Tequila Chicken Quesadillas

Another awesome Father’s Day has come and gone. And when I say awesome, it was perfect. Not because we did anything particularly exciting, but because it was another day with the most important people in my life, my wife and sons. And our first Father’s Day with our new little guy, Connor. A fun baseball practice in the morning followed by a day at the pool and a nice family dinner, my idea of awesome. After dealing with some major health issues the last couple of years and finally starting to feel like myself again, I never take a minute for granted and feel so incredibly blessed to be a dad.

Tequila Lime Chicken Quesadilla via Real Food by Dad

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know I get on a roll with certain things. Mexican food, popsicles, stuffed food, etc. So last week, I made some Tropical Tequila Sunrise Popsicles and figured these Tequila Chicken Quesadillas would be the perfect meal to eat prior to a couple of those popsicles (the popsicles for adults of course). And they were a perfect pre-cursor to the popsicles! Seriously, my boys could eat quesadillas all day long if they could, but the way they like them is soooo boring to me, so I rarely make them, unless I’m in a total jam or time crunch. Seriously, 2 tortillas and a slice of american cheese, microwaved? Yuck.

And since I was in the mood for a good (real) quesadilla myself, I took it up a notch by making a tequila marinade and then added some fresh mangos. The mangos helped break up the flavors and gave the quesadillas a lighter, refreshing, summer-y bite, which provided a really nice contrast against the main ingredients. And don’t worry, even with the tequila, these are still kid-friendly. At high heat, the tequila burns off in the oven but really helps tenderize the chicken. But if you are concerned, go ahead and leave the tequila out, the marinade is still very good without it.

Tequila Lime Chicken Quesadilla from Real Food by Dad

Tomorrow, I am at it again, doing the best that I can to be a good dad to my boys, leading by example, showing them and Naomi how much they are loved by me, and helping them be true to themselves and good friends to eachother and others in their lives. I am far from perfect when it comes to being a dad, but there’s nothing better in life to me and I give thanks for my blessings and pray for guidance every day. Thanks John Wooden! And in between all of that, a good family meal or treat never hurts.

On a side note, for those that are readers here and at Naomi’s blog, yes these photos were styled by her and shot by me. That’s the perk of being married to a seasoned blogger and food photographer—help is just a holler away. Trust me when I say, styling quesadillas are bit challenging to a novice blogger like me.

Yield: 4

Tequila Chicken Quesadilla

Tequila Lime Chicken Quesadilla via Real Food by Dad


  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about to 2 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • 2 cups cheese (cheddar or Mexican or a combination of the two)


  1. Place all ingredients but the chicken breast, cheese and mango in a food processor bowl or blender and pulse until well blended. Transfer marinade to a resealable plastic bag and add in chicken. Set aside for an hour.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line bake sheet with foil. Remove chicken from bag and allow excess marinade to drip off. Reserve marinade. Place chicken on bakesheet. Bake for until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile transfer remaining marinade to a small saucepan and boil until thickened and reduced, about 10 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to platter and brush with reduced marinade.
  3. Layer chicken and mango onto one tortilla and sprinkle on cheese, place second on tortilla on top and place. Transfer assembled quesadilla to a dry pan and cook until tortilla begins to brown. Flip quesadilla and repeat on other side until brown. Turn heat down to low, and place a lid on top and cook for 1-2 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove quesadilla from pan and set aside to cool for 1 minute prior to cutting.

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