Baked Green Chile Chimichangas
Chimichangas, a specialty of Mexican cuisine in the Southwestern U.S., are basically deep fried burritos. Baking, rather than frying, gives them a satisfying crunch without all the fat and calories.
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed, or use quick-cooking brown rice
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 28 - 30 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, or use 15 oz. black beans and 1/2 lb. ground turkey or beef
- 7 oz. canned mild diced green chilies or green salsa (salsa verde), with their liquid
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 8 large (burrito size) whole wheat or white flour tortillas (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup salsa (look for brands with no sugar added), for serving (optional)
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften. (Note: If you are using meat, add that now too, and brown it with the onions.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the quinoa to the skillet, stirring to coat it, and then add the tomato sauce, beans, and chilies or salsa verde. Bring it to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Simmer the mixture for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and spoon equal amounts into the center of each tortilla. Top it with a handful of cheese. Fold the tortillas burrito style (first fold in the ends, then roll it up), and lay them seam-side down in the baking dish. (At this point, you can bake them or refrigerate them for up to 12 hours.)
- Bake the chimichangas for 15 - 20 minutes until they are lightly browned and heated through. Serve with a scoop of extra salsa, if desired.
Slow Cooker Directions
- To prepare the filling, combine the onions, quinoa, tomato sauce, beans (and meat if using), chilies or salsa verde, and tomatoes in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 - 10 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours. Then assemble and bake the chimichangas as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion, halve the tomatoes, prepare the chimichanga filling and refrigerate, assemble and refrigerate the chimichangas, shred the cheese if necessary and refrigerate. Scramble Flavor Booster: Use Pepper Jack cheese for a spicy kick. Tip: You can substitute quinoa for almost any grain in cooking. This delicate whole grain (really a seed) has a slightly nutty taste and is high in protein, iron, and potassium, and it cooks in only 15 minutes. Rinse quinoa in a fine-metal strainer before cooking it to remove its bitter coating (unless you are using a pre-rinsed variety). Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 490, Total Fat: 15g, 23%; Saturated Fat: 6g, 30%; Cholesterol: 20mg, 7%; Sodium: 890mg, 37%; Total Carbohydrate: 69g, 23%; Dietary Fiber: 9g, 36%; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 19g 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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