This summer inspired feast is the perfect thing to tuck into on a patio with an ice cold beer (or a white wine sangria). Juicy mango forms the base of a salsa that is the perfect accompaniment to seared chicken. Even on its own, the chicken is lively with fresh garlic, lime juice and cumin. Quesadillas grilled with cheese, spinach and a white bean puree round out the plate. It also makes for great leftovers, holding up well for a day or two after it’s made.
There are multiple recipes outlined to bring together for the final ensemble, but everything is quite easy and the whole thing can pulled together in about 60 minutes. Not to mention any of the three recipes are great on their own or paired with other dishes—for example the mango salsa would also make for a mean topping on fish tacos. But back to this recipe grouping—our plan of attack: start by cutting and prepping all of the ingredients, sauté and blitz the beans into a puree, and then while the chicken is cooking, stir together the mango salsa and assemble and sear the quesadillas. Let’s get started.
Once you’ve cut and prepped everything, create the quesadilla bean puree filling. Cook the beans with olive oil, spices and shallots until the beans soften and the shallots are slightly golden.
Remove from heat, and add to a mini-blender with lime juice. Puree until smooth.
Prep the quesadillas: start with one whole wheat wrap, spread it with the bean puree, add baby spinach and top with cheese.
Next, prep the chicken. You’ll want to remove the tenders, and then slice each breast open like a book to stuff with limes, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Then close them back up to seal the limes and garlic inside.
Add chicken to a large saute pan with olive oil. Add additional garlic to the pan, pouring half of the lime juice on top, and sprinkle with cumin. Flip the chicken half-way through, pour the remaining lime juice over, and sear well.
To finish cooking, I like to turn the heat down to a low setting (2–3 on my induction cooktop) and cover the pan with foil (or a lid if you have one). I find this slow finish makes for a juicy and tender final product.
Finally, mix the ingredients for the mango salsa and cook the quesadillas.
Bring it all together and dinner is served!
Don’t forget to save some for lunch tomorrow…
Garlic Lime Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts tenders removed
- 2 tbsp garlic finely chopped
- 1 lime cut into 8 slices
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin
Remove tenders from chicken breasts, and slice each breast starting from the thickest point, cutting partway through until you are able to open the breast like a book. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle half of the garlic over the opened chicken breasts. Place 2 lime wedges at the centre, and fold back the chicken to close the "book".
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the olive oil. Place the chicken into the pan, add remaining garlic, pour half of the lime juice over top, and sprinkle with cumin.
Cook for 6–8 minutes, then flip chicken over. Pour the remaining lime juice over top. Cook until a nice golden sear develops on the second side, about 2–3 minutes. Then turn the heat to medium-low, and top with a lid (or use foil if you don't have a lid for your skillet) until chicken is cooked through, about 4–6 additional minutes.
Serve with mango salsa spooned over top.
- 2 ripe mangos peeled and chopped into 1/4" dice
- 1/2 fresh pinapple peeled and chopped into 1/4" dice
- 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers more if you like it spicy, seeded for less spicy
- 2 shallots sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup fresh orange or pinapple juice
In a small bowl, combine lime and orange juice, crushed garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Allow to rest while you prep and combine the remaining 5 ingredients into a large bowl.
Remove garlic from juices and discard. Pour juices over the salsa mixture and serve.
White Bean Spinach Quesadillas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots chopped
- 19 oz white kidney beans ((Cannellini beans) drained and rinsed
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 lime juiced
- 8 whole wheat tortillas, 7"
- 8 oz baby spinach
- 1 cup grated cheese Cheddar-Mozzarella mix works well
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 2–3 minutes. Add white beans, nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste, and continue to cook for 5–8 minutes until beans soften.
Transfer bean mixture to a mini-food processor, add juice of 1 lime, and pulse until it forms a puree.
Build the quesadillas: starting with one tortilla, spread 1/4 of the bean mixture on top. Add a handful of baby spinach, and top with cheese. Top with another tortilla. Repeat to build four.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil—when heated and shimmering, add one quesadilla. Cook until the tortilla crisps up and the filling starts to melt, then flip. Cook until the bottom is golden and the filling is nice and melty.
Slice and serve!