Skinny Chicken Chimichangas

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From 6th grade until the end of high school, my cousin Lauren used to visit Indiana at least once a year to spend a week with my family. We always had fun doing things that preteen and teenage girls do, but one experience in particular stands out among others (like the time Lauren cut her head open on my parents’ banister, or when she sprained her ankle during one of our backyard dance recitals — oh, the stories I could tell!).

One night, my parents took us to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We all ordered chimichangas, but Lauren had a special request — she wanted hers filled with beans rather than meat. A somewhat simple request — “with beans, please!” — turned into a pretty hilarious experience. If I’m remembering correctly, the first waiter didn’t understand her English, so he went and got another server who spoke English more fluently. Unfortunately, that waiter didn’t understand her either, and thus began what seemed like a 10 minute conversation about beans, with Lauren eventually yelling, “I want beans!” — as if speaking louder would translate it to Spanish or something ;) .

I can’t even remember if her chimichanga ended up coming out with beans only — probably not — but to this day, anytime I eat a chimichanga, I’m reminded of the confusion that beans once caused us at the Mexican restaurant.

Luckily for Lauren, and anyone else who enjoys Mexican food, these chimichangas are healthy and can easily be whipped up at home, with no bean confusion. If you’d prefer a bean chimichanga, simply replace the chicken in this recipe with 2 cans of refried beans!

Skinny Chicken Chimichangas

Serves 6

1 lb. chicken breasts

2/3 cup salsa

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

6, 8 in. whole wheat tortillas

salt and pepper, to taste

cooking spray (I use Kroger’s Organic Canola Oil Spray — it has 0 calories and no funny aftertaste)

avocado slices and salsa, for garnish

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and bake on 400* until cooked, about 20 minutes. Once cooked, shred or chop chicken and place in a medium bowl.

2. Add salsa, cumin, oregano and cheese to the bowl. Mix together until chicken is coated.

3. Line a baking sheet with foil (spray foil with cooking spray so tortillas don’t stick), and lay out 6 tortillas. Fill each tortilla with a 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture. For each tortilla, fold opposite sides over the filling, roll from the bottom up, and place seam side down on the baking sheet.

4. Spray each chimichanga thoroughly with cooking spray (this will give it a crispy, oven-fried texture once cooked!).

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

6. Garnish with avocado slices and salsa (I mix avocado chunks into my salsa to create an avocado-salsa — it’s delicious!).

Recipe adapted from Kitchme.

 

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16 Responses to Skinny Chicken Chimichangas

  1. Hahaha I remember that day. Good times. Now Mexican sounds really good.
    Molly@This Life Is Sparkling recently posted…A “cold” day {in the life}My Profile

  2. Sarah @ Sarah Sincerely says:

    Aren’t families the best?! I think we all have a Lauren in our families. Someone who always manages to get into hilarious situations! That chimichanga sounds yummy! I’m not normally the biggest Mexican fan, but my husband loves it! We’ll have to give these a try!

  3. Caroline says:

    I have so many funny memories with my cousin too! Although I have to say, every time I hear or read the word “chimichanga” I think of my dad and has college roommates. There’s a story behind that too… :)
    Caroline recently posted…Bike Trainer Riding.My Profile

  4. Yum! I love simple and delicious recipes like these!
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted…WIAW: Day In the Life of a High School StudentMy Profile

  5. Stacie says:

    I made a ‘skinny’ version of a Mexican dish tonight too. Gotta love Mexican food!
    Stacie recently posted…Snow Day and Custom Button Monogram GiveawayMy Profile

  6. love this recipe!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted…FitFluential Facebook GroupsMy Profile

  7. Lauren says:

    OMG I think I was crying laughing reading this at work! I love the comment “I think we all have a Lauren in our families.” Yup… that’s me. These look super tasty- I think Matt would even like them! I’ll have to try them soon! (but maybe with B-E-A-N-S)

    : )

    • Emily says:

      Hahaha, I thought that was funny too — you always managed to get hurt at our house, somehow. Poor Lauren :) . I think he would too! Make some with chicken and some with beans!

  8. Mexican food is a favorite in our house – something we eat, in one form or another, every week. These look delicious, and so easy!
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted…{vlog} Risks of taking the Birth Control Pill (and why I’ll Never take it again.)My Profile

  9. I’m all about ‘skinny’ Mexican food :) I would probably use black beans instead of chicken but these look great nonetheless. I haven’t had Mexican food in awhile!
    Diane @ Life of Di. recently posted…Little Life Updates: January 2014.My Profile

  10. These look so good! I love Mexican food, and I love finding new recipes! :)
    Becky@TheSavedRunner recently posted…I’m Really Bad at Coming Up With Names for Workouts…My Profile

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