Chicken Chimichangas (Air Fryer or Baked)
Chimichangas, deep-fried burritos popular in Tex-Mex cuisine, are seriously delicious, but usually dripping in grease and loaded with calories. These lighter chicken, green chile, and pepper Jack cheese Chimichangas are a much healthier twist on the classic.
I’m excited to share a recipe from The Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook: The 75 Best Healthy Recipes for Your Air Fryer to give you a sneak peak of what’s inside!
When I was testing these chimichangas for my cookbook, Tommy was a very happy man. They are really so delicious, and come together pretty quick. They are great to make anytime you have leftover chicken.
To simplify this for a quick weeknight meal, I used the breast of a cooked rotisserie chicken but you can make your own shredded chicken in the slow cooker by covering the chicken breast with broth and cooking them on high 3 to 4 hours. To finish them, they are delicious with a dollop of sour cream, pico de gallo and avocado.
How To Make Chimichangas
Start with a large tortilla and fill them with your favorite fillings. Chicken, beef, shredded pork are all great options. Then add some cheese and your favorite salsa, and roll them up like a burrito. Spritz them with oil then bake them in the oven or in your air fryer (my favorite method!) until crisp. Top them with salsa and sour cream and enjoy!
What’s the difference between a burrito and a chimichanga?
The main difference between a burrito and a chimichangas is that chimichangas are usually deep fried; it’s essentially a deep-fried burrito. This results in a crisp tortilla, which is easy to achieve in the air fryer without all the excess oil.
What to serve with Chicken Chimichangas
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Chicken Chimichangas (Air Fryer or Baked)
For The Pico de Gallo
- 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 3 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For The Chimichangas
- 12 ounces shredded leftover or rotisserie chicken breast
- Juice of 1/2 navel orange
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 can (4 oz) mild diced green chiles, drained
- 4 low-carb whole wheat tortillas (I used La Tortilla Factory, 7- to 8-inches each
- 1/2 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese, 2 oz total
- Olive oil spray
- 3 cups shredded lettuce
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 4 ounces avocado, from 1 small Hass, diced
- For the pico de gallo: In a small bowl, combine the tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
- For the chimichangas: In a large bowl, combine the chicken, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and drained chiles. Mix well to incorporate.
- On a work surface, working with one at a time, place one-quarter of the chicken mixture (almost 3/4 cuonto the bottom third of a tortilla. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Lift the edge nearest you and wrap it around the filling. Fold the left and right sides in toward the center and continue to roll into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down, and repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Lightly spray all sides of the chimichangas with oil. Place 2 of the chimichangas seam side down in the air fryer basket. (Make sure each chimichanga is tightly wrapped and seam side down in the basket or it will open during cooking.) Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden and crisp. (For a toaster oven–style air fryer, cook at 350°F; the timing remains the same.) Repeat with the remaining chimichangas.
- To serve: Place 3/4 cup shredded lettuce on each plate. Place a chimichanga on top, along with 2 tablespoons pico de gallo, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 ounce avocado. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
- To bake in the oven, bake in a preheated oven 400F 18 to 20 minutes.