Chicken Chimichangas

Chicken Chimichangas are super crispy and oozing with flavor! A shredded chicken and cheese filling tucked inside a crispy, pan-fried shell. These fried burritos are sure to make an impression for parties or a fun dinner night at home.

We love pretty much everything Tex-Mex, our Homemade Taco Meat is in our fridge at all times for making tacos, quesadillas, burritos and more! We love tacos so much we even made this Turkey Taco Meatloaf with all your favorite Tex-Mex flavors!

Chicken Chimichangas on a plate with sour cream drizzle

What Is A Chimichanga?

So who doesn’t know what a chimichanga is? I really didn’t until recently, I assumed it was a burrito of some sort but I wan’t super interested until I learned that they are FRIED. A chimichanga is a fried burrito that’s popular in Tex-Mex cuisines and has become a very popular dinner at my house to say the least.

What can be better than a cheesy, chicken burrito that lightly fried in oil so that the tortilla gets super crispy? Not much my friends, mot much.

You can also use your air fryer to make these chicken chimichangas if you’re looking to save some calories. Oven baking is also an option – we’ve got lots of choices for you!

How To Make Chicken Chimichangas?

Start by grabbing some a rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken you have in your refrigerator. This recipe will use about 4 cus of diced chicken, which is about the amount that you’ll get from a rotisserie chicken.

  1. Make the filling by cooking onion and garlic in a skillet. Add tomato sauce, salsa, refried beans and seasonings.
  2. Fold in the shredded chicken and taste for seasonings. Adjust if needed and then let the filling cool slightly before you start to wrap the chimichangas.
  3. Lay a tortilla on a board and add about a cup of the filling along the center of the tortilla. Top with a good handful of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese and wrap like a burrito.
  4. Pan-fry the burritos seam side down in a skillet with a thin layer of canola oil or vegetable oil on both sides until lightly browned and crispy.
  5. Top with guacamole, salsa and sour cream and serve.

How Do You Fold A Burrito?

Add the filling in a line across the tortilla, leaving a boarder around the edges as you see here.

Fold up the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, tucking in as you go, then fold the sides in and roll to make the burrito, ending with the seam side down.

You can secure the seam with a toothpick before frying, but I don’t really find that it’s necessary as long as you fry the chimichangas with the seam side down first.

Chicken filling with cheese in a tortilla


Try using ground beef, or like we mentioned above, our homemade taco meat would be awesome. Leftover turkey would also work or you can add whole black beans to keep these chimichangas vegetarian.

We’ve even made chimichangas with leftover sliced steak, so really pretty much any protein will work!

Ways To Cook Chimichangas Besides Frying

Instead of frying these chimichangas, which is definitely our method of choice. There are other ways to cook these fried burritos! See the recipe card for more detailed instructions!

Our second choice for cooking method would be an air fryer. Using an air fryer is the closest you’ll get to pan frying these burritos, without using oil.

Our third choice would be to use a regular oven. You can brush oil on the tortillas and bake at a high temperature for a slightly crispy exterior. The tortilla shell will definitely be crispy, just not as crispy as pan-frying or using an air fryer.

Chicken Chimichangas cut on a plate for serving

Serving Chimichangas

After pan frying or using your air fryer to finish these chimichangas, you can top them with all your favorite taco toppings! We love using a sour cream drizzle, guacamole and fresh diced tomatoes. Homemade Pice de Gallo would also be super delicious.

If you need to reheat these chimichangas, the oven or the air fryer is the best way to do it. Of course, giving them a minute or so in the microwave is fine if you don’t mind the tortilla not being as crispy.

chicken chimichangas on a plate with toppings and sour cream drizzle

Looking For More Tex-Mex Inspired Recipes?

Chicken Chimichangas on a plate with sour cream drizzle

Chicken Chimichangas

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Chicken Chimichangas are perfectly crispy and oozing with flavor! A shredded chicken and cheese filling tucked inside a crispy, pan-fried tortilla. A delicious and fun dinner with a Mexican vibe!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 16 ounce can refried beans
  • 4 cups cooked shredded or diced chicken
  • 6 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Carefully pour in the tomato sauce and salsa, stir and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Stir in the refried beans until the filling is smooth. Fold in the chicken and taste for seasonings. Adjust if needed and then let the filling cool.
  3. Lay a tortilla on a board. Add about 3/4 cup of the filling across the center of the tortilla, topped with 1/2 cup of cheese. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the filling, tucking in as you roll. Fold both sides of the tortilla in and complete the roll with the seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas to make 6 burritos.

To Pan Fry:

  1. Add a shallow layer of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chimichangas seam side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Turn the chimichangas over and cook on the other side another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove the chimichangas from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to remove any oil before serving.

To Air Fry:

  1. Spray the basket of an air fryer with non-stick cooking spray. Add as many chimichangas as will fit in a single layer without overlapping. Cook on 400 degrees for 10 minutes, turning over after 5 minutes.

Oven Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and add the chimichangas seam side down. Spray the tops of the chimichangas with an oil cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake another 10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American / Tex-Mex

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