These Chicken Chimichangas were a family favorite growing up and for good reason! Whole wheat tortillas layered with refried black beans, a spicy and saucy shredded chicken mixture, and tons of cheese, then wrapped and baked to crispy perfection. A comforting, delicious, and healthy weeknight meal!
Healthy and Baked Chicken Chimichangas
These baked chicken chimichangas puts an easy, healthy spin on this classic Mexican dish!
We had chicken chimichangas often growing up. They were my little brother’s favorite and he requested them constantly. It’s easy to see why. Chimichangas are burritos filled with refried beans, meat, and cheese, then fried to golden brown perfection and topped with all the fixings. I’m already drooling over here.
I decided to recreate this recipe for my little brother but put my healthy, Danilicious spin on it. I incorporated some easy healthy swaps to lighten up this dish without sacrificing flavor or texture.
First, I used refried black beans, as they are high in fiber and antioxidants. I also used whole wheat tortillas as they also add fiber plus extra nutrients. One of my favorite, easy substitutions is using greek yogurt in liue of sour cream. Greek yogurt still has a creamy texture and tangy taste but is low in fat and packed with protein. Finally, I baked the chimichangas instead of frying them. Baking them at a high temperature still achieves a crunchy texture but makes them less greasy and lighter.
what is a chimichanga
You may be wondering, what is a chimichanga?!
It’s a deef-fried burrito that’s very popular in Tex Mex cuisine. It’s typically filled with refried beans, some sort of meat mixture (or you could make it vegetarian, of course!), and tons of cheesy goodness. When fried (or in our case, baked) the cheese becomes gooey and the outside tortilla crunchy, making it much more delicious than a regular burrito.
We loved eating these growing up. We also loved to say the name, Chim-i-chaaannga! There is something just so fun and satisfying about the name 🙂
Ingredients in baked chicken chimichangas
The main ingredients in this dish are:
- rotisserie chicken, super flavorful and makes this a quick, easy dinner
- diced onion & red pepper and garlic, sautéing these together creates a beautiful, depth of flavor to this dish
- salsa and chicken broth, add flavor and moisture
- adobo sauce, this is the sauce in the can of chipotle peppers. It’s smokey and spicy and makes this dish bold and flavorful
- greek yogurt, adds creaminess and richness to the chicken mixture
- whole wheat tortillas, I love the hearty flavor and texture which holds up to all the filling
- sharp cheddar cheese, I love it’s punchy kick and is always my go-to cheese (you can use any cheese you prefer!). Plus, when it melts during the baking process, it creates a gooey delicious filling.
- refried black beans – adds a creamy element to the filling plus all the fiber and nutrients of beans!
- all the fixings, everything you would top on your tacos. I’m talking dollops of greek yogurt a scoop of salsa, and some slices of jalapeños.
How to cook these healthy chicken chimichangas
One major way to make this dish healthier is by baking the chimichangas instead of frying them. There are a few tricks to still get a crispy, flavorful chimichanga without frying them.
First, I brush the outside of the tortillas before baking with olive oil. This helps the tortillas turn golden brown and achieve a crispy texture.
For flavor, I also top each tortilla with garlic salt. This helps wake up the tortilla and provide an extra layer of flavor.
Finally, I cook the chimichangas at a high temperature. This also helps the tortillas crisp up, so when you dig in, you hear that satisfying crunch! Also, it’s that crispy texture that makes a chimichanga different than a regular burrito (and much tastier in my opinion!).
Other healthy dinner options
This family friendly weeknight meal is easy, packed with flavor, and packed with nutrients and fiber.
If you make these healthy baked chimichangas, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest, cuz sharing is caring!
Healthy Baked Chicken Chimichanga
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup diced white onion about half a medium onion
- 1/2 cup diced red pepper about 1 small red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup salsa + extra for topping
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- A few dashes worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce or hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt + extra for topping I used non-fat Chobani Greek Yogurt
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 4-6 burrito sized whole wheat tortillas
- 1 cup refried black beans
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- Sprinkle garlic salt for seasoning top of burrito before baking
- Guacamole for topping
- Chopped cilantro for topping
- Sliced Jalapeños for topping
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add in the diced onions and bell pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender and the onion is starting to caramelize, about 3-5 minutes. Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add in the spices and cook for about a minute, or until they become fragrant.
Add in the salsa, chicken broth, worcestershire sauce and adobo sauce. Bring just to a bubble, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. Season with remaining salt and desired amount of pepper. Fold in greek yogurt. Finally toss in chicken so it’s fully coated in the sauce. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Divide the refried black beans between each tortilla, spreading it onto the center of each tortilla. Top with chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Fold the sides in then snuggly fold bottom side up and roll to wrap. Brush the remaining olive oil on the top of each rolled tortilla. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Top with extra greek yogurt, salsa, jalapeños and cilantro, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!