Why You May Want To Skip The Chimichangas At Mexican Restaurants

If you're looking for something savory and filling, a chimichanga is a delicious option. It's filled with hearty ingredients like meat, rice, beans, and cheese. Some fans of the dish choose to fill their chimichangas with Mexican-style yellow rice, while others stick with classic white rice. You can also choose to add any type of bean style from refried to pinto. And while it's similar to a burrito, what ultimately makes a chimichanga unique is that it's deep-fried to perfection, giving it a crispy exterior and a warm and gooey interior.

However, this deep-fried meal is not considered authentically Mexican. Options like fajitas, nachos, or any meals that feature black beans, wheat flour, and yellow cheese are considered Tex-Mex, according to Twisted Taco. This type of style originated at Texas restaurants to entice local residents that preferred these kinds of ingredients. 

Founder and CEO of Chef's Satchel, Firoz Thanawalla, told Insider he recommends skipping the dish altogether.

They lack flavor and are loaded with calories

Mexican food is one of those cuisines that has something for everyone. Whether it's carne asada burritos, smoked chicken tacos, or just plain chips and salsa, there's a lot to love. Given the variety of options, chef Thanawalla recommends avoiding eating chimichangas at a restaurant, via Insider.

"Chimichangas can be juicy. But often, when deep-fried, the chimichanga loses most of its flavor," he explained. "Most of the taste is derived from the cheesy sauce it is topped with. They are definitely not worth the calories."

According to Food Network, the average restaurant chimichanga has a whopping 760 calories, 34 grams of fat, and 1,930 milligrams of salt. To put that into perspective, the American Heart Association recommends women and men have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium in a day. So, you're essentially almost at your limit after only having one meal.

Instead, Eat This, Not That! suggests ordering items like grilled fish tacos or soft chicken tacos at a Mexican restaurant. And if you're looking to skip the meat altogether, they recommends ordering a vegetarian burrito with brown rice, fresh black beans, and salsa, instead of sour cream, and loading up on healthy veggies like spinach and peppers. This way, you'll satisfy your craving for flavorful Mexican food without all of the calories that come from a chimichanga.