Have you ever had a chimichanga?? It’s a fabulousity.
A chimichanga is a fried burrito. Duuude. Burrito’s are already awesome. Fry ’em up and they become your one and only.
However, seeing how I have very clearly earned the reputation of cooking full-fat meals, I decided it was time to calm things down a bit. Give my hips and thighs a break for once. These lovely chimichangas are indeed baked and, get this, may actually be healthy!
Another disclaimer, we eat vegetarian normally in this household. So you will see that the recipe is vague for this reason. Replace my vegetable-y, non-meat-containing nonsense (aka “schmoosh”) with the meats of your choice my friends. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Let’s get started.
1-½ cup cooked schmoosh of your choice (ground beef, cubed chicken, or in my case, leftover lentil “meat”balls and some mushrooms)
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoons black pepper
5 scallions, finely chopped (I love all things oniony so you can reduce the number if you’d like)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
¾ cups salsa (see, this was my plan, but I was all out. So I substituted with a large tomato and a good dash of lemon juice)
1/2 cup (or more!) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Oil for brushing
Optional: garlic salt and smoked paprika
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start off by heating your pan with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Or, if you’re being snooty today, olive oil. It honestly doesn’t matter that much.
2. Toss in your “schmoosh” of choice and cook to desired done-ness.
For me, that included drowning my schmoosh in stock to redistribute the seasonings throughout. I added all my spices here because I felt like it.
3. When the schmoosh is ready, drop in your scallions and cilantro.
4. Next, add your salsa. Or, if you’re like me and constantly unprepared, your big ol’ tomato and a generous dash of lemon juice. Let it incorporate with the schmoosh for a minute or two. I left it in a bit longer since I wanted the tomatoes to soften up a bit.
5. Because you’re awesome, throw in your cheese, disperse them throughout your filling and turn off the heat. My grater was dirty so I diced up my cheese. Again, be more prepared than I am.
6. Now, take out your tortillas and add a good dollop of filling right in the center and fold ’em up. I will microwave my tortillas for maybe 30 seconds next time. They’ll be less cracky. But hey, who’s judging!
7. Set out, seam side down, on a baking pan sprayed with your favorite oil sprayer.
8. Brush the tops of your chimichangas with olive oil or melted butter. I’m awesome and used melted butter.
9. If you want, you can sprinkle the tops with smoked paprika and a bit of garlic salt. It adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to the end outcome.
10. Set in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Yes, I take awful pictures when I don’t have natural light anymore. I promise I didn’t burn the tops of these. They were actually very delicious thank you.
Serve warm with guacamole!