Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad
Recipe type: Copy Cat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Chili’s most popular salad, Quesadilla Explosion Salad. It Includes grilled chicken with cheese, tomatoes, corn relish, tortilla strips and quesadilla’s. Served with Ranch Chipotle, citrus-balsamic dressing and cheese quesadilla wedges. This salad has been posted as one of the most unhealthy salads. You could make it a healthier salad if you leave out the Ranch Chipotle dressing, make the quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas and low fat cheese and no fried tortilla strips but instead bake them.
  • 1 cup of Citrus Balasamic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 cup Chipotle Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
  • 2 boneless fajita marinated chicken (recipe below)
  • Salad greens of your choice
For the Corn relish
  • ½ can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ can of corn
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • ½ Bell Pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
For the Fajita Marinated Chicken
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts halved
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Chicken seasoning of choice
For the Chipotle Ranch Dressing
  • ½ cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1 tsp chopped canned chipotle pepper
For the Citric Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
For the tortilla Strips
  • any 3 tortillas
  • peanut oil
For the Quesadillas
  • 8 tortillas
  • butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice I used half cheddar and half Monterey jack cheese
  1. First lets make the marinate for the chicken breast. Since the chicken breast are to thick for my taste I half them. Combine the 2½ cups water, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1½ tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder. Marinate for at least 2 hours. While the chicken is marinating go and make the Chipotle Ranch salad dressings. You can make your own Ranch Dressing or buy the bottled one and add the Chipotle pepper.
  2. For the Balsamic vinaigrette whisk all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make the corn relish. Rinse the corn and beans, add tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Stack the tortillas and cut into thin strips. Fry or bake the tortilla strips until crispy, cool on paper towels to drain.
  5. Preheat the paninni maker and spray with some olive oil. Season the halved chicken breast with chicken seasoning of your choice. Grill the chicken breast for 4-5 minutes on each side, until done. Keep the chicken warm and slice when ready to use.
  6. Spread butter on both outsides of the tortillas. Top one side of the tortilla with your choice of cheese, and top it with the other tortilla. Put some butter in a hot skillet. Fry the tortillas on both sides, that shouldn’t take but a minute.
  7. Wash salad greens and place in a large bowl. Add the corn relish to the salad greens. Add the sliced chicken breast, shredded cheeses. Toss with desired amount of the Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette and or Ranch Chipotle dressing. Add the Cheese Quesadillas and serve with the deep fried tortilla strips.
Recipe by KinFolk Recipes at