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Overhead shot of a chicken chimichanga

Chicken Chimichangas

Delicious and easy slow cooker meal that works great as a freezer meal, too.

Yield: 4 large chimichangas 1x
Prep: 15 minutesCook: 2 hours 30 minutesTotal: 2 hours 45 minutes
Units:
Scale:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup store-bought or homemade Chicken Broth (or water)
  • 1 ounce taco seasoning packet or 3-4 tablespoons all-natural taco seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large) chicken breasts (here’s where we get our organic chicken)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mild or medium salsa
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour (sub: all-purpose flour)
  • 4 burrito-size (10″ diameter) whole wheat flour tortillas (white flour tortillas work too)
  • 46 tablespoons avocado oil, divided, for shallow frying (sub: vegetable oil)
  • Sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and shredded lettuce (optional, for topping)

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Instructions

Make It Now:

1. Make the Filling: Add the broth (or water) and taco seasoning to a slow cooker and whisk together. Add the chicken breasts, turning them around in the liquid to make sure they’re coated on all sides. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily. (Believe us on this timing. You don’t want to overcook your chicken!)

2. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Drain most of the excess liquid from the slow cooker and return the chicken to the crockpot. Add the cream cheese and salsa, and gently stir until the cream cheese is melted.

3. Make the “Glue”: In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the flour and 2 tablespoons water together to make the “glue” that will hold the tortillas shut.

4. Fold the Chimichangas: In the middle of a tortilla, place a generous ½ cup of the chicken mixture. Fold the sides of the tortilla in toward each other so they overlap a bit. Then fold the top and the bottom, sealing off the opening to the chicken mixture. This will create a square-shaped (or you can make rectangle-shaped) chimichanga. Using your fingers or pastry brush, spread the flour paste under each of the overlapping parts of the tortilla to secure the flaps in place. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

5. Pan-Fry the Chimichangas: In a large skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (about 2-3 tablespoons) over medium heat until shimmery. The oil should be hot enough to make the chimichangas sizzle when they’re placed in the pan. Place 2 chimichangas folded side down in the pan, making sure they do not touch. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully turning once, until the tortilla is golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the rest of the chimichangas and add more oil as needed. To keep the chimichangas warm while making multiple batches, place them on a sheet pan that has a wire rack on top. Keep warm in a 200°F oven.

6. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-4. Place the assembled (but not fried!) chimichangas in an airtight freezer container or bag in a single layer. Separate layers with parchment paper. Seal tightly and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Let the meal thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Cook as directed, starting with Step 5.


Notes/Tips

  • Add-In Ideas: When adding the cream cheese and salsa to the cooked chicken, feel free to also add pinto beans (rinsed and drained), chopped mild green chiles, or chopped chipotle chiles. This will stretch the filling even farther, so you can make 6 or so chimichangas.
  • Quick Version: For the filling, use 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken. In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the taco seasoning and broth. Stir in the chicken and then microwave until warm, 1-2 minutes. Drain off the liquid. Stir in the cream cheese and salsa. Filling is done!
  • Double and Freeze: This recipe is easy to double! Prep twice or triple as many and freeze half before cooking them to enjoy another time.
  • Where to Find Whole Wheat Burrito Tortillas: It can sometimes be hard to find large whole wheat tortillas. I suggest looking at your local health food store. If you can find only medium ones, just decrease the amount of chicken in each chimichanga to ⅓ cup.
  • Our Cookbook: Find this recipe and many other healthy, freezer-friendly ones in our cookbook, From Freezer to Table.
© Author: Polly Conner
Cuisine: Mexican Method: Slow Cooker