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Air Fryer Chicken Quesadillas (Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Recipe)

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Once you make Air Fryer Quesadillas, you will never go back to any other way of cooking them! Make this super tasty Taco Bell Quesadilla recipe with the copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce in your air fryer. You're going to love it, I promise!

Air fryer quesadilla on a plate.

Basic chicken quesadillas are good, but you know what's better?? These copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla, with the most delicious quesadilla sauce which makes these quesadillas extra flavorful, melty, cheesy, and absolutely irresistible.

Air fryer quesadillas

Quesadillas are PERFECT for making in the air fryer. They get so crispy on the outside, melty on the inside, and the best part is that it's so hands off - there's no need to get the skillet heat just right and no need to keep checking if the underside of the quesadilla is golden brown!

Of course, you can make this quesadilla the traditional way, on the stove-top, if you like. Either way, this will be the BEST chicken quesadilla recipe you'll ever make. Bold statement, I know. Here's why:

  • It has TWO kinds of cheese - American cheese slices and shredded cheese. I know, I know. American cheese?? Is that even real cheese?? But hear me out. Sometimes you need that extra gooey, extra melty cheesy goodness. But if you prefer not to use American cheese, I'll understand. Sliced cheddar, pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, provolone, or mozzarella will work just fine!
  • It has the most flavorful sauce ever, making the whole quesadilla more saucy, melty, and delicious. There's a theme here 😉

Taco bell chicken quesadilla on a plate next to air fryer and garnish.

Copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce

Let's talk about this sauce. It takes 2 minutes to make and really takes this quesadilla up to the next level. It adds a whole other layer of meltiness to the quesadilla. And I'm here for it.

The sauce is made with mayonnaise and a few spices, and has two surprise ingredients that transform boring mayo into something super addicting: pickled jalapeños and the juice from the pickled jalapeños, and a tiny bit of sugar. 

YES! The jalapeño juice adds a little bit of acidity/sourness to the sauce, and the sugar helps balance out the acidity. And the pickled jalapeños add a slight kick of spiciness, without overwhelming the quesadilla.

Added sugar?? Don't worry, it's only ½ teaspoon. Most of the recipes on this site are on the healthier side, but if you really want to make an irresistible copycat taco bell sauce, you're going to have to add some sugar. 

Ingredients for a copycat taco bell quesadilla recipe.

Ingredients for Taco Bell Chicken Quesadillas

For the quesadillas:

  • 4 large burrito-sized tortillas
  • 1 lb of cooked chicken (use a rotisserie chicken, thawed packaged cooked grilled chicken, or leftover pulled chicken)
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, such as Mexican Blend, or a combination of cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack

For the sauce:

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons pickled jalapeños, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeño juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (or use smoked paprika for extra flavor!)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

I sometimes double or triple the sauce recipe, and use it in place of salsa and sour cream for dipping the quesadilla. This sauce also makes an AMAZING burger sauce or dip for veggies, and keeps in the fridge for at least a couple of days.

Want to cut down on the spice? Skip the cayenne pepper, and use pickle relish instead of the jalapeño and sugar, and use pickle juice instead of jalapeño juice.

Other recipes that use rotisserie chicken: Savory Chicken Crepes, Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Ciabatta

Make the quesadilla sauce

Simply combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together.

Ingredients for taco bell quesadillas sauce in a bowl.

Assemble the quesadillas

Step 1: Tear each American cheese slice in half and place the two pieces of cheese on one half of the tortilla. It's OK if the cheese doesn't cover the whole tortilla! Add about ½ cup shredded cheese on top of the American cheese.

Cheese on a tortilla to make a quesadilla.

Step 2: Add ½ cup cooked chicken on top of the cheese.

Step 3: Brush about a tablespoon of the sauce onto the other half of the tortilla.

Cheese and sauce on a quesadilla tortilla.

Step 4: Fold the tortilla in half, then slice it in half.

Air fry the quesadillas

Step 5: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with oil spray.

Step 6: Place a quesadilla triangle in the air fryer (if you have a large air fryer, or an air fryer + toaster oven combo, you will be able to fit more than one piece). Air fry at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes, flip, and then air fry for another 2 minutes.

Making a quesadilla in an air fryer.

Repeat with the remaining air fryer halves. Serve with your favorite quesadilla dips, such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or extra quesadilla sauce!

Cooked quesadilla in an air fryer.

What kind of air fryer to use

If you're here, you probably already have an air fryer, so the one that's already in your kitchen will be the one you should use 😉

But if you're still deciding on what kind of air fryer to buy, or looking to add a second air fryer or upgrade your toaster oven, I have a few suggestions!

If you're looking to buy a stand-alone air fryer, I recommend getting the largest that your budget (and kitchen storage space) allows! All air fryers have small-ish baskets, compared to baking sheet pan dinners in the oven. If you are cooking for 2 or more people, I recommend an XL air fryer that is at least 5 quarts, preferably 7 quarts of larger.

But I highly recommend a toaster oven + air fryer combo instead of a stand-alone air fryer!! They're not much bigger in size, but they can do so much more, and they have a larger tray for making larger portions! I absolutely LOVE my Cuisinart air fryer oven. The Instant Pot brand came out with one also, and there are other options out there too! 

And don't worry, there are SO MANY FOODS you can cook in an air fryer! Check out this list of kid-friendly air fryer recipes.

Side dish ideas for a quesadilla dinner

Quesadilla dinners are meant to be fun, so instead of serving something like a boring salad, I like to serve up the veggies in a more creative way, such as one of these Mexican-inspired salsas or salads:

However you decide to serve these quesadillas, please take a picture and tag me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!

Other Tex-Mex inspired recipes:

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Chicken quesadilla on a plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Chicken Quesadillas

If you've never tried making quesadillas in the air fryer, you're going to be amazed at how much better they are! This easy Copycat Taco Bell Chicken Quesadilla is our favorite quesadilla!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex
Servings: 4
Author: Kate

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

For the quesadillas:

  • 4 large burrito-sized tortillas
  • 1 lb of cooked chicken (use a rotisserie chicken, thawed packaged cooked grilled chicken, or leftover pulled chicken)
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheese , such as Mexican Blend, or a combination of cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack

For the sauce:

  • cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons pickled jalapeños , finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeño juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (or use smoked paprika for extra flavor!)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Assemble the quesadillas: Tear each American cheese slice in half and place the two pieces of cheese on one half of the tortilla. It's OK if the cheese doesn't cover the whole tortilla! Add about ½ cup of the shredded cheese on top of the American cheese.
  • Add ½ cup cooked chicken on top of the cheese. Brush about a tablespoon of the sauce onto the other half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half, then slice it in half.
  • Air fry the quesadillas: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with oil spray. Place a quesadilla triangle in the air fryer (or two, if they fit). Air fry at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes, flip, and then air fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Repeat with the remaining air fryer halves. Serve with your favorite quesadilla dips, such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or extra quesadilla sauce!

Notes

→ Hint: double the sauce recipe, as it makes an AMAZING dip for the quesadilla!
→ Want to cut down on the spice completely? Skip the cayenne pepper, and use pickle relish instead of the jalapeño and sugar, and use pickle juice instead of jalapeño juice! 
→ Side, salsa, and salad ideas to serve with quesadillas:

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