Recipe: Chicken sausage and kale quesadillas

I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional quesadillas, but my wife seemed to order them often when we’d go out for dinner. So for Christmas, I gave her a quesadilla press so we could make them at home — and maybe improve on the standard cheese and veggie quesadilla offered at restaurants. This weekend was the first since the holiday that we’ve not had other plans, so when my son and I were out running errands, we walked through the produce section looking for ingredients for a new kind of quesadilla.

When I picked up a bunch of kale along with tortillas, shallots, garlic and chicken sausage, my son gave me a sideways look that said, “Kale? In quesadillas?” I asked him to trust me.

When I assembled the ingredients on the counter this evening, my wife gave me a sideways look that said, “Kale? In quesadillas?” I asked her to trust me.

Once the smell of the ingredients simmering on the rangetop in our Le Creuset french oven started to fill the house, I could sense that trust starting to build.

But it wasn’t until I spread the mixture onto a tortilla, capped it with a second, and grilled it for five minutes in the quesadilla press that the true test could be conducted. The whole family agreed: Our new Chicken Sausage and Kale Quesadillas were a keeper. We even agreed that the filling would be excellent over pasta, as a torte filling, or as a bruschetta-like topping for crusty bread.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

  • Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, 4 links
  • Lacinato kale, 2 cups chopped in small pieces
  • Shallots, 4 medium, diced
  • Sweet mini-peppers (yellow, orange and red), 2 cups diced
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Oregano, 1 tablespoon, dried
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons
  • 10-inch tortillas, 10 individual (I used La Banderita Extreme Fiber Flour Tortillas)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare:
  • Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add peppers and cook for 3-4 more minutes.
  • Add sausage and kale, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • For each quesadilla, spread 1/5 of filling over a tortilla and top with a second tortilla.
  • Cook in quesadilla press according to equipment instructions. (You could also use a non-stick skillet or griddle if you don’t have a quesadilla press.)
  • Cut into triangles and serve.
As prepared, one full quesadilla is approximately 346 calories, 33g protein and 14g of fat.
Quesadilla purists might argue that I removed the quesa from the quesadilla by not including cheese, and they’d be right. But removing the cheese also makes it a much better choice for a healthy lifestyle.

Per FTC requirements, I am disclosing that I received the Le Creuset french oven as a part of the Hortus, Ltd. Garden2Blog event in May 2012. I am not required by agreement to mention or endorse the product. 

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Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.

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