This fun, quick & easy recipe combines two international cuisines -- Italian flavors wrapped up like a Mexican burrito. A hearty whole grain tortilla, lean chicken, fresh spinach, and a tomato-based sauce combine to make this healthier than your typical chicken Parmesan or burrito. Pair it with a salad, and you've got a delicious, nutritious meal.
This is a Secret Recipe Club (SRC) post. In case you're new to this, here's how it works. Each of the food bloggers participating in the SRC is secretly assigned another food blog. The assignment is to choose a recipe from that blog, make the recipe (or an adaptation of it) and feature it in a post. The blog matches are a secret to the other blogger until reveal day. That day is today! Make sure you read to the end of this post for links to the other participants and their recipes. Someone will be blogging about one of my recipes, but I don't know who. (It's a secret!)
This month, my SRC assignment was to choose a recipe from Connor's Cooking. It's a fun blog by Raina who loves to cook for her friends and family. She is a busy mom who runs a daycare business in her home and still has time to cook and blog about it--admirable at the end of a long day. I had fun browsing Raina's extensive and varied recipes and eventually settled on Italian Burritos, because it looked like a fun way to combine two of my favorite foods, Italian and Mexican. I made a few tweaks to the recipe. Raina used ground beef in hers, and I used shredded chicken. I also threw in some fresh spinach for some additional nutrition and color.
Speed scratching Although I prefer to make everything from scratch most of the time, sometimes I'm too busy or just not in the mood for a lot of cooking. Enter a speed scratch recipe like this one! I have a marinara sauce recipe that I love, but opted to use a good quality store-bought sauce for this recipe. Combining the pre-made sauce with fresh spinach gives it a quick, healthy, homemade touch. I also used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of cooking my own, like I usually do. The speed scratching made it possible to assemble these burritos in 15 minutes. Bake them for 20-30 minutes and dinner is served without breaking a sweat!
Nutritional information for 1 burrito:
364 calories, 10g fat, 32g carbs, 4g fiber, 35g protein
high in potassium, calcium, and vitamins A & C
Weight Watchers PointsPlus = 9 points
You can lower the calories and fat by omitting the melted cheese on top; there's still plenty of flavor for these to taste great without it!
Step-by-step photos for making Chicken Parmesan Burritos
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: marinara or red pasta sauce, fresh spinach, shredded chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, whole grain tortillas or wraps, olive oil (not pictured)
Step 2. Add the shredded chicken and marinara sauce to a pan and stir. Cook on medium-high just until heated throughout. Remove from heat.
Step 3. While the chicken mixture is heating, chop spinach into approx. 1/4 inch shreds. Stir into hot chicken mixture. (No need to cook the spinach--it will cook just enough when the burritos are baked.)
Step 4. Wrap tortillas in a dish towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until soft and pliable.
Step 5. Scoop 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto a tortilla.
Step 6. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese on top of chicken mixture.
Step 7. Roll tortilla, folding in the two ends as you roll.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP: You can assemble the burritos to this point, wrap them in plastic wrap or place in covered container and refrigerate them up to two days ahead. When it's time to bake them, remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before proceeding with the remaining directions.
Step 8. Place rolled burritos, without touching each other, in a greased or sprayed large baking dish. I used two 9x13 baking dishes for 8 burritos.
4 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast, or white and dark meat from rotisserie chicken
1 (24 oz) jar marinara or red pasta sauce
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, cut into 1/4 inch shreds
8 (8-9 inch) whole grain tortillas or wraps
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil or olive oil spray
2 cups grated part skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add chicken and 1 cup marinara sauce to 2-quart pan and heat on medium-high until hot throughout. Remove from heat and stir in spinach shreds. Wrap tortillas in dish towel and heat in microwave for 20-30 second until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture along one side of tortilla. Roll up tortilla lengthwise, folding in each end as you roll. Place seam side down in a large baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Repeat with each tortilla, placing them side-by-side in the baking dish without touching. Bake 15-20 minutes until browned on top. Remove from oven, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top and return to oven for 2-3 minutes until melted. While burritos bake, heat remaining marinara sauce over medium heat until hot, lower heat and keep warm until time to serve. Spoon additional marinara sauce over melted cheese on top of baked burritos.
Enter your email address below and I'll send new recipes from the Yummy Life directly to your inbox (about one per week). I'll also start you off with a free copy of my eBook: 21 amazing and healthy salad and dressing recipes.