These Easy Chicken Chimichangas are filled with shredded chicken and cheese, rolled in a whole wheat flour tortilla and baked to crispy crunchy perfection.
When I hear the word chimichanga, it puts a huge smile on my face. Not only is it a fun word to say, but the dish is a family favorite! This version is packed with shredded chicken, tomatoes onions and lots of my favorite Mexican spices.
What is a chimichanga?
A chimichanga is a Tex-Mex deep-fried burrito that’s often filled with chicken or beef, cheese, salsa and sometimes rice and beans. It’s usually topped with sour cream and guacamole, and eaten with a knife and fork instead of with your hands like a normal burrito.
To make these a little healthier than your typical restaurant chimichanga, I used whole wheat flour tortillas and baked them instead of frying them. The results are absolutely delicious! Especially if you smother them in guac and sour cream.
I love fried foods (who doesn’t!), but I’m not a big fan of deep frying at home. Not only is it a pain in the butt to discard the frying oil when you’re done with it, but I try to think of fried foods as a special restaurant-only treat.
How to make chimichangas
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic and salt. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until onions become translucent and tomatoes begin to break down.
- Add diced green chiles, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Mix together and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and add in shredded chicken. Toss together to coat. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Assemble the chimichangas by placing about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into the center of each tortilla and topping it with 3 heaping tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese. Fold the opposite sides of the tortilla over the filling and roll it into a burrito shape. Place it seam-side down onto a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Brush each chimichanga with melted butter and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with your toppings like sour cream guacamole, salsa and enjoy.
Tips for making chicken chimichangas
- If you don’t have cooked shredded chicken at home, you can use store-bought shredded rotisserie chicken instead! I love this little hack because rotisserie chicken is super juicy and flavorful, especially if you leave the skin on.
- To save 20 minutes, use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite chunky salsa instead of making your own. Just toss it together with the shredded chicken and skip to step 4 of the instructions in the recipe card below.
- To make them ahead of time, fill and assemble the chimichangas like normal. Then, individually wrap each chimichanga in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in a large storage bag. Refrigerate them for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to eat them, remove the foil or plastic wrap, place them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, brush the tops with melted butter and bake them at 400°F for 25 minutes.
To complete the meal, serve with these side dishes: