Why I Baked Them
I love Mexican food. Almost ANY dish. Especially homemade Mexican recipes. This Chicken Chimichanga Recipe was one I knew I wanted to figure out. Chimichangas have always been one of my favorites but I have a hard time with them (well my tummy has a hard time with them). Fried foods don’t set well with me and I get physically sick (I have since I was a little girl–and let me tell you, it isn’t fun especially when one of my favorite foods is french fries). I’m turning to baked foods more for healthy options but also to save my stomach the pains. Speaking of fries and baked–you should look at our Baked Parmesan Fries…
Back to Mexican Food though….one of my sisters passed this recipe on to me a few months ago, I played with it and tweaked a bunch of it and I can honestly say it has become one of our favorite recipes. I make it at least once a month (sometimes more but don’t tell anyone). It is so quick and easy and packed with flavor. It is baked (remember save the tummy) but if you want it fried, you go right ahead. Heat up that oil and stick them in. It will taste just as good.
A Few Tips For Chicken Chimichangas
Shred the chicken really well. You want it to mix in with the beans, salsa and cheese ground beef does this easily but if the chicken chunks are too large you won’t get an even distribution of the flavors. So spend the extra time and shred the chicken well.
I’ve played around with the size of tortilla and I really like the fajita size. They are really small, but hear me out. I have 3 little kids…I don’t want any of these to go to waste. It is the perfect size for kids. BUT…I have more reasons. I love to make these and freeze them for lunches (or snacks) and this size is the perfect size to pull a few out and send on their way with my husband or if I’m just needing a small lunch or an on the go meal. These are perfect.
Last tip I learned after have a few unfold on me. Simply put a toothpick in chimichangas to hold them closed while you freeze or bake them. Some times, especially if you like to fill them really full, it will unroll a little. Toothpicks to the rescue!
And honestly you don’t even need the toppings. Although Ranch dressing on these is amazing, or if you want to get really fancy guacamole and salsa takes it up even more one notch.
- 6 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- 1 16 oz jar salsa
- 1 16 oz can refried beans
- 1 4 oz can green chilies
- 8 oz shredded cheese
- 1 1.5 oz package burrito seasoning
- about 20 tortilla shells (baby burrito or fajita size)
- toppings: tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, olives, ranch dressing (key to whole recipe)
- In a skillet or large frying pan, combine salsa, beans, burrito seasoning, shredded meat. Stir until well mixed.
- Heat thoroughly.
- Heat tortilla shells (a few at a time) in microwave to soften so they don't break when folding.
- Depending on size of shell place ⅛-1/3 cup of the meat mixture in shell. (Fajita size is about ⅛th a cup, the smaller burrito was about ¼ cup).
- Top with cheese.
- Fold in sides and roll up. Place a toothpick to hold (if you want extra crunch lightly spray the top of the chimichangas with oil)
- Place on a cookie sheet and bake 350 for about 30 minutes until golden brown
- You can make these ahead of time and place in freezer until you are ready to back them. Just get them folded and then freeze. Pull out of freezer a couple hours ahead and let thaw. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
- Top with Tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, olives and ranch dressing.
- NOTE: if you like it extra crunchy turn the oven to broil for the last 30 seconds to 2 minutes.