When you are looking for a quick and easy fall-inspired meal that is comforting, warm and cozy, then butternut squash quesadillas with chicken and kale is exactly what you need. It's flavourful, so cheesy, and has the perfect crunch. These quesadillas are packed with cooked shredded chicken, butternut squash, kale and two cheeses -- goat cheese for a little tang, and mozzarella for that cheesy pull that everyone knows and loves in a quesadilla. The most satisfying fall weeknight meal.
The pairing of flavours in this dish are kind of next level. I mean, obviously my favourite seasonal ingredient right now is butternut squash. But put it together with kale and you will discover some kitchen magic. These two are just made for each other. Plus, they create a pretty amazing display of colour together.
- butternut squash - 1 medium squash peeled and cut into ¼ inch cubes. You can also use pre-cut butternut squash that is usually quite easy to find this time of year at your local grocery store.
- seasoning for butternut squash - roast the squash in olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- shredded chicken - I used about ⅔ of a whole roast chicken (or 2-3 cups of shredded chicken). This recipe is a great way to use up leftover whole roast chicken or roasted spatchcock chicken. You can also pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken if you want to make things even easier. Just pull the meat off the bone while the chicken is still warm, and use the leftovers in dishes all week long.
- goat cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- fresh thyme or micro greens - optional, for garnish.
How to Make the Best Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Chicken and Kale
- Roast the butternut squash. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place cubed butternut squash on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper, then toss to combine. Roast until squash is tender and lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Roast the kale. On the same baking sheet, add kale, remaining tablespoon olive oil and remaining teaspoon salt. Toss to combine, then roast for 7-9 minutes, or until kale is crispy.
- Assemble the quesadillas. To prepare the quesadillas, lay tortillas out on a large cutting board. Spread 1 oz. of goat cheese (about 1.5 tablespoons) on half of each tortilla. Layer the cooked butternut squash, kale, and cooked shredded chicken on top, dividing equally amongst the tortillas. Top with 1 oz. mozzarella cheese on each tortilla, then fold the tortilla over to seal.
- Grill the quesadillas. Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with nonstick spray then cook quesadillas until cheese has melted and tortillas are lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Cut into wedges, garnish with herbs if desired, and serve immediately.
Tips on Making Quesadillas
- How to customize: One of the great things about quesadillas is that you can use whatever ingredients that you have on hand. Throw in some corn kernels or even sweet potato. You can also make it vegetarian by swapping out the chicken for black beans.
- How to store: To store, wrap the quesadillas tightly in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- How to reheat: These quesadillas reheat really well. Just reheat on a non-stick pan for a few minutes on each side, or in the oven at 300 F until warmed and crispy, approximately 20 minutes if refrigerated or 30 minutes from frozen. You can also reheat in the air fryer at 300 F for about 10-15 minutes.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Stuffed Butternut Squash with Wild Rice
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash Carbonara Pasta
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- One Pan Roasted Harvest Vegetables
- Butternut Squash "Pumpkin" Bread
- Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.