Chicken Chimichangas are straight up comfort food the whole family will love. Tortillas are layered with refried beans, seasoned shredded chicken and cheese, then they’re wrapped and fried for a perfectly crisp, oh so satisfying texture!
Chicken Chimichangas Recipe
Super classy recipe, I know. I’ve said this before, but I really don’t eat very “classy.” When I was trying to think of a food-related blog name (back when I started this blog) it seemed like all the good ones were taken so Cooking Classy was the best I could come up with.
I know chimichangas aren’t exactly classy and they are super hard to make look pretty, but these chicken chimichangas taste amazing! And if there is one thing I know how to make, it’s a perfectly fried homemade chimichanga.
Growing up, I lived on bean and cheese chimichangas (honestly, I don’t know if that would even be considered a chimichanga or just a fried bean and cheese burrito, but either way I’m hooked on those). My mom would make homemade chimichangas a lot because they were so quick and easy.
What is a Chimichanga?
Chimichangas are a popular Tex-Mex dish that are made by filling a tortilla with meat, beans, cheese, and other ingredients and then rolling it up burrito-style and frying it. Chimichangas are especially popular in Arizona, and I highly recommend trying one if you ever find yourself in that part of the country!
Chicken Chimichanga Ingredients
For this homemade chimichanga recipe, you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Tomato sauce
- Chicken broth
- Spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, ground coriander)
- Sour cream
- Refried beans
- Flour tortillas
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Shredded cheese
- Guacamole (for serving)
How to Make Chimichangas
- Saute onion and garlic until tender.
- Add tomato sauce, water, spices, and salsa to the same skillet and simmer until thickened.
- Stir in sour cream and chicken.
- Layer the tortillas with refried beans, chicken and cheese, then fold to form burrito.
- Fry chicken chimichangas in batches until golden brown.
- Serve immediately with guacamole and your favorite toppings.
Can I Use Corn Tortillas Instead?
I’m not sure how well corn tortillas would hold the chimichanga filling, or if they’d be big enough to even make a chicken chimichanga. If possible, I recommend using burrito-sized flour tortillas for this recipe.
Can I Use Another Meat in This Recipe?
Definitely! With this chimichanga recipe, I decided to use chicken but they’d also be really good with shredded beef (or another meat of your choice).
Tips for the Best Chimichangas
- If you wanted to make these chimichangas a little healthier, you could brush them with butter or oil and bake them in the oven (at 400 degrees F for 10 – 12 minutes on each side until golden brown).
- Most of the time I use half extra virgin olive oil and half vegetable oil to fry chimichangas (just be careful the oil doesn’t get too hot and use a lower temp), so that’s another slightly healthier option.
- If you use store-bought refried beans in this recipe, you may want to add a tablespoon or so of water to thin them out a bit.
More Easy Mexican Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Pozole Soup
- Chicken, Guacamole, and Bean Tostadas
- Ocen Roasted Chicken Tacos
These are straight up comfort food the whole family will love! Tortillas are layered with refried beans, seasoned shredded chicken and cheese then they're wrapped and fried for a perfectly crisp, oh so satisfying texture!
- 3 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts*
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 cup salsa (bottled or fresh)
- 2 Tbsp sour cream, plus more for topping
- 1 3/4 cups refried beans, homemade or store bought*
- 6 burrito size flour tortillas
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 5 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend (1 1/4 cups)**
- Guacamole and diced tomatoes, for serving
Heat olive oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add onion and saute until slightly golden and tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
Add in tomato sauce, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander and salsa. Bring just to a bubble, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened and reduced by about half and onions are tender, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in sour cream and toss in chicken.
Spread a lightly heaping 1/4 cup refried beans onto the center of each tortilla, leaving about a 2 1/2-inch border to the edge of tortilla. Layer with each with 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture and top with 3 Tbsp shredded cheese. Fold the sides in then snuggly fold bottom side up and roll to wrap, fasten end with toothpicks.
Fill a pot with about 1-inch of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360 - 365 degrees. Once oil is hot , add two filled tortillas and fry until golden brown on bottom then using metal tongs, carefully rotate to opposite side and cook until golden brown on opposite side.
Remove and drain on paper towels, remove toothpicks. Repeat frying in two more batches with remaining chimichangas.
Serve warm topped with guacamole, diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, salsa or hot sauce.
*I like to use a large rotisserie chicken but you can also start with 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts and cook then shred.
If using canned, I'd highly recommend stirring in a few tablespoons of water to thin them out. I used homemade but canned works fine too.
**I just used half monterey jack and half cheddar, but a pre-shredded Mexican blend works fine too.
Nutritional estimate does not include toppings.