Running from the Law: Chicken Chimichangas

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Chimichangas

I'm not sure if I've ever had a chimichanga before Sunday night. I had no idea what I was missing! It was a complete accident that we stumbled upon this Godsend of a meal. Sunday afternoon I was flipping through a Cooking Light cookbook trying to figure out what we were going to eat for the week so I could go grocery shopping. I had everything picked out when Ryan requested some kind of Mexican/Southwest chicken meal for dinner that night. The first recipe I came to that qualified was chicken chimichangas. Ryan asked what a chimichanga was. I said I didn't have a clue.  But the ingredients sounded good, so I added them to the list and we'd give it a shot for dinner.

For some reason I thought chimichangas were going to be like enchiladas (with a tomato based sauce and lots of cheese), which I love, but are really hard to do "light".   However, I was pleasantly surprised (once I'd already started making them) that they were much lighter, colorful and really easy to make. After sauteeing and shredding the chicken, it took about 15 minutes to combine all the ingredients, roll up the tortillas and pop them in the oven. By the time they were done (7 minutes later), dinner was ready! I made some fresh guacamole to go on top. Ryan doused his in hot sauce and green salsa. We LOVED them!! Couldn't get enough. The cooking spray made the tops crispy and the chicken filling was very flavorful. And did I mention they are COOKING LIGHT! Guilt free baby.

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked boneless chicken breast
1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (4.5 ounce) can green chilies drained
1 (16 ounce) can fat free refried beans
6 (8 inch) whole grain flour tortillas
cooking spray
bottled green salsa

1.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2.  Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl and toss well.
3.  Spread 1/4 cup refried beans down center of each tortilla.  Add 2/3 cup chicken mixture.  Roll.  Place in casserole dish (coated with cooking spray) with seams down.
4.  Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.  Optional: top with a little extra cheese.
5.  Bake for 7 minutes. 
6.  Serve with green salsa, hot sauce and/or guacamole.



  1. Those. Look. Delicious. They are totally going on this week's menu.

    And, Cooking Light FTW!!! I've started keeping my issues of CL in the kitchen for easy access.

  2. What a great idea to bake a chimichanga instead of fry it. Yum! I will definitely make these - I'd eat mexican food 7 days a week if I could! Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. PS... passed an award your way via my blog. =)

  4. Those do look good! I've made enchiladas before, and while they didn't come out quite right, they were still good, but heavy. These look so light and refreshing! I'm going to have to give them a try.

  5. I want to face plant into the bowl of guacamole...oh yum!

  6. Those look delish! Now, I'm hungry again!

  7. Oh my goodness! These look delicious! My husband will especially love, thanks for the recipe!

  8. Oh, my goodness. These look so good! :-)

  9. What a delicious food is here and i am sure everyone will like these roles because it is healthy also. I will try to make this chicken role because i am free nowadays from my pay for an essay work and hope i can make it well.