Chicken Chimichangas

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
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These crispy chicken chimichangas with spicy green salsa-chicken filling are just what you need when you’re craving Tex-Mex. With refried beans and melty cheese, making chimichangas at home is way quicker and better than take-out!

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Chimichangas Recipe

Nothing beats the golden crunch of homemade chimichangas with a juicy and tangy chicken filling! Here’s why I know you will love them as much as we do:

  • Quick and Easy: Ready in just three simple steps: simmer the filling, roll them up, and fry away.
  • Better than Take-Out: Loaded with tangy green salsa chicken and lots of gooey cheese, these homemade chimichangas taste better, and are quicker to make, than ordering takeout!
  • Great for Meal-Prep: I like to prep them on Sunday for easy lunches or dinners, or keep them in the freezer for a last-minute meal.

What Are Chimichangas?

Chimichangas are an iconic Tex-Mex dinner. They’re essentially deep-fried burritos with a variety of savory fillings like shredded chicken or beef, with refried beans and cheese. Once ready, fresh toppings like avocado, pico de gallo, and shredded lettuce are added too.

Ingredients for chicken chimichanga recipe, arranged in bowls. From top to bottom: diced tomatoes, shredded chicken, lettuce, frying oil, green chili sauce, salt, Mexican Crema, cilantro, cumin, green chilies, cheddar cheese, limes, refried beans and large tortillas.

Recipe Ingredients

Between the cumin, chili sauce, and toppings, these chimichangas are loaded with Tex-Mex flavors. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.

For the Chimichangas

  • Shredded Chicken: Feel free to use rotisserie chicken.
  • Green Chilis: Canned chilis are great, but fresh ones like jalapeños and serranos work too. I just sauté them until softened.
  • Green Chili Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought sauce or try my favorite homemade salsa verde.
  • Cumin: Taco seasoning is a good swap.
  • Salt: Kosher salt is best.
  • Flour Tortillas: Make sure they’re large or wrap-sized flour tortillas. You won’t be able to roll small ones.
  • Refried Beans: Homemade are best!
  • Cheddar Cheese: Mozzarella, Chihuahua, or any melty Mexican cheese blend will do.
  • Oil: Vegetable, corn, or canola oil can be used for this.

Optional Toppings

Three crispy, golden brown chimichangas topped with with pico de gallo and Mexican crema.

How to Make Chimichangas

If you know how to roll a burrito, you’re already on the other side. Scroll to the recipe card at bottom of the post for full detailed instructions.

  • Filling: Combine the chicken, green chilis, sauce, cumin, and salt in a skillet until hot.
  • Assemble: Spread the saucy shredded chicken, refried beans, and cheese down the center of the tortilla. Carefully fold the left and right sides of the tortilla inward. Roll it up like a burrito, enclosing the filling. Repeat for all the chimichangas.
  • Fry the Chimichangas: Heat oil in a skillet until hot. Lower a chimichanga into the hot oil, with the seam-side facing down. Cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on all sides.
  • Serve: Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Can You Make Chimichangas In The Oven?

Absolutely! Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chimichangas on a baking sheet and lightly grease them with cooking spray on all sides. You can also brush them with oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way through, until golden brown.

Crispy chicken chimichanga with toppings on a plate.

Chef’s Tips & Variations

  • Swap the Protein: Instead of sautéing the chicken in the chiles, use leftover saucy Mexican-inspired meats. For chicken, try this crockpot salsa chicken or chicken Tinga. For beef, I love using chopped carne asada or this easy and spicy taco meat. You also can’t go wrong with juicy carnitas!
  • Add More Veggies: Sauté 1/2 cup peas, diced carrots, or sweet corn and add them to the filling for more texture and flavor.
  • Don’t Over-Fill: Avoid adding too much filling to the chimichangas, otherwise they’ll open-up as they fry. If you can’t roll them up easily, you need to remove a few tablespoons of filling.
  • Breakfast-Style: Made scrambled eggs and mix them into the filling for breakfast chimichangas. Or use these huevos a la Mexicana for even more flavor!

What to Serve with Chicken Chimichangas

These spicy chimichangas are the perfect take-out style dinner. Serve them up with all your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex sides or appetizers!

Sliced chimichanga halves with spicy chicken filling and toppings stacked on top of each other.
Landscape photo of chimichangas.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Chimichangas

This golden, crispy chicken chimichangas recipe is loaded with a spicy green-salsa chicken, refried beans, and melty cheese for a quick and easy Tex-Mex dinner!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients

Optional toppings:

  • Mexican crema, or sour cream
  • Guacamole, or avocado
  • Pico de Gallo, or diced tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Limes

Instructions 

  • In a medium sized skillet, stir to combine the chicken, green chilis, green sauce, cumin and salt together. Heat over medium-heat until hot, stirring as needed, about 4 minutes.
  • Cover the tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Spread some beans down the middle of a tortilla, add a couple tablespoons of the chicken mixture, top with cheese. Fold the sides of the tortilla in and roll up into a burrito. Repeat with the remaining chimichangas.
  • Heat about 1 inch of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Gently place the chimichanga, seam side down into the hot oil. Cook until browned, about 1 minute, then turn and cook on all sides.
  • Repeat with the remaining chimichangas. Serve with your favorite toppings!

Notes

Store Leftovers: Let the chimichangas cool completely before storing. Wrap cooled chimichangas with foil or plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freeze: Wrap each chimichanga in plastic wrap once. Transfer them to a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or reheat them straight from frozen.
Reheat: Microwave them in 30-second increments until warm. If you’re microwaving them straight from frozen, do it 2 minutes at a time until thawed and hot.
Swap the Protein: For chicken, try this crockpot salsa chicken or chicken Tinga. For beef, I love using chopped carne asada or this easy and spicy taco meat. You also can’t go wrong with juicy carnitas!
Add More Veggies: Sauté 1/2 cup peas, diced carrots, or sweet corn and add them to the filling for more texture and flavor.
Don’t Over-Fill: Avoid adding too much filling to the chimichangas, otherwise they’ll open-up as they fry. If you can’t roll them up easily, you need to remove a few tablespoons of filling.
Breakfast-Style: Made scrambled eggs and mix them into the filling for breakfast chimichangas. Or use these huevos a la Mexicana for even more flavor!

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 530mg, Potassium: 191mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 318IU, Vitamin C: 0.04mg, Calcium: 213mg, Iron: 1mg

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Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.