A truly delicious meal is worth a little extra effort, and although grilled beef chimichangas may require some work to get just right, the result is well worth the exertion. Whether you are looking to make the most time efficient version or a culinary masterpiece, grilled beef chimichangas are a versatile dish sure to accommodate.
A Happy Accident Packed with Flavor
Featuring traditionally seasoned beef, usually alongside tomatoes and peppers, this dish’s filling always packs a flavor punch. Grilled beef chimichangas wrap this filling into a flour tortilla which is then grilled to perfection for a warm and tasty dish with a crispy outside and melted inside. Often, grilled beef chimichangas will be served with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or pico de gallo on the side to further enhance the traditional flavors.
Given that chimichangas are usually deep fried, it should come as no surprise that they’re a newer addition to the Mexican cuisine than something like a taco. In fact, it is unclear where exactly the chimichanga originated, though it is thought to have been in Northwestern Mexico or Southwestern United States sometime in the mid-1900s. Most potential sources for the chimichanga revolve around stories where burritos were accidentally put into a deep fryer, and the chimichanga was born. Despite being a newcomer, the chimichanga still exhibits all of the classic Mexican flavors. The healthier grilled chimichanga, of course, originated some time later.
Unusual Origin, Delicious Result
Chimichangas themselves are unique in that they are, for all intents and purposes, simply a burrito that has received additional cooking. The grilled chimichanga is even more unusual still, as it offers the same kind of warmth and wholly cooked aspects of a regular chimichanga, but without the unhealthiness associated with deep frying. Basically, a grilled chimichanga is to a burrito as a panini is to a sandwich.
How to Prepare Grilled Beef Chimichangas
Preparing grilled beef chimichangas is essentially the same as preparing beef burritos, with added steps at the end. After filling the tortillas and folding them, the chimichangas must be placed on some sort of grill to allow the cheese to melt and the tortillas to crisp. While these final steps are always the same, the front end of preparation can vary greatly depending on how much effort you’d like to put into the filling:
- A simpler version will only require that you cook the meat along with onion and garlic, then fold that mixture in with salsa, chiles, and cheese.
- More involved recipes will take longer to prepare, as you’ll prepare more of the filling from scratch and need to cook the fresh components.
Personalizing The Dish
Of course, grilled beef chimichanga recipes can vary widely depending on factors like how many vegetables you want to include, and what sort of beef you’d like them filled with. Some variations to consider:
- If you or someone in your home is a picky eater, you may want to prepare your grilled beef chimichangas with beef and cheese alone.
- If you’re a more adventurous household, you might experiment with carne asada as your beef of choice, and new sorts of peppers to accompany it.
- Consider adding some of your favorite sides, like rice and beans, in with the filling of your grilled beef chimichanga.
This dish can be as simple or as complex as you’d like, and because it’s grilled rather than fried, it’s a healthy alternative to kick your chimichanga cravings.
Don’t shy away from grilled beef chimichangas because you’re worried they’re too complex—the reality is that most versions are relatively simple to prepare, and the difficult variations taste good enough to justify the effort.