Air fryer chimichanga is a healthier adaptation from the traditional deep fried burrito that is common in Mexican-American restaurants and homes. This Shredded beef chimichanga is topped with all the ingredients you might add inside the burrito.
Air Fryer Beef Chimichanga
Tortillas wrapped around flavorful shredded beef, then air fried to a lightly brown crispy texture.
Although you may have seen this meal on the menu at your local Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant, it’s really easy to make this at home!
With just Alan and I at home these days, I’m very mindful of the dishes we cook. We try to eat all the meals we cook or make sure we can share with family or neighbors so we aren’t wasteful.
This meal came together after staring at leftovers from my Mexican Shredded Beef recipe. After several meals of shredded beef we really wanted something different.
Leftovers turned into THIS air fryer chimichanga meal! There were absolutely zero complaints while eating these leftovers.
Where was chimichangas invented?
You probably first enjoyed a chimichanga at your local Mexican restaurant. It’s a popular dish that has made its way on menus across the nation.
However NOW you can make chimichangas at home!
According to Wikipedia, both the United States and Mexico are taking credit for this deep fried burrito.
There is a funny story that follows the origin of chimichangas, and it all stems from a mistake in the kitchen!
The story that is most believable to me, especially if you were brought up in a Latin family like I was is told like this;
While preparing a burrito at a Mexican family restaurant in Arizona, the cook accidentally dropped a burrito in a big pot of oil.
Immediately, when that mistake was made she began to say “chi…,” which is the start of saying a swear word in Spanish, but stopped herself after realizing she was in the company of her kids.
Instead, mid-word she switched and said “chimichanga,” which means “thingamajig” in Spanish.
Nice save, mama! LOL
Healthier Mexican Food
There is a reason you might only order this at a restaurant. Curious why I do? Who wants to deal with deep fat frying?
Not me, which is why this healthier air fryer chimichanga recipe will entice you to add this to your meal rotation regularly.
No grease spatter. In fact, if you wanted to you could use an olive oil or avocado cooking spray instead of brushing oil on the chimichangas like I did.
In addition, I use low carb tortillas keeping the dish perfect for keto and low carb diet followers.
Also, if you don’t have an air fryer you can still make a healthier version of chimichangas by baking these in the oven. Very similar method to these baked taquitos!
How to make air fryer beef chimichangas?
Ready to start cooking? Let’s go! First, you need to make the shredded beef.
I make my beef in an Instant Pot, so this whole meal can be made fairly quick.
Step 1 – prepare the beef
First make the beef. Swing by shredded beef recipe for the details.
Once you have the meat cooked you will want to pan fry it to remove some of the moisture from the beef.
How to fold a burrito
Step 2 – fold the beef in the tortilla
Now you want warm the tortillas so they are pliable. I use a skillet to heat them.
Then put about 3/4 cup in the center of a flour tortilla (8″ – 12″ tortilla).
To fold a burrito, evenly spread the beef in the center of the tortilla leaving a couple of inches on the sides.
Fold in the ends of the tortilla holding the beef in place, then gently roll the tortilla into a burrito tucking in all the meat.
Step 4 – Lightly grease the buritto
Now you want to either spray the burrito on all sides with olive or avocado cooking spray.
Alternatively, take a pastry brush and dip it into the oil and lightly brush all sided of the burrito.
Step 5 – Air Fry or Oven Bake
Next, place the burrito(s) in the air fryer and at 375°F cook for 10 minutes, then flip for another 6-10 minutes or it until reaches the crispness you prefer.
To cook in the oven, place burrito in a pre-heated oven at 425°F for 10 minutes, then turn the burritos over and cook for another 6-10 minutes.
Once you get the texture you want enjoy it as it is or top with additional ingredients.
Here are some ideas, but the options are endless!
- Diced avocado
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced olives
- Chopped onions
- Easy Guacamole
- Red enchilada sauce
Want more Mexican recipes?
Be sure to check out some of my favorite dishes!
- Green chili chicken enchiladas – use pre-cooked chicken for a quick meal.
- Easy Spanish rice – a classic dish that is easy to perfect.
- Nana’s pozole Mexican Soup – this is off the charts good and not hard to make. You NEED to try this recipe.
- Mexican pinto beans slow cooked to perfection. So flavorful!
- Albondigas soup – easy meatball soup
- Mexican beef cabbage soup – one of the best soups – low carb and keto approved too!
Let me know how you like this air fryer chimichanga. Hope you love it as much as we do!
- Prepared Mexican shredded beef
- Flour tortillas
- Olive or avocado oil
- Chopped tomatoes
- Sour Cream
- Pan fried shredded beef to remove some of the moisture out of the meat.
- Warm the tortillas on a skillet over medium heat to soften the tortillas.
- Place a tortilla on a platter and put 3/4 cup of shredded beef in the middle of the tortilla, and evenly spread the meat leaving a couple of inches around the tortilla.
- Fold in the outside of the tortilla (horizontal sides), then start folding horizontally rolling the tortilla into a burrito.
- With a pastry brush dipped in oil lightly coat all sides of the burrito.
- Place seam side down in the air fryer.
- Turn air fryer on. Heat at 375°F for 10 minutes, then turn chimichanga over and air fry for an additional 6-10 minutes.
- Put the chimichanga on a serving dish and top with tomatoes, crema and any other ingredients you would love on the chimichanga.
For oven baked chimichangas turn oven to 415°F. After step 6 place chimichanga on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake an additional 6-10 minutes or until desired crispness.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 547Trans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 316mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 39g
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
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