recipe

Chimichangas: the tasty, easy recipe for a popular Tex-Mex dish

Total time: 45 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
Cooked chicken breast, shredded
3 1/2 cups
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp
yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
Tomato sauce
1/2 cup
Chicken broth
1/2 cup
Chili powder
2 1/2 tsp
Cumin
1/2 tsp
Paprika
1/2 tsp
ground coriander
1/4 tsp
Salsa
1/4 cup
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
sour cream, plus extra
2 tbsp
Refried beans
1 3/4 cups
flour tortillas
6
Mexican cheese blend, shredded
5 oz

The next time you're in the mood for a delicious Southwestern dish, why not try making chimichangas? This easy Tex-Mex recipe for deep-fried burritos is always a hit. With perfectly crispy flour tortillas packed with tender, juicy shredded chicken, refried beans, and plenty of melted cheese, each bite is pure bliss.

Chicken chimichangas will delight both adults and kids alike. This recipe is easy to customize, so feel free to experiment with different filling ingredients. For meal planning, chimichangas are a fantastic dish to make ahead and pop in the freezer for a convenient dinner when you're short on time.

What is a Chimichanga?

Pronounced “chim-ee-chahng-guhz”, chimichangas are a delicious, much-loved Tex-Mex recipe for deep-fried burritos. They're popular also among Southwestern US cuisine.

They're made with flour tortillas filled with rice, beans, cheese, meat, or chicken, then fried and served with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

Chimichangas vs. Burritos

Chimichangas are a type of burrito. The main difference is that chimichangas are deep-fried after being assembled, while regular burritos are not fried. Burritos can be eaten by hand, whereas chimichangas are often served on a plate and topped with sour cream, guacamole, and other toppings, then eaten with a knife and fork.

They also have more meat compared to burritos, which tend to be more rice and beans-heavy.

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Chicken Chimichangas Ingredients

Making chimichangas is similar to making burritos. For the filling, you'll need refried beans and some cooked shredded chicken. Leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken are great options.

For the sauce, you'll need tomato, chicken broth, garlic, onion, plus cumin, ground coriander, paprika, and chili powder to give the sauce flavor.

All of this delicious goodness will be packed into a flour tortilla – the larger, the better.

Finally, you'll need oil with a high smoke point like vegetable or canola oil for frying the chimichangas.

As far as garnishes go, you'll want to serve the chimichangas with sour cream, guac, and some salsa.

How to Make Chimichangas

It's super easy to make chimichangas at home. Gather your ingredients, and let's get started!

Making the Filling

To make your chimichanga filling, start by sautéeing your onions until they start browning. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds or so. Next, stir in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, spices, and salsa. Let the sauce start bubbling, then lower the heat to a simmer, stirring until the sauce thickens and reduces by half.

Rolling the Chimichangas

To assemble the chimichangas, pour ¼ cup of the beans into the middle of each tortilla. Top it with 1/3 cup of chicken, followed by three tablespoons of cheese. Tightly fold the tortilla into a burrito, then secure the ends with toothpicks. This will ensure the burritos will keep their shape when you're frying them.

How to Fry Chimichangas

Pour 1-inch of oil into a pot. Heat over medium-high. Use your candy thermometer to know when the oil is hot enough for frying (about 350 to 360F). Lower two burritos into the oil and fry until the bottom is golden brown.

Gently flip them and fry the other side. Set them on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining filled tortillas. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

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Can You Bake Chicken Chimichangas?

For a healthier way to enjoy chimichangas, you can bake them instead of deep frying them. Bake the chimichangas at 425F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Can You Make Chimichangas Ahead of Time?

You can definitely make chimichangas ahead of time. Make the filling and assemble the chimichangas. Wrap them and place them in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two months. When you're ready to enjoy them, go ahead and cook them!

How to Serve Chimichangas

Serve your chicken chimichangas with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chopped cilantro, or hot sauce like Tapatio or Cholula.

Chimichangas go great with a side of Mexican rice, lime-cilantro rice, elotes, or a light salad.

Tips for Making the Best Chimichangas

Use rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken as a filling for your chimichangas for the best flavor. Breast meat and thigh meat are the most flavorful. You can also use shredded beef, shredded pork, or vegetables.

Use homemade or store-bought salsa and refried beans. If the store-bought versions are too thick, thin them out with a little water or chicken broth.

If you're not keen on refried beans, use black beans instead.

Use a candy thermometer to know when the oil is hot enough for frying the chimichangas.

You can make air fryer chimichangas. Cook them at 400F for 4 to 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

How to Store and Reheat Chimichangas

Cooked chicken chimichangas will last for up to 3 days when wrapped and kept in the fridge. Reheat them in the microwave until completely warmed through

Can You Freeze Chimichangas?

Freeze your cooked chimichangas for up to two months. You can also assemble and freeze uncooked chimichangas to enjoy at a later day. They'll stay fresh in the freezer for 2 months.

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Instructions

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.

Stir in tomato sauce.

Pour in the chicken broth.

Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, ground coriander, and salsa.

Pour in the sour cream. Once the sauce begins bubbling, reduce to a simmer, stirring until the sauce thickens and reduces by half. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken. Mix.

Pour ¼ cup of beans into the center of each tortilla.

Place two scoops of the chicken mixture over the beans.

Top with 3 tablespoons of cheese.

Tightly fold the tortilla into a burrito shape.

Secure the ends with toothpicks.

Pour 1-inch of oil into a pot. Heat over medium-high. Gently lower two burritos into the oil and fry until the bottom is golden brown. Flip them and repeat.

Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining filled tortillas.

Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and any other desired garnishes.

Notes

For frying the chimichangas, use any high smoke point neutral oil. Try vegetable, canola, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.

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