Cheesy Chicken Chimichanga



I love chimichangas. Chimichangas are basically burritos, filled with meat and vegetables, then deep-fried and topped with cheese and sauce. There’s a debate as to where this Tex-Mex dish originated from, and several restaurants in Tucson, Arizona, are claiming to have invented this famous dish.
chimichanga2I was thrilled when I came across this recipe from Cooking Light ( that saves 435 calories, 31g total fat, and 733mg sodium per serving. This chimichanga has a filling made with mushrooms, kale, chicken and cheese, served with a tomato cilantro salad and a creamy avocado sauce.

Cheesy Chimichanga


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 cup salsa verde
  • 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped Lacinato kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 (8-inch) wheat tortillas
  • 3 ounces shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup ripe peeled avocado, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 2 cups chopped grape tomatoes


  1. Combine stock and chicken in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until done. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon; let stand 10 minutes. Shred chicken; set aside. Drain cooking liquid through a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids. Set aside 2 tablespoons liquid.
  2. Return remaining cooking liquid to pan. Add salsa verde; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 11 minutes). Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese and chili powder; stir with a whisk until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and 1/4 cup cilantro.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add kale, black pepper, and reserved 2 tablespoons cooking liquid. Cook 2 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring occasionally. Add kale mixture to chicken mixture. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Fold in edges of tortilla; roll up.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chimichangas and cook for about a minute to two minutes per side until golden brown.
  5. Combine avocado, milk, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a mini food processor; process until smooth.
  6. Combine tomatoes, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice in a bowl; toss. Serve chimichanga with avocado cream and tomato cilantro salad.

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