Baked Chicken Chimichangas
Oct 10, 2023, Updated Oct 26, 2023
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Easy delicious baked shredded chicken chimichangas loaded with beans, green chile sauce, and tons of melted cheese!
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Cheesy Green Chile Baked Chicken Chimichangas
Baked chicken chimichangas are a mouthwatering Tex-Mex delight that combines the best of Mexican and American flavors. These savory parcels are a wonderful alternative to the deep-fried version, offering a slightly healthier twist while preserving all the deliciousness you’d expect from this beloved dish. Let’s dive into what makes baked chicken chimichangas so special.
At the heart of this culinary creation is the succulent shredded chicken. It’s seasoned to perfection and mixed with creamy refried beans, creating a harmonious marriage of textures and tastes. The shredded chicken brings a satisfying meatiness, while the refried beans offer a creamy, earthy contrast. These ingredients are generously seasoned and spiced, ensuring every bite is a flavor-packed experience.
But what truly sets these chimichangas apart is the vibrant green chile sauce. Whether you opt for a mild or medium heat level, this sauce adds a zesty kick that dances on your taste buds. It infuses the chicken and beans with a tangy, slightly spicy essence, making each bite an adventure in flavor.
Now, let’s not forget the role of the soft flour tortillas. They envelop this delicious mixture, providing a comforting and slightly chewy exterior. When baked to a golden perfection, the tortillas develop a delightful crispiness that contrasts beautifully with the creamy filling inside.
To crown these chimichangas with the ultimate indulgence, a generous sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese blankets the top. As it melts and bubbles in the oven, it forms a gooey, cheesy cap that’s impossible to resist.
Baked chicken chimichangas are a testament to the fusion of flavors and culinary creativity. They offer a satisfying meal that’s perfect for family dinners or gatherings with friends. And the best part? They’re baked, not fried, allowing you to savor all the scrumptious elements of this Tex-Mex classic with a touch of guilt-free satisfaction. Whether you’re in Colorado or anywhere else, these chimichangas bring the warmth and flavor of the Southwest right to your plate. So, roll up your sleeves and savor the deliciousness of baked chicken chimichangas – a taste of comfort and excitement in every bite.
How to Bake Chicken Chimichangas
To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:
- Refried Beans (1 can): Refried beans provide a creamy and savory element to the chimichangas. They serve as a flavorful binding agent, helping to hold the filling together while adding a rich, earthy taste.
- Soft Flour Tortillas (4 extra-large): The tortillas are the vessel that holds all the ingredients together. They become crispy on the outside when baked, creating a satisfying contrast to the creamy filling. They also contribute a neutral, slightly chewy flavor that complements the other ingredients.
- Shredded Chicken (1 pound): Shredded chicken is the protein powerhouse of this dish. It adds a hearty, meaty texture and a savory, umami flavor. Chicken also absorbs the flavors of any seasonings or sauces it’s cooked with, enhancing the overall taste of the chimichangas.
- Green Chile Sauce (1 cup, mild or medium): Green chile sauce is a key flavor component in this recipe. It provides a tangy, slightly spicy kick that adds depth and complexity to the chimichangas. The level of heat (mild or medium) can be adjusted to suit your taste.
- Monterey Jack Cheese (8 oz, shredded): Monterey Jack cheese is the melty, gooey element that holds the chimichangas together and adds a creamy richness. It also contributes a mild, slightly tangy flavor that complements the other ingredients without overpowering them.
Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Warm the Tortillas: To make the tortillas more pliable, you can quickly warm them in the microwave or on a dry skillet for a few seconds. This makes them easier to fold without cracking.
- Assemble the Filling: Lay out each tortilla, and in the center of each one, spread a generous spoonful of refried beans. Top the beans with shredded chicken and a sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Add Green Chile Sauce: Drizzle about 1/4 cup of mild or medium green chile sauce over the chicken and cheese on each tortilla.
- Fold and Roll: Fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling, then roll it up tightly, similar to a burrito. Place each rolled chimichanga seam side down in a baking dish.
- Top with Cheese and Sauce: Sprinkle the remaining shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the top of the chimichangas. Pour any remaining green chile sauce over them as well.
- Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chimichangas are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve: Carefully remove the chimichangas from the oven and let them cool for a minute or two. Serve them hot with additional green chile sauce if desired.
Tips and Tricks for Baked Chicken Chimichangas
Season Your Chicken Well: When preparing the shredded chicken, season it generously with your favorite spices. Common choices include chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Allow the chicken to marinate for a bit to absorb the flavors.
Choose the Right Tortillas: Use extra-large, soft flour tortillas for your chimichangas. Warming them slightly in the microwave or on a dry skillet will make them more pliable and less likely to crack when you fold and roll them.
Proper Filling Placement: When assembling your chimichangas, place the filling in the center of the tortilla and leave some space at the edges. This will make it easier to fold and roll without the filling spilling out.
Seal the Edges Well: After folding the sides of the tortilla over the filling, roll it up tightly, tucking in the edges as you go. Use a little water to moisten the edge and seal it shut to prevent any leakage during baking.
Preheat Your Oven: Ensure your oven is fully preheated to the specified temperature before placing the chimichangas inside. This will help them cook evenly and achieve a crispy exterior.
Use a Baking Rack: To ensure your chimichangas get evenly crispy on all sides, place them on a baking rack set inside a baking sheet. This allows hot air to circulate around the chimichangas, resulting in a more even bake.
Brush with Oil: Before baking, lightly brush the tops of the chimichangas with oil or cooking spray. This helps them achieve that beautiful golden brown and crispy texture.
Rotate During Baking: If you notice that the chimichangas are browning unevenly, rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.
Serve with Fresh Toppings: Garnish your chimichangas with fresh toppings like chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, and a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of freshness.
Let Them Rest: Allow the chimichangas to rest for a few minutes after baking. This helps the filling settle and makes them easier to handle when serving.
Customize the Heat: Adjust the level of spiciness by choosing mild or medium green chile sauce, and offer hot sauce or jalapeño slices on the side for those who prefer more heat.
Variety of Sides: Serve your chimichangas with a variety of sides, as mentioned earlier, to create a balanced and satisfying meal.
Baked chimichangas are cooked in the oven, which results in a slightly lighter and healthier version compared to the traditional fried chimichangas, which are deep-fried until crispy.
Yes, you can assemble the chimichangas ahead of time and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake. Just be sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent them from drying out.
To reheat baked chimichangas, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. You can also use a microwave, but the oven will help maintain their crispiness.
Yes, you can freeze unbaked chimichangas for later use. Assemble them, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw; simply bake them from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
While chicken is a popular choice, you can get creative with your chimichanga fillings. Try using shredded beef, ground beef, shredded pork, or even a vegetarian filling with sautéed vegetables and black beans.
Corn tortillas can be used for a gluten-free version of chimichangas. They may be smaller, so adjust the filling quantity accordingly, and you might need to lightly warm them to prevent cracking during rolling.
To seal chimichangas, moisten the edge of the tortilla with a bit of water or a beaten egg white before folding and rolling. This will help create a secure seal.
Popular toppings include sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and sliced olives. You can customize the toppings to suit your taste.
Absolutely! You can make delicious vegetarian chimichangas by using ingredients like sautéed bell peppers, onions, black beans, and cheese as the filling.
To make baked chimichangas extra crispy, brush them with a thin layer of oil or cooking spray before baking. You can also cook them on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet to allow air circulation.
What to Serve With Baked Chicken Chimichangas
Spanish Rice: A classic choice, Spanish rice (or Mexican rice) is a flavorful side dish that pairs perfectly with chimichangas. It’s often made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, giving it a rich and slightly spicy flavor.
Refried Beans: To enhance the bean component of your chimichangas, serve them with a side of refried beans. These can be topped with a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of sour cream for added creaminess.
Guacamole: Creamy, fresh guacamole is a fantastic accompaniment. The cool, smooth avocado balances the spiciness of the chimichangas, and the lime and cilantro provide a burst of freshness.
Salsa: Offer a variety of salsas, from mild to hot, for dipping or drizzling over the chimichangas. Salsa fresca (pico de gallo), salsa verde, or a smoky chipotle salsa are great choices.
Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream on the side is a classic addition. It helps mellow out the flavors and adds a cool contrast to the warm chimichangas.
Mexican Corn Salad: A refreshing corn salad with ingredients like corn kernels, black beans, red onion, cilantro, and lime dressing can provide a sweet and tangy balance to the meal.
Coleslaw: A crisp coleslaw with a tangy dressing can provide a refreshing and crunchy contrast to the chimichangas.
Avocado Slices: Simple avocado slices or a quick avocado salad with lime and salt can offer a creamy and buttery component to your plate.
Chips and Salsa: A classic starter, tortilla chips with salsa are always a crowd-pleaser. You can also add a side of queso dip for extra indulgence.
Mexican Street Corn (Elote): If you want to get creative, serve up some Mexican street corn. It’s grilled corn on the cob slathered with a mixture of mayo, cotija cheese, and chili powder – a flavorful and satisfying side.
Baked Chicken Chimichangas Recipe
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- 1 can refried beans
- 4 extra large soft flour tortillas
- 1 pound shredded chicken
- 1 cup mild or medium green chile sauce
- 8 oz Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
- Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- To make the tortillas more pliable, you can quickly warm them in the microwave or on a dry skillet for a few seconds. This makes them easier to fold without cracking.
- Lay out each tortilla, and in the center of each one, spread a generous spoonful of refried beans. Top the beans with shredded chicken and a sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Drizzle about 1/4 cup of mild or medium green chile sauce over the chicken and cheese on each tortilla.
- Fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling, then roll it up tightly, similar to a burrito. Place each rolled chimichanga seam side down in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the top of the chimichangas. Pour any remaining green chile sauce over them as well.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chimichangas are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Carefully remove the chimichangas from the oven and let them cool for a minute or two. Serve them hot with additional green chile sauce if desired.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 589Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 142mgSodium 1070mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 6gSugar 4gProtein 49g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.