I’m bringing that crispy deep-fried restaurant style meal straight to your kitchen by teaching you How to Make Chimichangas in an Air Fryer! These chimichangas work great for meal prep and are freezer friendly!
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1 + 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoongarlic powder
1 16-ounce can refried beans
6 burrito size flour tortillas
1 + 1/3 cupshredded Mexican blend cheese
avocado oil spray
serve with: greens, salsa, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, etc.
Make the filling:
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place chicken thighs in a 9×13 casserole dish and drizzle with oil. Add cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Use tongs to coat all the chicken in oil and seasonings and then arrange the chicken thighs in one flat layer. Spoon salsa over the chicken and spread the salsa to cover all the chicken completely.
Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F.
Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest and cool for a few minutes, then shred the chicken using two forks.
Add the chicken (and cooking liquid/salsa) to a large bowl. Add the refried beans and mix well.
Make the chimichangas:
Preheat your air fryer at 360F for 3 minutes.
Assemble the chimichangas by laying out your tortilla and spooning about 1 + 1/3 cups filling into the center of the tortilla, then sprinkling with about 1/4 cup cheese.
Wrap tortillas and filling into a tight and secure burrito/chimichanga that holds all the filling inside (see pictures above to help). Step 1: Pull the sides of the tortilla over each end of filling until tight. Step 2: Using your thumbs, pull the bottom of the tortilla up and over the filling, covering the sides you folded over in Step 1. Step 3: Tuck the bottom of the tortilla you folded in Step 2 into the burrito, also tucking the sides from the top and bottom of the tortilla. Step 4: Fold the burrito over the remaining open tortilla so it covers the tucked sides and bottom.
Carefully place two chimichangas into the warmed air fryer, folded side down. Spray very quickly in one swipe on top of each one with oil spray (no need to flip).
Cook chimichangas in the air fryer on 360F for 6-10 minutes, or until browned and crispy to your liking. Continue with two more batches, making 6 chimichangas total. Enjoy now or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
To heat frozen but assembled chimichangas, wrap in foil and air fry for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. The foil will keep the outside from getting too crispy before the inside is heated through. See more make-ahead instructions below.
MAKE-AHEAD OPTIONS: Completely cook the entire batch of air fryer chimichangas, then reheat individually as needed. With this method, you cook all the chimichangas, eat what you want, then store the rest in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat these chimichangas in the microwave for about two minutes. The air fryer also works for reheating, but if you want to air fry them, it’s easier to store the uncooked assembled chimichangas until you want to air fry them instead of air frying twice. OR Prepare the chimichangas but do not air fry, store until ready to be eaten, then air fry. You can store un-fried chimichangas in the fridge (up to 4 days) or freezer (up to 2 months) until ready to be prepared. Add two minutes to air fry time for completely refrigerated chimichangas. For frozen chimichangas, wrap in foil and air fry for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. The foil will keep the outside from getting too crispy before the inside is heated through. (Another version of this method is to simply prep the filling ahead of time, then assemble and air fry the chimichangas when you want to eat them).
Feel free to use a different kind of meat instead of my baked salsa chicken mixture. Mix your meat with the salsa and beans.
Please keep in mind temperatures and cook times will vary slightly based on the make and model of your air fryer. The base of this recipe is my Based Salsa Chicken Thighs. Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal. Video added 3/5/19.