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Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 1
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 384.5
  • Total Fat: 7.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.2 mg
  • Sodium: 1,554.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 58.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 18.9 g
  • Protein: 26.4 g

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Quesadilla Explosion Salad: SparkRecipes Un-Chained Recipe Contest Finalist

Submitted by: LILDVA
Quesadilla Explosion Salad: SparkRecipes Un-Chained Recipe Contest Finalist

Introduction

Oh, Quesadilla Explosion Salad! How I love you!
I have eaten plenty of these at Chili's and was "Oh so surprised!" to see it listed as #2 on the 10 worst restaurant salads! Number T-O-O! Too much fat, Too many calories, Too many points!

It's a salad! How can it be so bad for you?

Something had to be done! This is my response. I have also created recipes for the various ingredients used in this salad. They are named as they appear in the list of ingredients. Feel free to use them or your own. Beware the nutrition data of this salad will change if you use another version.
Oh, Quesadilla Explosion Salad! How I love you!
I have eaten plenty of these at Chili's and was "Oh so surprised!" to see it listed as #2 on the 10 worst restaurant salads! Number T-O-O! Too much fat, Too many calories, Too many points!

It's a salad! How can it be so bad for you?

Something had to be done! This is my response. I have also created recipes for the various ingredients used in this salad. They are named as they appear in the list of ingredients. Feel free to use them or your own. Beware the nutrition data of this salad will change if you use another version.

Number of Servings: 1

Ingredients

    6 ounces bagged salad mix
    1 vegetarian chicken patty (such as Morningstar)
    1 serving Chipotle Ranch Dressing (see below)
    1 packet ranch dressing mix
    1 cup 2% milk
    1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
    1 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

    1 serving Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette (see below)
    1/4 cup orange juice
    2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    2 Tbsp Splenda
    1/2 tsp orange zest
    pinch of nutmeg

    1 serving Sweet Potato Strips (see below)
    1/4 medium sweet potato, washed, sliced thinly (1/16") and cut into strips
    nonstick cooking spray
    1/4 tsp salt(optional)

    1 serving Cheese Quesadilla (see below)
    1 ounce shredded low fat colby jack cheese
    1 Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Sized Tortilla

    1 serving Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa (see below)
    2 ears of corn, roasted, kernels removed from cob (about 2 cups kernels)
    1 cup black beans, rinsed (if you make your own use little salt and no fat)
    1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
    1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, de-veined and chopped
    1/4 red onion, chopped
    juice of 1 lime
    salt to taste
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

Prepare Sweet Potato Strips:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray strips with nonstick cooking spray, then dust with salt (optional). Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes. Stir and turn the strips halfway through.

Allow to cool. They will crisp up a bit more after they come out of the oven (makes 1 serving)

Prepare Roasted Corn Salsa-
Add peppers, corn, and black beans to a bowl, then squeeze in lime juice and add salt. Give it a stir and add the cilantro. (Makes 8 1/2 cup servings--you'll have plenty leftover.)

Prepare dressings.
To make Chipotle Ranch Dressing:
Add milk and yogurt to ranch dressing mix. Stir in chipotle and store in refrigerator. (Makes 16 1 ounce servings.)

To make Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients in a saucepan, then cook over low heat for one minute. Cool and refrigerate. (Makes 1 serving.)

To make quesadilla:
Place cheese on half of the tortilla and fold over.
Spray the tortilla with nonstick cooking spray and cook in a sautepan heated over medium-high. Cook one minute on each side, or until cheese is melted. Cut into 4 wedges(makes 1 serving).

Prepare veggie "chicken" patty per package directions and slice into strips.

Place 6 ounces salad mix on plate, top with "chicken" strips, roasted corn and black bean salsa and sweet potato strips.

Place cut quesadilla around the edge of the plate.

Drizzle salad with dressings.


Number of Servings: 1

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user LILDVA.






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Member Ratings For This Recipe



  • 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
    Gosh, I love Chili's version of this -- and hate the fact that it's not on my list any more! To save time on the corn, beans, etc. Albertson's has a bagged, frozen southwestern veggie that has everything already in it -- just thaw (no need to cook) and use! Thanks for sharing this recipe! - 1/1/10

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  • Incredible!
    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
    This one gets my vote! I can live with the extra prep time. I like the mix of carbs/fat/protein, and it sounds delicious! I have not made it yet but plan to try it soon. - 11/4/09

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  • Incredible!
    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    What I like about this recipe is that it's real food. Taking time to roast the corn, prepare the sauces, develop and layer the flavors. This is what makes food fabulous and so satisfying. Thanks for taking the time and working on this to come up with a great replacement! - 8/24/10

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  • 3 of 6 people found this review helpful
    When I can get the sodium down to a reasonable level I'll try the recipe. That's more sodium than I need in a week! - 8/23/10

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  • 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    The recipe sounds great but the sodium level is off the charts for a single meal. - 8/23/11

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  • 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    I enjoy cooking and this sounds really good but the sodium count is just too high for me. - 8/23/10

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  • Very Good
    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    this is a great deal of prep, but in the end it's so worth it. made it and had extra things left over. Mine served two of us. if you are worried about how much this makes do you worry when you are served this at the restaurant? - 8/23/10

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  • Very Good
    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I would completely leave out the chicken pattie - there is so much other stuff going on here, I wouldn't even miss it! - 8/23/10

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
    lots of work, but sounds good - 11/10/09

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  • O.K.
    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    I don't mind spending extra time in the kitchen to make everything from scratch . . . but not for 1500 mg of sodium per serving. I'd have to find a way to reduce that or pass. - 11/4/09

    Reply from LILDVA (11/4/09)
    The majority of the sodium in this recipe comes from the tortilla-220 mg, the cheese-190 mg and the Chick'n Patty-350 mg. I did include small amounts of salt but that could be easily omitted.


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  • 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
    This sounds like a really good idea and it appears to be way lower than the original on cals. I too am a big fan of Chili's version of this salad and was sad when I found the calorie count on it. I would like to make this recipe but it looks like way to much trouble to go to for a salad. - 11/3/09

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    I made this tonight. I'd never had it at Chili's but I just knew we would like it. It was amazing! I couldn't even eat it all!
    It does seem like a lot of work, but it's really not. There are just several components to it. Will make again! - 1/27/12

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  • Very Good
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    Packeted dressings are very high in sodium--leave it out, as well as the cheese and the vegetarian chicken pattie. Toast the tortilla and use it without the cheese; make your own baked chicken breast, if you want. Cuts way down on the sodium and some fat and calories also. Helps stay on track. - 8/23/11

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  • 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I will try this one! It is a meal in itself.I would split it to serve two and that would correct the sodium somewhat. You could omit the vegetarian chicken and cut back a bit on the cheese if concerned about the sodium. - 8/24/10

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  • 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    The sodium in this recipe would keep me from making it! - 8/23/10

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  • 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
    This is also one of my favorite salads.Can not wait totry it. - 8/23/10

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  • 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Sodium: 1,554.4 mg
    Awfully high for one serving! - 8/23/10

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    For you all who have never had the Quesadilla explosion salad at Chili's, you are missing out... BUT I've recently passed by it on the menu because of all the calories. The citrus balsamic vinegarette is my favorite thing about the salad... well, maybe the quesadilla's too. :-) This recipe rocks! - 8/23/10

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    This recipe by itself would be a lot of work. Plan ahead, make corn salsa, ranch dressing, ect to use again. Corn salsa would be great in a frittata, chili or a side dish. Make your own WW tortilla's using a pasta roller to DRAMATICALLY cut sodium. Super easy. Ellie Krieger's ranch dressing recipe! - 1/3/10

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
    This is my kind of salad! I've never had the Chili's version, but I would make this. - 11/4/09

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  • Hi, guys... the sodium count is off on the recipe counter. It looks like there is the sodium content of the entire ranch dressing packet included in the nutritional stats, and not dividing it up into its 16 1oz prepared servings. If this is what happened, it would inaccurately raise the sodium. - 1/1/13

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  • Some great, some not so great. I'll take something away from this one - 9/2/11

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  • I dont have many of the items listed but I substituted cooked chicken for the patty, no black beans, plain ranch dressing (packet just mixed with yogurt), lavas for the tortilla, no black beans, and I dont even know what a chipotle is but we dont have it here in this country, however,loved it!! - 8/30/11

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  • Lots of prep time, but the calorie count amkes it worth the while! - 8/23/11

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  • I agree with the dismay over the sodium content. And I think a lot of it comes with the ranch dressing mix, 240 mg per each of those 16 servings, and who puts just one serving on so it could be even higher. And Splenda, what calls for sweet in this recipe? I will make this but leave out those two in - 8/23/11

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  • Sounds wonderful, but I just don't have time to make it. - 8/23/11

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  • AWESOME! I was dreading the prep involved in this one, but I found a few major shortcuts and was done in about 30 mins. In the ranch dressing I used smoked chipotle powder and I majorly dumbed down the black bean salsa - can of corn, can of black beans, and can of Rotel w/ lime and cilantro alread - 8/20/11

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  • 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    o this looks yummy! - 6/16/11

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  • We both enjoyed this. I didn't make the sweet potato fries though and we decided that the quesadilla wasn't really necessary...so much already! Will keep this one! - 5/16/11

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  • I cannot WAIT to try this! - 1/11/11

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  • This sounds great! Those of you complaining about
    The prep time, it doesnt seem like it would take any more time than any other dinner, and you could always make the salsas and dressings during the day or the night efore, even, if it's just too much work. - 1/5/11

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  • So very yummy! - 12/3/10

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  • The work is worth it...Yum-O - 8/27/10

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  • This was very good, I would make it again! - 8/25/10

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  • Incredible!
    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    Wow! many recipes for the price of one! we can mix and match any or all. Thanks I can't wait to start experimenting - 8/24/10

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  • I understand english but don't write it well. This is a wounderfull receipt, thanks. ¿Can I write in spanish? - 8/23/10

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  • 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Wow! Looks like a lot of work for a single serving. - 8/23/10

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  • 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    sounds filling - 8/23/10

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  • 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Sounds like an alful lot of work for 1 salad. and salsa without preservatives only lasts a few days. But I am going to try one at Chili's. Thanx - 8/23/10

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  • Bad
    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
    Way tooooo much work. - 8/23/10

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  • 0 of 3 people found this review helpful
    too many ingredients, too much work for the end result to be one meal for one person - 8/23/10

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  • 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    I'm going to try this for sure! - 8/23/10

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  • 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    Looks delicious! Can't wait to try it. Although I may have to make some modifications for the picky eater in the house. :) - 6/9/10

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  • 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    I love mexican and this easy to put together. - 3/10/10

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  • Incredible!
    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    SO worth the effort. Quesadillas RULE. - 11/16/09

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  • Good
    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    quesadillas rock! - 11/5/09

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  • Incredible!
    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
    This does look like a lot of work....but, some of the items could be used in other recipes. Looks way yummy! - 11/4/09

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  • Incredible!
    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
    This is my most favorite salad ever!!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but based on the ingredients in sounds like it will taste awesome! - 11/4/09

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  • Incredible!
    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    YUMMERS! FINALLY, I can enjoy this salad with out all the guilt! Thank you, thank you, thank you! - 11/4/09

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  • this is my favorite salad ever and this re-make is perfectly delicious!
    i am so excited to be able to eat it again! - 11/4/09

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  • Sounds great but a lot of work for one person. Would be good for a family get together. - 11/4/09

    Reply from LILDVA (11/4/09)
    This recipe makes a generous serving for 1 person! At least as big as the one you get in the restaurant! Really a 2 person serving and could easily serve 4 or more with some additional greens and another Chick'n Patty or 2!


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  • Incredible!
    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
    This looks and sound delicious, and I'm so glad to see a vegetarian option submitted to the recipe contest. I can't wait to try this recipe, but that will have to wait until I have a free weekend... - 11/3/09

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