These are adapted from Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill. She had a recipe for Baked Chicken Enchiladas that looked great and started with raw chicken thighs and a recipe for Baked Chicken Chimichangas that used cooked chicken. I had some boneless skinless chicken thighs I’d bought on sale and froze in packs of 3-4 so pulled one out of the freezer to defrost in the microwave.
You can make your own taco seasoning.
Heat the flour tortillas in a microwave or over a dry cast iron skillet to make them more flexible for filling and rolling.
These are lightly crispy, not like the fried version (and so much more healthy!). We ate just one each with a side of refried beans but heartier eaters will want to. You could extend the meal with some Mexican Rice as well and/or a salad.
Crispy Chicken Chimichangas
- 1 Tbs oil
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in bite-sized pieces
- a smattering of taco seasoning
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 6-7 flour tortillas
- 1 Tbs butter, melted
- 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend
- salsa verde or tomato salsa at the table
- sour cream at the table optional
Cooking chicken for chimchangas
- Heat the oil in a cast iron or other heavy skillet and add half the chopped chicken. Brown a bit, and sprinkle with some taco seasoning. Cook until done. When it’s done, you can easily cut a piece in half with a wooden spoon. Remove to a bowl, then add the other half of the chicken, season again with the taco seasoning and cook through.
- Put the first batch of chicken back in the pan, sprinkle with the cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oregano, stirring to heat through and distribute the spices. Turn the heat off.
Building and baking chicken chimichangas
- Heat the flour tortillas in a microwave or over a dry cast iron skillet to make them more flexible.
- Place a tortilla on a plate or cutting board. Add some chicken, green onions and cheese. Fold the ends over, then roll up the tortilla and place it seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish.
- Melt the butter, brush across the tops of the tortillas and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or so. In the meantime, you can heat up a can of refried beans.
- Serve with extra grated cheese, any leftover chopped green onions, red or green salsa and/or sour cream at the table.
I somehow neglected to take a picture after they were baked but both my girls liked them and one is looking forward to taking one for lunch tomorrow. I frozen the leftovers so I could pull one out at a time. Family Feasts says put one in the microwave for 2 minutes to reheat. Sounds like a good freezer stash to me!
NOTE: If you have already cooked chicken in the freezer, just heat it up with a bit of water and the seasonings. You could also leave out the taco seasoning OR the other spices for a plainer version. You could also put salsa into the chimichangas before rolling but my girls prefer to have the salsa outside and it’s easy enough for me to dump it on top so that’s how I made them. You could also easily substitute ground beef for the chicken.
These came out pretty good. I added a little smear of refried beans to the tortilla before I stuffed it. They weren’t as crispy as I would have liked, but perhaps I should have used more butter. Thanks for sharing this recipe!