Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Baked chicken chimichangas offer a delightful twist on traditional Mexican cuisine, combining the rich, savory flavors of chicken and rice with the crispiness of a lightly browned tortilla. 

Unlike their fried counterparts, these baked chimichangas provide a healthier alternative without sacrificing taste.

Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a sociable gathering, they promise a filling and flavorful meal. 

Therefore, in this blog post, we will provide you with a simple and delicious baked chicken chimichangas recipe that will become a family favorite in no time.

About Chimichanga

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s explore the definition of chimichanga.

A chimichanga is a popular Mexican dish that consists of a flour tortilla filled with various ingredients, such as meat, cheese, and vegetables. 

The tortilla is then folded into a rectangular shape and either deep-fried or baked until crispy.

Chimichangas are often served with sides such as rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole.

Ingredients Used In Baked Chicken Chimichangas Recipe

Now you have an overview of what chimichangas are, let’s move on to the main event – the recipe.

Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make baked chicken chimichangas:

1. Shredded chicken

Shredded chicken provides a lean, protein-rich base for the chimichangas, infusing them with a tender and moist texture that melds seamlessly with other ingredients.

Its mild flavor makes it a perfect canvas for spices and salsa.

2. Salsa

Salsa introduces a zesty twist, adding both moisture and a burst of flavor that can range from mildly sweet to palate-tingling spicy, depending on your preference.

It’s an essential component that imbues the dish with authentic Mexican flair.

3. Ground cumin

Ground cumin is a pivotal spice that lends an earthy, warm, and somewhat citrusy flavor, which is quintessential in Mexican cooking.

Just a sprinkle transforms the dish, bringing a depth of flavor that complements the chicken and rice beautifully.

4. Dried oregano

Dried oregano offers a hint of bitterness that contrasts perfectly with the richness of the cheese and the sweetness of the salsa.

This herb contributes to the aromatic profile of the dish, infusing it with a touch of Mediterranean essence.

5. Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ – Spanish Rice

Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ – Spanish Rice makes the filling more substantial and adds a layer of complex flavors, thanks to its blend of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices.

This convenient ingredient ensures a perfect consistency and taste every time.

6. Colby-Jack cheese

Colby-Jack cheese melts beautifully, binding the ingredients together with its creamy, slightly tangy taste that’s not too overpowering, allowing the flavors of the other ingredients to shine through.

It adds a lovely, gooey texture to each bite.

7. Canola oil

Canola oil is used sparingly to brush the chimichangas before baking, ensuring they turn out golden and crispy without the need for deep frying.

It’s a healthier choice that maintains the dish’s lightness and doesn’t interfere with the flavors.

8. Burrito-size flour tortillas

Burrito-size flour tortillas are the ideal wrap for chimichangas, providing a soft, pliable base that crisps up nicely in the oven.

Their neutral taste highlights the filling’s flavors, making each bite a perfect balance of texture and taste.

9. Suggested Toppings

Grated cheese, dollops of sour cream, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, lettuce shreds, and slices of lime.

Each ingredient used in this recipe plays a crucial role.

However, feel free to experiment with different ingredients or add your twist to make it your own.

How To Make Baked Chicken Chimichangas?

Now, it’s time for the fun part – making baked chicken chimichangas!

Follow these simple steps to create a delicious batch of your own:

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

To achieve evenly baked and perfectly crispy chimichangas, commence by setting your oven to a temperature of 425°F (220°C).

This foundational step plays a pivotal role in minimizing the time they need to bake and ensuring they develop a delightful golden-brown crust.

Step 2: Prepare The Chicken Mixture

In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken with salsa, ground cumin, and dried oregano. 

Mix the ingredients thoroughly to make sure the chicken is well coated with the spices and salsa.

This step infuses the chicken with a rich, flavorful base that is the heart of the chimichanga.

Step 3: Assemble The Chimichangas

Lay out the burrito-size flour tortillas on a clean surface.

Spoon an equal amount of the Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ – Spanish Rice onto the center of each tortilla, followed by the chicken mixture. 

Top with a generous sprinkle of Colby-Jack cheese.

Fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll tightly to form a secure, rectangular package. 

Ensure the seams are well sealed to prevent the filling from leaking out during the baking process.

Step 4: Prepare For Baking

Lightly brush each chimichanga with canola oil on all sides.

This not only helps to achieve a crispy golden exterior but also prevents the chimichangas from drying out in the oven. 

Arrange the chimichangas seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased to prevent sticking.

Step 5: Bake

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the chimichangas are golden brown and crispy on the outside. 

Midway through baking, you may want to gently turn the chimichangas over to ensure they brown evenly on all sides.

Step 6: Serve

Once baked to perfection, remove the chimichangas from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving.

This brief resting period helps the filling set, making it easier to cut or bite into. 

Serve the chimichangas on plates and garnish with your choice of optional toppings, like shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro, for an added burst of flavor and color.

By following these detailed steps, you will create delicious baked chicken chimichangas that are sure to delight your family and friends with their savory filling, crisp exterior, and the delightful contrast of fresh toppings.

What Pairs Well With Baked Chicken Chimichanga?

For a complete meal, consider pairing your baked chicken chimichangas with some tasty side dishes.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Mexican rice: If you have extra Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ – Spanish Rice on hand, serve it as a side dish for additional flavor and substance.

Mexican coleslaw: This tangy and refreshing coleslaw is the perfect side to balance out the richness of the chimichangas.

Black beans: Serve up some black beans seasoned with cumin, garlic, and chili powder for a hearty and satisfying addition to your meal.

Mango salsa: For a fruity twist, whip up a quick mango salsa with diced mangoes, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and a little salt and pepper.

Mexican corn on the cob: Elevate your meal with some grilled Mexican-style corn on the cob, brushed with butter and sprinkled with chili powder, garlic powder, and cotija cheese.

By pairing your baked chicken chimichangas with these side dishes, you can create a well-rounded and flavorful meal that is sure to impress. 

FAQs About Baked Chicken Chimichangas Recipe

1. Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, you can substitute the shredded chicken with a plant-based protein like black beans or tofu and omit the Colby-jack cheese to make it vegetarian-friendly.

You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in the Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ – Spanish Rice for added flavor.

2. Can I use store-bought rotisserie chicken for this recipe?

Yes, you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time.

Simply shred the chicken and mix it with the salsa, ground cumin, and dried oregano as directed in Step 2.

3. What type of salsa should I use?

You can use any type of salsa that you prefer, whether it’s mild, medium, or hot.

You can also use chunky or smooth salsa, depending on your preference.

If you want to add more heat, you can mix some diced jalapenos or hot sauce into the chicken mixture.

Conclusion

Overall, we have provided you with the baked chicken chimichangas recipe that is easy to make and delicious to eat.

You can customize the filling with your favorite ingredients and pair it with various side dishes for a complete meal. 

With simple steps and minimal ingredients, you can enjoy this popular Mexican dish without the guilt of deep frying.

So why not give it a try and savor the delectable flavors of baked chicken chimichangas

Your taste buds will thank you!

baked chicken chimichangas

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups of shredded chicken
  • 1 cup of salsa (mild, medium, or hot, based on your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 1 package of Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ - Spanish Rice, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 cup Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
  • Canola oil
  • Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to a temperature of 425°F (220°C) to ensure it's ready for baking the chimichangas to a golden-brown finish.
  • Prepare the Chicken Mixture: Mix shredded chicken with salsa, ground cumin, and dried oregano in a large bowl. This step flavors the chicken to be the savory filling of your chimichangas.
  • Assemble the Chimichangas: Distribute the chicken mixture and Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ - Spanish Rice evenly among the flour tortillas. Add shredded Colby-Jack cheese, fold the tortillas securely, and seal the edges.
  • Prepare for Baking: Brush each chimichanga with canola oil and place them seam-side down on a baking sheet. This ensures a crispy exterior.
  • Bake: Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until they achieve a golden and crispy exterior. Consider flipping them midway for even browning.
  • Serve: Allow the chimichangas to cool briefly before serving. Garnish with optional toppings such as shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro for extra flavor and presentation.
Keyword baked chicken chimichangas

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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