Dad’s smoked cheddar fajita quesadillas are a flavorful and filling spin on a classic. They’re loaded with peppers, onion, black beans, chicken, and of course, cheese!
I’m always a little hesitant to share super personal stuff here on the blog, but I couldn’t hit publish on this post without doing so.
It’s been a little over three months now since my dad passed away. It was unexpected and incredibly devastating- it still is. It’s really weird having him gone. I find that grief comes in waves. I experience it more in quiet moments, which are few and far between around here, but still, it hits hard.
My dad was such a kind, warm man. He loved good conversations and had them with just about anyone he crossed paths with. Growing up he made sure we worked hard, studied hard, and played hard. He taught us how to ride our bikes, water ski, and drive a four-wheeler/wave runner/boat/car, and of course, play sports. Despite being busy with work, he was there for us. He was and (still is) our biggest fan.
My dad wasn’t much of a cook, which is kind of ironic considering he was Italian- straight from Italy. I guess it skipped a generation. ☺️ He was also a pescatarian (which I know drove my mom crazy because she ALWAYS had to cook two separate meals). Aside from fish & chips, and maybe crab, he loved Mexican food. He would always order the same thing: chips & salsa first, then an enchilada and a chile relleno with side of rice and beans. My mom finally got him to try these quesadillas (minus the chicken) and he was hooked.
They’re loaded with a blend of pepper jack and smoked cheddar, lots of sautéed bell pepper and onion, black beans and seasoned chicken. Incredibly simple but so, so delicious!
These quesadillas are great for lunch or dinner. They’re filling, flavorful and perfect with a side of chips and salsa or guac. If you can’t finish them all in one sitting they taste great reheated too (yes, I actually enjoy these leftover)! I can’t make these without thinking of him. Love you Dad!
Dad's Smoked Cheddar Fajita Quesadillas
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive - avocado or canola oil, divided
- 1 green bell pepper - thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion - thinly sliced
- 4 8-inch flour tortillas
- 1 c. grated smoked cheddar*
- 1 c. grated pepper jack or monterey jack
- 3/4 c. black beans - rinsed
- 1 c. seasoned rotisserie - grilled chicken, or oven roasted chicken, pulled**
- In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the pepper and onion. Saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. You may need to add a little water to prevent them from drying out and burning.
- Remove from skillet and set aside. Wipe skillet out and add remaining oil. Fold tortillas in half. Place two in the pan side by side, folded edges about 1 inch apart. Stuff with cheese, peppers, onion, black beans and chicken.
- Cook on both sides until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melty. Serve with salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream, if desired.