Two chimichangas on top of red rice topped with sour cream, salsa, and a jalapeno

Shredded Beef Chimichangas

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This is one of my favorite Tex-Mex meals of all time … it’s a super-crispy flour tortilla stuffed full of flavorful shredded beef and cheese. Best of all, these chimi’s are oven baked, not deep fried!

Cliff Notes:
Prepare spice rub and apply to a roast. After browning thoroughly, cook in an Instant Pot for 75 minutes or until tender and falling apart; shred and season with chipotle puree, additional seasoning mix, and some of the cooking liquid. Warm flour tortillas in oil until soft and pliant. Fill with grated cheese and shredded beef, and bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until crispy.

Make It Your Way:
– Use a different meat … chicken and pork both work really well.
– Make it as spicy or as mild as you like. Add extra chipotle, cayenne, jalapeños, or leave the chilis out completely for a milder version.
– Add veggies: mix in cooked carrots, cauliflower, spinach, corn, or beans.
– Serve with a sauce … queso cheese sauce, enchilada sauce, or salsa verde.

Simplify It:
– Use seasoned ground beef instead of shredded beef
– Buy a pre-made spice blend instead of making your own
– Use leftover pot roast and add seasonings and peppers
– Freeze the baked chimichangas and reheat in the oven for a quick and easy dinner

When I was pregnant with my first-born son, I ate chimichangas as often as I possibly could. The crispiness of the fried tortilla that enclosed that was filled with spicy meat and cheese was heaven on a plate. And though I would have preferred to save money and make them myself, the idea of trying to deep fry them at home seemed like a disaster waiting to happen – I had no idea how to keep them closed in the frying oil. But then I happened upon a paper-back cookbook in the grocery store, and it contained a method for getting them super crispy in the oven. I was hooked!

It’s a modified frying method – prior to filling the tortillas, you briefly immerse them in a bit of warm oil on the stove, until they are soft and just starting to puff up. Then they get filled with grated cheese and meat, folded into a cute little bundle of deliciousness, and baked until they’re golden and crispy. But the absolute best part of these is how well they reheat in the oven or air fryer, both from the fridge or the freezer.

The recipe below gives directions for cooking the shredded beef in an Instant Pot®, but also includes options for cooking the shredded beef in a slow cooker or in the oven. But don’t limit yourself to shredded beef – try chicken or pork. I’ve even seasoned leftover pot roast and used that. And, if you’re watching your carbs, you’re in luck … this method works just as well with low-carb flour tortillas!

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