Slow Cooker Chicken & Cheese Chimichangas

These work well to cook ahead of time and reheat for on-the-go lunches.

September 11, 2017
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Mitch Mandel

Adapted from Polly Conner's and Rachel Tiemeyer's cookbook, From Freezer to Table: 75+ Simple, Whole Foods Recipes for Gathering, Cooking, and Sharing

Our recipe testing team went gaga over these chimichangas! We tweaked the classic deep fried Tex-Mex favorite, making it quite a bit simpler (and a little less fried). Thanks to the good ol’ slow cooker, the chicken filling is infused with Mexican flavors and creamy cheese.

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More: 30 Chicken Recipes That Are Anything But Boring

To give the chimichangas their signature crispy tortilla crust, we opted for a quick, shallow pan-fry. These work well to cook ahead of time and reheat for on-the-go lunches.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Cheese Chimichangas​
(Makes 6–8 chimichangas)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts

  • 2 Tablespoons all natural taco seasoning

  • 3/4 cup store-bought or homemade chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese

  • 1/4 cup all-natural salsa

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 6–8 burrito-size whole wheat tortillas (10" diameter)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or avocado oil, divided (for shallow frying)

  • Sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and shredded lettuce (optional, for topping)

Directions:

1. Rub both sides of the chicken breasts with the taco seasoning and place in a slow cooker. Add the broth. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily.

2. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken in the slow cooker. If there is any excess liquid in the slow cooker, remove it. Add the cream cheese and salsa, and gently stir until the cream cheese is melted.

3. In a small bowl, mix the flour and water together to make the “glue” that will hold the tortillas shut.

4. Warm up the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds, so they are easy to work with without tearing. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture and place in the middle of a tortilla. 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 chimichanga. 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.

 

5. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium heat. (The oil should be hot enough to make the chimichangas sizzle when they’re placed in the pan!) Place a few of the chimichangas folded side down in the pan, making sure they do not touch. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, or until the tortilla is golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the rest of the chimichangas and add oil as needed.

6. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To freeze: Place the assembled chimichangas in an airtight freezer container or bag and separate layers with parchment paper. Freeze and follow these 6 No-Fail Steps to Successfully Freeze Meals.

To prepare from frozen: Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Cook as directed.

Cooking Notes:

  • 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 1/3 cup.

  • If cooking 1 chimichanga at a time, use about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of oil per chimichanga.

  • 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 chipotle chiles.