Chicken Quesadillas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

Kids love quesadillas! Parents love them, too. Quesadillas are a fun way to pack several food groups into one single serving, and they are easy to make. Chef Alekka Sweeney enjoys putting together menus for kids that bring them into the kitchen to help prepare yummy, nutritious fare.

Alekka Sweeney is a Pittsburgh-based culinary director and baking instructor focused on dining curations and cooking classes. After more than 20 years spent in Chicago, her main goal is to share her culinary and baking skills with all ages and cooking levels. Her kid-friendly recipes are intended to be easy enough to give children some independence in the kitchen, encourage them to explore new flavors, and help them learn to prepare things for the entire family to enjoy.

CHICKEN QUESADILLA WITH GUACAMOLE AND PICO DE GALLO RECIPE

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup queso fresco-crumbled
1/4 cup cheddar cheese-shredded
4 large whole wheat tortilla
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 red bell pepper cut into small dice
1/2 onion peeled and sliced into half moons
1/4 bunch cilantro-washed and chopped
Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°
  2. Combine the fresco and cheddar cheeses.
  3. Lay the tortillas on a cutting board or plate.
  4. On the bottom half of each of the tortillas, sprinkle 2 T of the cheese mixture.
  5. Then, you want to layer the chicken, red pepper, onion and cilantro on top of each of the tortillas. Each of the tortillas should have an equal amount of each of these ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle an additional 2 T of the cheese mixture on top of each of the tortillas.
  7. Fold the top half of each of the tortillas over the bottom half to cover the filling.
  8. Move to a cookie sheet lined with foil.
  9. Spray lightly the tops of each of the tortillas with the olive oil.
  10. Place the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

GUACAMOLE

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

2 avocados
1/2 jalapeño, small
2 tbsp red onion
1 tsp garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
1 small tomato
1/2 lime

Instructions

  1. Open avocado and remove pit.
  2. Dice jalapeño into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Chop red onion and tomato.
  4. Mince garlic and tear cilantro.
  5. Scoop out the avocado and mash it with a fork.
  6. Mix in cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, and garlic.
  7. Squeeze in lime juice and mix.

PICO DE GALLO

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

2 Plum tomatoes
1 jalapeño
2 tbsp white onion
Salt to taste
1 lime
1 bunch cilantro

Instructions

  1. Dice tomato and onion.
  2. Seed and mince the jalapeno.
  3. Add jalapeno and onion to a bowl with tomatoes.
  4. Squeeze juice of one lime over bowl.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Optional: finish with chopped cilantro.

RECIPE BY ALEKKA SWEENEY / STYLING BY KEITH RECKER / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE BRYCE / STORY BY STAR LALIBERTE

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