Living On Oxygen for Life

Chicken Chimichangas – makes 8

Want to use regular chicken breast instead of a whole bird? Tips are below for substitution!


3/4 of a whole chicken chopped (previously cooked and frozen- see Cooking & Freezing a whole chicken)
8- 10″ flour tortillas (Large Burrito size)
1 package of Knorr Mexican Rice – cook as directed
1 can of Refried Beans with 1/4 cup of water to make them smooth when heated in a pan
2 packages of McCormick’s Chicken Taco seasoning
Water (according to the package of McCormick seasoning)
Grated Pepper Jack cheese
Grated Colby/Jack cheese
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

    After the chicken is thawed, dice into small chunks. You will have a mixture of dark and white meat (you won’t be able to tell a taste difference in these chimichangas). On medium heat, place chopped chicken, McCormick’s Chicken Taco seasoning and water in a pan. Heat to a simmer. Allow the taco seasoning to cook down and this will heat up the chicken as well. Set aside when water is cooked out.
    Prepare Mexican Rice according to the directions on the back of the package. Set aside.
    Empty the can of Refried beans in another pan with a bit of water to make the beans smooth. Heat until warm. Set aside.

Now the fun begins! You will need all 8 LARGE burrito sized flour tortillas. I use a dinner plate and place the tortilla flat to fill in this order:

  • Use 2 Tablespoons of Refried Beans and spread in a line 1 inch from edge to edge in a 2 inch stripe of beans.
  • About 2 Tablespoons of Mexican Rice on top of beans. Be sure not to make the rice mounded.
  • Layer Seasoned Chicken on top of Rice.
  • Next, layer enough Colby/Jack cheese to cover Chicken and then add a small layer of Pepper Jack cheese.

Then you roll. Your first Chimichanga is the experimental one to see if you got the right amount of ingredients in the tortilla and still be able to roll it. What you do is, first fold in the ends about 1 1/2 inches on both sides. Then fold the long side that closest to you over the mound which tucks the ends underneath. Press any filling under that flap of tortilla that might have come out and then fold over the chimichanga onto the other long edge. The whole thing should look like the above picture. Place the chimichanga on a foil lined cookie sheet that you’ve spread with Pam Cooking spray.

When you have all 8 chimichangas rolled and on the pan, use the back side of a spoon to spread a coat of margarine on the top of each chimichanga. This will make the chimichanga crisp but not tough.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. The chimichangas will puff slightly and the margarine will have completely melted and absorb into the tortilla making it crisp and yummy. Test carefully the crispness to get an idea if it’s done cooking.

We top these with diced avocados, tomatoes, minced onions with a bit of cilantro and garlic salt, table salt and real lime juice to keep it fresh.

    wholechicken Chopped Chicken that I had prepared about a month ago and froze. I just pulled it out of the freezer and thawed for a day or two in the refrigerator. Then I chopped the chicken into chunks. When you heat it with the Chicken Taco Seasoning, The meat will fall apart as shredded chicken.

    This Knorr’s Mexican Rice is the perfect flavor to add to the chimichangas. However, make sure it’s the Mexican Rice and NOT Spanish Rice. Spanish rice is tomato based. The rice will be a bit pasty in consistency but it’s all good!

    This is a picture of my dinner plate the last time I made chimichangas. I had topped mine with chunky guacamole (husband style) and a bit of Ranch Dressing. You can top it however you like!

Chicken Substitution Tip!

Ok so you may not have a whole chicken prepared and you’ll need to use chicken breast. If you have 4 or 5 chicken breasts handy and partially thawed, you’re in luck. Just dice those chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes. Use 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil, and cook the diced chicken until there is NO PINK on the outside. Without draining the juice, add only 1 package of McCormick’s Chicken Taco seasoning with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and resume cooking the chicken and the water down to allow the chicken to absorb the seasoning. The chicken is done when it’s cooked thoroughly and the water has been cooked out of the pan leaving the chicken well-seasoned. Follow the recipe as it’s written but you’ll only need about 6 to 8 flour tortillas.

6 thoughts on “Chimichangas

  1. I grew up on my mom’s Chicken Enchalatas….soo delicious. Your recipe looks a bit different but just as good. I can’t wait to try them! Usually think of Chimis as fried. Any reason you bake? I love how you tied this post to your posts about the whole chicken. Keep on keepin’ on.

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