Dinner Tonight: Rice and Bean Chimichanga Recipe

Nick Kindelsperger

What compels a man or woman to eat a chimichanga? It utterly baffles me. It's a deep-fried burrito swamped in sauce and covered with cheese. In theory this is probably one of my least favorite dishes of all time. So why am I sharing a recipe for this sucker with you today?

Because once I started thinking about the chimichanga, I realized I'd never actually made one myself. Who knows, maybe if I took my time and gave this bruiser a little tender love and care he'd show me his charms.

The problem was actually that I couldn't decide on a recipe, so I used bits from the Food Network and a sauce from a former Dinner Tonight. Frying the thing turned out to be the least of my worries.

Some strategically placed toothpicks helped keep the tortillas in place so nothing spilled out. I just couldn't get the thing to come together. A chimichanga is all about excess, and I probably made the mistake of not going far enough. Instead of some heavy ground beef filling, I just used beans and rice. I was also light on the cheese.

Anyway, somehow this version doesn't quite connect, which kind of makes me hate the chimichanga even more. So here's your challenge: prove to me why you like chimichangas, and, more importantly, share a recipe that will change my mind.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons red chile powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 12-inch flour tortillas, warmed on a griddle
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup pinto beans, cooked
  • Salt
  • Grated Monterey Jack
  • Sour cream


  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a pot set over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for a minute until darkened slightly. Add the red chile powder and the garlic. Stir well, and cook for a minute.

  2. Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring well to avoid lumps. Season with salt, turn the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

  3. While that's going on, fill a large pot with enough oil to come about 4 inches up the sides. Bring the temperature to 375°F.

  4. Divide the rice and beans amongst the tortillas. Add a handful of grated Monterey cheese to each. Fold up like a burrito. Secure the ends with a few toothpicks.

  5. Fry the burritos until golden brown, about 3 minutes total. Drain them on a paper towel. Serve with a ladle full of the sauce and more cheese.