BBQ Chicken Quesadillas


BBQ Chicken Quesadillas are fast, filling, and absolutely delicious. My husband’s favorite meal!


Oh my gosh, I have to tell you about the BBQ Chicken Quesadillas I made for dinner! These quesadillas hold a unique power at my house. A power strong enough to make my husband weed whack the entire yard, even though he hates it more than anything.

Powerful enough to make him complete his weekend “honey-do” list in record time.

Powerful enough to re-pave the driveway, as he said me he would do, if I would only make these quesadillas for him! For some reason, my man is 100%, head-over-heels, nuts for this dish!


They’re incredibly simple to make, too. All you do is cook a soft tortilla with sharp cheddar cheese, shredded chicken breast mixed with BBQ sauce and…

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the secret ingredient – caramelized onions!!!!


You may think you don’t like caramelized onions – but I promise, you do! All you do is heat a couple teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 small vidalia onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick, and sauté until the onions get more,

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and more…

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and more golden brown, stirring every minute or so.

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The entire process took about 15 minutes, and every 2 or 3 minutes, I turned the heat down little by little. By the time the heat was around a 4, the onions looked like the picture below.

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At this point, I sprinkled them with a little salt and a 1/2 teaspoon sugar and  continued to caramelize until the heat had been turned down to about a 3.

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The sugar created a chewy, sweet crust,

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and they ended up tasting SO AMAZING!

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Like a cross between a fried onion ring and sweet, chewy dried fruit! The low and slow heat + the tiny bit of sugar gave this naturally sweet Vidalia onion a taste that was out of this world.

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They’re the secret ingredient that will make everything taste better.


BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

1 sweet onion, sliced thin
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/4 – 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat then add onions. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add desired amount of BBQ sauce to chicken in a bowl then stir to coat and set aside.
  2. Spray same skillet lightly with non-stick spray. Place a tortilla inside the skillet then sprinkle half with 1/4 cup cheese. Add half the chicken and half the caramelized onions then another 1/4 cup cheese on top, and fold the tortilla over. Cook for 3-4 minutes a side, or until golden brown, then repeat with remaining tortilla and ingredients. Let quesadillas cool for 2-3 minutes then cut into wedges and serve.


It completely made this dish, as far as I’m concerned. My only regret is that I didn’t have more to put on there!


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  1. Jenny 06.28.2010

    Your husband is one lucky man!

  2. Wow! These look great! My husband is currently sitting over my shoulder drooling at the computer screen asking me to make them for dinner sometime soon!

  3. Samantha 06.28.2010

    Those looks amazing!!

  4. sarah 06.28.2010

    Thanks for the dinner idea…I couldn’t decide cause it’s just me and the kids tonight! YUMMERS

  5. Sarah Jayne 06.28.2010

    Onions & garlic are my 2 secret weapons in the kitchen. Can’t get enough of them!! As for finding the secret to getting the boy to do all the things I’d like..well..haven’t found that yet. Sure hoping someday!!

  6. sara 06.28.2010

    Mmmmm…I make bbq chix quesadillas quite often. They’re extra good w/ grilled pineapple, red onion and bbq sauce. Incredible!

  7. oh my gawwwd I LOVE caramalized onions! they are my favorite pizza topper and make anything taste better!!! i totally agreeeee

  8. Lauren 06.28.2010

    Caramelized Onions are quite fantastic. I think they turn any onion hater into an onion lover! :)

    Aww, Ben is such a champ and you are such a sweet wife to make him his favorite meal for all of his hard work. You guys are too cute!

  9. You are too sweet! <3

  10. Jenna 06.28.2010

    I am head over heals for caramelized & grilled onions. It probably sounds really gross to some, but those who love the said ingredient probably understand… I think I could eat a whole caramelized onion myself. Maybe dipped in ketchup. ;)

  11. I’m 100% obsessed with carmelized onions. Try them on a salad!

  12. jen 06.28.2010

    i actually have all the ingredients to make those in my kitchen right now. that rarely happens. hooray for having a dinner planned for the week :)

    i also find it impressive that your husband trimmed the whole yard by hand!

  13. ooooooooh another great ige recipe. seriously, i hope to god you are working on a cookbook. I WOULD BUY IT. it sure would save me printing a whole lot of paper (ok, so it would save my office the paper…ha). and i am cracking up about ben cutting the lawn with SHEARS! i hope you have a small lawn. poor ben :)

  14. oooh what a tasty looking dinner! Love the caramelised onions…delish!!!

  15. Oh. Wow. That sounds SO GOOD!

  16. That dinner looks amazing, simple but I am sure it tastes as good as you describe. Worth a try.

  17. Bridget 06.28.2010

    Delish! I love onions on all foods. I don’t like my stinky breath afterwards but they’re so yummy!

  18. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! For this recipe……I love anything with cheese, chicken, bbq sauce and onions……hense BBQ Chicken Pizza is my total favorite and next time I am put “carmalized onions” on mine but I have to make these BBQ Chicken Quesadillas 1st! =) YUM!

  19. Sara 06.28.2010

    Those quesadillas look so delicious. Caramelized onions are divine!

  20. Court and Whit 06.28.2010

    Oh my goodness, your recipes never fail! we are going to make these tomorrow night now. Thanks ;) We just made Buffalo chicken pizza last week, and I think we’ll use this same idea, but make it a buffalo chicken quesidilla. yay, so excited now!!XX

  21. Those quesadillas look awesome, especially the onion on the pan :)

  22. Ashley 06.29.2010

    What a delicious dinner! It’s on my list to fix next week now, thank you! :)

  23. Seriously, carmelized onions are the BEST. they add so much to a dish!

  24. Anna 06.29.2010

    Yum :)
    Can you carmelize shallots? I wonder how that would turn out.

  25. Daisy 06.29.2010

    Justin. didn’t i say i felt kinda bad from him in the beginning?! and you told me he was crazy as they come?

    hahaha yep. that sick freak. last night was dispicable.
    But don’t you kinda want to travel to istanbul now? cause I do!!

  26. Sara 06.29.2010

    YUMMY! I can’t wait to attempt to make these…they look easy even for a non cooker like me!

  27. […] on hand like frozen burritos, tortillas and cheese for quesadillas (or maybe now stuff for these quesadillas, YUM!), mini english muffin pizzas, etc.   My husband really likes Chef Boyardee’s beef […]

  28. Deanna 06.29.2010

    mmmmm….LOVE carmelized onions – I make them in a mini crockpot in a big batch and use them for everything – sandwiches, steaks, meatloaf…bbq chicken quesadillas are next on the list!

    I think I hear onions calling me :)

  29. Caroline 07.10.2010

    I made these last night, they were sooo easy & sooo delicious. The boyfriend was thankful for some bbq meat & sweet onions =) Thankss!!!!

  30. […] followed this recipe exactly, and ended up with another sub-par food picture because I was SO HUNGRY and they […]

  31. […] normally you cook caramelized onions low and slow. Well I cooked these extremely low and extremely slow last night – to the point […]

  32. jenny 09.06.2010

    I made these last night and wow that is all I can say!!!!! My husband loved them :)

  33. […] I hope that by reading my blog you can get some easy, healthy recipe ideas, and maybe learn how to caramelize an onion or make Spring Rolls, but I also hope you can relate. I’d love to win the title as next food […]

  34. […] I finally was able to make the BBQ Chicken Quesadillas w/Caramelized Onions that I saw at IowaGirlEats and have been wanting to make for months now!  […]

  35. Rhonda 10.24.2010

    These look wonderful! What do you use to make your carrots so uniform and small.. a mandoline? If not, you have mad knife skills woman.

  36. […] I cooked up some BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, thanks to the recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.I initially starting reading her blog because I lived in Des Moines, but since moving have stayed […]

  37. […] mentioned caramelized onions (my favorite thing […]

  38. […] YOU remember how crazy this kid is over ‘em! […]

  39. […] BBQ Chicken Quesadillas […]

  40. Melissa 01.02.2011

    Just caramelized my first onions!! Love your blog and recipes. I’m a novice in the kitchen and my husband is loving the recipes I’ve tried thus far. Thanks!!

  41. Nicole 01.11.2011

    I had planned on making regular quesadillas tonight for dinner. I already knew I was going to sautee the onions in a little bit of oil. But then I stumbled upon this website and I knew I had to try your recipe of the caramelized onions. Oh my sweet Georgia, they were delicious! My chicken had already been baking in olive oil when I saw this recipe so I was unable to do a BBQ quesa. But I loved those onions so much I going to have to make the BBQ ones too.

  42. […] abominable. I completely lost all sense of control–it was Superbowl Sunday after all! I made BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, guacamole, Chorizo Queso dip, mini Monkey Breads (the Boy calls them Monkey Bites–copyright […]

  43. hellooolife 02.23.2011

    OMG, I love your website! I know this isn’t your aim, but your site is pretty weight watchers friendly. Thanks for the inspiration!! My carmelized onions didn’t look like yours, but it still tasted good. Thanks!

  44. Kira Jensen 04.29.2011

    So I took lots of inspiration from this recipe of yours and decided to make a homemade BBQ chicken pizza! I made a whole wheat crust….caramelized my onions, added chopped up green pepper and of course the chicken. I even made a simple BBQ sauce and topped the pizza off with a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Before I baked the pizza I chopped some fresh cilantro and sprinkled it on top and then baked it….oh my gosh it was delicious! So thanks for the inspiration!! I couldn’t have done it without your post! :)

    Kira :)

  45. qq:) 06.03.2011

    i love your every posts~! please keep on posting more good recipes~!

  46. […] then it hit me.  I remembered reading a post on one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats about BBQ chicken quesadillas, with caramelized onions.  But alas, I didn’t have onions either.  But I did have corn.  […]

  47. […] liked this so much that he asked if we can include it in our regular rotation, along with BBQ Chicken Quesadillas and Tortilla Egg Scrambles. I […]

  48. […] BBQ Chicken Quesadillas […]

  49. […] It can also shred cheese for BBQ chicken quesadilla with cheddar cheese.  […]

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