Vegan Chimichangas are a healthy and delicious version of the traditional Chimichanga recipe. This Chimichanga Recipe includes pinto beans, Spanish rice, red bell peppers, green chilis and our Avocado Sauce. Fried Chimichangas are light and packed with traditional Mexican flavors. Once you try this recipe, there’s no turning back; the Vegan version is better!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Amazing flavor and texture! The crunch of fried tortillas, then the soft warmth of rice and beans; onions, bell peppers, chilis, and traditional Mexican spices of cumin, oregano, and chili powder, all topped with a flavorful Avocado Sauce makes this a great dish! In my pre-Vegan life I’d had traditional Chimichangas and I can say, without reservation, this Chimichanga Recipe is soo much better. Traditional Chimichangas are really heavy; typically they are fried with a ton of bad oil, packed with meat, and drenched with melted cheese. The flavors aren’t much beyond cheese and meat and you have to call out sick the next day because you’re body has to go to war to process it. Which leads me to my next point.
- It’s healthy! No cheese, no meat, no indigestion! I can eat a couple of these and still feel energized. That’s because the ingredients in this recipe are mostly all healthy. Here are a few of the main ingredients and their health attributes.
- Pinto beans are one of the healthiest beans you can eat. A study of 16 individuals who consumed 1/2 cup of pinto beans per day for eight weeks showed significant reductions in bad cholesterol (1).
- Red bell peppers are rich in antioxidants (2).
Vegan Chimichanga Recipe
- Olive oil
- Pinto beans
- Red bell pepper
- Green chilis
- Chili powder
- Spanish rice
- Long grain rice
- Olive oil
- Tomato sauce
- Vegetable broth
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
How to Make Chimichangas
- Make Spanish Rice. In a sauce pan heat oil and sauté onion and rice together and cook for 5 minutes to brown the rice. Add in tomato sauce, vegetable broth, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes with the lid on. Here is our full post on How to Make Spanish Rice.
- Prepare your veggies. Dice your onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro.
- Cook veggies. Add oil to a skillet and sauté your onions, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes.
- Add chilis, tomatoes, and spices. Pour in your green chilis, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cilantro and salt; cook for an additional 2 minutes until onions soften and become translucent.
- Beans. Add your beans to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes until beans are warm.
- Warm your tortillas. Either warm your tortillas in a separate skillet with a little oil on low heat or over an open flame turning frequently with tongs.
- Fill tortillas. Lay each tortilla flat and place roughly 2 to 3 tablespoons of rice and 2 to 3 tablespoons of bean mixture on each tortilla.
- Fold tortillas. Fold each tortilla like a burrito.
- Fry. In a separate skillet add 1/4 inch of olive oil and place each folded Chimichanga seem side down; fry until crispy and golden brown. Turn over and fry the top side of the Chimichanga until golden brown.
- Remove excess oil. Place each cooked Chimichanga on a plate covered with a paper towel on the bottom to soak up any extra oil.
- Serve. Plate each Chimichanga with Avocado Sauce drizzled over the top and garnished with Pico de Gallo.
- Soften tortillas before rolling them. Tortillas, if not warmed first over either an open flame or in a pan, have a tendency to crack or tear which is why I suggest warming them up first. I prefer to put them over an open flame because I enjoy the smoky flavor produced when they are slightly toasted.
- Baked. You can also bake these Chimichangas. Put them in a pan with a little oil at the bottom of it; oil the tops and sides of the Chimichangas and bake at around 350 degrees until golden brown.
- Adobo sauce or powder. If you like a smokier chili flavor, consider adding some adobo to your bean mixture.
- Brown rice. While we used white rice to make the Spanish rice in this recipe, feel free to experiment with brown rice which is even healthier.
- Green or yellow bell peppers. You can also use green bell peppers and I’m sure it will taste great!
- Serving suggestions. Serve with Avocado Sauce, Serrano Salsa, or Pico de Gallo.
What is a Chimichanga?
Since we are Vegan, I’ll modify the definition just a bit. A Chimichanga is a tortilla filled with rice and beans which is then wrapped, fried, and served with a sauce on top. Chimichangas are a close relative of the burrito. They share similar fillings with the main difference being that Chimichangas are fried. Chimichangas are also topped with a sauce whereas burritos are not.
Difference Between Burrito and Chimichanga
Is your burrito fried? Guess what? It’s a chimichanga then. It’s all about the subtleties, presentation, and customs. A burrito is mostly a hand-held meal whereas chimichangas are typically served on a plate and can be topped with sauce which requires knife and fork eating. I imagine a burrito as a meal for people in a hurry but the chimichanga is a sit-down dish demanding to be savored and contemplated.
If you enjoyed this recipe, here are other Plant-Based Recipes you might enjoy!
Vegan Mexican Food Recipes
Vegan Bean Recipes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
- 1 (4 oz.) can green chilis
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
- 8 large tortillas
Spanish Rice (makes 6 servings)
- 1 cup long-grain rice (must be long-grain)
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dice onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro.
- Add oil to a skillet and sauté onions, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes.
- Add in green chilis, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cilantro and salt; cook for an additional 2 minutes until onions soften and become translucent.
- Add beans to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes until beans are warm.
- Warm tortillas in a separate skillet with a light oil on low heat or over an open flame turning frequently with tongs. This is done to soften the tortillas so they are easier to fold.
- Lay each tortilla flat and place roughly 2 to 3 tablespoons of rice and 2 to 3 tablespoons of bean mixture on each tortilla.
- Fold each tortilla like a burrito.
- In a separate skillet add 1/4 inch of olive oil and place each folded Chimichanga seem-side down; fry until crispy and golden brown. Turn over and fry the top side of the Chimichanga until golden brown.
- Place each cooked Chimichanga on a plate covered with a paper towel on the bottom to soak up any extra oil.
- Plate Chimichangas with Avocado Sauce drizzled over the top and garnished with Pico de Gallo.
For the Spanish Rice
- Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped onion and rice.
- Cook onion and rice over low heat for roughly 5 minutes until rice is golden brown, stir frequently to prevent burning the rice.
- Stir in tomato sauce.
- Pour in vegetable broth.
- Add in garlic and onion powder, stir to combine.
- Place a lid on the saucepan, turn heat down to low; stir roughly 3 times for the first 5 minutes.
- Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the pot sit with the lid on for another 10 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 599mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 7gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g