Baked chicken chimichangas have long been my go-to weeknight Tex Mex entree. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever actually made it on the weekend. No idea why they’re so irresistible. I’ve been making this recipe for a good six years and I can’t tell you why I haven’t shared it sooner.
What are Chimichangas?
Traditionally, chimichangas are a small, deep-fried burrito filled with chicken or beef, spices, and veggies. This recipe is actually inspired by a simpler, healthier variation that I found on Cooking Light. I’m not your typical Cooking Light frequenter but I love this recipe because they’re so flavorful and come together in about 25 minutes.
My chimichangas are made with diced or shredded chicken, refried beans, diced green chiles, lots of spices, and melted blend of cheeses. Topped with sour cream and guacamole, they’re a Mexican-inspired dinner the whole family will say YES to.
How to Make Baked Chimichangas
Essentially I combine fully cooked chicken and all remaining ingredients/spices and mix to form a meat-based filling. From here we can line the filling on a burrito sized tortilla and tightly roll into a sealed burrito. Bake for a short amount of time at high heat for a nice sear and slightly crisped exterior.
It helps to spray the exterior of the chimichangas with cooking spray to help give the them more crunch, mimicking our fried counterpart.
Shredded Versus Diced Chicken
The recipe calls for two cups of diced chicken, however shredded rotisserie chicken speeds the process up and adds a really nice texture. I would still suggest two cups of shredded chicken. The final result will be a more tender and creamier chimichanga.
The most important part regardless is small diced chicken, larger chunks of chicken will fall out and be too large to blend with the remaining ingredients.
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My absolute favorite easy weeknight Tex Mex inspired dinner.
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes (roughly 2 cups of uncooked chicken)
- 4, 8 inch soft flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese
- 16 ounce can, fat free refried beans
- 4.5 ounce can chopped or diced green chiles, drained
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1–2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil and cooking spray for cooking
- Guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 500 °F.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add chopped chicken and onion and simmer until chicken is fully cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
- Mix in the chopped green chiles, garlic, and spices and let simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer filling to a bowl, and stir in cheese until mixed throughout. Set the skillet aside for baking.
- Lay out the tortillas and evenly spread two heaping tablespoons of refried beans down the center of each tortilla. Divide the chicken filling down the center of each of the tortillas as well.
- Fold in the top and bottom of the tortilla and roll into a tight burrito, ensuring the ends stay closed. Place on a baking sheet or back in the skillet with the seam at the bottom so the chimichangas stay tightly wrapped. Give the tops of the chimichangas a quick spray with cooking spray.
- Transfer to the oven and bake on the top rack for 7-8 minutes or until the tops of the chimichangas start to brown. Serve immediately with guacamole, sour cream or salsa.
Keywords: chicken chimichangas, baked chimichangas