Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie

Consider this meal a must-make if you are looking for a) a quick, simple meal, b) a delicious family-pleasing entree, and c) a unique twist on a quesadilla in pie form (cause I know you’ve all been searching for just that and now your life can be complete).

I had low expectations for this meal. It was simply a means to an end – a busy weeknight calling for an easy, filling meal that made use of ingredients I already had on hand. Earlier in the week, I had whipped up a large batch of cooked, shredded chicken and the leftovers were calling to me from the refrigerator. When I spied this recipe, I went for it, if only to get dinner on the table fast (in case there are misconceptions, I don’t photograph every meal that is made and eaten in this house – trust me, you would be mighty disappointed if that were the case!).

Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie

I was skeptical about pouring a mixture of flour and eggs over the top of shredded chicken, cheese and cilantro and not ending up with a gummy, yucky mess. Bisquick-gone-wrong has scarred me in the past and I wasn’t too excited about the possibilities of a homemade version turning out badly. However, I had no reason to fear. The batter surrounds the chicken mixture and bakes up to create a tender, biscuit-like feel throughout the casserole but it’s light enough that it doesn’t overpower the chicken and cheese. Because it was devoured so quickly, I “had” to make it again (darn it!) so that I could actually take a picture of it to share with you. The simple flavors combine to make a truly fabulous dinner. This was a hands-down hit all around! (And would be a perfect take-in meal for someone…lucky them!)

Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie

What To ServeMexican Tomato and Corn SaladΒ or steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Shrapnel DipΒ with Baked Tortilla Chips
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Two Years Ago: Creamy Spinach Gratin
Three Years Ago: Thanksgiving 101: The Rest of the Recipes

Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie

Yield: Serves 6

Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie

Note: This dish is extremely mild in spiciness. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider adding a can of green chiles or chopped, jarred pickled jalapenos.


  • 3 (10-inch) flour tortillas, white or wheat
  • Vegetable or canola oil cooking spray
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used about 1 1/2 pounds chicken and cooked it with this method)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, making sure an oven rack is in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray. Overlap and layer the three tortillas (kind of in a cloverleaf pattern), pressing them into the dish, so that the bottom and sides of the pie plate are evenly covered with tortilla. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken with 1 cup of the cheese, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture into the pie plate.
  2. In the same bowl that the chicken mixture was in (no need to wash it), whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Slowly pour this liquid mixture into the pie plate covering the chicken evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the surface is golden brown. Let the casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook

68 Responses to Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie

  1. Brian says:

    Through this together last night, didn’t have any cilantro so I just left it out. Added a few tablespoons of green chile (505 is the best). Definitely making again with the cilantro and maybe some onions. Found you sight by looking for a green enchilada sauce recipe and have loved it ever since. (best enchilada sauce ever)

  2. Sheila says:

    I made this tonight-another winner from your blog! I only had 2 cups of chicken, but I also added a can of chilis, so there was enough filling. Very good! My only complaint was that it wasn’t piping hot after 25 minutes, but it was set and the crust was browned, so it would have been overdone if I left it in any longer. My husband added jalapeΓ±os to his for more heat. Looking forward to leftovers. Will make again.

  3. Liz says:

    I made this for breakfast: bacon, salsa and pickled jalapeno instead of chicken and I used masa harina instead of flour. I halved the cheese and egg/milk/flour, used 1 whole wheat tortilla in a 5 1/2 inch deep pie dish I use for a lot of “single” serving things. I lowered the temp to 400 and the masa needed a bit over 30 minutes to get to a tamale kind of texture – yum!!

    As another commenter said – use good cheese! I used Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. I would not use pre-shredded.

    Next time, I will reduce the amount of the flour-egg-milk to make the filling slightly less dense, but an easy and quick Mexi-quiche kind of dish. And if you used corn tortillas and masa, it is gluten free.

  4. Karen says:

    I’ve made this recipe a few times as written, but tonight instead of chicken, I subbed cooked ground beef I seasoned with cumin, crushed red pepper, chili powder and salt as well as a can of black beans. It was yummy!

  5. Amanda says:

    It did finally bake through and was quite tasty. It was in for a total of about 70 minutes, though! The last 20 I turned the oven down to 375 because the edges were getting dark. The “crust” was a little tough, but otherwise it was fine. I will definitely try it again, but next time I may put it in my round 2-quart casserole and give it a little more space. Thanks – your recipes never disappoint!

  6. Amanda says:

    I’m wondering if I did something wrong. I have this in the oven right this minute. It has been in for almost an hour (yikes!) and the center is still soupy. I double checked my measuring cups to make sure I didn’t use too much or too little milk or flour and I even put my oven thermometer in to make sure that wasn’t off. It is in my 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Any thoughts? Kids and I were looking forward to it! I’m afraid at this point the outside is going to be charred and dry! πŸ™

  7. Chelsea says:

    Made this tonight-really yummy!! I also added a can of green chiles to the chicken mixture. The cooking time was longer than listed, but that was not a problem. I would make again!

  8. Lisa Len says:

    This was a big hit last night with the whole fam – including the picky teenager! Thanks for another great go to recipe.

  9. Dee Reeder says:

    Has anyone tried this in the crock pot? I want to make it for a party…I’m thinking 4 hours on high might do the job?

  10. Megan says:

    I made this last night and it was a hit! I omitted the cilantro/salt/pepper and used 2 tbsp of my favorite taco seasoning plus a can of diced chilies We topped it with the typical toppings of tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, avocados, etc. My three year old ate this so it was a big win! Thanks for the great recipes!.

  11. Joanna says:

    Found your recipe via Pinterest, and man does this look tasty! I will have to add this to my dinner rotation one night on our Mexican night.

  12. Andrea says:

    It has been a long time since a new recipe went over as well as this did with the whole family. All of my kids asked for seconds! Gluten issues meant we used corn tortillas (6 of them) and a gluten free flour mix. I also subbed green onions for half of the cilantro and added a sprinkle of cumin and chili powder.

  13. Jenn A says:

    I made this the other night for my family’s supper. I have three teenage boys and they all liked it. One said it was a little “bland” so next time I will add the green chilies and some chili powder or some other spices. I had trouble getting it to bake through and my tortillas were burnt around the edges before the middle of the pie was baked. Not sure what happened there. I plan to try this with a masa crust recipe that I have next time. I think the corn flavor would add a special something to this and hopefully I won’t have trouble getting it baked through. I will be making it again since my family liked it.

  14. Larene says:

    Hi, I’m quite new to your site and I missed how you cooked the chicken. Anyway, I was wondering if you could repeat how you do that, Thank you, Larene

    • Mel says:

      Larene – I almost always use THIS method when a recipe calls for precooked chicken. It is very simple, and you can make a lot and freeze the leftovers in portions for the next time you need precooked chicken.

  15. Shaynee says:

    Oh man… this was the first MKC flop for my family. : (
    I saw it in the forgotten recipes post and could not wait to make it. I made it and baked as directed, and it was almost burnt on the outside, and totally raw on the inside! I had to cover it with foil, and bake for ANOTHER 25 minutes! I am not a novice cook, and I bake all of the time, so I know it’s not my oven. I don’t know what went wrong. When it finally did bake, the consistency was very dry and doughy, and there really was no flavor. I even added a can of drained chilies to the mix. Unfortunately, this will stay in the forgotten recipes for us. I’m so surprised, because EVERYTHING else I make from your site I love, and are huge family faves! Hey… one miss out of a lot of hits really isn’t bad though! ; )

  16. d says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and added 3 whole freshly roasted hatch chiles and I think those just made it amazing! Great as written, but the roasted chiles took it up a notch. Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Bre says:

    This was so easy and good! My picky 2 year old, who refuses to eat meat, absolutely loved it. Definitely making this again!

  18. Mamalala says:

    Made this tonight with these added spices: 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.

    We like spice in our life. It’s like a fun Mexican Quiche…lower in carbs too. Yahoo!

  19. Terri says:

    Made this for dinner last was a hit. Added the green chilis like others suggested, and my fam loved it! πŸ™‚ And so fast and easy, I loved it!
    We eat gluten free so I liked that I could convert this recipe so easily….and I made it in a 9×13 pan and it came out fine…just add a few more mins cooking time.

  20. Lindsay says:

    Loved it too! Used pepper jack, green chilies, and some onions – great recipe! Thanks:)

  21. Jen says:

    I wasn’t sure how we’d feel about this after reading the mixed reviews, but it was a hit here! We left out cilantro and added some cumin and cayenne and bell pepper. Served with salsa and sour cream. Agree it old be good with all kinds of variations. It’s going into our rotation for sure… Quick, easy, comfort food.

  22. […] Source: Adapted slightly from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  23. Debra Rusling says:

    This was amazing all my family loved it! I did add green chiles and jalepenos for more kick . And I made a jalepeno ranch dressing to go with it which made it all the better.Will be making again very soon thanks for a great recipe.

  24. Jill says:

    This was a great recipe… I spiced it up by making shredded chicken in the crock pot with chicken breasts simmering in salsa for more flavor.

  25. Mary says:

    Yummy! I made this several nights ago and it was delicious. I wish I had had some salsa to serve on top of it though. I added the can of green chilis, which is a nice addition. We love cheese here so I double the amount and it was jut wonderful.

  26. Mickie says:

    I made this tonight, I put on the the table and my husband said, “What IS that?” I said “Quesadilla Pie, Of course!” He responded “Well I like Pie, and I like Quesadilla’s so I’ll give it a shot.” My family likes things a bit spicy around here so I put 1/2 cheddar 1/2 Pepper Jack. Then instead of unseasoned Chicken I added your Sante Fe Grilled Chicken rub to the chicken before I cubed and cooked it. My husband LOVED it and ate 2/3 of it himself. He added Corn, Hot sauce and Salsa to the top too, oh and Bacon bits. I think he adds Hot Sauce, Cheese and Bacon to EVERYTHING I make. Haha. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  27. Dede says:

    so I made this for dinner tonight, and WOW!!
    This was really good and so easy to make, nothing to complicated about it and no fancy seasonings to go hunting at the commissary for .
    The only thing I did was add some creole seasoning to the chicken mixture and the flour and egg mixture, but other than that I did not doctor it all.

    Thanks so much for sharing this πŸ™‚

  28. Deb says:

    Used the last of my leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make this tonight and it was delish! I added about a teaspoon of southwest seasoning to the egg mixture and I also really liked it served with salsa. I made your Mexican rice on the side and they made a great pair. Thanks Mel!

  29. Melanie B says:

    Loved this because it was easy and my kids loved it as well. Thank you! Thank you! I need another go-to recipe for nights when I have no time to make dinner.
    Be looking for more traffic from Rhode Island. I’m spreading the word about your blog and anxiously waiting for you to announce you’ll be putting out a cookbook!

  30. angela says:

    Ok, so after 40 min in the oven, I ended up putting it in the microwave for another 5 min, and it finally baked through. Not sure what happened, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with the recipe. This was just ok. I tried to spice it up a bit with some green chile, cumin, and garlic salt, but nothing spectacular. I might try it next time with a pie crust, green chile sauce, and pepperjack cheese. Thank you. I do enjoy your blog, and I am happy with alot of your recipes. We seem to cook the same type of foods. πŸ™‚

  31. angela says:

    I have this in the oven, but it is not getting done in the middle. The batter is done on the sides. I’ve had it in the oven for 30 min. I’m not sure what is going on! Stay tuned….

  32. Holly says:

    Skipped the cilantro because I didn’t have any, added a can of green chiles. We liked it! So easy and fast – it is going into “the rotation”. πŸ™‚ It will be fun to play with it depending on what I have on hand.

  33. Cindy says:

    We loved it! Thanks, love the quick, easy meals!

  34. JoAnn says:

    Made it just as the recipe stated, but added a can of green chiles…and it was AMAZING. I was a little scared about it, but the taste…oh, heaven. So good.

  35. Martha P. says:

    Brianna, been waiting for someone to say they used a pie crust instead of tortillas…just thought we would like it better. Going to use spinach in mine . Now I am ready to cook it:)! Tks to you and Mel!

  36. Brianna says:

    Made this today for lunch with my husband! The first words out of his mouth after trying the pie were, “Oh yeah….” πŸ™‚ I added a can of green chilies and used pre-made pie crust instead of tortillas since that was what I had on hand. It was delicious! We served it with salsa and sour cream. Thanks, Mel! This really was so easy and so tasty. Definitely a keeper.

  37. Debbie says:

    I made this for dinner last night. The whole family loved it! I think it’s important to use a good quality cheddar cheese. We didn’t find it bland at all. For those who thought it was bland, maybe you could add a teaspoon of Mel’s Homemade Taco Seasoning (and then lower the amount of salt in this recipe). I served it with guacamole and salad. Next time I will try adding green chilis for variation. Thanks for the great recipe!

  38. Susan says:

    I made this tonight and have to agree with Tara–it was only so-so. I did forget to add green chiles so maybe that would’ve made all the difference–we all added salsa to it to give it more flavor. Not a fan favorite in my house. πŸ™

  39. Michelle says:

    This is exactly the type of recipe I’m in need of right now. Inexpensive both financially and calorie-wise. We need lots of cheap easy meals to fit in between the gluttony of holiday parties. Thanks!

  40. Nicole says:

    This was fabulous! I made on a whim, so I didn’t have cilantro. However, I used 1/2 a can of diced chilies and some green onions. I also used a regular pie dish, so I halved the liquid mixture. It was perfect! My husband raised a skeptical eyebrow when I said “quesadilla pie”, but deemed it one of the best recipes we’ve tried from your blog! Thanks for always sharing winning recipes! πŸ™‚

  41. So I recently saw this recipe on another site and was quite skeptical myself. I just seems so plain and like it would be just a big pot of mush. But since I know this recipe has Mel’s Kitchen Cafe seal of approval I think I am going to give it a try!

  42. Susan from WA says:

    Another winner, Mel! The whole family – except the two-year-old who usually subsists on milk & pretzels – gave thumbs up on this one. I doubled it and used a 9X13 for 35 minutes. Sincerely, thank you so much for your site. My family eats better with your recipes and ideas.

  43. grace says:

    i think i must intrinsically be a fan of all pies. this looks positively sensational!

    wait, i have an amendment–i’m not a fan of cow pies. πŸ™‚

  44. Tracey says:

    I have a recipe that is quite similar to this, but it uses Bisquick and doesn’t have the tortillas. I tried this one tonight, because it called for half the bake time of my other recipe and I don’t have any Bisquick.
    I added a few teaspoons of minced dried onion and I really liked this recipe. I think it would be delicious with some green chilies in it too, or some chopped spinach (well drained) in place of the cilantro. I really like that I don’t have to use the Bisquick, so this will definitely replace my other recipe! Thanks once again Mel! πŸ™‚

  45. Mel says:

    Janette – I think doubling for a 9X13 should work just fine. Keep an eye on the baking time – it may need a few more minutes to get done in the center.

  46. Tanya says:

    So I made this for dinner last night and it was very tasty! I served it with spanish rice and black beans from a dinner a few nights ago and everyone liked it. The only thing I added was some chopped green onions with the ckn & cilantro and it was delicious.. although I can see using this recipe and mix it up with ham & broccoli, sausage & peppers… or whatever else you have in the fridge! Thanks, this is super easy and yummy!

  47. Tara says:

    hmmm, I hate to say I’m a little mixed on this one. I see the others that made it all really enjoyed it. I took my first bite and was very disappointed in the flavour, but I didn’t say a thing to my hubby or daughter cuz I wanted to see their opinions. My daughter, after her 3rd bite said, “this is really not good”. Hmmm. And my husband screwed up his face when he bit in. I know I didn’t do anything wrong, it just didn’t have much flavour–but was quite salty. It came out exactly how you said it would, but we just weren’t pleased for some reason. I even prepared the chicken as you did (that prep recipe I loved). I didn’t like the crispy, thin quesadilla base and I found the biscuit–though it baked up beautifully soft, to be just to dense to be enjoyable. The chicken sure tasted good though!

    If I was to make it again (which is doubtful) I would certainly add some hot sauce, worcestershire, mustard, or some such concoction, as well as some broccoli or something to lighten it up.

    Sorry for the negative review Mel. I have been an avid reader of your blog for a year now and made MANY recipes from it, all which I LOOOVE, so I always completely trust what you say, and thus expected we’d love this, too! I can definitely say yours is my fave cooking blog (and I subscribe to a lot of the biggies), so this was just an odd one out for us!

  48. anon says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was yummy. We added a few green onions, because that’s what we do, and it was great. I also made your Double Chocolate M&M cookies and the Oatmeal Coconut Chewies for dessert. The family was very happy, all three recipes are keepers. I have made several of your recipes over the last couple months and have been please with all of them. My family thanks you from the bottom of our stomachs.

  49. Janette says:

    Mel, do you think I could double the recipe and bake it in a 9 x 13 pan? I’m taking dinner to a neighbor next week and need something to serve her family of 8. Thanks!

  50. Andrea says:

    I DID make this tonight and it was great! I actually don’t own a deep-dish pie plate – yet – so made it in a 9-inch quiche dish. It was just fine and I love how the tortillas get nice and crispy. I didn’t have any parsley, cilantro or anything fresh herb-wise either (how lame), so I sprinkled it with dried thyme, added a dash of hot sauce and ate it with cranberry sauce. Yummmy! πŸ™‚ I think you could easily change this recipe to use whatever spices, herbs and cheese you have. Thanks!

  51. Mel says:

    Nan – I’ve never frozen this so I’m not sure how it would fare. You’ll have to be the guinea pig on that one. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

    Krista – I don’t think water would make a good substitution for the milk.

    Martha – as Andrea said, parsley makes a good substitution for cilantro.

  52. Shel says:

    I made this tonight for dinner–delicious!!! I added a can of diced green chiles to the chicken mixture and between that and the cilantro it gave it just the right kick of flavor. Definitely going to make this again!

  53. Andrea says:

    Martha – use parsley. I’m not a fan of cilantro either (I won’t tell you what I think it smells like πŸ˜‰ ). I’m going to try this recipe soon! Maybe tonight…

  54. Rachel says:

    After the spaghetti pie recipe that was soo good, I can’t wait to try this one! Thanks!

  55. Martha P. says:

    Cilantro (yuck) – everything else sounds perfect. Substitute what???

  56. Nan says:

    Do you have any powered milk? I keep some on hand for recipe emergencies. You could also use evaporated milk (NOT condensed) or coffee creamer which has been dissolved in hot water.

  57. Krista says:

    I need a quick easy recipe tonight. I’m out of milk, could I use water or would that be gross?

  58. StephenC says:

    I would think that corn tortillas would be much more appropriate for this – what seems like a savory/tasty thing.

  59. Katie L. says:

    This looks easy and delicious! Making this tonight, thanks Mel!

  60. Nan says:

    I was skeptical because of experiences with impossible-to-eat pies. Seeing America’s Test Kitchen as the source means I’m definitely going to make this recipe. Any suggestions for freezing and/or reheating?

  61. This is such a fun idea. I love how easy it is and it looks absolutely delicious. I’ve been wanting to try your method to the best shredded chicken, so I think I’ll use this recipe as an excuse to try it. πŸ™‚

  62. Rachey says:

    Oh this is totally getting made tonight, are you kidding me? Sounds delicious and I don’t even have to go to the store.

  63. Kim in MD says:

    I like to have a few good quick meals in my recipe binder for those crazy, hectic nights when it seems easier to just get take out. This recipe sounds quick, easy and delicious, and if you made it twice it must be good!

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