El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas Review

El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas

El Monterey isn’t the first brand name to spring to mind when you hear the term “quality frozen foods.” In fact, we’ve been known to refer to their burritos as “hard-times burritos,” since those were one of the things that kept us nourished in our broke-college-student days. Now, we don’t mean this as an insult; El Monterey burritos were a lifesaver. We just want to make it clear that these are utilitarian frozen foods rather than gourmet ones.

Still, when we saw the El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas in the frozen food aisle at our local grocery store, we thought they looked surprisingly tasty. So of course we picked up a box and brought them home so we could see what they’re all about.

Five individually wrapped quesadillas come in a package, meaning these are clearly designed to be eaten one at a time.

El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas

There are two ways you can cook these. You could simply toss one in the microwave for a minute and 45 seconds, or you can choose the stovetop method. We went with the stovetop, even though the instructions seemed needlessly convoluted — we just wanted to make sure we were getting a crispy quesadilla rather than some soggy old thing.

First, we opened one of these up, then covered it with a paper towel. We stuck it in the microwave for a minute and 15 seconds. Keep in mind that at this point, we could have just added 30 seconds to that and had a finished product. But we instead decided to keep pushing onward with the stovetop instructions.

We preheated a skillet on the stove, and when the quesadilla came out of the microwave, we plopped it into the skillet. We then cooked it for a couple minutes per side, and it was finally ready to be served.

El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas

First of all, we have to say that we’re impressed with the flavor of the monterey jack cheese. It’s stretchy and sharp, and it’s seasoned with spices and peppers to give it a little bit of an oomf. There’s also no shortage of cheese in here; El Monterey was generous with their portion size.

Of course, the cheese really dominates the flavor here, so everything else takes a back seat. Every bite is mostly cheese, so you’ll hardly get a taste of the charbroiled chicken or the chili peppers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — the cheese is quite good, as we mentioned earlier — but it would have been nice to taste the other ingredients a bit.

As you can see in the picture below, the chicken is a sickly whitish pink color. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite good. It’s far juicier and more flavorful than we expected based on how it looks, and it’s a fine addition to this quesadilla.

El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas

The shell is crispy, thanks to the stovetop cooking method, but it’s also a little rubbery, which is a really weird thing to say about a tortilla. We found the texture and consistency to be a little off-putting.

One quesadilla, which is a serving size, contains 230 calories (100 from fat) and 490 mg of sodium. None of that seems all that bad until you consider the fact that you’ll probably be eating more than one. We think two is a more realistic serving size, and that brings this up to 460 calories (200 from fat) and 980 mg of sodium. That’s a lot less sexy than the single-quesadilla serving.

The El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadilla is one of the better items in El Monterey’s frozen food lineup. That’s in large part due to the copious amounts of great-tasting monterey jack cheese, and it’s less due to the actual quality of the meal. Still, we think one of these frozen quesadillas makes for a pretty great snack.

If you want to learn more about the nutrition content or ingredients for these frozen quesadillas, check out our package scans below.

El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas

El Monterey Charbroiled Chicken & Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadillas