You have probably noticed by now how much we love our Mexican dishes. Unfortauntely, not many Mexican dishes are very healthy. We love chimichangas and decided to make these ones a little healthier by baking instead of frying them.
Chimichanga VS. Burrito
We get asked all the time what the difference between a chimichanga and a burrito is, and why these “baked” chimichangas are such a great option.
A burrito is typically filling wrapped in a flour tortilla. A chimichanga is a popular Tex-Mex dish consisting of toppings wrapped in a flour tortilla, just like a burrito, and then deep fried.
These baked chimichangas are such a great option if you’re cutting back on calories or fats because you’re not frying them in oil, but rather baking them in the oven.
How to make the chimichanga filling
First we start by preparing the filling. We used a lean ground beef (96% lean / 4% fat) and browned it with a diced yellow onion.
We then added in a can of refried beans. You could also use our Easy Homemade Refried Beans (they are a family favorite!).
If you do use canned refried beans, try to find a low-sodium option. This dish doesn’t need any of the extra sodium.
The next ingredient to making this flavorful filling is a Mexican cooking sauce (which is basically a thin tomato sauce with Mexican seasonings). If you can’t find this cooking sauce at the store, any taco sauce will do.
Once it is warmed all the way through, it’s ready to go!
How to make a crispy baked chimichanga
In a large tortilla, place a spoonful of the beef and bean filling in the middle. Sprinkle some cheese on top, then roll it up, tucking in the sides so that the filling doesn’t fall out.
Place the chimichanga on a large baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, making sure that the seams of the chimichanga are facing down.
Using a pastry brush, spread a little melted butter on each chimichanga. This is what will make each chimichanga crispy, even though you are baking it in the oven.
If you are wanting to cut back on calories, you could spray each chimichanga with some butter-flavored cooking spray and it will give you a similar crispy outcome.
If you are wanting to change it up even more, these would be awesome with ground turkey or whole wheat tortillas for an even healthier option.
You can switch up the beans for any kind you want (black beans are also delicious!).
The best toppings:
- sour cream
- black olives
- green onions
Delicious mexican side dishes:
Baked Beef and Bean Chimichangas Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ onion chopped
- 16 ounces refried beans 1 can
- 8 ounces Mexican cooking sauce 1 bottle, (or taco sauce - I like to use Chile and Roasted Garlic from Old El Paso)
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 flour tortillas (10 inch)
- 1 Tablespoon butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the onion over medium-high heat.
- Drain grease.
- Add the refried beans and sauce, stirring until it is completely combined and warmed all the way through.
- Spoon the beef and bean mixture onto each tortilla (I spooned about 3 generous spoonfuls onto each)
- Top with cheese, and then roll it up.
- Place them all seam side down on a greased baking sheet.
- Brush melted butter over the top of each Chimichanga.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (until the tops start to turn a golden brown).
- I like to serve mine with chopped tomatoes, sour cream, lettuce, and green onions.
- Recipe adapted from: All Recipes
- Large Skillet
- Baking Sheet
- Non-stick Cooking Spray
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Have you checked out our YouTube channel? If you are looking for a perfect side dish, head to your channel to watch how to make our Mexican Corn Salsa.