Welcome to another installment of this-is-so-easy-it’s-the-only-thing-I-can-make-during-the-holidays.

Thai Chicken Quesadillas I howsweeteats.com

It’s my new little faux series. And by faux series I mean series that I made up last night at midnight while I sat in bed eating a cookie. Ew. Crumbs. Ew.

Worth it though.

Thai Chicken Quesadillas I howsweeteats.com

I’d probably have a lot more time to come up with creative names to my faux series if I didn’t spend the majority of my evenings watching the Friends reruns (yes, I’m still doing this. UGH.) which I swear channels put on just to ruin my life and my productivity and my (lack thereof a) sleep schedule. It’s absolutely pertinent that I watch this episode for the 106th time because it MIGHT end differently or I might catch something new or I might find something that I think is fashionable or cool before remembering it is about 15 years old or something.

Story of my liiiiiife. Can I get a personal stylist here? I’ll pay you in tacos.

Thai Chicken Quesadillas I howsweeteats.com

Remember when I made thai chicken enchiladas? They were sort of weird but sort of wonderful and have become one of the most popular recipes on this little site where I talk about hoarding lipgloss and being inappropriately obsessed with TV. I was hesitant about those and completely fell head over heels. Even though I just wrote “hells.” Can one become head over “hells?”

Anyway – the quesadillas. I still struggle with the whole thai + cheese thing so I switched it up a bit here and simply used some pepperjack. That way it added a bit of the token heat I get in my favorite thai dishes and didn’t totally destroy it with something like cheddar. Not that cheddar can destroy anything but eh… you know.

All I know is that I want to be busy all year round so I can eat stuff like this.

Thai Chicken Quesadillas I howsweeteats.com


Thai Chicken Quesadillas

Yield: makes 2 quesadillas

Total Time: 30 minutes


1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2/3 cups shredded napa cabbage
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
a big bunch of cilantro
1 cup freshly grated pepperjack cheese
4 whole wheat tortillas

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon-sized knob of ginger, grated
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce


Combine chili sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, sugar, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and lime juice in a saucepan, whisking with a fork until combined. Heat oven medium heat until mixture comes to a bubble, let boil for 1 minute then reduce to low and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Heat a large skillet oven medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season chicken with salt, pepper and cumin, then add to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Remove chicken and set on a place, then add remaining olive oil with onion, cabbage, carrots and garlic. Stir to coat and cook until slightly wilted but still crunchy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and add to the plate with the chicken.

Using the same skillet (or an electric griddle), lay one tortilla down. To assemble the quesadillas, I like to take a bit of cheese to use as "glue" on each side. So add a layer of cheese, half of the chicken mixture, sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts, about 2-3 tablespoons of the thai sauce, then cover with a bit more cheese. Place the second tortilla on top and cook until browned and crisp, and cheese is melted. Flip and cool until golden on the other side. Repeat with the second quesadilla.
Serve the remaining sauce for dipping!

[sauce from my one pan sticky thai wings]

Thai Chicken Quesadillas I howsweeteats.com

Uh, who puts peanuts in quesadillas? Me. Definitely me.

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63 Responses to “Thai Chicken Quesadillas.”

  1. #
    Liz — December 12, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    Peanuts in quesadillas = perfect. Love the extra crunch.


  2. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — December 12, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    “head over hells”…totally a new expression. I’d be head over hells for these, too!!!


  3. #
    Kim in MD — December 12, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    I love Friends, too, and once you start watching you can’t stop! I also love Thai food, and this quesadilla looks like the perfect snack to eat while watching friends!


  4. #
    Blog is the New Black — December 12, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    NEEEEED this.


  5. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — December 12, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    I love the easy meals, especially ones full of flavor! I love quesadillas and I love your Thai spin on it!! I think this is tonights dinner!!


  6. #
    little kitchie — December 12, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Oh, how I love you for these.

    Made your crockpot cheeseburgers last night and the first thing my husband said this morning: “Do we have any of those cheeseburgers left?”


    • Jessica — December 12th, 2012 @ 10:35 am

      aren’t they weirdly delicious?! like so totally simple but SO GOOD! i’m thrilled you guys enjoyed them.


  7. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — December 12, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    Oh my gosh, I want these right now! Give me anything Thai and I’ll eat it day in, day out without getting bored! I’m not a big fan of cheese (or rather, my digestive system isn’t) but I’m totally trying this sauce and smothering it on EVERYTHING!!


  8. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — December 12, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    I love quesadillas but I’ve never made them at home before. I’m not very familiar with Thai cooking (except I’m a huge fan of anything involving coconut milk!) but I love peanuts and these look tasty!


  9. #
    Heather@SugarDish(Me) — December 12, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    I am all over that sauce. Yesss! Also– you are not alone with the Friends reruns. I can’t stop. It’s a sickness. A wonderful laugh-tracked sickness.


  10. #
    emily — December 12, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    Thai flavors and cheese?! It’s like my two favorite things got married! All I need is this plus a diet coke and I’ll basically die of happiness.


  11. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — December 12, 2012 @ 9:34 am



  12. #
    Lauren | Have Fork, Will Eat — December 12, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    These look amazing. It’s not even 9am yet and I want one.


  13. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — December 12, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    these sound fab. I love thai food. all kinds!


  14. #
    Jessica S — December 12, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    At least twice a week you say something that totally creeps me out because I have either said or thought the exact same thing. I watch reruns of 90s tv like it’s my job! Friends, 90210, SATC, Frasier, Golden Girls (technically 80s), the list goes on…
    I have never commented, but I read your blog daily…you are awesome!! :)


    • Jessica — December 12th, 2012 @ 10:34 am

      you are my soul sister! thanks for commenting. ;)


  15. #
    Ashley — December 12, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    Oooh, I think we would love these and maybe just sub chickpeas instead of chicken! I totally get your dilemma about Friends. Totally. I try to plan my indoor bike riding workouts (at home) around 4pm because there are 2 back to back episodes. I laugh out loud for sure. In yesterdays episode (yes, I’m doing this) Ross and Janis had a little fling and Janis told Ross that HE was annoying and Ross said…”OH. MY. GAWD.” And I died. Oh, and…a few years back they used to play back to back episodes from 11:30-12:30am. Kill a girli why don’t you?? Of course I had to watch them both every single night!! Aaaaaaand I’m done.


    • Jessica — December 12th, 2012 @ 10:34 am

      ummm… yes. to all of that.


  16. #
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} — December 12, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    Yum, Thai food is good in any form, and quesadillas are probably the best form of anything!


  17. #
    kim@hungryhealthygirl — December 12, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    What a creative idea!! I haven’t had quesadillas in forever and now I have a major craving! Friends is great to watch while on the treadmill…..makes the time fly.


  18. #
    Alissa — December 12, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    Yes!! I can’t wait to make these! I have been craving a quesadilla but not the normal ones I make with chicken and pineapple. Love the Thai twist!


  19. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — December 12, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    Quesadillas are our favorite quick meal when we are short on time.. Love the thai touch!! Will try them soon!


  20. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — December 12, 2012 @ 11:16 am

    Mmmm, it’s been far too long since I last ate a quesadilla. Need.


  21. #
    Kristina — December 12, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    how YOU doin’…? I still watch Friends too, and love that they cannot schedule less than three episodes back to back… and that just the other day I got to see the MISS Chanandler Bong episode. again.

    …and Jason Will Not Let me eat in bed. anything. which is good, I suppose. crumbs.

    I am going to do what Ashley is doing – chickpeas for chicken. heh. first time I realized the first five letters are the same.


  22. #
    brandi — December 12, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    do we have the SAME nights, every night? I physically cannot stop watching the Friends reruns. Even when I’m exhausted at 9:30 and have nothing else to do….I make myself stay up to see at least one episode. Could I BE any more pathetic?


  23. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 12, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    Love that you put peanuts in these and love that you made a quickie for the holidays and basically I need meals like this, year round!


  24. #
    Morgan — December 12, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    What a fun recipe! The sauce sounds amazing. Chili sauce, brown sugar AND garlic?! Yum.


  25. #
    Julie — December 12, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    What a great idea! i have been stuffing peanuts into a lot of recipes lately because they add the perfect amount of salt and flavor!


  26. #
    natalie — December 12, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    my boyfriend constantly harasses me for watching friends reruns… but there just is no substitute!

    side note, did you hear they are making a new boy meets world series???


  27. #
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — December 12, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    Oooh yum I need to make these! Just printed the recipe and pinned it to the fridge – definitely tomorrow nights dinner!


  28. #
    Sweet Tooth — December 12, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    Mmmmmm. I love the addition of coconut milk in the dipping sauce recipe. Sounds amazing!

    Sweet Tooth


  29. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — December 12, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    I love being able to pull out a quesadilla when there’s nothing ready for dinner. But my ‘lazy quesadillas’ are a whole ‘nother level compared to this delicious-looking thing!


  30. #
    honeywhatscooking — December 12, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

    brilliantly done my friend. you really can think outside the box.


  31. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — December 12, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

    There is nothing wrong with a nice healthy obsession with television. Just think of all the joy it brings yoU!

    These quesadillas look amazing!


  32. #
    Becky @ Olives n Wine — December 12, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    I have been on a total quesadilla kick lately and these look A-MAZ-ING! I love the addition of peanuts too :) So creative!


  33. #
    Roxanne — December 12, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    These look so good. Will be perfect for one of my lunches.


  34. #
    a farmer in the dell — December 12, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

    I am going to make these STAT! I think I will sub chickpeas for the chicken. Thanks for another great recipe!


  35. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — December 12, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    I can totally get behind peanuts in a quesadilla. Especially if sweet chili sauce and coconut milk are involved.


  36. #
    Katie — December 12, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    This is brilliant. I am all for easy this month, or any month for that matter. And you added peanuts? Brilliant, I say!


  37. #
    Natural Handcrafted Soap — December 12, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    Thousand thanks for the recipes XOXO


  38. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — December 12, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

    Printed and making! Enough said


  39. #
    Laura — December 13, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    Just so you know, I saw this yesterday morning, hemmed and hawed about what to make for dinner (knowing that I’d be working late AND would have to go to the grocery store to get ingredients), but my brain could not get off of this recipe. It was totally work the rush at Giant Eagle, the frustration of self-chekout, nearly chopping my finger off, and washing various utensils. These were amazing. Everything was worth it and they totally lived up to my expectations. Thank you for the inspiration and your wonderfully creative recipes!


  40. #
    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — December 13, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    wow– so delicious!


  41. #
    Shanna@ pineapple and coconut — December 13, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    Love these!! Seriously when are you going to come out with a cookbook?? I think its your “turn” to do so. So hurry up. I want to own a copy. Thanks


  42. #
    Larry — December 13, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    Ok, so I’m totally LITERALLY obsessed with your blog. Like, I’ve almost made it through everysinglerecipe you have on here.
    I think I’m up to page 125 now and I seriously can’t get enough of you. I like to think I could make everything on here (who can’t follow a recipe?) but… I’m lazy. Like, last night I basically had a dinner made of Foccacia Sticks (I KNOW, I didn’t know they existed either!) with jalapeño cilantro hummus from Trader Joe’s (love) and quesadillas made from leftover pepper jack cheese and some pickeld jalapeño slices.
    And now I want more.
    You’re awesome!


  43. #
    Kristi — December 13, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    Just LOL’d at “knob of ginger.” I know it’s how one “measures” ginger, but still, when I read your recipes it’s like you’re telling them to me and I just laughed & made you say that again, “knob of ginger.” Heh. I’m a loser. And 12 years old.


  44. #
    Shannon — December 13, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Your Thai Chicken Enchiladas are a staple in our house! Lurv!


  45. #
    Jentry Nielsen — December 13, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    Yes definitely never would have thought of putting peanuts in a quesadilla, but it does sound pretty delicious! Can’t wait to try this out!!! :)


  46. #
    tania@mykitchenstories.com.au — December 14, 2012 @ 7:09 am

    A hell of a Thai mex theme you got here. It shouldn’t really work but it appears to be very delicious


  47. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — December 17, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    Um. Ok. I could eat 157 million of these…for breakfast. Also, the whole watching reruns of TV shows? Yeah…that’s my life…but with Sex & the City. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched the recurring cycle of the entire series on TBS at least 725 million bajillion times.


  48. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — January 8, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

    Ummm so i just made these for dinner tonight and all i have to say is…you have truly outdone yourself!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything I hoped they would be and more…


  49. #
    Hannah — March 10, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

    These were amaze. Totally loved it.


  50. #
    Gloria @ Simply Gloria — April 29, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

    Saw this recipe on the local tv show this morning and wanted to tell you that this is an amazing recipe! Here’s a link to the telecast…in case you haven’t seen it yet. http://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=126&sid=24982525



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