Chicken Chimichanga

5 from 1 vote
2 Comments

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These crispy chicken chimichangas are always a hit at dinnertime. Try them deep fried, air fried, or oven baked.

Large Chicken Chimichanga on a plate with toppings.

Chimichangas have always been a weakness of mine. When I was growing up, there was a Taco Time up the street from where I lived. It was the only restaurant within walking distance of our house. My friends and I were so smitten with their chimichangas that we would save up our babysitting money, ride our bikes to Taco Time, and order them all the time! They were my favorite food for the longest time. There’s something about the hot, crispy, golden shell on the fried burrito filled with deliciousness, topped with cool sour cream, pico de gallo on the side. Chimichangas are decadent and flavorful, crisp and delicious. They are a classic!

Chimichangas vs Burritos

Chimichangas have the familiar fillings of a burrito, which make the two dishes similar. Both contain things like beans, cheese, shredded chicken, pork, or ground beef. The difference is that a chimichanga is deep-fried. Frying the burrito turns the flour tortilla into a crispy outer shell.

Ingredients to make Chicken Chimichangas including extra large tortillas, Mexican shredded chicken, refried beans, cheese, cilantro, lime and tomatoes.


Chimichanga Ingredients

  • Mexican Shredded Chicken – This is my favorite chicken to use because it is easy to make and super flavorful. You can also make a batch and freeze it, using it for recipes like this.
  • Refried beans – I love using our homemade refried beans recipe, but canned refried beans work great too! You can doctor up canned refried beans with a little chicken stock or bouillon.
  • Cheese – I typically use cheddar, but you can also use Mexican blend, Monterey Jack cheese, or shredded Oaxaca.
  • Toppings and Garnishes – diced onion, sauce (queso, jalapeno ranch, salsa), sour cream, pico de gallo, jalapenos, guacamole, sliced lime.
Three fried Chicken Chimichangas on a paper towel on a baking dish.

How to Make Chicken Chimichangas

  • To start, heat your oil to 375℉ because we will be frying the burritos.
  • To begin assembling the chimichanga, lay out a plain, extra large tortilla and spread ½ cup of refried beans in the middle of the tortilla, leaving about 2-3 inches empty on the sides, you don’t want the mixture to overflow out of the burrito and into the fryer.
  • Next, put about ¾ cup of Mexican shredded chicken on top of the refried beans and sprinkle cheese on top, again, being conservative so it won’t overflow out of the burrito.
  • To start rolling up the burrito, fold the tortilla over the fillings and then fold both sides toward the middle. It’s not as hard as it seems!
  • Finish making your burrito by rolling up the tortilla to create a burrito shape.
  • Carefully put your freshly made burritos in the hot oil and fry chimichanga for 4-5 minutes turning over half way for all the sides to get fried to a deep golden brown.
  • Using tongs, place on a paper towel to cool.
  • Finally, serve with your favorite toppings!

Recipe Variations

Shredded Beef Chimichangas – Try this with our popular Mexican shredded beef instead of chicken. You’ll love the different flavor and texture. The flavor of the beef is amazing and goes perfectly with this dish.

Shredded Pork Chimichangas – Another popular variation, try our sweet pork, based on the Cafe Rio recipe, for a delicious chimichanga you’ll love!

Make it Spicy – Add diced raw jalapeños or green chiles for a spicy version that will have you sweating.

Use a Rotisserie Chicken – Shred up a rotisserie chicken and season it with cumin, chili powder, and a little paprika for a quick version of shredded chicken. If you want more spices, try adding some of a taco seasoning packet.

Cut in half Chicken Chimichanga with sour cream drizzled on top and cilantro.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Oven Baked:

Preheat your oven to 400 and brush the uncooked chimichanga with oil. Place the chimichanga seam side down on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until it is as brown and as crispy as you desire.

Air Fryer:

Preheat your air fryer to 400 and brush the uncooked chimichanga with oil. Once preheated, place the chimichanga inside and cook about 5 minutes. Flip the chimichanga and cook and additional 3 or so minutes.

Ask anyone, Mexican food is one of my ultimate favorite cuisines! Here are some of my favorite Mexican recipes:

The BEST Guacamole Ever
Quesabirria Tacos
Shredded Pork Tostadas
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Large Chicken Chimichanga on a plate with toppings.

Chicken Chimichanga

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 deep fryer

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat oil to 375℉.
  • Spread ½ cup of refried beans in the middle of a flour tortilla leaving about 2-3 inches empty on the sides.
    Refried beans spread on a flour tortilla.
  • Spread about ¾ cup of Mexican shredded chicken on top of the refried beans and sprinkle cheese on top.
    Cheddar cheese on top of chicken and refried beans on a flour tortilla.
  • Fold tortilla over the fillings then fold both sides toward the middle.
    Folding a flour tortilla.
  • Roll up the tortilla to create a burrito shape.
    Rolled chicken chimichanga.
  • Fry chimichanga in the hot oil for 4-5 minutes turning over half way for all the sides to get fried to a deep golden brown. Using tongs place on a paper towel to cool.
    Three fried Chicken Chimichangas on a paper towel on a baking dish.
  • Serve with your choice of toppings like sour cream, cilantro, guacamole, salsa, lettuce and tomatoes.
    Chicken Chimichanga with sour cream drizzled on top and cilantro resting on a plate with lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole.

Notes

It’s important to use the extra large tortillas for this recipe because the tortilla will puff up while it’s frying and you want to keep the insides from coming out. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 432kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 40gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1.165mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 332IUCalcium: 237mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

    1. We haven’t tried it, but if I was going to try it I would give each burrito a quick spray with avocado cooking oil and then air fry at ~360 for maybe 10 minutes? It depends on your air fryer!