping every minute, until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese has melted (about 3-4 minutes of cooking).
- Right before pulling your quesadilla off, open it up and drizzle some spicy ranch, add some chopped red onions, bacon bits and chopped cilantro.
- Close the quesadilla up and let cook for another 30 seconds before pulling it off. Repeat all these steps until you have done all the quesadillas you like.
- Slice your quesadilla up, serve with more of the spicy ranch and pico de gallo. Enjoy!