Chicken Chimichangas with a Green Chili Sauce – Baked

A chimichanga is a Mexican-American deep-fried burrito popular in Tex-Mex and Southwestern U.S. cuisine. However, with this recipe you bake the chimichangas making this a healthier dish. These burritos  are basically tortillas wrapped around various fillings such as this flavorful chicken mixture.

Serve with Spicy Mexican Refried Beans and Mexican Rice


I started to think about why I don’t post more Mexican recipes and I realized it’s probably because I don’t like cilantro. I don’t feel too bad as one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten – The Barefoot Contessa isn’t fond of it either. If you look at any Mexican, Tex-Mex recipe cilantro is always an ingredient.

This recipe is adapted from the Food Network.

Chicken Chimichangas with a Green Chili Sauce - Baked, Adapted

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds and membrane if desired)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • tomatoes; peeled, seeded and chopped (not in season; use a small can of diced petite tomatoes, drained of most of juice and save for another recipe); divided – save some to garnish
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro (I substitute parsley – I know the flavor is different but I do not care for cilantro)
  • 2-1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded (yes, I bought cooked chicken and it was delicious and convenient)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 can (15 oz.) refried beans – use a spicy one
  • 6-8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese with jalapeno, shredded plus more for topping (cheddar cheese would be good too)
  • shredded lettuce, for topping

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Melt the butter with the oil, transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil and add the onion and jalapeno; cook until soft for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon (optional) and 1 tsp. salt; toast 30 seconds. Add the tomato and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream; heat through and keep warm.

Brush a baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 tbsp. refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1/2-3/4 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. The original recipe called  for 1 cup of chicken and there is no way you could fold up the chimichangas.

Fold two sides of each tortilla over the filling. Next, fold a third side (closest to you) over the first two. Finally roll up and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.

Brush each chimichanga with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip.

To serve:  top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.

Green chili sauce:

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt
  • 2 (4 oz.) can of green chilies, chopped and drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • cilantro(I use parsley)

Saute the onion in a little oil until tender; then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the 2 cans of green chilies and cook for another 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree. Stir in cilantro – I use parsley. This is a really nice sauce – everyone will enjoy it. 

Linking to Fiesta Friday #219 and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

Green chili sauce ingredients…

The chicken filling and chimichangas ready to be baked…



30 thoughts on “Chicken Chimichangas with a Green Chili Sauce – Baked

      • Yep! I opened on Monday, but closed the past two days due to weather. I’ll be open the next couple of days and then nasty weather again. Spring is also fickle around here, I guess like most parts of the US. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes I have read that you either hate it or love it, Judi. I just adore it, Asian dishes always call for cilantro too just like the Mexican dishes. This looks and sounds wonderful, definitely a Tex-Mex kinda gal 🙂


    • Thanks Loretta – I like Tex Mex food too! Asian dishes are probably my favorite cuisine. I have a lot of posts on my blog, in addition to a bunch of Asian cookbooks (Chinese, Korean, Japanese), and cilantro did not appear to be a popular ingredient except for in my Thai cookbooks. I haven’t explored Thai cooking even though I have 4 cookbooks!


  2. That is my favorite kind of meal! Fresh and flavorful. Of course, I’d add cilantro… I use cilantro on a lot of Indian curries as well. I’m lucky I love it I guess.


  3. I hated cilantro before, but I am starting to love it. It started with Linda’s (La Petite Panière) soup. I have heard so much about chimichangas – good things. I haven’t tried making one, but I’d love to try after seeing this post. 😀 These look amazing, Aunt Juju. Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!


    • Thanks Jhuls – maybe I should give cilantro another try. Our taste buds do change and just like any other spice/herb you can add it to taste. I even use to grow it when I had my big garden as using fresh herbs are a big part of the way I cook. Thanks for co-hosting FF – you always to a good job 🙂 By the way I hope you try making chimichangas – they are fun and easy to make with any ingredients you like. I liked the green chili sauce a lot.


  4. I wish we had more places that made Chimichangas in Canada! Although now I can make it at home with your recipe! Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the great posts- you have an awesome blog 🙂


    • Thanks so much for you complimentary words. The recipe is easy and any filling can be used as well as the toppings of your choice. The green sauce is nice using the chilies 🙂 I will make these again for sure!


  5. I love chimichangas and I now can say I love cilantro as well. I didn’t always like it but that was when I was a kid. My husband used to think it tasted like soap and smelled like stink bugs. But now he seems okay with it. So who knows, maybe you’ll learn to like it 😄 Good idea on baking the chimichangas!


    • There are a lot of recipes where the amount of cilantro is small and I doubt it would be missed in this dish. Practical as well as I use fresh parsley a lot and I am certainly not going to buy a bunch of cilantro when all I needed was 2 tbsp. plus garnishes. The chimichangas were delicious along with the rice and beans. Interesting how my comment about not liking cilantro brought such a response instead of about the recipe which is a keeper! Like I said if I’m in the same company as Ina and Julia I’m okay with it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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