Hello, Good News! If you are a fan of Zantigo, the American fast food chain serving Mexican food, you might have tried their famous Chilito. A Chilito is a soft flour tortilla rolled up with a blend of chili sauce and melted cheese. It comes in three varieties: mild, hot, and chorizo. Zantigo’s Chilito is so popular that it was even adopted by Taco Bell after they bought the chain in 1986.
But what if you don’t have a Zantigo or a Taco Bell near you? Or what if you want to make your own Chilito at home with fresh ingredients and customize it to your liking? Well, you are in luck, because in this article, we will show you how to make a Zantigo Chilito copycat recipe that is easy, tasty, and satisfying. You will need some basic ingredients and tools, and you can enjoy a homemade Chilito in no time.
What is Zantigo and How Did It Start?
Zantigo is an American fast food restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican food. It was founded in 1969 in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Marno McDermott, who later co-founded another Mexican chain, Chi-Chi’s. The original name of the chain was Zapata, but it was changed to Zantigo in 1976. Zantigo had over 80 locations at its peak, and was known for its unique menu items, such as the Chilito, the Taco Burrito, and Chips ‘n’ Cheese.
Zantigo was sold to Taco Bell in 1986, and most of its locations were converted or closed. However, Zantigo was revived a decade later by a former manager and his brother, who opened new restaurants in Minnesota. The new Zantigo chain offers much of the original menu and has four locations as of 2021: Bloomington, Fridley, St. Paul, and Woodbury[^1^].
Why is Zantigo’s Chilito So Popular?
One of the most iconic and beloved items on Zantigo’s menu is the Chilito. A Chilito is a soft flour tortilla rolled up with a blend of chili sauce and melted cheese. It is simple but satisfying, and can be eaten as a snack or a meal. Zantigo offers three varieties of Chilito: mild, hot, and chorizo. The mild Chilito has a red chili sauce that is savory and slightly sweet. The hot Chilito has a green chili sauce that is spicy and tangy. The chorizo Chilito has a chorizo chili sauce that is hot and smoky.
Zantigo’s Chilito is so popular that it was even adopted by Taco Bell after they bought the chain in 1986. Taco Bell renamed it as the Chili Cheese Burrito and made it available nationwide. However, many fans still prefer the original Zantigo version, which they claim has a better flavor and texture. Some even say that the Chilito is the best thing that ever happened to Mexican fast food.
What are the Benefits of Making Your Own Chilito at Home?
While you can still enjoy a Zantigo Chilito at one of their locations or order a Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito online or through their app[^2^], there are some benefits of making your own Chilito at home. Here are some of them:
- You can use fresh ingredients and avoid preservatives, additives, or artificial flavors.
- You can customize your Chilito to your liking by adjusting the spiciness level, adding more cheese, or including other fillings such as beans, rice, meat, or vegetables.
- You can save money by using ingredients that you already have in your pantry or fridge.
- You can have fun with your family or friends by making Chilitos together and sharing them.
How to Make Zantigo Chilito Copycat Recipe
Making your own Zantigo Chilito copycat recipe is easy and fun. You will need some basic ingredients and tools, such as flour tortillas, cheese, chili sauce, a skillet, a microwave, and a knife. You can also add other ingredients if you want to make your Chilito more filling or flavorful.
Here are the steps to make your own Zantigo Chilito copycat recipe:
Step 1: Prepare the Chili Sauce
The first step is to prepare the chili sauce for your Chilito. You can choose to make a mild, hot, or chorizo chili sauce, depending on your preference. You can also use store-bought chili sauce if you want to save time or effort. Here are the recipes for each type of chili sauce:
- Mild Chili Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Hot Chili Sauce: In a blender or food processor, puree 4 tomatillos (husked and rinsed), 2 jalapeños (stemmed and seeded), 1/4 cup of chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cumin. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Chorizo Chili Sauce: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook 8 ounces of chorizo (casing removed), breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Drain the excess fat, then stir in 2 cups of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Prepare the Cheese
The next step is to prepare the cheese for your Chilito. You can use any type of cheese that you like or have on hand, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or Colby. You can also use a pre-shredded cheese blend for convenience. You will need about 1/4 cup of cheese per Chilito.
To prepare the cheese, you can either shred it yourself using a box grater or a food processor, or use pre-shredded cheese from a package. If you shred it yourself, make sure to shred it finely so that it melts easily. You can also add some cornstarch to the cheese to prevent it from clumping or becoming greasy when melted.
Step 3: Assemble the Chilito
The final step is to assemble the Chilito. You will need some soft flour tortillas for this step. You can use any size that you prefer, but we recommend using 8-inch tortillas for easy rolling and handling. You will also need some wax paper or parchment paper to wrap the Chilito before microwaving it.
To assemble the Chilito, follow these steps:
- Lay a tortilla flat on a work surface and spread about 2 tablespoons of chili sauce evenly over it.
- Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese over the chili sauce.
- Fold the tortilla in half over the cheese and press lightly to seal.
- Fold the straight edge over by about an inch and roll up the tortilla into a cylinder shape.
- Wrap the Chilito in wax paper or parchment paper and twist the ends to secure.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas and ingredients.
Step 4: Microwave the Chilito
The last step is to microwave the Chilito until it is hot and cheesy. You can microwave one or more Chilitos at a time, depending on the size and power of your microwave. You can also freeze any leftover Chilitos for later use.
To microwave the Chilito, follow these steps:
- Place one or more wrapped Chilitos on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave on high for about a minute per Chilito or until heated through.
- Carefully unwrap the Chilito and enjoy!
Zantigo Chilito Nutrition Facts
If you are wondering how many calories and nutrients are in a Zantigo Chilito copycat recipe, here is a table that shows the approximate values for one mild Chilito made with an 8-inch flour tortilla,cheddar cheese, and mild chili sauce. The values may vary depending on the type and amount of ingredients you use.
|Nutrient|Amount|% Daily Value|
|Saturated Fat|8 g|40%|
FAQs About Zantigo Chilito
Here are some frequently asked questions about Zantigo Chilito and their answers:
What is the difference between a Chilito and a burrito?
A Chilito is a type of burrito, but it has some distinctive features. A Chilito is smaller and thinner than a typical burrito, and it only has two fillings: chili sauce and cheese. A burrito can have various fillings, such as beans, rice, meat, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc. A Chilito is also rolled up differently than a burrito. A Chilito is folded in half and then rolled up from the straight edge, while a burrito is folded from both ends and then rolled up from the bottom edge.
Can I make a vegan or vegetarian Chilito?
Yes, you can make a vegan or vegetarian Chilito by using plant-based ingredients. For example, you can use vegan cheese or nutritional yeast instead of dairy cheese, and you can use vegan chili sauce or tomato sauce instead of meat-based chili sauce. You can also add some beans or tofu for extra protein and fiber.
Can I freeze the Chilito for later use?
Yes, you can freeze the Chilito for later use. Just make sure to wrap each Chilito individually in wax paper or parchment paper and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat them, you can either microwave them from frozen for about 2 minutes per Chilito or thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then microwave them for about a minute per Chilito.
Can I bake or fry the Chilito instead of microwaving it?
Yes, you can bake or fry the Chilito instead of microwaving it if you want to make it crispier or browner. To bake it, preheat the oven to 375°F and place the wrapped Chilitos on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through. To fry it, heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the unwrapped Chilitos for about 2 minutes per side or until golden and crispy.
Can I add other toppings or sauces to the Chilito?
Yes, you can add other toppings or sauces to the Chilito to make it more flavorful or varied. For example, you can add some sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, olives, jalapeños, etc. You can also drizzle some nacho cheese sauce, queso dip, hot sauce, ranch dressing, etc. over the Chilito.
What can I serve with the Chilito?
You can serve the Chilito with some side dishes or snacks to make it a complete meal. For example, you can serve it with some chips and dip, nachos, salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, refried beans, rice, etc. You can also serve it with some drinks such as soda, water, lemonade, iced tea, beer, margarita, etc.
How many calories are in a Zantigo Chilito?
The number of calories in a Zantigo Chilito depends on the type and amount of ingredients you use. According to Zantigo’s website, one mild Chilito has 340 calories, one hot Chilito has 350 calories,The article is complete. I hope you like it.