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These Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch are the perfect cheesy quesadillas to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Spicy, roasted lemon pepper chicken folded up with homemade creamy basil ranch dressing, honey mustard, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, and crispy bacon. This colorful chicken quesadilla is simple to make, wholesome, and delicious. Use leftover grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, or make my roasted lemon pepper chicken. Everyone will love this fresh chicken quesadilla!

Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |

We’re taking things back with these yummy quesadillas. Some of you may remember that quesadillas are one of the main reasons I began to love cooking so much. I used to make them ALL THE TIME for my brothers when I was in high school.

The quesadillas really did ignite my love for cooking and sharing food with the ones around me.

Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |

When my brothers and I were in school, they’d often get out around 12 or 1 pm to go snowboarding in the afternoon. I know that sounds not right for kids in middle school, but we grew up in a mountain town and that’s what kids on the snowboard/ski teams usually did Monday through Friday.

By the time they got home from the mountain around 4;30, they’d want food before dinner. Somehow I started making them chicken quesadillas and the meal really stuck. I’d make them almost every day. I loved how happy and excited they would all get.

I rarely make quesadillas now, but anytime I do, they always bring back happy memories.

But these?! These are a game-changer, so delicious and hands down my favorite. It’s the basil ranch dressing that really does the trick. When paired with chicken, cheese, and creamy honey mustard, they are so yummy!

Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |


Start out by making the basil ranch dressing. It’s very creamy and easy to make with fresh basil, cilantro, and then the usual ranch ingredients. Mayo, buttermilk, chives, Worcestershire, garlic, onion powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

I’ll usually toss in a jalapeño too. YUM.

Blend everything up in a blender or food processor until creamy – super easy to do. This really adds all the flavor!

Next, make the quesadillas! The recipe calls for already-cooked chicken. You can use whatever you have on hand. Or just make my roasted lemon pepper chicken.

Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |

It’s simply chicken (I like to use thighs, but breasts are good too), tossed with olive oil, cajun seasoning, and black pepper. Then roast the chicken up and finished with lemon zest. I gave you the recipe in the notes section. So you can either make the lemon pepper chicken, or as I said, use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.

You’ll need tortillas, cheese (I love to use gouda and cheddar, or fontina and cheddar), arugula, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, pickles or pepperoncini (or both!), and crispy bacon. Then, the dressing, and honey mustard too.

Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |

Assemble everything into the tortillas. Then cook each quesadilla up in a skillet until the cheese is super melty! You can also use a panini press, which is fun.

I serve these topped with avocado plus extra basil ranch and some honey mustard. The honey mustard is not needed, but we sure love it!

Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |

Looking for fun family dinners? Here are my favorites: 

Sheet Pan Honey Buffalo Chicken with Broccoli

Cheesy Green Chile and Avocado Rice Quesadillas

One Skillet White Chicken Chili Bake

Cheesy Green Chile Chicken

Skillet Chicken Fajitas with Creamy Jalapeño Verde Sauce

Cauliflower Al Pastor Quesadillas

Lastly, if you make these Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Basil Ranch Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla with Avocado

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4 quesadillas
Calories Per Serving: 436 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Basil Ranch Dressing



  • 1. To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
    2. To assemble, layer cheese, arugula, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, pickles, and bacon on one half of a tortilla. Drizzle over the basil ranch and honey mustard, then sprinkle over more cheese. Fold the tortilla over to cover everything.
    3. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet, add 1 quesadilla, and cook 2-3 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown. Serve warm with avocado and additional basil ranch.


Honey Mustard: In a bowl combine: 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup mayo, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste), kosher salt, and black pepper, whisking until smooth.
Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken: Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a baking dish, toss 1 pound of chicken breasts and or thighs with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons cajun seasoning, and a good pinch of black pepper. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes, until lightly charred and cooked through. Finish with the zest of a lemon. Thinly slice or shred. 
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Black Pepper Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas with Avocado Basil Ranch |

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  1. 5 stars
    My first Half Baked Harvest recipe and I’m in love…this is the most amazing quesadilla I’ve ever had. The flavors, plus crunch of the pickles are beyond delicious. My husband said “let’s have these every night”…Can’t wait to try many many more of Tieghan’s materpiece recipes. Thank you for sharing your love and passion for food with us all. The outcome plus presentation of your recipes have me hooked for life! Blessings Always

  2. Hello, I’m interested to know if I can make these ahead and freeze them? Would I do up to end of step 2? Or do you think I could cook them, freeze them, then reheat them again?

  3. Made these for dinner tonight and used leftover grilled chicken we had. I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t sure about the sun dried tomatoes and pickles, but I was wrong! These quesadillas were SO good!!!

    1. Hi Emi,
      Happy Sunday!!🍋🍊 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thank you so much for making it! xT

      1. 5 stars
        These quesadillas have made it into our regular cooking rotation now. We just made them again this past weekend because they are so delicious and so easy to make!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! Best quesadillas I’ve ever had. To speed it up I just used frozen grilled chicken strips. It was so good!

    1. Hi Erica,
      Happy Friday!!🍉🍓 Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try and your comment, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! Swapped arugula for spinach and was awesome. Your recipes are always so yummy! Thanks for making figuring out what to make for dinner easy 😊

    1. Hey Mariah,
      Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it:) xT

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely Loved bacon in the quesadilla. What a fabulous idea! I omitted the arugula and tomato’s and was delish!! Thanks

    1. Hey Courtney,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a hit! xx

  7. 5 stars
    This is insanely delicious! My husband took his first bite and immediately asked when I was making it again.

    1. Hey Sue,
      Wonderful!!😃 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your comment, so glad it was a winner! xx