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Chicken Mushroom Quesadilla with Corn-Avocado Salsa

So originally I was all excited about making Borage Quesadillas after reading about how cool and refreshing borage tastes. I had a bunch of borage sitting in my fridge from my last CSA box, and I was really looking forward to trying a totally new-to-me ingredient. But since I've never had borage before, I decided to get some chicken and mushrooms just in case. And boy am I glad I did that.

First off, borage is prickly as hell. As I was removing the leaves and the flowers from the stems (yes, the flowers are edible), I just kept saying "ouch, OUCH, why borage, why?!" But I pushed through the pain and chopped all the leaves - this will be so good in a quesadilla!! I heated up some olive oil in a pan, added some garlic, and added the borage to cook. After a couple of minutes, my kitchen started smelling terrible. Not a cool refreshing cucumber smell, but like something died.

At first I thought that it must be our trash, I must have opened it and it's probably time to take the trash out. But then I went back to stir the borage and the smell hit me even more. Also, the little fuzzies on the borage were not going away, so as the borage leaves were wilting the fuzzies made everything look like a bunch of tarantula legs. I'm thinking of creating a new category for my blog - Fails.


I tossed the borage and we started all over with the chicken and mushrooms.

Now, the chicken mushroom quesadillas turned out delicious. The smell of the cooking mushrooms quickly erased all evidence of the borage disaster. We made a fresh corn and avocado salsa/relish to go with the quesadilla, and ate these with plantain chips.

chicken quesadilla

The great thing about quesadillas is that you can make this as simple as you want it to be. We cooked the chicken breast and the corn for the salsa, but you can buy pre-cooked chicken breast, or use corn from a can. Heck, you can just buy your favorite salsa and make this dinner in less than 15 minutes. But if you are cooking the chicken and the corn, then you should start with that. Preheat the oven to 350F and get the corn and the browned chicken in there. Let them cook while you work on everything else.

Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas

Makes 4. 

  • 1 chicken breast
  • Salt, pepper, and chili powder
  • 8 large baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz (about 1 cup) shredded cheese - such as colby and/or monterey jack
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Bit of olive oil

Corn-Avocado Salsa

  • Corn kernels from 1 ear of corn (or 1/2 cup corn kernels, thawed and/or drained)
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 tomato, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons diced cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  •  jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional, I skipped it this time, I just wasn't in the mood for spicy)

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the quesadilla. If you are cooking the chicken, season it with salt and pepper, and plenty of chili powder. I browned the chicken on the stove top and then put it in the oven for 15 mins at 350F, or until it was fully cooked. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then shred into little pieces. Large chunks of chicken will be too heavy for the quesadilla and will fall out or cause it to break.

[one_half] chicken quesadilla [/one_half][one_half_last]chicken quesadilla[/one_half_last]

If you are using pre-cooked chicken, season it with chili powder and slice or shred into thin pieces.

2. Add a bit of olive oil to a pan and cook the mushroom slices for about 5 minutes, until they release juices and soften up. Drain the extra juice and set aside.

Sauteed Mushrooms. Source:

3. Heat up a large non stick pan where you'll be making your quesadilla. Place a tortilla on the pan (no need for oil, otherwise the quesadilla will turn out greasy). Add 1/4 of the cheese, 1/4 of the mushrooms, and some chicken to one half of it. Fold over the other half and press down with a spatula and cook for 1 minute until the bottom browns nicely. Gently flip the quesadilla over and cook until the other side is browned.

chicken quesadilla

Let cool for a few minutes, and then cut into thirds with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter.

chicken quesadilla

4. Salsa time!

If you are cooking the corn you can either boil or roast it. We love roasted corn in general (Jersey corn especially!) so we put the corn husk directly in the oven for 25 minutes at 350F. If you want to boil the corn, remove the husks and put the corn in a large pot of boiling water for a few minutes. In either case, let the corn cool before working with it.

To prepare the salsa, add the finely chopped tomato, green onions, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño (if using) and corn to a bowl. Squeeze lime juice all over it and stir in salt.

If you decide to add jalapeño to your salsa, DO NOT rub your eyes after chopping it! Ask me how I know 🙁

We ate the quesadilla with the salsa, and also with sour cream and plantain chips. It turned out to be a super delicious dinner. Thank goodness I bought chicken and mushrooms instead of just relying on borage!

chicken quesadilla

Have you ever tried cooking anything new to you that turned out disgusting and not edible? Or have you had good luck with trying new exotic ingredients?

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Comments or questions about the recipe?

Fran @ G'day Souffle'

Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Hi Kate, thanks so much for stopping by my blog, G'day Souffle'. I have never heard of borage before, but I'll try to avoid it after reading your post. This reminds me a little of working with Prickly Pear Cactus (for making my Prickly Pear Margaritas). I was always having to use tweezers to remove the microscopic prickles.


Thursday 30th of October 2014

If I can help one person avoid trying borage, then my job as a blogger is done. :)

I've never worked with prickly pear cactus, I had no idea you needed tweezers! At least with a prickly pear cactus you end up with a delicious margarita. With borage, you just end up with a foul smelling kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by also!

Elena Weinstein

Thursday 31st of July 2014

So, what's the deal with borage? I couldn't use the one you gave me last time - too prickly. But are we missing something?


Thursday 31st of July 2014

I don't think we're missing anything, trust me. There's probably a reason that 99.9% of the people out there haven't heard of borage. I am just surprised that our CSA farmer wastes farm space and energy on growing this stuff when there are so many non-prickly vegetables out there!