This is no ordinary chimichanga. I’ve recently discovered that you can achieve a delightfully crisp tortilla – arguably the best part of a chimichanga – without the need for a deep-fryer. I guarantee that the kitchen tool necessary to make these beauties is sitting somewhere in your cabinet as you read this post: a skillet. Make that two, unless you have a panini press weight; but two skillets will work just fine. By simply placing filled & rolled tortillas (technically burritos at this point) into a hot dry skillet and applying a bit of weight to them, a gorgeous golden brown “crust” develops… and there you have a healthy non-fried chimichanga.
The filling is entirely up to you, and there are so many variations swimming around in my head that I’m reaching for a pad of paper to jot them down. Double bean chimichangas. Ground turkey chimichangas. Seafood chimichangas. Pulled pork chimichangas. Heck, why not make a departure from Mexican fare and make an Italian-style chimichanga with turkey pepperoni, shredded mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, and sauteed green peppers?! The possibilities are endless, and there are a ton of lonely tortillas waiting to be filled, rolled, and pressed into delicious & healthy chimichangas.
So grab that skillet and get cookin’.
Non-Fried Beef & Bean Chimichangas
yields 2 chimichangas
- 2 burrito-size flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup refried beans (I used Trader Joe’s refried black beans with jalapenos)
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
- *1 batch homemade taco seasoning blend (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup shredded light Mexican blend cheese
*Homemade Taco Seasoning Blend (good for 1/2 lb of ground meat)
- 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp oregano
Accoutrements to serve with chimichangas:
- 2% Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- hot sauce
- Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat; coat lightly with cooking spray.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until no longer pink, stirring with a wooden spoon to crumble.
- Stir in the taco seasoning and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until soft. Spread 1/4 cup refried beans on the lower third of each tortilla.
- Top with the cooked beef, dividing the meat evenly between the two tortillas. Sprinkle the beef with your desired amount of cheese. Fold the tortilla into a burrito, ensuring that the filling in fully encased in the tortilla.
- Heat a clean, dry skillet over medium heat. Place filled tortillas, seam-side down, into the hot skillet. Place a panini weight or another skillet on top of the filled tortillas and cook for about 1 minute, or until lightly browned and crisp. Flip the filled tortillas, replace the weight, and cook for 1 more minute.