I have mentioned before, we LOVE Mexican food in this house. If I ask my husband and kids for any sort of request, you can bet tacos will be one of them.
These baked gluten free chimichangas are basically our tacos (and all our versions!!), made into a crunchy chimichanga!
I LOVE chimis, but there is no way you will ever find me deep frying: a big hassle!
So how do you create a crunchy, crisp exterior with out the deep fryer? I’ll teach you!!
Consider this oven baked chimichanga recipe a technique lesson and do all the fillings yourself!
Chimichanga Filling Options:
Your fillings can be whatever you want, but THIS time, I used my Spanish rice recipe, my refried bean recipe, and some deli chicken that needed to be used up.
I have also made this with ground beef filling (recipe coming!).
These are some of our favorite taco meats we rotate through:
We also regularly use my Best Darn Pot of Pinto Beans too, loads of options!
Prep Time Note:
It’s also noteworthy that this meal usually takes me about 30-45 minutes (depending on how many garnishes I prepare and how many times I scramble to find another exciting wooden spoon for the baby to chew on!)
It looks like a lot, but it’s really not so bad (but it WILL use a lot of pots!). And once the chimichangas are in the oven, you have time to clean up before dinner!
And if you are reusing leftover taco ingredients, prep time is cut in half!
Unused Tomato Paste Tip:
- to save unused tomato paste for another use, I open both ends of the can with an opener. I push one lid all the way through to the other side to deposit to whole cylinder onto a piece of waiting plastic wrap, close it up and freeze it. I find this quite handy as so many recipes only call for a tablespoon here or there, and I hate any food to go to waste! I slice off the frozen paste as I need it.
Baked Gluten Free Chimichangas Recipe:
This is a family favorite recipe for so many reason! Whether you fill these chimis with your taco leftovers or the below recipes, these crunchy burritos will be a big hit!
Oven Baked Chimichangas - Gluten | Dairy Free
- 2 cups chicken thighs cooked, shredded or chopped
- 2/3 cup favorite salsa i use Trader Joe's red or green salsas
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup Daiya cheese or favorite shredded cheese
- 2 green onions chopped
- 6 brown rice tortillas
- 1 cup shredded cheese Daiya, or any allowed cheddar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Start your rice. Heat oil over medium high heat in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Add in the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Continue to cook and stir every minute or two to toast the rice (see picture above). When it looks like mine, you're ready to move on. This normally takes about 5 minutes or so. Add in the salt, garlic, paste and cumin, stirring to blend. Add in the chicken broth, stirring to blend again. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.
Meanwhile, cook your beans! Saute the bacon in a small pot until crisp and browned. Pour in the whole can of beans with their liquid, and add the spices. Partially mash the beans with a potato masher or fork. Simmer while you prep the remaining items.
Stir together all your chicken filling ingredients.
To assemble: Heat a teaspoon or two of oil/fat in a pan large enough to accommodate the brown rice tortilla. (As a side note, anyone who had used these knows, if you try to roll them up cold, they will break. I have also had NO luck using the microwave to heat them for rolling. By heating the tortilla in fat, you are adding the oil to make the tortillas super crunchy in the oven too) Heat the tortilla until soft and pliable, about a minute, remove.
First spread some beans, then the chicken. There is no science to how much of each, you just want to make sure you can roll it up!
Once filled, roll the tortilla tightly up, placing seam side down on a cookie sheet. Make the remaining chimichangas. If you used no oil or flour tortillas, brush the chimichangas with oil before baking them.
Bake for about 25 minutes until crisp and golden. Garnish with any extra cheese, salsa, avocado, chopped lettuce, or hot sauce. Serve on a bed of Spanish rice.
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