Chicken Chimichangas

10.24.2013

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!

three chicken chimichangas topped with guacamole

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
  • Garlic
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chicken broth
  • Spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, ground coriander)
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Refried beans
  • Flour tortillas
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Guacamole (for serving)

Chicken Chimichangas sliced in half on plate with guacamole on top

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:

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Chicken Chimichangas

5 from 1 vote

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!

Servings: 6
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Remove and drain on paper towels, remove toothpicks. Repeat frying in two more batches with remaining chimichangas.

  6. Serve warm topped with guacamole, diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, salsa or hot sauce.

Recipe Notes

*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.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Chimichangas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 582 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 97mg32%
Sodium 1410mg61%
Potassium 688mg20%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 39g78%
Vitamin A 840IU17%
Vitamin C 4.3mg5%
Calcium 265mg27%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chimichangas
Calories: 582 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

39 comments

  • Tiffany: HOLY COW!!! I made these last night, along with your Mexican rice, and let me say it was BETTER than our local Mexican restaurant!! My kids and hubby gobbled them up. Leftovers today for lunch were just as good. I had one left for my mom to eat for lunch, and she said she felt like she should leave me a tip! Thank you for the excellent recipe!! December 4, 2017 at 11:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Tiffany! So glad you loved them! December 4, 2017 at 11:36am Reply

  • Monique: Jaclyn – I made these last weekend and although they weren’t the prettiest looking meal (it was my first time frying…I will get better!), these were absolutely divine. And they even tasted better as left overs! Thank you for such a delicious recipe. My family really enjoyed this one! January 15, 2016 at 7:12pm Reply

  • jamie: Have you ever tried to make them ahead of time up to the point of frying and then just fry them later? i’m debating it but i didn’t know if it’d end in disaster!!! June 3, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I always do that with chimichangas, not these specifically but it shouldn’t be a problem at all. June 3, 2015 at 9:46pm Reply

      • Tayla: These look delicious! When you make them in advance, do you freeze them, or just make them like a day or 2 ahead and leave them in the fridge till ready to cook? September 29, 2016 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Amber: Best Chimichangas ever!! Have been loving your recipes. Wish you had a cookbook :-) January 5, 2015 at 6:59pm Reply

  • chelsea: How do you make your guacamole? It looks fantastic! March 30, 2014 at 12:59pm Reply

  • janet: Can these be baked vs. fried?

    Thanks, Janet March 29, 2014 at 6:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, if you read the post above (the paragraphs between photos) it will mention how to do that. Hope you love them! March 29, 2014 at 9:30am Reply

  • Kathryn George: Hi Jacklyn, we made these just before Christmas as a “to-go” while we walked the Christmas lights. Once again your recipe was a HIT. Our family has been “blessed” at the table by your website. From Lasagna, to Soups, to tacos and now Chimi’s your recipes are batting a 1000 at this house (lots of ball players here :)). Thanks for all the time you put into each post….Each recipe has accompanied me on the counter on the iPad and Cooking Classy is now my best friend in the kitchen.

    Thanks! December 26, 2013 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed my site Kathryn!! Thanks so much for letting me know :). January 12, 2014 at 9:11pm Reply

  • Emily: Made these last night! They were delicious!! Thanks for another great recipe! :-) November 21, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked these Emily! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment! November 21, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

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