Thursday, August 28, 2014

Skinny Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Yes, you heard me right. Skinny baked chicken chimichangas. Sounds complicated, but I promise they are super easy to make and are even better to eat. And the best part, one chimichanga with guacamole (yes, with guacamole!) is only 350 calories. That's compared to over 1,000 calories for a chicken chimichanga you'd get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Talk about saving your waistline and your wallet. These babies are so good, that you'll no longer have to go out to Mexican. I kid you not.

To make these fabulous chimichangas, you'll need just a few ingredients - low calorie tortillas, a rotisserie chicken, a cup of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, cumin, oregano, a cup of your favorite salsa and some green onions. That's it! You don't have to use a rotisserie chicken, but it's the quickest and easiest way to go and you can usually find them for a pretty good deal. Of course you can cook up some chicken breasts as well. You'll need about two cups worth of shredded chicken, so two large breasts should do the trick. Maybe three if they are smaller. Now, for the tortillas. You and I both know that this is what kills the calorie count at many Mexican restaurants. Flour tortillas can range anywhere from 120 calories for a small one to over 500 calories for a large one. Can you believe it? Boy are they good though. I am always on the hunt for ingredients that taste great but are low in calories. A few months ago I came across these amazing light tortillas. You should be able to find them in most stores these days and they are simply the best. Just trust me. If you can't find them, let me know and I may just send you some to try. Just maybe.

Once you have all your ingredients to go, take your rotisserie chicken, remove all the skin and shred up all the chicken. If you have used your own chicken, shred that and place it in a big bowl. Then add chopped green onions, your favorite salsa, cheese, and spices. Mix well and then evenly disperse the mixture into about six tortillas. I use about a half cup measure to evenly distribute the filling. You may find you get seven chimichangas. That's okay. That just means more for you! Wrap each one tightly, tucking all the ends in and place them in an oven safe pan. From this point, you can freeze them for later, save for the next day or bake right away. If you plan to bake right away, don't forget to spray the tops with a little non-stick spray. I know that sounds strange, but it will help them get brown and crunchy without adding too many calories. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and you will have a fabulous dinner on your hands that everyone is sure to love. I served mine with a dollop of guacamole (I used half a 100 calorie container of Wholly Guacamole), chopped tomatoes and extra green onions. All of that goodness is only 350 calories (with lots of fiber and protein too!) and so delicious. Serve with a big salad and you are good to go!

so delish!

Skinny Baked Chicken Chimichangas (Slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
Non-stick spray (such as Pam)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix chicken, salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions. Place about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Fold opposite sides over filling. Roll up from bottom and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.
Spray with non-stick spray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Garnish with desired toppings and serve with salsa on the side. Yum!

You'll definitely want to make an extra batch and keep in your freezer for a quick go to meal!

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