My family absolutely loves this easy Chicken Chimichangas recipe! A large flour tortilla filled with shredded chicken, refried beans, cheese, salsa and spices, rolled up like a burrito and then pan fried or baked. Served topped with sour cream, guacamole and salsa, this Mexican inspired recipe is delicious!
Chicken chimichanga topped with salsa, sour cream and chopped cilantro with a side of Mexican rice.

I’ve been making variations of this chicken chimichangas recipe for years and we never get sick of it. We’ve passed the basic recipe around to many of our friends and its become a favorite for everyone. Not surprising though because these chimichangas are DELICIOUS! I love how simple they are to make, and how adaptable they are.

What is a chimichanga?

Chimichanga is a Mexican appetizer or entre that includes a tortilla filled with a meat or bean mixture, typically deep fried to make it crispy on the outside. Chimichangas are basically deep-fried burritos. They’re usually served topped with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole, and a side of Mexican rice.

When I make chimichangas, I prefer to bake them or pan fry them in a little bit of oil, because it’s healthier, and I don’t usually have time to go through the effort and mess it takes to deep fry them.

What is the difference between a burrito and a chimichanga?

Both burritos and chimichangas are popular Mexican recipes, and both are wrapped in a large flour tortilla.  The biggest difference between the two dishes is that chimichangas are fried and burritos are not!  Burritos also vary widely in terms of what is placed inside where chimichangas are usually filled with meat, beans, and cheese!

How to make Chimichangas:

Add cooked chicken, refried beans, salsa, cheese and spices to a large mixing bowl and combine until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Divide the filling between the tortillas, placing a big spoonful on top of each. Fold it tightly, pulling the sides in, like a burrito.

Photo process for folding a burrito with chicken filling in it to make chimichangas.

At this point you can choose to bake them, toast them in a skillet, or deep fry them. Each of those methods will allow them to get a little crispy on the outside, just like we want them.

Substitution ideas:

In place of the chicken you could substitute one pound cooked ground beef or ground turkey, steak, or add rice, corn or sautéed veggies to make them vegetarian.

Chicken chimichanga on a plate with a fork cutting into it.

Consider trying these popular Mexican recipes:


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Chicken chimichanga topped with salsa, sour cream and chopped cilantro with a side of Mexican rice.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Save Recipe


  • 2 cups cooked chicken , chopped or shredded
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa , your favorite kind
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves , crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese , cheddar or Mexican blend
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 6 large flour tortillas

For topping:

  • Salsa, sour cream and guacamole , optional


  • Cook chicken breasts in frying pan until tender and no longer pink. Allow to rest for a few minutes before chopping.
  • Add refried beans, chicken, cheese, salsa, spices, and green onions to a mix bowl and mix to combine.
  • Place about ½ cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
  • Fold opposite sides over filling and roll up like a burrito. 
  • For baked chimichangas, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush chimichangas lightly with oil and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • For pan fried chimichangas, heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil to skillet and place chimichangas seam side down. Turn lightly every 2-30 seconds until lightly golden on all sides. 
  • Serve warm, topped with salsa and sour cream and a side of Authentic Mexican Rice .


Calories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 17gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 557mgPotassium: 197mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 440IUVitamin C: 1.2mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 1.6mg

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I first shared this recipe March 2013. Updated May 2018.


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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

4.98 from 247 votes (217 ratings without comment)

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  1. Kids loved it, my whole-wheat tortillas came out a bit dry but contents were scrumptious! I used yoghurt with lemon instead of sour cream and was great!

  2. I’ve been making this for about 10 years. Always a hit. I boil the chicken opposed to pan frying. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    My girlfriend is gluten sensitive so I used wheat free tortillas. Did everything else as you called it and it was good. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Lauren, these were amazing! I’m a senior and not generally successful with Mexican type food, but, your instructions and suggestions were so helpful that I mad a double batch for my son’s family & every one of them asked me to make them again soon!. Good Job!

  5. We loved these! I cooked some and froze the others (wrapped individually in foil and put into a plastic freezer bag). They were delicious. Just let them thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.

  6. 5 stars
    My Grandson had been asking for these. Found your post. He had no problem eating them it was gone in seconds. He gave it five stars.
    Read all the reviews. Sharon get a life.

  7. 5 stars
    We made a few changes – lowered the amount of refried beans, cumin and chili powder, just because of our famiy’s preferences… but they were great! My son had a great idea to also use this to make almost like a taquito – roll them up tightly in the tortillas… we are going to try that next time.

  8. 5 stars
    We LOVE this recipe! Have even shared it with friends and they commented that it tastes even better than a restaurant.

  9. Made today I found them very tasty 😋
    I added a little more oregano,chilli powder
    Will definitely make again.

  10. 1 star
    Not one person in my house liked this recipe. I think it would have been okay if you added 1/4 can of beans or left them out completely. It was refried bean chimichanga with a hint of chicken. Yes, we used more chicken than the recipe said.

    1. I use chicken diced fresh jalapeños, mild Rotel and mexican shredded cheese. No beans. Brush with butter and bake. Top with sour cream fresh tomatoes and guacamole. VERY GOOD

  11. 5 stars
    Made this recipe tonight and not only was it extremely easy, it also turned out delicious! Definitely recommend!

  12. 5 stars
    Thank you for the great recipe! I had tasted chimichangas in a restaurant and really wanted to try out cooking them myself. Came out great, cheers!

  13. 5 stars
    These were great. I didn’t have refried beans so I used chili pinto beans. i Air fried them. I did shredded beef for 1 tray and chicken for the ot he er. Both were a hit.

  14. 5 stars
    Much better than I expected. Such an easy recipe. We ate them for dinner, then I took the leftovers to work for lunch three days in a row. Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can! Thaw overnight in the fridge, then re-toast them in a hot skillet or in the oven.

  15. 5 stars
    My family loved the chimichangas. I added chopped red, orange, and yellow peppers (mild/sweet) for additional flavor. This is a keeper. Thank you

  16. 5 stars
    This one is AMAZING!! I cannot take credit for making it… my best friend follows Tastes Better From Scratch too! She has made this recipe twice for us (we exchange dinners) and it feels like I’m eating at a restaurant!

  17. 5 stars
    Really good. And so easy to make! None ever left over for freezing. I made chicken and beef from this recipe. Mm good👍👍

  18. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe- I always have some in the freezer. I switch up the filling from time to time.

  19. I’m so glad I saw this recipe I used to make these all the time and I forgot about them.. I used to make extra and keep them in the freezer great for quick dinner now I have to make them again. Yummy… And by the way I don’t care if it’s Tex-Mex or where the heck they’re from they taste great they’re easy to make and I can make them ahead and put them in the freezer and most of all my family loves them that’s all I care about

  20. 5 stars
    I was skeptical of the results of this recipe but was suprized at how good they were. Easy recipe to make and results were outstanding. Delicious!

  21. 5 stars
    I made these last night and they were lovely. I had a couple extra so ended up having one (cold) for lunch and, again, it was great! I baked rather than fried them and they tasted superb.

    I’m going to start batch cooking these and freezing them since they are such a simple and filling meal.

  22. Correction please…ANY recipe that uses flour tortillas is Tex-Mex. Mexico did not have access to flour..
    They used corn. Also, recipes using beef, cow’s milk cheese, sour cream, chili, fajitas, and crispy tacos are Tex-Mex. Mexico uses more pork, chicken, and goat, plus goat’s milk cheese. You can verify this with a little research.

    1. 5 stars
      Really? Was that necessary? If we wanted a culinary anthropologist’s opinion we wouldn’t be on a home cooking recipe site. Can’t you just say you liked or didn’t like the recipe?

  23. 5 stars
    Okay, I’ve made this several times and it keeps getting better. Yes, I froze a good portion of the filling and allowed it to return to room temp before filling the tortilla and it was just as good as fresh. Yes, I have also frozen them – I go ahead and fill the tortilla and close it up. I wrap each one individually in foil and freeze in a zip lock. That way I can pull out only what I need. Same thing, thaw in fridge then allow them to come to room temp before cooking. I warmed mine in the toaster oven for about 7 minutes on 200° before browning in skillet with a couple of tablespoons of oil. They cook very fast in the pan so be careful and turn quickly. My daughter cooks them in the oven and she says they’re fantastic, just be sure to turn frequently to brown all sides.
    You can also use a warm tortilla and fill it with warm filling, wrap in foil and take it along as a burrito.
    My husband absolutely loves these little pillows so I always keep some on hand. Thanks for a fantastic and easy recipe!!

  24. 5 stars

  25. 5 stars
    Thank you for making me a hero tonight at dinner. My son has been requesting these for quite some time, which led me to this recipe. I made these tonight at his request and we all loved them. Next time, I know to double the recipe and freeze some for leftovers. Yum!

  26. 5 stars
    These were perfect for a quick dinner this week. Everyone in my family loved them and they’re already asking me to make them again. Thanks.