Baked Chicken and Black Bean Chimichangas
These chimichangas are one of the most requested meals in my house! I love to make them ahead and then bring them to nighttime soccer practices. You can make them as described below or throw in any vegetables you’ve got aching to be used. I have a friend who makes these almost every week with whatever leftovers she’s got in her fridge, plus some beans and spices. They are that flexible! These chimichangas also freeze really well, so I usually make a double (or triple) batch and then use them for lunchboxes and nights when we need a super-quick dinner.
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, or use an extra can of black beans, baked tofu, or any leftover meat you’d like to use up
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 zucchini finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans (or use any variety)(or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas (use wheat/gluten free, if needed)
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar, Monterey jack, or Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup low fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
- 1 cup salsa (look for brands with no sugar added), for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place one oven rack on the top third of the oven and the other on the bottom third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
- Put the chicken breast on one of the baking sheets, sprinkle it with 1/8 tsp. of the salt and pepper, drizzle it with ½ tsp. of oil, and put it into the oven (you don’t need to wait for the oven to fully preheat). Bake it for 20 - 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the zucchini with the remaining oil. Spread the zucchini evenly on the second baking sheet and roast it on the other oven rack for 10 - 12 minutes, or until some pieces are just starting to brown.
- While the zucchini is roasting, dice or shred the chicken and put it and the beans into a large bowl along with the chili powder, cumin, and remaining salt and pepper. Stir well. When the zucchini is roasted, mix it into the black bean, chicken, and spice mixture.
- Lay out the tortillas. Put about ¼ cup of the bean mixture in the center of each tortilla. Evenly distribute the cheese on top. Fold each tortilla as you would a burrito (first fold in the sides and then roll up the tortilla) and place seam-side down on one of the baking sheets you used for the chicken or zucchini, spraying more cooking spray or using new parchment paper if the food got at all burnt on.
- Lightly spray each chimichanga with the cooking spray (if using), to give them a nice crust and a golden color.
- Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until golden on top. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and/or a scoop of salsa, if desired. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook and dice or shred the chicken if using and refrigerate, chop and roast the zucchini, combine the spices, shred the cheese, if necessary, and refrigerate, fully prepare the bean mixture, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the chimichingas. Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the chili powder and cumin, use a sharp Cheddar cheese, or use a spicy salsa. Tip: These chimichangas, like many burritos, tacos, and bean and rice bowls, have endless variation options. To make them vegetarian, use baked tofu, extra beans, mushrooms, or scrambled eggs. Other meat options include ground beef, sliced steak, or shredded pork. To vary the vegetables, use about 2 cups of corn, spinach, roasted broccoli or cauliflower, bell peppers, or whatever sounds good to you. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 205, Total Fat: 9g, 14%; Saturated Fat: 5g, 23%; Cholesterol: 15mg, 5%; Sodium: 654mg, 27%; Total Carbohydrate: 25g, 8%; Dietary Fiber: 1g, 4%; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 14g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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