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Air Fryer Chimichangas

Get the crispiest shells ever with these easy air fryer chimichangas! There’s one little trick that’s so simple but makes all the difference, and all you need is a little oil.

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Air fried chimichanga served with sour cream and chunks of tomato and avocado.

Want to know the secret to get the shells on your air fryer chimichangas so crispy, it’ll taste like they’re deep fried? This one little tip is about to change how you make chimichangas forever!

The key to turning a good chimichanga into a great one is a simple step right before air frying: brushing the top with oil!

It only takes a few seconds, but it’s the key to mimicking that deep-fried chimichanga texture we all crave.

Personally, I think a super crispy shell defines a true chimichanga. Otherwise, you might as well be eating a burrito, right? 

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And when that crispy shell is filled with flavorful shredded chicken, savory refried beans, and plenty of melty pepperjack, every bite is like a fiesta for your tastebuds!

This super easy recipe is exactly what you need for your next Mexican-inspired feast.

Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.

Air Fryer Chimichanga Ingredients

  • Shredded chicken
  • Salsa
  • Green chilies
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Large tortillas
  • Refried beans
  • Shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Olive oil
Chimichanga ingredients in clear bowls, next to a stack of tortillas.

How to Make Air Fryer Chimichangas

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, salsa, chilies, chili powder, cumin, and salt, then set aside.

Chicken, spices, and other ingredients in a bowl.

STEP THREE: Divide the refried beans, cheese, and chicken mixture evenly into the 4 tortillas, then roll into tight burrito-shaped wraps.

Chicken filling added added on top of beans and cheese in center of tortilla.
Air fryer chicken chimichangas on a plate.

STEP FOUR: Place each chimichanga seam-side down into the preheated air fryer, then brush the top with oil. I like to spritz it using an EVO Oil Sprayer for ease.

Two chimichangas in air fryer basket.

STEP FIVE: Air fry chimichangas for 5 minutes or until the filling is warmed through and the tortillas are crisped on the outside.

Making chicken chimichangas in an air fryer.

Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Chimichangas

  • Always preheat your air fryer before you air fry your chimichanga to ensure the shell gets as crispy as possible.
  • Roll your chicken chimichangas tightly to prevent any fillings from spilling out.
  • Place the chimichangas seam-side down in the air fryer tray or basket to help them stay rolled as they air fry. You can also use a toothpick to help too.
  • Brush the air fryer chimichangas with oil to get that amazing crispy, crunchy shell that makes a true chimichanga.
  • Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the air fryer.

More Air Fryer Mexican Recipes

Mexican air fryer chimichangas served on a plate.

Variations for Chimichangas in the Air Fryer

  • Swap chicken for shredded beef for a different take on your chimichangas.
  • Use black beans in place of refried beans to switch up your filling.
  • Experiment with different cheeses like cheddar or Monterey Jack.
  • Add sautéed onions and bell peppers to the filling for extra texture and flavor.
  • Adjust the green chilies and chili powder according to your heat preference. You could also add hot sauce to the shredded chicken filling.

Can You Make Chimichangas in the Air Fryer?

The air fryer is a great way to make homemade chimichangas without all the hassle, mess, and excess oil of deep-frying! It also gets the shells way crispier than baked chimichangas.

How Long to Cook Chimichangas in the Air Fryer

You want to air fry chimichangas until the shell is golden and crispy and the filling has been heated all the way through. 

Air frying chimichangas only takes about 5 minutes in mine, but the exact time can vary based on their size.

Chicken filled chimichanga cut in half.

What’s the Difference Between a Chimichanga and a Burrito?

Traditionally, a chimichanga is just a deep-fried burrito. This recipe for air fried chimichangas mimics the deep frying method to get that super crispy shell with way less hassle.

Can I Make Air Fryer Frozen Chimichangas?

You can absolutely make air fryer frozen chimichangas! 

Just preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F, add your frozen chimichanga, and cook until crispy and heated all the way through. This method is great for El Monterey, Jose Ole, or any other store-bought brand of frozen chimichanga.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Chimichangas

Take your chicken chimichanga feast to the next level by serving with easy homemade tortilla chips and mango habanero salsa or avocado crema for dipping.

And don’t forget some crispy churros for dessert!

Shredded chicken mixture inside golden fried tortillas.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes:

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Chimichangas

Air fried chimichanga served with sour cream and chunks of tomato and avocado.

You won't believe how crispy these air fryer chimichangas turn out! Filled with shredded chicken, salsa, refried beans, and your favorite shredded cheese.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green chilies, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large tortillas
  • 1 14-ounce can refried beans
  • 1 ½ cups shredded pepper jack
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, salsa, chilies, chili powder, cumin, and salt; set aside.
  3. Divide the refried beans, cheese, and chicken mixture evenly into the 4 tortillas and roll them into tight burrito-shaped wraps.
  4. Place seam side down into the preheated air fryer, then brush the top with oil.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chimichanga is warmed through and the tortillas are crisped on the outside.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 665Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 1468mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 6gSugar: 2gProtein: 46g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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