Mom’s Gluten Free Chimichanga Recipe

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This is my mom’s classic chimichanga recipe. She is serious about her chimichangas and these are the real deal. The meat is the exact same recipe as hers (which by the way is wonderful), and the only changes I made were to leave off the cheese and make my own gluten free tortillas. Once you make the meat, there are many directions you can go. You can make them the traditional way and fry them, eat them like burritos but not fry them, or just put in the fillings and eat like a taco.

For some reason I seem to to be frying challenged. On the recipe card my mom gave me it says, “Fry in oil until browned.” So, I heated up about 2 inches of oil and put in my chimichangas. Immediately it was bubbling and popping like crazy. People were screaming, I couldn’t get close enough to turn them over or get them out, oil was everywhere… it wasn’t pretty. So, I’m not going to give exact directions on how to fry your chimichangas, but if you decide to fry them, just “Fry in oil until browned.”

Update- I recently watched my mom make these perfect chimichangas and I found out her frying secret. First of all, she doesn’t heat up her beans because they get warm in the frying process. Then, she only uses about an inch or less of oil, browns both sides, and only fries one at a time over medium-high heat.

Another Update!!!-You can also bake these. After filling and folding tortillas, place seam side down on greased cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

*Here are the links to my dairy free sour cream and grain free flour tortillas


Gluten free chimichanga on plate

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  • 2 lbs beef for stew
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprikia
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1 8 oz. jar taco sauce
  • 1 C water
  • 2 tsp. salt divided
  • 4 oz. chopped green chilis
  • gluten free tortillas or corn tortillas see link above
  • 1 14 oz. can refried beans

optional ingredients:

  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • dairy free sour cream see link above
  • salsa


  • Stir together meat, shortening, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and taco sauce in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
  • Stir in the water and remaining salt, reduce to low, and cook an additional 1 1/2 hours.
  • Shred the meat with 2 forks, then stir in the chopped green chilis and continue cooking about 5 minutes.
  • Turn crock to keep warm until you are finished making the chimichangas.
  • If using corn tortillas, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Use tongs to transfer tortilla to skillet and cook on both sides about 30 seconds or just until soft. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Then, spread beans and meat on the tortillas. Don't over-fill your tortillas or they won't stay closed!
  • Fold the tortilla over the meat and beans, then fry in oil until browned 🙂 Fry seam side down first.
  • Top with optional toppings. I like to also top mine with some more of the meat mixture.
  • Easy to double or triple for a large crowd.
  • *My crock pot seems to cook faster than other crock pots so adjust time accordingly.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CassidysCraveableCreations or tag #CassidysCraveableCreations!

Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.



this post is part of Gluten Free Fridays

Posted January 27, 2011 by Cassidy in Whats For Dinner? / 9 Comments


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9 responses to “Mom’s Gluten Free Chimichanga Recipe

  1. Bree

    This is a silly question but if I did chicken instead of beef would I still do the two pounds and cook the same way? I’m so excited to try this since my husband is allergic to gluten its always so hard for me to find some new recipes that will please him and my kids. 🙂

    • Hi Bree! I’ve never tried this with chicken so I just don’t know. But I’d imagine you wouldn’t cook it as long or it will dry out. If you give it a try let me know how it works!!!


  2. Bitsy

    I had these and they were delicious but hard to fold. I think tonight I’m going to try them as a casserole instead.

  3. This looks great! I could sub in beans to make it veg! Awesome!! Thanks for the update about baking!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Hope that your week is fantastic!

    Cindy from

  4. Cristie Kalish

    Oh boy, made these last night and all 5 of us 5,14,16,38,40 loved them and fought over the smallest ones leftovers haha. lots of mmmm’s and mom this is awesome’s lol thanks for the recipe definitely a keeper. My 16 yr olds first chimichanga by the way 🙂

    • Cassidy

      Hi Cristie, I’m happy you and your family liked them. I tend to always make them when we are having company and everyone enjoys them 🙂 Thanks for the nice comment.


  5. I found your site off Tasty Kitchen. I dont cook/eat gluten free at all but I have friends who cant have it. I’m gonna let them know about your site too!! : )

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