La Buona Cucina Americana: Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas

When I first told my mother I was going to contribute to La Buona Cucina Americana recipe series her response was,“What are you going to cook?”

“MEXICAN!” I proudly announced.

“Well,” she pointed out. “That isn’t really American.”

But, I respectfully disagree.

Mexican food is American dangit. At least the way we eat it in Texas. It is called Tex-Mex. Even Wikipedia agrees.

As Judith pointed out in the initial post regarding her motivation for creating La Buona Cucina Americana, one of the things we expats miss the most, besides our family and friends, is the food. And for me that means MEXICAN. About once a month, I’ll say BASTA to all of the pasta and declare a Mexican food night, which usually means quesadillas, salsa, guacamole, and margaritas.

So here you go!



>> Six flour tortillas
>> Chicken (one pound)
>> Sliced mushrooms (two cups)
>> One medium-sized onion
>> Dash of salt
>> 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
>> Provolone cheese (one cup)


>> 1/4 of a medium-sized onion
>> One garlic clove
>> Three-five green chili peppers
>> Tomato sauce (one cup)
>> Salt (1/4 teaspoon)


>> One large RIPE avocado
>> Cherry tomatoes (8-10)
>> 1/4 of a lemon
>> Salt



1. Slice chicken, mushrooms and onions into thin strips and cook in a large skillet

2. Add salt and pepper and continue cooking

3. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from stove and set aside.

4. In a medium-sized pan (we use an omelet pan) place one flour tortilla

5. Generously sprinkle cheese on top and add 1/4 of your chicken mixture

6. Cover with another tortilla

7. As the quesadilla is heating, lightly press the edges of the tortilla together

8. After 2-3 minutes, flip the quesadilla and heat the other side

9. Cut into four slices and serve with salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips


1. In a blender combine finely chopped onion, garlic, salt and tomato sauce

2. Add approximately 1/3 of your pepper and continue blending

3. Taste salsa

4. Continue to add pepper until you reach a mildly hot flavor

5. Pour into a bowl, cover and store in the refrigerator at least two hours prior to serving

6. Serve with tortilla chips

Tip: Salsa will get hotter the longer it sits in the refrigerator. Be careful not to add too much spice at once! I recently did and had to add an extra 1/2 can of tomatoes to mellow the taste.

Tip #2:The brand of tomato sauce is very imporant. Use your favorite brand and the salsa will have a richer flavor.


1. Peel avocado and place inside a medium-sized bowl

2. Using a large spoon, mash avocado until it is a thin texture

3. Finely chop the tomatoes and add them to the avocado, being careful not to mash the tomatoes

4. Squeeze 1/4 of a lemon over the mixture and stir

5. Add salt, as needed, stir and cover

6. Refrigerate at least two hours prior to serving

7. Serve with tortilla chips

Tip: Some people add cilantro and/or sour cream to their guacamole, neither of which is readily available in Italy, however, even when in the States, this is my tried and tested recipe.



>> Sei tortillas
>> 450 gr di pollo
>> 450 gr funghi champignons
>> Una cipolla di medie dimensioni
>> Un po’ di sale
>> 1/2 cucchiaio di pepe nero
>> 250 gr di provola


>> 1/4 di cipolla, medie dimensioni
>> Un spicchip di aglio
>> 3-5 peperoncini verdi piccanti
>> 250 ml di salsa
>> 1/4 di cucchiaio di sale

Crema di avocado

>> Un avocado ben maturo
>> 8-10 pomodorini ciliegino
>> 1/4 di limone
>> Sale



1. Tagliare a fette il pollo, i funghi e la cipolla e cucinarli in una padella larga

2. Aggiungere sale e pepe

3. Quando il pollo e’ completamente cotto, toglierli dal fuoco e farli riposare per qualche secondo

4. In una padella, di medie dimensioni, riscaldare le tortillas

5. Aggiungere della provola ed un 1/4 del mix a base di pollo gia’ preparato in precedenza

6. Coprire con un’altra tortilla

7. Quando la tortilla comincia a prendere colore pressatele

8. Dopo 2-3 minuti riscaldare la tortilla dall’altro lato

9. Tagliare in 4 pezzi e servire con la salsa


1. In un frullatore frullare della cipolla, dell’aglio, sale e salsa di pomodoro

2. Aggiungere 1-3 di peperoncini e continuare a frullare

3. Provare la salsa

4. Aggiungere peperoncini fino a quando ha un sapore, medio, piccante

5. Mettere in una ciotala, coprire, e conservare in frigo per, almeno 2 ore prima di servire

6. Servire con le tortillas

* La salsa diventera’ piu’ piccante se conservata in frigo. Attenzione a non aggiungere troppo peperoncini tutto ad una volta.

Crema di avocado:

1. Sbucciare l’avocado e mettere in una ciotola

2. Con un cucchiaio largo schiacciare l’avocado fin quando non diventa cremoso

3. Tagliare finemente i pomodori ed aggiungerli all’avocado, facendo attenzione a non schiacciarli

4. Spremere 1/4 di limone e mecolare

5. Aggiungere sale, mescolare ancora e coprire la ciotola

6. Mettere in frigo per, almeno, due ore, prima di servire

7. Servire con le tortilla chips

21 Responses
  1. Mary

    Yummm! Quesadillas. I’ve made tacos here for O, along with chili, but haven’t done quesadillas yet. This recipe has definitely been added to my list.

  2. I am so there!
    Being from California, I miss Mexican as well as sushi!

    I find it a sort of good news/bad news thing.

    Here in Italy, when I first moved here in 1984, I missed all that. Now 25 years later, that the city is filled with Shwarma shops and Chinese restaurants on every corner, I miss the smell of Italian mamma’s cooking.

    Now I smell fried chinese and arab spices.

    I have left my teaching space in Florence in May, Florence is getting to international for me.

  3. joanne at frutto della passione

    I LOVE QUESADILLAS!!!!! (Picture me jumping up and down, clapping my hands and squealing!)

    My Italian hubby loves TexMex and we often make it at home and less often go out for it here in Milan. There are two places we always have to go whenever we go to Canada: Montana’s and The Lone Star Café.

    Thanks for this soooooooo much!

  4. Whoa, there Cherrye! This is starting to look pretty gustoso.

    I use piadine instead of tortillas, why? Because those darned Uncle Ben things are molded sometimes right from the store and really, it’s hard to tell the difference.

    (I am from Maine, forgive me. I use minced green chili in my guacamole.)

  5. I hear ya, NYC. I think we have GREAT food in TX.

    No you don’t Sara. Does your hubby like Tex Mex?

    Diva, if Florence is too international – COME TO CALABRIA. But, did you really leave Florence? Oh no…

    You are welcome, Joanne. THANK YOU for the mental image of you jumping up and down.

    I used piadine once, Judith because I thought they would be cheaper, but they weren’t. The Uncle Ben’s (Yes, Americans you are reading this correctly … Uncle Ben makes tortillas!) are thinner and I like them better. I think minced green chili sounds great in guac. Yum! Oh, and great intro, btw! lol

  6. Stephanie

    o.k., where did you get the tortillas? I bought this spice mix at “TJ Maxx” called Guacamole Mix, it is soooo good!!! I swear, someone should open up a tiny little shop selling taco’s etc… Italy.

  7. I have to respectfully disagree with your mom. hehe what is American food really? hamburgers?hot dogs? I mean if you think about it – “American” food is the product of so many cultures and cuisines, they all kind of blend together – don’t you think? and Tex-Mex is TOTALLY one of those. lol

    looks good! might have to go get me some good Mexican food this weekend. I love to add some bacon to my quesadillas (adds a yummy smokey flavor) and cumin to my quac. delicioussssssss 🙂

  8. hi there – have been lurking a while but figured i’d come out of the woodwork now. i live in mexico city (originally from the u.s. – where we totally believe mexican is american food). your post reminded me of the first time i made american quesdadillas here, with my smuggled jars of Old El Paso salsa (please – no judging:-)). my mexican housekeeper looked at me like i had 2 heads. and then she tried them – i think she was in fear of losing her job b/c she did finish it, but indirectly begged me not to feed her any more. i gotta say that while some authentic mexican food is delicious, my favorite mexican is the kind i get back home! (BTW, we have absolutely no decent italian restaurants here – after living in italy i’m sure you consider the likes of the olive garden the 9th circle of hell -to us in mexico, that is practically gourmet!)

  9. j

    I agree. American/Mex food is even less Mex than American/Italian food is Italian – and that’s a big difference.

    So I do a lot of the cooking in our house, but if I can’t make it in less than 1/2 hour that is the deal breaker for the recipe. So what store bought salsa do you recommend Cherrye. I differ to you in this because as a Texan I’m sure you know way more about this than I do.

  10. Stephanie – you can buy the tortillas in any super market. They are Uncle Bens brand and they are pretty good.

    Yum, Andrea. Of course, you could just go to Elena’s, couldn’t you?

    Bacon on quesadillas, Stacy? Hum … I never tried that. I would, though. I do *love* bacon!

    Me too, RHEA!!

    Rupal – Old El Paso?? At least you didn’t say PACE. 🙂 Ha ha! Just joking. Welcome to the comments section! I think authentic Mexican is really different from Tex Mex, just like authentic Italian is really different from what we have in America. I’m not *crazy* about Olive Garden, to be honest, but I do like Italian-American food, chicken alfredo for example … etc. You’ll have to try to make some of these Italian recipes we post from time to time!

    Ha, J – see comment I just made to Rupal! lol Store bought salsa, J?? Jeez…let me think. Honestly, none of them I’ve ever tried even comes close to the homemade stuff. Try buying some from your local Mexican food restaurant. Many of them will sell it with their chips at a reasonable price and it will be much better than the store bought kind. The recipe I posted can also be made in America by using canned jalepeno peppers and onion/garlic salt. That would make it super easy and fast to make b/c you wouldn’t have to chop!

  11. I am salivating, Cherrye!! Oh why did I ever read this right before lunchtime!!! I’m starving and I won’t getting anything half as good in the company cafeteria. Darn you!

  12. Melissa

    Your recipe looks sooo good. Living in California we eat Mexican food almost as much as we eat Italian food and sushi. A lot. When we were in Europe last we couldn’t find any Mexican restaurants except one that was like a Chevy’s. But more disappointing. The first thing my husband and I did when we got back was run to our favorite Mexican joint and pig out.

  13. We must have been tuned into our Texas radar this week because I also made Guacamole and Quesadillas, although my quesadillas were just cheese.

    I like to add just a little bit of garlic (or garlic powder) to my Guacamole.. takes it up a level. I’m sorry for those who can’t find really good tortillas. I refuse to buy Uncle Ben.. to me.. he makes rice.. not Tortillas. 🙂

    Lucky for me, there is a store here in Torino that I found that imports ALL of my Mexican needs. Real Tortillas (flour and corn), beans, salsa, etc….. oh.. and a cheese shop that has real Cheddar Cheese. If only they had Mexican sour cream… I’d be all set.

    REAL cheddar cheese? Mamma mia … I am jealous!

    .-= Sonia P.´s last blog ..Gelato count for August =-.

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