Homemade Smothered Chicken Chimichangas


  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Mexican-style Rotel with lime
  • 2 cups Colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • Burrito-sized tortillas
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Butter (for baking)
  • Block queso (for cheese sauce)
  • Additional green onions for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare the Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, Mexican-style Rotel, shredded Colby jack cheese, softened cream cheese, and chopped green onions. Mix until well combined.
  2. Build the Chimichangas: Scoop about 1 cup of the filling onto a burrito-sized tortilla. Spread the filling evenly over the tortilla, leaving a border around the edges. Fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling, then roll it up tightly to form a chimichanga.
  3. Fry or Bake the Chimichangas: Heat vegetable oil in a skillet or deep fryer over medium heat. Alternatively, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). If baking, brush the chimichangas with melted butter before placing them on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Cook the Chimichangas: Place the chimichangas seam side down in the hot oil and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side if frying.
  5. Drain and Prepare Cheese Sauce: Once cooked, remove the chimichangas from the oil and drain on paper towels to remove excess grease. Meanwhile, melt the block queso according to package instructions to prepare the cheese sauce.
  6. Smother with Cheese Sauce: Pour the melted cheese sauce generously over the chimichangas, ensuring they are fully covered.
  7. Serve: Serve the smothered chicken chimichangas hot, garnished with additional chopped green onions if desired.
  8. Optional Sides: Enjoy your delicious homemade chimichangas with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole salad on the side for a complete meal.
  9. Enjoy: Dive into the flavorful goodness of your homemade smothered chicken chimichangas, savoring every bite of the cheesy, savory filling wrapped in crispy tortillas.

These smothered chicken chimichangas are perfect for a family dinner or a festive gathering with friends. Enjoy the delicious flavors and comforting warmth of this Mexican-inspired dish!

Here are some helpful tips to make your homemade smothered chicken chimichangas even more delightful:

  1. Marinate the Chicken: For extra flavor, marinate the chicken in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and your favorite Mexican spices before shredding it. This will infuse the chicken with tangy and aromatic flavors.
  2. Use Freshly Grated Cheese: Grate the Colby jack cheese fresh from the block for better flavor and meltability. Freshly grated cheese tends to melt more smoothly and evenly, enhancing the texture of the filling.
  3. Add Heat with Jalapeños: For those who enjoy spicy food, add diced jalapeños to the filling mixture for an extra kick of heat. You can adjust the amount based on your spice preference.
  4. Caramelize Onions: Consider caramelizing onions to add a sweet and savory depth of flavor to the filling. Sauté thinly sliced onions in butter until golden brown and caramelized before adding them to the chicken mixture.
  5. Incorporate Fresh Herbs: Add freshness and aroma to the filling by mixing in chopped fresh cilantro or parsley along with the green onions. The herbs will brighten up the flavors and add a pop of color.
  6. Toast the Tortillas: Lightly toast the tortillas on a dry skillet or griddle before assembling the chimichangas. This step helps to enhance their flavor and texture, making them slightly crispy on the outside while remaining soft and pliable.
  7. Double-Cook for Extra Crispiness: After frying the chimichangas until golden brown, transfer them to a preheated oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. This double-cooking method ensures that the tortillas are extra crispy and the filling is heated through.
  8. Make Homemade Queso: Instead of using store-bought block queso, consider making your own homemade queso dip from scratch using real cheese, milk, and seasonings. This will elevate the cheese sauce and add a rich, creamy flavor to the chimichangas.
  9. Serve with Fresh Salsa: Accompany the chimichangas with a side of fresh salsa or salsa verde for a burst of brightness and acidity. Homemade salsa adds a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory flavors of the chimichangas.
  10. Garnish Creatively: Get creative with garnishes by adding toppings like sliced avocado, sour cream, diced tomatoes, or pickled jalapeños. These additional toppings not only enhance the presentation but also add complementary flavors and textures to the dish.

By incorporating these tips, you can take your homemade smothered chicken chimichangas to the next level, delighting your taste buds with every bite!

Here are some secrets to help you achieve chimichanga perfection:

  1. Season the Chicken Well: Season the chicken with a combination of spices such as chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes to infuse it with flavor.
  2. Shred the Chicken Finely: Ensure that the chicken is shredded into small, bite-sized pieces. This allows the filling to be evenly distributed throughout the chimichangas and ensures a satisfying texture.
  3. Balance the Flavors: Aim for a balance of flavors in the filling mixture. The spices should complement each other, with a touch of heat from the chili powder, warmth from the cumin, and smokiness from the paprika.
  4. Add Moisture: Incorporate a moist ingredient into the filling mixture to prevent the chicken from drying out during cooking. Mexican-style Rotel with lime adds both moisture and flavor to the filling.
  5. Mix Cheeses for Creaminess and Flavor: Combine Colby jack cheese with softened cream cheese for a creamy and flavorful filling. The cream cheese adds richness and helps bind the filling together.
  6. Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients like green onions and herbs. Fresh green onions add a crisp, bright flavor, while fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley add freshness and aroma.
  7. Double-Cook for Crispy Texture: For extra crispiness, fry the chimichangas until golden brown and then transfer them to a preheated oven to finish cooking. This double-cooking method ensures that the tortillas are crispy on the outside while the filling is heated through.
  8. Make a Flavorful Cheese Sauce: Opt for a flavorful cheese sauce to smother the chimichangas. Consider making a homemade queso dip using real cheese, spices, and a touch of cream for richness.
  9. Serve Hot: Serve the chimichangas immediately after smothering them with cheese sauce. This ensures that they are served hot and crispy, with the cheese sauce melted and gooey.
  10. Garnish Thoughtfully: Garnish the chimichangas with chopped green onions or fresh herbs for a pop of color and freshness. You can also add sliced avocado, sour cream, or salsa for additional flavor and texture.

By following these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect homemade smothered chicken chimichangas every time. Enjoy the delicious flavors and comforting warmth of this classic dish!

Here are some of the most popular questions and answers related to homemade smothered chicken chimichangas:

  1. Can I use leftover cooked chicken for homemade smothered chicken chimichangas?
    • Yes, leftover cooked chicken works great for making chimichangas. Simply shred the chicken and mix it with your desired seasonings and fillings before assembling the chimichangas.
  2. What type of tortillas should I use for homemade chimichangas?
    • Burrito-sized flour tortillas are traditionally used for making chimichangas. They are large enough to hold the filling and can be easily rolled up.
  3. Can I bake the chimichangas instead of frying them?
    • Yes, you can bake the chimichangas in the oven for a healthier alternative to frying. Brush the tortillas with melted butter and bake them until golden brown and crispy.
  4. How do I prevent the chimichangas from becoming soggy?
    • To prevent chimichangas from becoming soggy, make sure the filling is not too wet. Drain any excess liquid from ingredients like tomatoes or Rotel before assembling the chimichangas. Also, fry them in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Can I make homemade chimichangas ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can assemble the chimichangas ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to cook. Alternatively, you can freeze them for longer storage. Just thaw them in the refrigerator before frying or baking.
  6. What type of cheese should I use for the smothered cheese sauce?
    • You can use a variety of cheeses for the smothered cheese sauce, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend of Mexican cheeses. Some people also use processed cheese like Velveeta for a creamy and smooth texture.
  7. What are some popular toppings for smothered chicken chimichangas?
    • Popular toppings for smothered chicken chimichangas include chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, and salsa. You can also drizzle additional cheese sauce or hot sauce on top for extra flavor.
  8. How do I reheat leftover chimichangas?
    • To reheat leftover chimichangas, place them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave for a quick option, but they may not be as crispy.
  9. Can I make vegetarian chimichangas?
    • Yes, you can make vegetarian chimichangas by substituting the chicken with cooked vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and beans. You can also add tofu or plant-based protein for extra substance.
  10. What side dishes pair well with homemade smothered chicken chimichangas?
    • Common side dishes to serve with smothered chicken chimichangas include Mexican rice, refried beans, black beans, corn salad, or a simple green salad. Guacamole, salsa, and sour cream also make delicious accompaniments.

These are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers related to homemade smothered chicken chimichangas. Enjoy making and savoring this delicious Mexican-inspired dish!