These traditional beef chimichangas are a top family favorite in our home that I have adapted to fit our Trim Healthy Mama ways!
The inspiration behind this recipe is one that my mom used to make when I was growing up. Hers was basically the same thing, only she would use off plan, high carb tortillas and unhealthful oil to fry them in. But, besides the usage of healthier ingredients, this is that same good stuff!
What Are Beef Chimichangas?
Burritos and chimichangas are very similar. Both are prepared the same way up until cooking. Burritos are made using heated up stuffing and warmed tortillas. So are chimichangas, but after stuffing the tortilla, the burrito is then deep fried to give the tortilla an extra yummy flavor and a crispy texture.
What is different about my chimichangas is that they are pan fried in minimal oil, not deep fried. Deep frying overloads the oil content, bringing the food into calorie abuse. So pan frying in shallow oil makes it much healthier, but still keeps it just as irresistible!
The Frying Oil for These Beef Chimichangas
My recipe for beef chimichangas calls for pan frying in avocado oil. You can use another fat such as olive oil, butter, bacon fat, and so on, but the issue with those is the smoke point. Smoke point is the temperature at which an oil or fat starts to smoke and therefore go rancid. Rancid oil or fat is bad because it causes unhealthful free radicals in the body. More delicate fats like olive oil, butter, or bacon fat have lower smoke points.
Avocado oil has a very high smoke point (500 plus degrees Fahrenheit) and, as long as you don’t crank the heat past what I say in the recipe, it never reaches this temperature in my recipe. The result is perfectly golden and crispy pan fried beef chimichangas without making the oil rancid!
The topping ideas for these beef chimichangas are pretty vast. You can add some of my Sugar Free Pickled Red Onions because, let me tell you, they are super duper yummy on these chimichangas! I love to pile these pickled red onions high. They add extra flavor and an extra crunchy dimension.
Another excellent topping that goes well with this is shredded cheese (when I make these chimichangas, I actually put a tablespoon or so of shredded cheese INSIDE the chimichanga before frying because it then melts during frying making it gooey, warm, and extra good).
Beyond these, there is sour cream, salsa, lettuce, cilantro, beans (on Trim Healthy Mama, you can have up to 1/4 cup beans in an S setting), Ranch dressing, tomatoes, jalapeños, and so on. You can even go non traditional and add bacon bits!
Side Dish Ideas
This dish is heavy on meat and, besides the toppings which might be veggies (though not much), it is low in the veggies department. So I would recommend serving some non-starchy green veggies like asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts on the side with it. A side salad would also go well with it or some Mexican seasoned cauliflower rice.
Low Carb Beef Chimichangas
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 pounds boneless beef roast, excess fat trimmed
- 1 cup beef broth or stock
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 can (about 4 ounces) diced green chilies
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons mineral salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat the 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Using tongs to rotate it, sear all sides of the beef until just crispy brown. This step is optional but add lots of flavor. Set this pan aside to use later.
- Place the seared beef and the remaining beef ingredients to the crock of a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 8-12 hours.
- Lay a few paper towels on a plate; set aside.
- In the skillet you seared the meat in, add another 2 tablespoons avocado oil and preheat it over medium-low heat. You know it's ready when you insert a wooden spoon's handle and the oil bubbles.
- As the oil is heating up, microwave the tortillas for about a minute (if you have a tortilla warmer, use that). If you don't have a microwave, wrap the tortillas in a damp towel and pop in the oven on a sheet pan on the lowest possible heat until the tortillas are warm and pliable.
- Add about ¼ to ½ cup of the meat to each warm tortilla (shake off excess liquid) and fold it shut.
- Place as many chimichangas as will fit seam-side down in the preheated oil. Cover with a splatter screen so oil doesn't go everywhere.
- Allow to pan fry for 2 or 3 minutes or until desired golden brownness; using tongs, flip the chimichangas to the top and repeat pan frying for 2 or 3 minutes or until desired golden brownness. You can also pan fry the sides and ends by either holding them in the oil or leaning them against the side of the skillet. Please remember than any juice that leaks out into the oil will cause it to sputter, so be very careful.
- Remove the chimichangas from the oil and set on the paper towel lined plate to allow excess oil to drip off. Continue frying the remaining chimichangas until all are done.
- Serve with toppings of choice and enjoy!