Air Fryer Quesadilla (Taco Bell Copycat)

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This air fryer quesadilla filled with chicken and copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce is a quick and easy dinner idea. Making them in the air fryer leaves the tortilla perfectly crisp and the cheese nice and melty.

taco bell copycat quesadilla on a white plate with red napkin

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla

I could eat Mexican food any night of the week but Taco Bell has never been my favorite.

I make a copycat Mexican Pizza & Crunchwrap Supreme at home, or a Meximelt when the mood hits, but if I am going through the drive-thru, it’s the quesadilla that I’m ordering.

I think it’s the sauce that is my favorite – it’s creamy and slightly spicy. I usually get it without chicken (because I don’t trust fast food meat, but that’s another story) and it’s perfect dipped in some cool sour cream.

But at home, where you can control the quality of the ingredients, a quesadilla made in the air fryer, especially with leftover chicken, is an easy dinner that the whole family will love.

Finish it off with a copycat caramel apple empanada, also made in the air fryer!

side view of a stack of quesadillas on a white plate


Below is a list of ingredients with some helpful tips and suggestions for substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full, printable recipe card with amounts & instructions. Also included is a list of equipment that will make making these quesadillas a breeze.

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Ingredients

  • MAYONNAISE – The base of the creamy sauce is mayo. Use your favorite brand.
  • JALAPENOS – Because you’ll need minced jalapeno and jalapeno juice, I recommend using jarred jalapenos. Fresh works as well, of course.
  • SEASONINGS – To season the sauce, you’ll add garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, and salt. If you want to tone it down, skip the cayenne.
  • SUGAR – You’ll add just a bit of sugar to balance the heat.

Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla Ingredients

  • CHICKEN – You can grill, roast, or even make shredded chicken in the instant pot for these quesadillas. They are a great way to use up leftover, plain chicken.
  • TORTILLAS – Large, burrito size, flour tortillas.
  • CHEESES – You’ll use a mix of sliced American cheese (real American cheese is preferred but cheese product slices will work, too), and shredded cheddar and monterey jack. You could also use colby jack, or pepper jack.
  • OLIVE OIL – Either use non-stick spray or an olive oil mister to spray the tortillas.
overhead shot of ingredients to make copycat taco bell quesadillas

Equipment you’ll need

  • Air Fryer – This is the air fryer I have and love. I’ve been through a few and this one is my favorite.
  • Large Skillet – If you don’t have an air fryer, you can definitely make these on the stove in a skillet.
  • Box Grater – I will always recommend shredding your own cheese for the best taste and results, but I know buying pre-shredded is sometimes easier.
  • Air Fryer Liners – These parchment paper liners make clean up even quicker. Make sure you order the right size/shape for your air fryer.

How to make air fryer quesadillas

  1. STEP ONE: Make the sauce. To a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, minced jalapeno, jalapeno juice, and seasonings.
  2. STEP TWO: Assemble the quesadilla. To one half of a large tortilla, add half a slice of American cheese, top it shredded cheese, then lay on the chicken. To the other half of the tortilla, thinly spread on some of the creamy jalapeno sauce. Fold the tortilla over and slice in half.
  3. STEP THREE: Cook them. Spray each side of the quesadilla with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil. How many you can make at once will depend on the size of your air fryer. Lay in the air fryer and cook at 370 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese is nice and melty. Repeat, if necessary, with any additional quesadillas. Serve & enjoy!

Want a different flavor? Try my buffalo chicken quesadillas next!

collage showing assembling a quesadilla then in the air fryer basket

What is Taco Bell’s quesadilla sauce made of?

Taco Bell’s quesadilla sauce is a creamy jalapeno sauce with a mayo base, minced jalapenos, and jalapeno juice. Other ingredients include garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, and salt.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve my quesadilla with a side of cool sour cream for dipping. You could also include some homemade salsa, cilantro lime rice (try putting that IN the quesadilla), and homemade tortilla chips.

How to store them

Any leftover quesadillas should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep up to 3 days.

Can you freeze quesadillas?

You can absolutely freeze these quesadillas, in fact they freeze really well. Assemble them, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil, and save in the freezer. They reheat in no time, I like to put them back in the air fryer but the microwave or even oven will work.

Need more air fryer recipes? Try these:

Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Buffalo Wings
Air Fryer Egg rolls
Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
Air Fryer Edamame

Need more restaurant copycat recipes? Try these:

TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce
KFC Honey BBQ Sauce
Cheesecake Factory Chipotle Chicken Pasta
Panera Bread Kitchen Sink Cookies
Cracker Barrel Country Style Green Beans

Click here for my entire collection of copycat recipes.

chicken & cheese quesadilla on a white plate
taco bell copycat quesadilla on a white plate with red napkin

Air Fryer Quesadilla

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
This air fryer quesadilla filled with chicken and copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce is a quick and easy dinner idea. Making them in the air fryer leaves the tortilla perfectly crisp and the cheese nice and melty.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 5 quesadillas
Calories 507 kcal


  • cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeños minced
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeño juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb cooked chicken roasted/grilled or shredded
  • 5 burrito flour tortillas
  • 3 slices American cheese
  • 2 ½ cups Cheddar & Monterey Jack shredded cheese divided
  • olive oil spray


  • To a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, jalapeño, jalapeño juice, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, sugar, cumin, and salt and stir until combined.
  • Lay open one tortilla on a flat surface. Place half a slice of American cheese one half of the tortilla, long ways. Top the American cheese with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Place cooked chicken on top of the cheese.
  • Thinly spread approximately 1 tablespoon of sauce on opposite side of tortilla.
  • Fold tortilla closed and cut in half.
  • Lightly spray quesadilla with non-stick spray or mist with oil. Place in the air fryer (how many you can fit will depend on the size of your air fryer.
  • Cook at 370° for 3 mins, flip and cook for another 2 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
  • Repeat as necessary for additional quesadillas.
  • Serve with sour cream and salsa.


These are a great use for leftover chicken – either grilled, roasted, shredded, or even a cut up rotisserie. 
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Serving: 1gCalories: 507kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 38gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 887mgPotassium: 292mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 678IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 517mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Originally published January 10, 2012

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  1. Sam says

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing and super easy to prepare! Perfect for meal prep for the work-week ahead. Thanks so much for posting this! Had to try one to ‘test it out’ (husband had to help me on that LOL) and we both agree that it’s actually better than the Mainstream Counterpart. 10/10 will make again!

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