Are you wondering what a chimichanga actually is? Here's the definition from Merriam-Webster online: " a tortilla wrapped around a filling (as of meat) and deep fried". Definitely not the healthiest food for someone watching their weight or trying to loose right?
But it IS a quick meal to get on the table for your family during the week and it IS a guaranteed "family-friendly, please everyone" kind of meal. So I, of course had to try to health-ify it!
I was not surprised by what I found when I looked up a chimichanga on nutritiondata.com.
A typical fast food chimichanga with beef and cheese:
- Calories: 443*
- Fat: 23g* (11 saturated)
- Carbs: 39g*
- Sodium: 957g*
- Fiber: 0*
- Protein: 20g*
- Points+: 12*
Here's how my version make over stacks up against the fast food version:
- 275 calories
- Fat: 11g* (4 saturated)
- Carbs: 28g*
- Sodium: 508g*
- Fiber: 3g*
- Protein: 14g*
- Points+: 7*
*NOTE: In this pic you see the onions and mushrooms are separate from the beef since my children wouldn't eat it otherwise. I cooked my veggies separately and added only to about half of the tortillas.
I made 6 with brown rice and 4 with whole wheat to see the difference. The whole wheat were softer and didn't get as crispy as the brown rice. Both were delicious, but if you want a softer chimichanga choose whole wheat tortillas instead.
- 10 brown rice tortillas or whole wheat [I used Trader Joe's Brand]
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup shredded Mexican Blend style cheese, reduced fat
- Optional: 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- [Skip this step if not using brown rice tortillas] Saute brown rice tortillas until softened, using non stick cooking spray in a saute pan, set aside.
- Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a saute pan, add ground turkey, onion, garlic, mushroom and cook until meat is browned.
- Stir tomato sauce into the beef and veggies, add oregano and chili powder if using.
- Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes until sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spoon about a ½ cup of filling down center of each tortilla. Add cheese to each. Fold in sides and roll up to enclose filling.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until crispy. Top with salsa, scallions, or tomatoes.
Add a nice healthy Citrus Fennel salad or some Oven Fried Parmesan Zucchini Rounds and you've got a great meal here!
These were awesome and my kids loved them. We had them with baked parmesan zucchini rounds! Your recipes are restaurant quality dishes and my family and I love them.
Seriously, your comment just made my day! Thank you!
I'm going to make these for dinner tomorrow and I know tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. So I was thinking of making the filling tonight, keeping it in the fridge and re-heat tomorrow and then stuff the tortillas. Will that work you think?
Yes I think that would be fine.
I've been making a version of these for years except I use ground turkey and add a bit of cream cheese...salsa, beans,corn , black olives- whatever! I've also spread a bit of salsa over them with some low fat cheese and baked. Always come out delicious!
What a great idea! Looks like a good reason to go to TJ's this week. Thanks so much!
I have never tried brown rice tortillas. I so wish I had a TJs nearby. What type of tortilla (the whole wheat one) do you usually pick up? I have been liking La Tortilla Factory (low carb?). I'm always looking for more options thought...to be honest when I read the ingredients for tortillas and wraps I get a little turned off. Seems like so many for such a simple thing.
Love this recipe, love this technique! Need to try these out soon!
On hand right now I have the Ancient Grains Artisan style tortilla which is a Mission brand. It is a blend of whole wheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff. I think I found it at target, not sure. I do use some low carb ones, but don't have any right now to know which brand it was I liked. I do think though that a low carb tortilla may be too thin for this recipe. Many low carb ones I've tried are quite thin and hard to even separate from each other in the package. Just my opinion. 🙂
Yum - thanks for sharing your recipe. And thanks for the definition of a chimichanga. I didn't know exactly what they were!
hahaha I didn't either! BUT they are so good!
Thank you for sharing your recipe with us last week on AFW! Be sure to check back this week for reader favorites and hostess picks.
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Nicole @ Working Kansas Homemaker
This looks delicious, and it seems like a recipe you could really play with regarding the stuffing. Thanks!
Yes absolutely, thank you!
yum! My sister is GF, and I am looking for recipes to make when she comes to visit in a month or so. Do you think these would freeze well?
HI Kate, I haven't tried it, only made it once and everyone ate them all, no left overs. I think I would probably individually wrap them in foil to freeze, thaw overnight and then reheat on a baking sheet to serve.
Yum... I love them! And Im going to have to go the TJ's for some of those brown rice tortillas.. Gluten just beats me up but I really love tortillas..
Thanks for all! Have a great day!
Those look so delicious!