Oven-Baked Chimichangas

Oven-Baked Chimichangas are an easy and versatile family dinner idea that are healthier than the traditional deep-fried versions.

Oven-Baked Chimichangas -- a healthier version of the traditionally deep-fried burritos

This post is part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of Lundberg Family Farms and Brandfluential. 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I’m not sure if what I do is actual “resolutions”, but I enjoy starting fresh in the new year and thinking about the changes I want to make. This year, I decided to work on something I haven’t done enough. I’ve started making better food choices and learning more about the ingredients on the items I buy. I have a LOT to learn, but I’m determined to make 2014 a year that I get a bit more personal with whole, real foods.

While I’m continuing to cook new recipes as usual, I have some old favorites that have been getting a makeover. One of those meals is Oven-Baked Chimichangas — which are traditionally a deep-fried burrito. I’ve been baking them for years though, which no doubt makes them healthier, but there was still other areas to improve this meal.

Oven Baked Chimichanga

One change I’ve made is that I make them with 100% Whole Wheat Tortillas. Only one of my kids even mentioned the change — my oldest son said “Thanks, Mom…those were good. But I could tell you used a healthy tortilla or something”. I’ll take that as a compliment, especially since he ate THREE of them.

Oven Baked Chimichangas

One of the fillings we almost always use for chimichangas is Spanish rice — my husband’s favorite. While I know how to make homemade Spanish rice, I usually pick up a packaged rice dish. Homemade Spanish rice is not hard, but the simplicity of a boxed rice entree makes my life even easier and pretty much guarantees a successful outcome.

Prior to a few weeks ago, I had bought a variety of Spanish Rice boxed dishes…never once paying attention to the ingredients. But now that I am paying attention, I have found a product that I never noticed before: Lundberg Family Farms Organic Whole Grain Southwestern Rice. It’s an organic, whole grain rice dish that works great as a side dish or as part of a main dish, such as in the case of our chimichangas.

Lundberg Whole Grain Southwest Rice 1

One of the things I liked the most about the Lundberg Southwestern Rice (and their other products) is that the ingredient list was short AND I could understand and read all the words on the the box. It might seem like such a little thing, but really, this is huge! Now that I’m reading labels more, I find my fair share of ingredient lists with items I can’t pronounce. Not the case with the Lundberg Rice.

One box of Lundberg Southwestern Rice is plenty for making Oven Baked Chimichangas for a family of 6 — and maybe even more. As you seen the photo before, it has black beans and corn included, so I was able to skip making a pot of beans for our chimichangas. The seasonings are perfect and not spicy hot. My youngest son is always the official “is it spicy” taste tester and he liked it, so it gets a big thumbs up from him.

Oven Baked Chimichanga-1-51

In addition to the Lundberg rice entree, you’ll just need 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast that is cut into thin strips. You’ll also want some colorful bell peppers (I used 3: orange, red, and yellow), plus a medium onion. All this is cooked in a skillet and seasoned with a simple blend of chili pepper, cayenne, cumin, and garlic powder (a homemade taco seasoning I make).

Oven Baked Chimichanga-1-50

To make the chimichangas, you’ll lay a line of your chicken mixture on a 100% whole wheat tortilla. You top that with the Southwestern Rice. If you wish, you can add some shredded cheese. I say “if you wish” but what I really mean is ADD SOME SHREDDED CHEESE. Ok, you don’t have to, but cheese rocks, especially in a chimichanga. Feel free to skip is you want to save the fat or calories.

Oven Baked Chimichanga-1-32a

The chimichangas are rolled up and placed on a greased baking sheet. The tops are sprayed or lightly brushed with olive oil or grapeseed oil (I sprayed with grapeseed oil) and baked until brown and crispy.

Oven Baked Chimichanga-5

We like to serve our Oven Baked Chimichangas with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you already know what my youngest dipped his chimichanga in — all hail the ketchup king. We also usually have tortilla chips to go along with it, as well as some fresh fruit.

I’ve included the complete recipe below, but the great thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. Here’s more filling ideas:

  • Refried Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Thinly sliced steak
  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Any leftover meat (such as from a roasted chicken)
  • Rotisserie whole chicken (buy at grocery store, take meat off bones)
  • Shredded meat — pork, chicken, beef
  • Roasted vegetables (zucchini, corn, sweet potato, etc)
  • ….your own idea! What are your ideas?
Oven-Baked Chimichangas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Lundberg Organic Whole Grain Southwestern Rice
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into thin strips)
  • 3 small bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 100% whole wheat tortillas (approximately 9" size)
  • Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, or Cooking Spray of your choice
  • Optional: shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc.
Seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice entree according to package instructions and set aside. Mix seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Grease a large baking sheets with oil or cooking spray. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add chicken strips and cook until no longer pink and starting to brown. Add bell pepper and onion to chicken and cook over low heat just until vegetables are just barely tender-crisp (don't over cook). If any liquid remains in pan, drain it off. Sprinkle chicken/veggies with seasoning and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons water over seasoning. Stir to combine with chicken/veggies.
  3. Lay one tortillas on clean work space or counter top. Place approximately ½ cup of chicken & vegetable mixture in the middle of the tortilla, in a line. Place approximately ¼ cup of rice on top of chicken. Top with shredded cheese if desired.
  4. Fold opposite sides of the tortilla (near each side of the "line" of ingredients) inward towards the center. Fold bottom edge (edge closest to you) of tortilla over filling. Roll until filling is completely enclosed. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with additional tortillas. When all tortillas have been filled, spray or brush tops and sides of chimichangas generously.
  5. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, turn chimichangas over once after about 5-7 minutes. Bake until browned and crispy. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.

So now that I showed you that food can be easy AND delicious, I have two VERY excited giveaways to share with you!

Lundberg Family Farms Real Food Rules Giveaway on Facebook

GIVEAWAY #1

First, share a tip or idea you have for making real food easy and convenient on the Lundberg Family Farms Facebook page. By doing so, you’ll be entered to win a $500 Visa Gift Card, plus Lundberg products. Be sure to ENTER HERE by February 14.

GIVEAWAY #2

One giveaway is pretty cool, but Lundberg Family Farms is spreading even more real food goodness by sponsoring a giveaway here! Just enter on the Rafflecoper below and you will have a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card, plus 11 boxed entrees from Lundberg!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Oven Baked Chimichangas

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Comments

  1. rachel says

    I’m pregnant, so I want to eat healthfully and that typically involves real food — veggies, lean meats, whole grains. My husband wants to lose weight so he likes real food, too!

  2. Wild Orchid says

    Real food is important to keep us nourished and healthy!

    Entered the rafflecopter as “Wild orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  3. Allison Downes says

    It is important to me and my family because it’s healthier and I care about what we put in our body! Thank you for the nice giveaway.

  4. Lisa says

    There’s so many additives in foods these days & we just don’t know what the effects are yet…better safe than sorry!

  5. Holly B says

    Real food makes us feel SO much better, and I’d like to think it will affect our overall health down the road :)

  6. rayraycartucci says

    OMG…those look so good! I just want to win some….could you mail some chimichangas to me??? Real food is important to me because I used to eat badly and I got many health issues because of it but now I eat healthy..lost 100 pounds last year and I am completely healthy now! AWESOME!

  7. Heather Hayes Panjon says

    Real Food Is Important To Me And My Family Because It Is Healthy And Offers Many Benefits To Keep Us Healthy.

  8. Stephanie Gossett says

    Real food has become very important to my family of 6. My husband and I have lost a total of 137 pounds this past year in an effort to be healthy and good examples for our daughters. We have really talked about it, and they are worth it to us to serve them real and healthy food. Winning this would be a dream come true for us, and help us to raise our daughters with health!

    beachmommy915 at gmail dot com

  9. Jacob LaFountaine says

    Just seems like real food would be a better fuel for your body. Less chemicals and waste must make some difference long term

  10. says

    We try to live a healthy lifestyle and with fast food and convenient foods at every corner it’s not always easy. Mixing up fresh foods keeps it interesting and the kids pallet open. Not only has it helped in our healthy lifestyle but it helps with my daughter and husbands allergies.

  11. Amy Z. says

    Real food is important to us because it’s healthier and more nutritious – and it doesn’t contain all the preservatives and other ingredients that are unnecessary!

  12. says

    Real food is food the way our bodies were meant to eat and grow and thrive. As a mom, that’s important to me. I haven’t had a chimichanga in years (it used to be my favorite thing to order at mexican restaurants) and now I MUST try these!

  13. says

    Fresh ,I have 2 grandchildren with allergies, now it’s a matter of severe health problems. It tastes so much better also. It is like going back to basics.

  14. Carolsue says

    Of course Real Food is important to me and my family — foods without all the preservatives taste so much fresher and are so much tastier in my opinion!

  15. Dani says

    Real food is important for my family because we like to eat nutritious, good foods that not only taste good but are good for us.

  16. Angel says

    Real food is important to every day health, knowing where food was sourced and that it is free of additives is essential.

  17. Mary Beth Elderton says

    Real food is what we need to be alive…for real. It is obvious from our health statistics that something is gravely wrong, and I think it is largely due the additives, preservative, processing, etc of our “food.”

  18. Sarah Hall says

    I grew up with a Mom who served a lot of veggies and fruit and very little sweets and snacks. All of her kids were healthy and strong and this is what I want for my kids, too.

  19. Deb Christie says

    Real Food is important to us because it is healthier and really it just tastes better. Both are important.

  20. Geoff K says

    Because we have so much more energy, healthier digestion, and no unexpected side effects when we know exactly what’s going into our bodies!

  21. ellen beck says

    Its important because it is cleaner, not processed and in general healthier. Being a gardener I appreciate good fresh foods!

  22. Jannelle Hurney says

    Eating real, organic food promotes and supports good health. I know my health has improved since I started changing my diet!

  23. amy pugmire says

    Its important because we want to live a healthy long life and I always want to know what we are putting in our mouths.

  24. Jennai says

    It’s important because I want the best for my family and real food is, is, of course, much healthier. Tastes better, too.

  25. Sonya Morris says

    Real food tastes better! After making most of our food from scratch I can hardly stand to eat processed food anymore without feeling yucky.

  26. Sourire says

    This recipe doesn’t include salt as an ingredient. I thought it was weird, but I made the chimichangas without salt and it was delicious!!!

  27. Paula Michele Hafner says

    It’s better for you. I also have to cook most things from scratch since one of my daughters has a deadly allergy to red food dye and a milder allergy to blue and certain yellow dyes. Food dyes are in so many products.

  28. Tian A. says

    Real food is important for my family because as stay at home mom, I want to give the best for my family besides we have strict diet foods.

  29. Kobi Hensley says

    With two people who have food allergies in our family eating natural/whole foods is very important. We need to know what we are eating

  30. Melanie Comello says

    It’s important to me and my family because i believe giving my daughter healthier choices while she’s young will make her food habits, a lot healthier when she grows up.and starts her own family. I’m hoping to instill a healthier lifestyle from the getgo. Hoping for the best ;)

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