Chicken chimichangas are a popular Tex-Mex dish, but can be heavy and high in calories. These air fried chicken chimichangas are lightened up but still crispy and absolutely delicious!
I’m really excited to bring to you today these air fried chicken chimichangas for two reasons:
- I absolutely love any recipe that gives me an excuse to use my air fryer.
- I have had chimichangas on my list of things to air fry since I got my air fryer over a year ago!
My friends got me an air fryer for my birthday last year and, if I’m being honest, it has changed my life. I’m not even being dramatic.
I use my air fryer almost every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. It is compact, doesn’t make your kitchen super hot, gets everything nice and crispy AND it is way healthier than traditional frying.
I highly recommend everyone own an air fryer. I own the Cuisinart Compact AirFryer and I would recommend it. However, please note that I have not used or tested any other air fryers.
Here are some pros and cons to the Cuisinart Compact AirFryer, many of which apply to air fryers in general.
- Good value for the money.
- Compact. Takes up about as much space as a toaster oven.
- Doubles as a toaster oven so you don’t need both appliances.
- Has a large flat basket so you can cook food in a single layer.
- Very easy to use.
- Relatively quiet.
- Food comes out deliciously crispy!
- Not ideal for large recipes as food would need to be cooked in multiple batches.
- The time and temperature are set with dials, so it is difficult to set an exact time/temperature.
Many air fryers on the market today offer multiple functions, such as fry, bake, toast and dehydrate. If you are on the fence about whether you will use an air fryer, I recommend getting one with multiple functions to reduce the number of appliances you have in your kitchen. And if you are STILL on the fence…
What to Air Fry:
- potato wedges
- French fries
- sweet potato fries
- bacon and turkey bacon
- chicken nuggets
- chicken fingers
- chicken parmesan
- eggplant parmesan
- coconut shrimp
- cauliflower gnocchi
- vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, summer squash, etc.
- mozzarella sticks
- cauliflower wings
- to toast bread, English muffins, etc.
- to reheat pizza
- and obviously, chimichangas
Okay, enough gushing about air fryers. I think you get the point. Moving on to the chimichangas.
Air Fried Chicken Chimichangas
Chimichangas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes. However, they are traditionally deep fried, and therefore not the healthiest choice! Air frying chimichangas vs deep frying them saves on tons of oil and added fat!
Like I said, I’ve had them on my list since I got my air fryer and finally, I made them for Cinco de Mayo. They were so good, we had them twice in one week! We served them with Mexican rice/cauliflower rice and strawberry margaritas, so delicious!
These chimichangas are filled with:
- Slow cooked chicken
- Cheese: I like to use a shredded Mexican blend
- Chipotle peppers: optional, but they add a great smoky flavor.
- Green chilies
- Spices: chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder
Everything is wrapped in large tortillas of your choice and then topped with:
- Avocado crema (recipe included)
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime juice
This recipe starts with the chicken. Combine with a jar of your favorite salsa in a slow cooker and set to low for 6-8 hours. The chicken will get extremely tender and easily shred with two forks.
In a bowl, combine the shredded chicken, cheese, chopped chipotle peppers, green chilies and spices. Place about 1/2 cup of the filling close to one edge of the tortilla. Fold closest edge over filling, fold in both sides, then roll the rest of the way up.
Place chimichangas seam side down on air fryer rack. Spray tops and sides of chimichangas with oil spray and air fry until golden and crispy.
For the crema, simply combine plain greek yogurt with avocado, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth!
Side Dishes to go with Chicken Chimichangas
- Simmered and seasoned black beans
- Mexican street corn
- Refried beans
- Mexican rice or Mexican cauliflower rice
- Chips and salsa and/or guacamole
- Margaritas (actually, this one is a must)
Tips and FAQ
- Use burrito size tortillas that are 7 to 8 inches in diameter
- Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before stuffing. This will make them more pliable.
- Place chimichanga seam side down on air fryer basket to help them stay wrapped.
- If the chimichanga won’t stay wrapped or tries to open while cooking, you can keep it together with a toothpick or small skewer.
- Make the crema as close to serving as possible as the avocado in it will brown over time.
- Check the chimichangas every few minutes. They can go from perfectly crispy to burnt very quickly!
- Chicken: If you have rotisserie or leftover cooked chicken, feel free to use it!
- Chipotle Peppers: You can omit the chipotle peppers if you do not like the spice/taste.
- Tortillas: Use your favorite type, such as flour, corn, or flour alternative, just make sure they are burrito size.
- Crema: You can use sour cream instead of greek yogurt.
- Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Copycat Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
- Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Coconut Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Rice and Mango Salsa
As always, if you make this recipe please let me know by commenting and rating below. If you take a picture, tag me on Instagram @thechowdown. I love seeing your recreations!
Air Fried Chicken Chimichangas
- 2 chicken breasts
- 16 oz salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheese cheddar or mexican blend
- 4 oz green chilies
- 6-8 chipotles in adobo diced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 4 large tortillas
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Combine chicken breasts and jar of salsa in a slow cooker. Set to low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, let cool for 5 minutes, then shred with two forks.
- In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, 2 tbsp salsa from slow cooker, shredded cheese, chipotle peppers, green chilies and spices.
- Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in a rectangle close to one edge of tortilla. Fold closest edge over mixture, then fold in the two sides and roll up.
- Place chimichangas seam side down on air fryer rack. Spray with oil and air fry at 425 for 7-8 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
- For the avocado crema, combine greek yogurt, avocado, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
[…] my tacos with a side of mango crema, which is a spin on the delicious avocado crema I made with my air fried chicken chimichangas. This is completely optional, but all you have to do is blend together mango, yogurt, lime juice, […]