Chicken and pinto bean chimichangas (fried burritos)

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My chimichanga with stir-fried cabbage and leek

I try and get in a new recipe every week or two, and so last night I tried this Mexican recipe for chimichangas – a food I’d never heard of before.

Chimichangas are fried burritos, in this case stuffed with a lovely mix of pinto beans, chicken, tomatoes and spices. The recipe calls for one chicken breast per two people (as it’s bulked out with beans), but I used the cooked, shredded chicken I’d salvaged from the carcass after cutting off the legs, breasts and wings and making stock with the body.  I got around 220g  meat from this, which was more than I really needed for the chimichangas, but I used it all since I wanted leftovers.

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I served with a massive pile of cabbage and leeks I got at a bargain price, which I stir fried and tossed in lime juice, but you could have a green salad, sweet potato wedges and/or corn on the cob. Yoghurt or soured cream would work well too.

Chicken and Pinto Bean Chimichangas (serves two hungry people – I had leftovers)

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  • 220g cooked shredded chicken (if you don’t want leftovers, around 150g, or one medium chicken breast should be OK)
  • 1 can pinto beans (the recipe only called for 2/3 of a can, but I used the whole thing – another reason I made too much.
  • 1 small onion or half a big one, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (I only used two of the three in the picture)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 4 wheat wraps (I usually make my own, which are a bit smaller – these bought ones were just the right size)
  • 2 fresh green chillies


Heat a little vegetable oil in a deep frying pan and gently fry the chopped onions and chilli until soft, then add the garlic and spices and fry for another minute. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and cook until softened and juicy.

Add the pinto beans, chicken and lime juice, stir through and take off the heat. You can make the filling advance and keep in the fridge or freezer, or else just let it cool a little before moving on to the next step.

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Once the filling has cooled enough to work with without burning your fingers, start filling the wraps. You want around three heaped tablespoons (or 1/4 of the mix) of filling per wrap, spooned into the centre. Fold down each side to make a square parcel that you can hold shut with a cocktail stick, and repeat for the other three wraps.

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Heat some oil in a big frying pan to a medium heat – not too high or it’ll burn like mine! Fry the parcels on both sides in batches of two until golden brown. Serve with salad, vegetables and other sides.

Variations – you could really stuff the wraps with anything.  Meat or veggie chilli with cheese springs to mind as a combination worth trying out.

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Grocery Spending (new total £79.36)

Milk 2 pints - 89p
Feminine products - £1
Bread rolls - 47p
Coffee - £1.85

Tonight’s Dinner

Going out to eat as Mr Chilli got a meal voucher for his birthday!  For lunch, I had the leftover chimichanga with a banana and Mr Chilli had pepperoni sandwiches (to use up leftover pepperoni from our pizzas the other night).


One thought on “Chicken and pinto bean chimichangas (fried burritos)

  1. Pingback: Four frugal and healthy lunch ideas | Chilli, Sage and Lemon

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