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For our top party tips episode, "Top Chef" judge Gail Simmons shares two go-to sheet pan recipes—this giant chicken, pepper and bean quesadilla and Mediterranean Nachos. Both are fun crowd-pleasers and a breeze to prep and clean up. 

Pro Tip from Gail: There's no need to save these recipes for a party. They are also great for just one or two people. That way, you have the bonus of leftovers


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Eight to ten 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream, to serve
  • Pico de gallo or salsa verde, to serve
  • Guacamole or avocado slices, to serve


Serves: 6 to 8


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a sheet pan with oil.  

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, add the garlic, chili powder and cumin. 

Add the ground chicken and cook, stirring constantly to break up the meat, until lightly browned and no pink remains. Stir in the pinto beans to warm through, another minute or so. Season with salt and pepper.  

On the prepared sheet pan, lay 6 tortillas around the perimeter with about half of each tortilla hanging over the side. Place another tortilla or 2 in the center to cover the pan completely. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese on the tortillas, then top with the ground chicken mixture, remaining 2 cups of cheese and half of the scallions.  

Place another tortilla or 2 over the top in the center of the sheet pan mixture, then fold each of the tortillas on the edge of the sheet pan over the filling to seal. Brush the top of the tortilla with olive oil and season with salt. Place a second sheet pan on top of the quesadilla to secure the tortillas in place.  

Bake until the tortillas start to brown, but the quesadilla can hold its shape, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the top sheet pan and continue baking until the tortillas are evenly golden, about 5 minutes more.  

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining half of the scallions. Slice and serve with sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole.