Healthy Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 chimichangas
Why fry when you can bake? These oven-baked chicken chimichangas are easy to make and healthier than the original, fried recipe.

A chimichanga is essentially a fried burrito, and although its exact origins have not been confirmed, some say it was invented in Tucson, Arizona in the 1920s.

For this recipe, we took a healthy detour from the original dish and decided to oven-bake our chicken chimichangas. I prefer this version, and it's so much healthier. The chimichangas are crispy and tasty, and you'll have a hard time not going back for seconds!

I never ate chimichangas as a child because I grew up in Mexico City, and this dish is actually Tex-Mex. But they are such a decadent treat. I've tried them with all kinds of fillings (shredded beef, pork, rice, beans, you name it!), and I have yet to eat one that I didn't enjoy. That being said, I prefer my chimichangas partially garnished with sour cream, guacamole and green onions, whereas the real deal is fully drenched in salsa. Both variations are delicious; it's just a matter of taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 1⁄2 cups chicken shredded
  • 2⁄3 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano leaves crushed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 green onions chopped with some tops (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 flour tortillas with spinach or plain, 8 inch
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup chopped green onion
  • Quick Salsa Casera
  • 1 large jalapeño
  • 1 10 oz. can tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

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Directions

  1. Mix the chicken, hot sauce or salsa, cumin, dried oregano leaves, cheese and green onions.Mix the chicken, hot sauce or salsa, cumin, dried oregano leaves, cheese and green onions.
  2. Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
  3. Fold opposite sides over filling.Fold opposite sides over filling.
  4. Roll up from bottom and set seam-side down.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add a drop of olive oil, and then sear the chimichangas for 3 minutes on each side. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add a drop of olive oil, and then sear the chimichangas for 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Once they're nice and crispy, place in a baking dish or casserole. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes or until golden. Take out of the oven, garnish with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Once they're nice and crispy, place in a baking dish or casserole. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes or until golden. Take out of the oven, garnish with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.
  7. Garnish with green onion, avocado and your favorite salsa, or my quick salsa casera.
Salsa Casera
  1. If preparing the quick red salsa casera, mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve! No need to cook this version because of the canned tomatoes. Otherwise, use 1 cup of the salsa of your choice. If preparing the quick red salsa casera, mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve! No need to cook this version because of the canned tomatoes. Otherwise, use 1 cup of the salsa of your choice.
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