Chimichangas – aka my families all time favorite meal!

Chimichangas are it for us!

Do you have meals that you know you can make and EVERYONE will be happy with? Let’s be honest the more people in your family the harder this gets. We’ve added 4 in-law kids and it has STILL STAYED A FAVORITE for everyone! With that being said, you’re going to be shocked when you see how simple this is, and, it tastes better than at a restaurant!

Where to start

We’ll start out by getting our meat ready. Chuck roasts are my favorite for shredding, but, much to my dad’s surprise, just about any roast will shred if cooked on low and slow. My dad was raised on a ranch and worked as a meat cutter for many years. I always call him if I have a question about cuts of meat. He didn’t believe me when I told him some of the roasts I had shredded up easily. There’s definitely a method to follow!

Cook them low and slow

I like to slow cook my roast either all night or all day (12+ hours).  I place my roast into the crockpot and sprinkle it with a packet of onion soup mix, salt and pepper. Next I add about 3 cups of water. You want the water to come half way up the roast. Keep it on low. If you’re running out of time, you can turn it up to high for the last hour or so. I know most recipes say 1/2 the amount of time if you cook on high, but for this to shred up and be nice and tender, stick to low.

Some roasts just take a little longer to cook. If you plan on 14 hours you’ll have plenty of time. When it’s ready you’ll be able to stick a fork in the meat and have it fall apart. I go with whatever roast I have from the ranch, or which ever beef roast is on sale! We prefer beef, but I’m sure this recipe would also work great with chicken or pork.

The ingredient that makes them so simple

Once you’ve got the meat all shredded, and  fat separated, you’re going to add a good salsa or picante sauce. Trust me on this, and don’t use fresh! I love pace picante for this. You’ll add about 1/4 cup of salsa per cup of roast. Mix it in ( wooden spoon, or a gloved hand) and you’re now ready to fill up your tortillas!

shredded beef for chimichanga in a bowl

shredded beef roast with salsa

Assembling the Chimichangas

You’re going to want 1/3-1/2 cup of shredded roast beef in each chimichanga for a large tortilla. If you’re using smaller tortillas 1/4-1/3 cup will be enough.

Flour tortillas are our choice

Start by making sure you’re tortillas are soft enough to not crack when you fold them up. You can toss them in a plastic bag 3-4 at a time and microwave for 20 seconds if you need to soften/warm them up. I like to lay out my tortillas out so I know I’ll have enough meat for however many chimichangas I need. Just divide the meat between each of the tortillas. If there’s extra meat you can fill more tortillas. When you reheat them you’ll want to do it in the oven to keep it crispy.Shredded Beef Chimichanga with grated cheese on top

You’re going to spread the roast beef in a rectangular shape on the tortilla (about 3″x6″). Sprinkle some cheese on top of the meat, and then fold them up like a burrito. I like to hold the tortilla in place with a toothpick (just remember to take it out before eating…and yes I know from experience).

Let’s get cooking

You have a couple options of cooking. You can deep fry, air fry. or bake (I avoid baking in the summer). If you’re deep frying or air frying make sure you’re meat mixture is warm before filling the tortilla. It doesn’t take long enough to fry in the oil to heat up the meat, and the last thing you want to bite into is a cold chimichanga. If you’re air frying or baking, spritz just a little olive or canola oil on them (cooking spray is great) and cook until the tortilla is crispy.

Choose your cooking preference

Once your oil is heated to 350° place the chimichanga folded side down in the oil and let cook until golden. Next you’ll flip it over carefully, I like to use metal tongs, and cook the other side. When done remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined pan to absorb the extra oil. You can place the pan in a warm oven (250°) until ready to serve.

For air fryer or baking (350°) after securing with a toothpick and spritzing with oil, place in air fryer or on a cookie sheet. Watch closely and flip half way through.

Serving your chimichangas

To serve, top them with sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, cheese, onions, olives, tomatoes & whatever else sounds good! My parents like enchilada sauce on theirs, we like ours plain. So whatever fits!

We love to serve them with chips and salsa, and some fresh cut up fruit.

Freezer Meal Instructions

**BONUS** This makes a great freezer meal. Just double up the meat & salsa mixture and put half of it in a freezer bag for another meal! When you’re ready to use it, just heat up the meat mixture and fill those tortillas!

You’ll have a delicious home-cooked dinner on the table in 15 minutes!

Check your oil temperature

**Tip** To test and see if you’re oil is ready, place the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil bubbles up around the spoon like it’s trying to cook it, it’s ready. If not, wait a few more minutes. You don’t want to place your chimichanga in oil that’s not hot enough because it will soak up lots of extra oil. You also don’t want too hot of oil or you’ll burn the outside before adding any heat to the inside.

To learn how to turn your family favorite meals into freezer meals, to help make family dinner a top priority in less time and for less money check out our Freezer Meal Course.


Chimichangas – aka my families all time favorite meal!

Shredded beef chimichanga served with chips, guacamole

Deep Fried, Baked, or Air Fried, no matter which way you cook them they’re delicious! Flour tortilla filled with seasoned tender roast beef and cheese & cooked for a crisp outside shell. Top with your favorite taco toppings.

  • Author: Lisa
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Cuisine: Mexican



3 lb chuck roast

1 packet onion soup mix

23 cups water

2 cups Picante Sauce (we like Pace) not a fresh salsa

Flour Tortillas 68 large

23 cups Grated Cheese

Taco toppings (lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lime


Slow cook chuck roast (see post) for 10-12 hours.

Place roast in crock pot and sprinkle onion soup mix on top. Add water to crock pot to half thickness of roast (2-3 cups). Cook on low for 10-12 hours until meat falls apart when shredded.

Shred roast removing any fat and straining juice.

Add picante sauce to shredded roast and mix.

***Meat mixture can be frozen at this point to be finished for a later meal.

If flour tortillas are not soft and bendable without cracking, place in plastic bag and microwave for 15-20 seconds 2-3 at a time.

Add 1/3-1/2 cup meat mixture to tortilla, and spread in a rectangular shape. Top with grated cheese, and fold burrito style (see picture). Secure with toothpick while cooking.

Continue until all meat is gone.

Bake, Air Fry, or Deep Fry til golden brown (see post)

Top with your favorite taco toppings, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Salsa, Tomatoes, Lettuce


See Freezer Meal options in post

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Beef, Dinner, Freezer Meal, Main Dish, Recipe, Simple Meals




Chimichangas – aka my families all time favorite meal!

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