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Cooking + Entertaining

Chimichanga: the crispy Mexican recipe made with meat and beans

Chimichanga: the crispy Mexican recipe made with meat and beans


For 8 chimichangas

Chicken strips or ground beef

dried pansilla pepper

THE Chimichanga I am a typical dish of Mexican cuisineparticularly from northern Mexico, and are among the emblematic dishes of Tex-Mex cuisine: delicious “packages” of tortillas, garnished with meat, beans e greeneryand fried in plenty of oil or lard.

Very similar to burritos and fajitas in preparation, they differ from the latter precisely in the final frying, which makes them crispy and suitable to be eaten with cutlery, perhaps accompanied by rice and vegetables, guacamole, sauce Mexican red and sour cream.

Regarding the history of the dish, it seems that the origin of chimichanga is not Mexican, but American. In fact, it’s said that in 1922, a cook in Tucson, Arizona accidentally dropped burrito dough into boiling oil and, disappointed, exclaimed a curse in Spanish that sounded like the word ” chimichanga”, name with which this dish was later called.

Their preparation is very simple: once the filling is ready, fill the tortillas with cooked beans and meat, roll them up and fry them in plenty of oil. For the filling, you can use the type of meat you prefer: in addition to chicken meat, also that of manzo Oh you Pigbut also fish or seafood. You can also prepare homemade tortillas: in this case, we advise you to anticipate the preparation of a day to have them ready for use.

For a perfect result, you just need to keep the temperature of the oil constant during frying, monitoring it with a kitchen thermometer. We advise you to choose a peanut oil, characterized by a high smoke point and particularly suitable for this type of cooking.

So here’s how to make crispy, flavorful chimichangas in just a few steps, and if you love Mexican food, try nachos, quesadillas and classic tacos too.

How to prepare chimichanga

To prepare the chimichanga, start by cutting the peppers lengthwise: remove the stem and seeds, and let them soften in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes. Then, put them in the blender with the tomato purée and the peeled garlic and blend everything to obtain a smooth sauce. In a high-sided pan, sauté the onion with a drizzle of oil and add the tomato puree and spices 1.

Then mix the shredded chicken strips and a glass of water 2.

Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes 3. Peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes and add them to the pan, continuing to cook for another 15 minutes with the lid on and stirring occasionally. Cook until the sauce has reduced well and set aside.

At this point, heat the tortilla in an already hot pan, a few seconds on each side to soften it. Mash the beans in a bowl until they are pureed and spread them on the tortillas 4.

Add a few tablespoons of meat and vegetable filling and the grated cheddar 5.

First fold the sides of the tortilla 6 then the endings.

Secure them with two toothpicks to prevent the chimichanga from opening during cooking 7.

Heat plenty of oil in a large frying pan and wait for the temperature to reach 170°C: use a cooking thermometer to monitor it or, alternatively, try one of the homemade methods to check the oil temperature. Fry the chimichangas for a few seconds 8.

Place them on a plate covered with paper towel or paper straw, so as to eliminate the excess oil, and remove the toothpicks. Chimichangas are ready to serve with sour cream, avocado and cherry tomatoes 9.

Tips and variations

Instead of dry pansilla, you can use the jalapeño, Mexican red pepper. You can choose to buy boiled beans canned or cook them in buckets: in the latter case, be sure to let them soak overnight. If you don’t like it, you can omit the cheese.

If you prefer not to fry them, you can opt for alternative cooking methods. For example, you can cook some tomato sauce and dip the chimichangas in it, heating them for a few minutes. You can also cook them in the oven preheated at 180°C for 15-20 minutes, taking care to turn them over halfway through cooking and drizzle them with oil. Finally, if you have an air fryer, you can cook them 2-3 minutes per side.


Chimichangas are kept in the refrigerator by 2-3 days, sealed in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. If you prefer, you can also freeze them.

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