Baked Chicken Chimichangas
Baked chicken chimichangas might change your whole idea of deep-frying! Chimichangas are gorgeous although they are often considered an indulgence because they are deep-fried. Saying that, it is perfectly possible to oven-bake this tasty snack and that cuts down on fat and calories, offering up a healthy meal which is just as good as its deep-fried cousin! If you want to know how to bake chimichangas read on for a great recipe.
We have chosen to use chicken in this baked chicken chimichangas recipe but feel free to use beef, pork, beans, cheese – anything you want really. The filling is up to you. Some people like to make a vegetarian chimichangas recipe with their favorite fresh, canned and/or thawed vegetables, and that certainly makes a change of pace from the beef or pork varieties.
What really makes chimichangas stand apart is the lovely crispy exterior. It is believed a chef dropped a filled taco into hot oil by accident and uttered the cuss ‘chimichanga!’ (which isn’t really a swearword) but then when she tasted the crunchy tortilla snack, the word stuck, and thus chimichangas were born. Swap the deep frying for the oven though, and try this baked chicken chimichangas alternative.
What to Serve with Baked Chicken Chimichangas
This is a very easy recipe to make and you can serve them with your favorite Mexican side dishes, perhaps Mexican fried rice, cornbread, cheese stuffed chilies, homemade guacamole and/or pico de gallo, or a 7-layer salad.
This baked chicken chimichangas recipe is really simple to follow, so if you want to prepare oven baked chimichangas for your family tonight, gather the ingredients and get ready to make a really tasty Mexican meal boasting all the wonderful flavors you would hope for.
You might be surprised to see we only use chicken, cream cheese and taco seasoning for our filling, but this is honestly all you need for the most delicious chimichangas.
Baking them in the oven will crisp up the outside and heat up the inside, so you end up with absolutely perfect chimichangas without the need to deep-fry.
Serve these to your family and they will assume you have had the deep fryer on to fry them up a treat in the form of these crunchy little bites, but actually you don’t have to tell them they were cooked in the oven, although everyone would be mighty surprised biting into these crispy, crunchy chimichangas and realizing they were baked in the oven and not deep fried.
Baked Chicken Chimichangas: A Healthier Option
Since you are saving on fat and calories making a baked chicken chimichangas recipe, you could even make an extra one per person! Nobody is going to complain about that.
When I make these baked chicken chimichangas I like to serve Mexican rice (Spanish rice, it is also known as) on the side as well as something cool and crunchy such as a cucumber salad. Another nice (and very simple) salad idea is combining fresh tomato wedges with fine slivers of fresh garlic. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator while you bake the chimichangas, then serve it on the side for a great contrast.
- 1½ tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 lb (450g) shredded cooked chicken
- 8 oz (225g) cream cheese
- 8 oz (225g) shredded Monterey Jack pepper cheese
- 8 flour tortillas
- Cooking spray, as needed
- Green onion, sour cream, shredded cheddar, avocado slices, and/or salsa, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C.
- Stir the Pepper Jack cheese with the cream cheese and taco seasoning.
- Stir in the chicken then divide this mixture between the tortillas.
- Tuck in the sides and roll up each tortilla.
- Lay them seam side-down in a sprayed 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
- Spray the tops with cooking spray then bake for 15 minutes.
- Flip them over.
- Spritz with cooking spray, and bake for 15 minutes more or until golden brown and crisp.
- Serve with sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese, avocado, and/or green onions if liked.