Hubby’s Enchilada Style Chimichangas (Tex-Mex Recipe)

Chimichanga; Chivichanga; Burrito; Burrito enchilada style; Chimichangas enchilada style; bean; chicken; beef; recipe; receta; easy; red sauce; Mexican; vegetarian; flour tortillas; chimmy chonga; Tex-Mex; Spicie Foodie; fried; fried burrito; deep fried

Chimichangas are deep fried burritos also known as Chivichanga or chimmy chonga, according to Wikipedia anyway. For those of you that don’t know what a Chimichanga is, it’s a flour tortilla that is stuffed with meat, beans, or anything you like, rolled up then deep fried. It can be served topped with any of the following, yellow cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa or just plainly fried. Sometimes it is  served with a side of rice and beans, lettuce and salsa. It all depends on where you purchase your Chimi.

Confession time, I had never heard or seen a Chimichanga until I moved to the US. If memory serves me right, the first time I saw one was at a popular junk food restaurant trying to pass of garbage food as “Mexican” I’ve always assumed that it was another American invention of Mexican food. To be fair I decided to do a little online research as to the origins of the Chimichanga.

Per Wikipedia Chimichangas are “popular in Southwestern U.S. cuisine, Tex-Mex cuisine, and the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora.” Several websites credit the invention of Chimichangas to a Tucson area restaurant post World War 2. According to legend they came to be as an accident, when a cook dropped a burrito into the deep fried. The cook apparently yelled out “chimichanga”, which according to many websites means “thingamajig” in Spanish. ( I’d like to point out that that’s news to me. What do you Spanish speakers think? ) Other’s say that she most likely was stopping herself from saying “chingada” a Spanish swear word and instead used Chimichanga, an Indianism of the Spanish “chango quemado” meaning burnt monkey. Others sources state that it was indeed Mexican immigrants who introduced the Chimichanga to Arizona. I don’t know which is true or what to believe. The funniest and perhaps most ironic thing I found was that the state of Arizona is now petitioning to make the Chimichanga their official food.

Personally I say Arizona can have the Chimichanga, that way it can stop being considered “Mexican” food. I’ve never have and never will consider Chimichangas Mexican food. There I said it. I’m not the only one that feels this way, a brief discussion with family members ended with them being in agreement. I’m not trying to be a Mexican food snob, I just want to help people understand the differences between authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.

Chimichanga; Chivichanga; Burrito; Burrito enchilada style; Chimichangas enchilada style; bean; chicken; beef; recipe; receta; easy; red sauce; Mexican; vegetarian; flour tortillas; chimmy chonga; Tex-Mex; Spicie Foodie; fried; fried burrito; deep fried

Now just because I don’t consider foods like the Chimichanga Mexican, it doesn’t mean I don’t like to eat them every once in a great while. This recipe is actually not my own, it is hubby’s recipe. My guerito (relax it’s not a derogatory word, just means light skinned, eyed, and or light haired person) learned this recipe from a restaurant cook, who happened to be a Mexican woman living in the American southwest. In case you are wondering yes we have had discussion/disagreements about the fact that it was a Mexican woman who taught him the recipe. I hold my ground and won’t budge even though it was a Mexican woman who taught him the recipe. He says,  “I don’t know what to tell you, it was a Mexican woman in a Mexican restaurant, owned by Mexican-Americans, who taught me the recipe.” It usually ends with me giving him a dirty look and telling him he’s wrong and I don’t care. Then round two begins because I’m stubborn like that.

Well, onto the recipe. Hubby says that she not only taught him how to prepare, fold and fry the Chimichangas, she showed him how to make it enchilada style. Hubby says, ” You take a giant flour tortilla, like the burrito kind, fill it with beans, meat, hot sauce, chiles. Then you fold it up tightly to prevent spills, put it in the deep fryer, fry until golden brown and crispy. Place the chimichanga in a baking pan, cover in American style enchilada sauce, sprinkle that American white and yellow “Mexican” cheese. Put the Chimi in the oven, and bake until the cheese melts. Then you serve it.”

This time I was in charge of making our Chimichanga dinner. I followed his instructions except that I refused to use any prepackaged sauce and yellow cheese. Instead I made my own enchilada sauce from scratch and used homemade queso fresco. If you don’t have access to queso fresco use Feta as a substitute.

(If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please quote Spicie Foodie as the recipe creator, and place a link back to the recipe.)
Hubby’s Chimichangas Enchilada Style
4 small to medium Chimichangas, fill as desired and prepare per hubby’s instructions above

Enchilada Sauce:
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
2-3 dried hot chilies(chile de arbol)
1 chile guajillo
1 large tomato with skin removed
1 tsp. salt and whole cumin seed
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Heat a griddle or frying pan, once hot toast the chiles. Turn often to prevent burning, set aside. Brown the garlic cloves, onion and tomato. Allow to cool and peel off tomato skin. Remove the stems from chiles, and seeds if desired. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding a little water if necessary. Heat  a little bit of oil in a frying pan, strain the blended mix into the frying pan. Careful as it can splash. Saute for a few minutes, taste and adjust salt if necessary.

Pour the sauce over the Chimichangas, sprinkle some cheese and bake until cheese begins to melt. I didn’t want the cheese on my Chimichana melted, and that’s how you see it on the photos. Queso fresco doesn’t melt like other cheeses so careful not to burn your Chimichangas.

Chimichanga; Chivichanga; Burrito; Burrito enchilada style; Chimichangas enchilada style; bean; chicken; beef; recipe; receta; easy; red sauce; Mexican; vegetarian; flour tortillas; chimmy chonga; Tex-Mex; Spicie Foodie; fried; fried burrito; deep fried

Just because I posted this Chimichanga recipe doesn’t mean it is Mexican. I hold my ground, Chimichangas are not Mexican food. I hope you read this, at least ;)

Come back Friday, I have a very special guest for you. A world famous and renowned cookbook author. So excited.

Please stop by my friends, The Ardent Epicure for a special photography tutorial guest post. Food Photography “A Perspective”~ Food Styling with Nancy Lopez-McHugh


  1. says

    Tasty food is tasty food, no matter how questionable its origins! Whatever this is or wherever it came from, it looks like a nice meal.

  2. says

    This is my husbands favorite not-Mexican food. I can almost count on him ordering one every time. Yours looks wonderful I will have to try your sauce out and surprise him with his favorite dinner.

  3. says

    LOL, I like reading that ‘discussion’ you had with your hubby. I never knew chimichangas were not authentic Mexican food, despite the fact that a Mexican woman in a Mexican restaurant taught this recipe to your husband! Wherever it’s from, it sure does look comforting and hearty….in fact, I don’t mind a huge bite of this :).

    PS. Thanks for your sweet words of support, I really <3 your friendship. Hugs back!

  4. says

    Chimis are NOT Mexican food. Don’t care what anyone says. They’re what I call “Mexi-can’t” food. Meaning, they’re a blend of Southwestern/Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisine.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy this immensely! Because I’m going to. This weekend!!! :D

  5. says

    Well thank you for telling me about this! I would have never known. I personally am more partial to authentic Mexican food. I am not one for deep fried anything. I mean if you think about it thought why would it Mexican food have something deep fried like us Americans do.

  6. says

    Actually I always knew it wasn’t authentic Mexican…leave it too America to take something great like a burrito and deep fry it then smother it in sauce, cheese and sour cream. Regardless of it’s roots, it is quite delicious!

  7. says

    Looks pretty tasty to me. I grew up in South Texas, and I consider it to be Tex-Mex, not Mexican food, but I never really looked into its origins or background. I think the “chingada” explanation is hilarious. I could see that happening.

  8. says

    For some reason, whenever I had this dish at restaurants it never had a sauce. I do find it rather dry without and your enchilada sauce recipe looks like just the ticket to move this dish further up my favorites scale. Amazing pictures as usual-glad I stopped in!

    • says

      Hi Tina,

      I’m not the biggest fan but the way my hubby makes them is much better than restaurant versions. The sauce does add a great extra something. Thank you :)

  9. says

    This was a fun read. There certainly is a gulf between Tex-Mex and Authentic Mexican cuisine. People here have a hard time with that. I can certainly appreciate the bold flavors at play in this dish. And the fantastic photography, of course.


  10. says

    I just went to an American-Mexican restaurant and had enchiladas recently. :) We have not been to one in years so it was a nice treat and change. Of course the restaurant was lacking in one thing… SPICE! I wanted a whole bowl of jalapenos to spice up my meal… but I only got three. :( I thought to myself right there that I was going to make some enchiladas my way. I agree that authentic Mexican food and what “Tex-Mex” food must be totally different. This looks really good!! I love your/hubby’s enchilada sauce.

  11. says

    So much of what “Mexican” restaurants serve don’t even seem like Mexican food. And I am from the Mid-West, so I have no real idea what authentic Mexican food is. Never thought a Chimichanga seemed authentic, but they sure are good! Love the enchilada style too!

  12. says

    As an American, I am so embarrassed at some of the sloppy garbage food that is labeled “Mexican”. I do consider myself somewhat of a snob when it comes to Mexican food and always make sure I say “Authentic Mexican” … don’t get me started :) Anyway, I may have had a chimichanga once and it wasn’t cooked in hot enough oil and it was a greasy mess … need I say more? Yours looks really really good.

  13. says

    It looks and, I’m sure, tastes delicious but you would need an awful lot of oil to deep fry them and I’m not sure about the calories involved….
    But I love the ingredients in that salsa and will make that for regular old tortillas. Great photos, as always.

  14. says

    I love Chimichanga’s but never ever thought of attempting to make one myself. How lucky that your husband learned how to make authentic ones – lucky for him and you! Thank you for sharing this recipe and your special sauce. I’m definitely saving this to try.

  15. says

    Thanks for the good read and info on the origin of this dish. We see chimichangas on the menu in Mexican restaurants in California and I’ve never thought of the origin of this dish, just assumed it was Mexico! Have a wonderful Easter holiday;-) ps, your photos are beautiful and this does look delicious;-)

    • says

      Hi Patty,

      They seem to bit quite popular in the states so I’m not at all surprised that you find them at Mexican restaurants. In the end all that really matters is if the food tastes good, right ;) Thank you Patty and I hope you do too:)

  16. says

    That looks really really delicious! I wish you had a restaurant, and it was in my city. I think I would eat there every day! Talk about wishful thinking… LOL :D Great recipe! Thank you for sharing it… Love the flavors!

  17. says

    Me ha gustado mucho este post, por obvias razones. Mil gracias por aclarar que las Chimichangas no son de origen Mexicano. ;)

    Now, I also agree with you, that does not mean I do not enjoy eating them. Since I left our beautiful country I learnt to enjoy TexMex fare. Your guerito´s chimi enchilada looks inviting.

    • says

      Hola Heidi,

      De nada chica. Hay que tratar de hablar de lo que es autentica y lo que no es lo mas possible, no? :)

      Yes, good food is good food. Thanks I’ll tell my guerito you said so:)

    • says

      Hi Pola,

      Honestly I think all popular world cuisines deal with the same things. But we should take it as that at least people are interested about our homeland’s cuisine :)

  18. says

    Looks good to me, wherever it comes from! It’s very hard to find authentic Mexican in my area, so I’m happy just to find good food in a restaurant that calls itself a Mexican one. (No fast food variety for me though.)

  19. says

    This looks fantastic no matter it’s origins. Love your homemade enchilada sauce I am going to have to try that. I love these things covered in sauce. Yum!

  20. says

    What a great looking delicious recipe Nancy! I want to try your enchilada sauce! I can’t wait to see the guest on Friday, and your photography tip at Alisha’s blog was absolutely helpful!!!!

  21. says

    I’m with you, I could totally do without chimichangas. Enchiladas, on the other hand, are wonderful. Yours look particularly good!

  22. says

    I have always just called them fried burritos, lol. One of my favorite Tex Mex dishes…yours look fantastic! And thank you once again for sharing your photography gifts on my site…Hugs!

  23. says

    Well said Nancy, there is Mexican, Tex-Mex from South,North, West Texas. New Mexico Mexican and Arizona Mexican… Hubby and I argue all the time about this… I personally love them all,LOL!! great revamp!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>