Chichimangas with beef and cheese are large tortillas filled with savory beef, beans, and cheese, then fried to golden perfection.
The ideal quick and easy dinner solution, it’s also great to make ahead of time and freeze.
WHAT IS A CHIMICHANGA?
A chimichanga is a large tortilla that has been stuffed with various proteins and starches and then deep fried until golden brown.
They are usually found in “Tex-mex” style dishes rather than traditional Mexican food dishes.
YOU WILL LOVE THESE:
- They are quick and simple! There’s no need to heat up a pot of oil or be concerned about it spitting and splattering all over your kitchen!
- Simply wrap the chimichangas in foil, place them on a baking sheet, and let the oven do the rest!
- They have all of your favorite taco night flavors wrapped in a crispy flour tortilla! If you’re tired of the same old taco Tuesday, try these baked chimichangas instead!
- This recipe for beef chimichangas can be made ahead of time! Who doesn’t enjoy a meal that can be prepared on a Sunday afternoon and then eaten at any time during the week?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BURRITO AND A CHIMICHANGA?
In essence, both of these are manufactured in the same way. Roll different fillings inside of a large tortilla.
The main difference is that the chimichanga is fried! Furthermore, a burrito is frequently served wrapped in foil or parchment paper and eaten by hand.
Because chimichangas are deep fried, they are typically served on a platter and topped with a variety of sauces or chilis.
This necessitates using a fork and knife to eat them rather than picking them up and eating them with your hands.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Flour Tortillas– Flour Tortillas are light and fluffy, with an authentic flavor. If you need something different, whole wheat tortillas are a low-carb option.
- Ground beef has a deep and rich flavor that is enhanced by the earthy black beans.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese – Any melty shredded cheese would be delicious in this chimichanga recipe. And don’t be concerned if it isn’t shredded!
- Canned Black Beans – We use canned beans because they are always ready to use at a moment’s notice.
- Canned Corn – Canned corn appears to have a texture that only canned corn has. And it’s difficult to beat canned corn for convenience because it’s always ready!
- Taco Sauce – Taco sauce has its own distinct texture and herb and spice blend.
- Cumin – If you’re out of cumin, try ground coriander. The flavors of these two spices are similar. Use the same amount of coriander powder.
- Chili Powder – Chili Powder is a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and other spices that gives your chimichangas that signature flavor!
- Diced Chiles in Adobo – Adobo is a dark sauce with a distinct flavor that pairs perfectly with these baked chimichangas!
IDEAS FOR THE FILLING:
Most of the time, there will be some kind of protein and starch, as well as some kind of cheese.
Ground beef (as in this recipe), shredded or diced chicken, fajita meat, or make it vegetarian by substituting all vegetables for the protein.
HOW TO MAKE A VEGETARIAN CHIMICHANGA?
There are numerous ways to make these “meatless,” such as replacing the beef with rice and beans.
You can use pinto beans, black beans, or any other type of bean you like. This Mexican rice is also a fantastic addition.
Chop up some bell peppers and onions, as well as some mushrooms, and use them as a filling.
Roll up the “meatless” mixture and top with cheese as directed. Then, fry them until they are perfectly golden!
MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE:
If you want to make them ahead of time and freeze them, follow the instructions until the deep frying part.
Simply fill the tortillas, roll them up, and wrap them in aluminum foil instead of frying them. Wrap them as tightly as possible, label them, and place them in a gallon freezer bag.
When you’re ready to use them, take as many as you want from the freezer and gently place them in a 375°F preheated oil.
You can fry them frozen, but be careful not to burn yourself with the ice crystals’ popping oil. Fry each side for seven to ten minutes, then flip and fry for another seven to ten minutes.
The cooking time will vary depending on the temperature of the oil. The most important thing is to ensure that the inside is completely heated.
MAKING THEM IN THE OVEN OR AIR FRYER:
Baking the burritos is another option if you don’t want to deep fry them. Believe me when I say that frying them in oil makes them taste better! Baking them, on the other hand, is a healthier option.
Up until the deep frying step, follow all of the instructions. Instead of frying them, place them seam side down on a nonstick baking sheet or in an air fryer.
Use a canola oil spray to coat them (spray them liberally, and directly over the top).
Bake for ten minutes at 350°F, then flip them over and bake for another seven to ten minutes. Remove the chimichangas from the oven or air fryer when they are golden brown.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THE CHIMICHANGAS?
If you want to keep it traditional (as if you were dining at a Mexican restaurant), serve them with rice and beans!
Another delicious side or topping would be homemade guacamole or a quick and easy pico de gallo.
FAQs Beef and Cheese Chimichanga Recipe
What makes a chimichanga and chimichanga?
A chimichanga is traditionally a flour tortilla filled with rice, beans, cheese, and meat, folded into a rectangle shape, and deep-fried. Deep frying is more time consuming and intimidating than baking! Furthermore, it can cause a splatter on your stovetop. This baked chimichanga is a simpler, less complicated version of the traditional deep-fried chimichanga.
How do you make a chimichanga from scratch?
This simple recipe is ideal for learning how to make a chimichanga from scratch! Preheat the oven, grab some tortillas, stuff them with a cheesy seasoned ground beef mixture, fold them up, and bake! Making homemade chimichangas is much easier than you might think!
What makes a chimichanga different from a burrito?
A burrito is a warm tortilla that has been filled with rice, cheese, beans, meat, lettuce, and salsa before being rolled or folded up and eaten as is. A chimichanga combines similar flavors by deep frying or baking, as we do in this recipe. In some ways, they are similar, but they are very different!