Do you know where Chimichanga's come from? In Arizona, Chimichanga's were born...kind of. They originated in Mexico and were accidentally dropped in the fryer in Tuscan. But regardless of where they originate, they're the bomb. Shockingly, the first time I had a "Chimi" was at my mother in laws. She's Italian, and as you can imagine, she cooks a ton of Italian food, but she has a not so secret obsession with Mexican cuisine. And the oven. She loves her oven. I took her pretty good chimichanga, made a few adjustments and tada, I present to you.... baked Chimichanga's.
Okay, I admit, this photo is not red carpet entrance approved. But it's tummy approved. Te promeso! I promise. This recipe is amazing for freezer cooking. Get la familia together and whip up a good 3-4 batches of this bad boy. Come Fall after a crazy day and having some kind of practice, you'll thank me. These bad boys are delicious.
If you decide to freezer cook these chimi's, make sure not to bake them. Just roll them all up and skip the baking. Wrap each one in aluminum foil and put three or four into a gallon size freezer bag, and freeze them. Then, when ready to use them, defrost them and bake for 30-40 minutes at about 350 degrees on a greased pan.
I'll admit, the only real changes I've made to this recipe was to add seasonings and sofrito. Sofrito and any Latin recipe with meat kind of goes hand in hand. It really does, I swear by Sofrito, and I'm always open to new recipes. Drop a link or type out the recipe and leave it on my Facebook page or in the comments section.
I like to play around with this recipe. If it's winter or the weather is cooler, I put the chimichangas in the oven, but when it's hot, like now, I grill them or just seal them on the pan....or if I have too many dishes (I'm a food blogger, comes with the territory), I'll just zap them in the microwave to melt the cheese. Which I admit, I did to half of the chimi's the night of. It was late, my family was hangry and a mujer has to do what a mujer has to do. Verda? Right?
Well, I gotta go and smash my plaintains to make some Mangu before my son Auggie wakes up from his nap. As always, buen provecho and let me know what you think of this chimichanga recipe.
Classic Grilled Chimichanga
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- 2 teaspoons of tomato sauce
- ½ cup of corn
- 2 tablespoons of sofrito optional
- 3 tablespoons of cilantro chopped
- 18 oz of refried beans
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar or desired kind) or more if desired
- 10 to ritllas 10 inches
- In a pan over medium high heat, brown ground beef for 5-7 minutes. Drain grease, return meat to heat and add oregano, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, tomato sauce, corn, cilantro and sofrito. Lower heat to medium. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until cooked and flavors are infused together. Turn off heat.
- Take tortillas and spread 2-3 tablespoons of refried beans on tortilla. Layer 3-4 tablespoons of meat mixture over refried beans. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of cheese over meat mixture.
- Roll tortillas into a burrito shape.
- Put heat on medium high, on a hot grill griddle either spray with cooking spray or grease with a little bit of oil, add a chimichanga, seam side down and grill for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Lower heat if necessary.