Smothered Chimichangas

My most filling recipe ever. You’ll be in a serious food coma once you eat this! Chimichangas are normally deep fried… obviously not the healthiest.

So here is my air fryer recipe with the same amount of crispiness but less calories.

Chimichangas are similar to burritos – just omit the mexican red sauce and you got yourself a burrito! I remember when I was young, my Dad and I would make burritos almost once a month. It was our Friday family cooking thing. My Mom would help cut all the vegetables, my Dad would cook the ground chicken and I would help assemble the burritos. Everyone loves my Dad’s burritos! I remember when I was in the hospital before giving birth to my youngest son, my Dad had brought a home cooked burrito and I was in heaven. It brought back a lot of childhood memories – thanks Dad!

This is a great make ahead dish. There are quite a few steps involved, but the end result is sooo worth it. I didn’t take a picture of the chimichanga while it was being cooked, but below is a picture of the air fryer I own. I love how I can see things being cooked (especially in the event that it gets burnt)!

If you don’t own an air fryer, you can toss them in the oven or pan fry them on a non-stick pan with very little oil. If you’re not counting the calories, then go ahead and deep fry them! :0

I put boxed Mexican rice in the picture below, but it’s totally optional. I normally make it without the rice as I find it gets too filling and I can’t even get through eating 1 chimichanga. So feel free to omit the rice. However, the remaining ingredients are a must!

Try to find the LARGEST flour tortillas possible (12” or more). This makes the folding process A LOT easier. Some of the normal size tortillas cannot fill enough ingredients, which is fine, but then you’ll have to make 2 per person. If using the normal 10” tortillas, try not to stuff them as much. 

You can always add other types of meat – ground chicken or pulled chicken/pork works well too. Season it with the same Old El Paso Chili Seasoning and some cayenne powder to make it spicy.

I normally make this about 1-3 times a year (and once for sure during the Christmas season). These chimichangas are freezable and so is the mexican red sauce. If you are planning on freezing them, freeze them before they are cooked in the air fryer. 

As I mentioned, not only is this is a great make ahead dish, but it’s a perfect meal you can make WITH your family. Get everyone involved. Cook together. It’s a great way to build lasting memories when everyone is involved!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do!

Servings: 4 – 6

Mexican Red Sauce

• 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
• 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 jalapeno very roughly chopped
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp oregano
• 1 can whole San Marzano Tomatoes
• 2 cups chicken broth/water
• ¼ tsp sugar
• ½ tsp cumin powder
• 1 handful of cilantro
• 1 tsp hot chili powder
• Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Heat a pot with olive oil on medium-low heat.
2. Add onions, jalapenos, salt and pepper.
3. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, continuously mixing so it doesn’t stick.
4. Add the chopped garlic and oregano, mix and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
5. Add in the whole tomatoes can with juice.
6. Add in sugar, cumin powder, cilantro and hot chili powder.
7. Add broth or water. Mix well.
8. Blend all the ingredients using an immersion blender until smooth.
9. Let it come to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
10. Taste for salt.

This guacamole recipe is a very rough estimate as all avocados are different in size therefore, taste as you go.

• roughly 4-6 small avocados
• 1/2 cup chopped green onions
• 1-3 finely chopped red Thai chilies
• 1 tsp pureed garlic
• 1 tbsp finely chopped, red onions
• 1 juice of a lime
• freshly ground pepper
• 1 tsp salt (or to taste)


Refried Beans (IP) or 2 canned Old El Paso Refried Beans
Chili Lime Burrito Sauce
• Mexican Red Sauce (recipe above)
• 1 box of Old El Paso Mexican Rice – cook as per instructions on box (optional)
• 12 Extra Large Flour Tortillas
• 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
• 1 green pepper, finely chopped
• 1 red pepper, finely chopped
• 2-3 jalepenos, finely chopped
• 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
• 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped roughly
• 1 packet of Cracker Barrel Tex Mex Cheese (pre-shredded)
• 1 packet of Cracker Barrel Habanero Cheese (pre-shredded)


1. Warm 1 tortilla in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. This helps with the folding process!

2. Put a spoonful of beans and rice (optional). See pictures above.

3. Sprinkle red onions, green peppers, red peppers, jalapenos, green onions and cilantro. (I always add a bit more cilantro for more flavour!)

4. Sprinkle both cheeses and a wee bit more if you want to walk on the wild side!

5. Fold as per photos above.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 for each chimichanga.

7. Preheat your air fryer to 375F.

8. Lightly coat your chimichangas with oil. 

9. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Flip half way. All air fryers are different so please keep an eye on it!

10. Smother the chimichanga with Mexican red sauce (at a hot temperature).

11. Drizzle with chili lime burrito sauce.

12. Top with guacamole, more green onions and cilantro. 

13. Take a deep breath and indulge.

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