dinner gluten-free

Sweet Potato Pesto Chicken Quesadillas

February 23, 2014

So I think I may have been a bit overzealous with my new “feel your fears” mentality. I was feeling all amped to step out of my comfort zone and try new things that I didn’t account for the fact that sometimes a little research can actually be beneficial. You see, these Sweet Potato and Pesto Chicken Quesadillas were actually supposed to be pulled pork enchiladas….I’ll explain.

sweet potato pesto chicken quesadillasI have an irrational fear of pork. I love the taste of pulled pork, but truth be told I didn’t try it until a few years ago. My best guess would be that growing up in a home where we didn’t eat pork or ham and only turkey bacon caused me to develop negative associations with these meats. And then I grew up and ditched my house rules and discovered that when done well, pork tastes great. So I decided to dream big and throw some pork in the slow-cooker for my first attempt at pulled pork.

sweet potato and pesto chicken quesadilla 3When I woke up the next morning to check on my loins, I was displeased to discovered they were burnt to a crisp. So I had to wing it for dinner and these came out so great that I did the fastest photo-shoot of all time (can you tell?) before running out the door to a Kewaza demo. I looked fear in the face and failed, but clearly I failed for a reason otherwise I may never have made these beauties!

Sweet Potato Pesto Chicken Quesadillas

by The Healthy Maven

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Keywords: cook entree gluten-free sweet potatoes chicken

Ingredients (Serves: 3)

  • 6 gluten-free tortillas (I used Udi’s)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup pesto (I used store-bought)
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (about 3-4 oz pre-grated)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Add diced sweet potato to a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet and spray with coconut or olive oil.

3. Bake for 25 mins.

4. While sweet potato is baking, add chicken breasts to a large pot and fill with water until chicken is covered with 1 inch of water.

5. Bring water to a boil and once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and partially cover with lid. Let simmer for 10 mins.

6. Remove chicken from water and shred with two forks.

7. Place chicken in a large bowl and add pesto. Stir until all chicken is coated.

8. Once sweet potato is ready, take a 1/3 of it and place on one tortilla. Using the back of a fork mash sweet potato to make a thin layer.

9. Add 1/2 cup of chicken and top with 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Cover with another tortilla.

10. Repeat to make 2 other quesadillas.

11. Place 1 tortilla at a time in a large pan and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until cheese has begun to melt. Flip and cook for another 2 mins.

12. Repeat for two other quesadillas.

13. Serve warm or store in refrigerator for several days.

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sweet potato and pesto chicken quesadilla 4

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  • Reply
    Luv What You Do
    February 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I never thought to pair sweet potato and pesto. What a great idea!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    February 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    My failures never turn into successes… they just end up with the food in the garbage and me making a tuna sandwich for dinner hahaha. These look fantastic though! I love pesto and I love sweet potatoes, but I’ve never thought to combine the two.

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn @ Live Run Coffee
    February 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I CAN’T WAIT to try these. All of my favorites, sweet potatoes, pesto and cheese… rolled into one?! Um, I’m sold. Great blog by the way!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    February 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I’d say the risk yielded a delicious-looking reward! I am really digging the sweet potato + pesto combo.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I would eat these over pork ANY DAY!! Im not a big fan of pork either, but I have had some tenderloin before that was pretty good. These however, are totally rocking my world.

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    February 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Burnt loins?? What a travesty! I used to love me some pulled pork sammies back in the day. I freaking love quesadillas and I really don’t know why I never make them. Such a quick and easy din!

  • Reply
    Becky @ Olives n Wine
    February 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Blech, I’ve never been a huge fan of pork myself. I just don’t really like the flavor! The only thing I like is a pork chop recipe that my mom makes ๐Ÿ™‚ As for irrational food fears, I used to hate/be fearful of mushrooms but I honestly am not super picky in the realm of food so I don’t think I have anything to contribute to that question ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Emily @smilemilegirl
    February 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Oh I’m drooling. These look so easy and delicious!! Yum!! Bookmarked. (:

  • Reply
    Heather @ Run Like a G!
    February 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Everything happens for a reason and this was for a great reason ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    February 23, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Let’s not start with me and irrational food fears, because it’s most foods. I get anxiety if there aren’t vegetables. I have a deep fear of scurvy. I had the best pork of my life last night… omg. And I have to make these when I get home – I’ve done pumpkin in a quesadilla but never sweet potato. And never sweet potato + pesto. Why are you such a genius?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      why do we have the same irrational fears?? I legit would call C everyday to ask him if he ate vegetables because I didn’t want him to develop scurvy.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I actually really freaking love when a recipe goes WAYY different than planned, but turns out just as epic. It’s like a mystery. These look good, and while I don’t eat meat at all..I would definitely go for the chicken over the pork. What..WHAT am I saying!? They look tasty…end of story.

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    February 23, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I’d totally make a pesto quesadilla! It’s not even 8 am here but that sounds SO GOOD!!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 26, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      If I’m up before 10 on a Sunday it means bad things…;)

      • Reply
        Alex @ Kenzie Life
        February 26, 2014 at 10:13 pm

        I chuckled out loud at that one! I’ll explain in my next email! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you!

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