Oh man, if you love burritos (who doesn’t??), then I think you will absolutely LOVE these cheesy vegan chicken chimichangas. They’re literally deep-fried burritos topped with all sorts of delicious toppings, like my homemade creamy cheese sauce! These vegan chimichangas are a real crowd-pleaser.
A deep-fried, wet burrito- YES, PLEASE!
A burrito on its own is already a wonderful thing. But, deep-frying the burrito creates pure bliss. And then I top it with condiments such as creamy cheese sauce, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de Gallo. It is incredible, my friend.
For these vegan chimichangas, I chose to fill them with refried beans, homemade pepper sauce vegan chicken, and shredded cheese. The pepper sauce chicken is straightforward to make. I blend all of the sauce ingredients and then slow-cook it with the vegan chicken. The sauce contains tasty ingredients, like tomatoes, ancho chiles, chipotle peppers, and several taco seasonings. It’s slightly spicy and smokey, and it explodes with flavor!
Now let me tell you about the creamy cheese sauce!
To say I am obsessed with the creamy vegan cheese sauce would be accurate; it is delicious! I simmer coconut milk, shredded vegan cheddar cheese, chipotle pepper adobo sauce, and taco seasonings. Then, I douse my chimichanga with the sauce. The cheese sauce ties together so well with the cheesy bean goodness inside the fried burrito. I also even enjoy making it a bit thick and using it as a dip sometimes! P.S. read my “tiparooskis,” located below the written recipe, for some fun, tasty tips!
To wrap things up, I want to mention that despite this vegan chimichanga recipe having a heftier amount of ingredients and instructions, it is surprisingly easy to make! Give my YouTube video a watch to see for yourself!
If you love chimichangas, then I think you will enjoy these other recipes, too!
If you make my vegan chicken chimichangas, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
How to Make the Ultimate Deep-Fried Vegan Chimichangas
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Two 10 ounce bags vegan chicken, thawed (I use Gardein's meatless chick'n strips. It has roughly 2 cups of chick'n per bag.)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp favorite pre-made taco seasoning mix
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 whole chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 3 tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Creamy Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup vegan cheddar cheese (I used Daiya's cutting board collection shreds.)
- 1 tbsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
- 2 tsp favorite pre-made taco seasoning mix
For 1 Chimichanga You Will Need:
- 1 quart vegetable oil, for deep frying
- Slurry (1 tbsp all-purpose flour + 3 tbsp water), for sealing the chimichangas (This is enough slurry for several chimichangas.)
- 1 extra large flour tortilla, room temperature or even slightly warm
- 1/4 cup vegan re-fried beans (I use Amy's)
- 1/2 cup homemade vegan chicken filling
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese, shredded (I always do a combination of cheddar and monterey jack/pepper jack.)
- Homemade creamy cheese sauce, amount is personal preference for all of the following toppings
- Vegan sour cream, (I used Kite Hill's)
- Pico de gallo
- Jalapeno, thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the olive oil. Then add in the vegan chicken, along with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook the chicken for around 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, stirring occasionally. *You may have to cut the ingredients in half and then do this step twice if you do not have a large enough saute pan to fit all of the chicken.
- Turn the heat off, remove the chicken from the pan, and cut it into small bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken back into the saute pan.
- Move on and make the chicken filling sauce.
- In a small saucepot, add the ancho chiles and just enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, turn the heat off, and cover the pan. Let the ancho chiles soak, covered, for 15 minutes. If they are floating, flip them over and push them down halfway through.
- Remove and discard the stems from the ancho chiles. Add the peppers into a blender along with the rest of the chicken filling sauce ingredients. Blend on high until extremely smooth.
- Pour the sauce into the pan of vegan chicken and turn the heat on to medium. Stir and bring the mixture up to a simmer.
- As soon as it is simmering, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
Creamy Cheese Sauce
- Whisk a can of unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. Then place 1 cup of it into a small saucepot along with the rest of the creamy cheese sauce ingredients. Stir well.
- Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture up to a low boil, frequently stirring to ensure the cheese doesn't stick to the pot's bottom.
- As soon as it begins boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover it with a lid, and cook it for around 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cook the sauce until it's at your desired thickness. The cooking time depends on the brand of vegan cheese you use, but typically I find myself cooking the sauce for about 12 minutes.
How to Assemble & Deep-Fry 1 Chimichanga
- First, add the vegetable oil to a large pot and bring it up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Please use a thermometer to properly check the temperature; this is VERY important when deep-frying anything!
- Now, place down the tortilla. *The tortilla is most comfortable to work with if it's room temperature or evenly slightly warmed in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Spread the refried beans across the bottom third of the tortilla, leaving 1 inch of the outer part of the tortilla clean.
- Spread the chicken filling over the refried beans. Then sprinkle the cheese blend over the chicken filling.
- For the slurry, simply stir together the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth. Take your finger and wet the entire top half outer 1-inch edge of your tortilla with the slurry. The slurry will seal your burrito together, so it doesn't bust open while deep-frying.
- Now, you are going to wrap the chimichanga like a burrito. Tightly, but gently, pull the bottom half of the tortilla with the filling over and pull it back. Fold one side of the tortilla over to meet the center. Then fold the other side over to meet the center. Lastly, with both sides folded into the center, tightly roll your tortilla forwards up until you have a perfect burrito! Press down to seal the edge with the slurry.
- Once the oil has reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit, gently place the "burrito" seal side down into the oil. Fry for 2 minutes, flip it over with a pair of tongs, and fry for 1 to 2 more minutes or just until perfectly golden brown and crispy all around.
- Gently lift the chimichanga out of the oil, allow the excess oil to drip off, and place it on a wire rack.
- You can dress the chimichanga however you would like, but this is how I prepare mine. I first top half of it with the creamy cheese sauce. Then I drizzle over vegan sour cream, top it with a dollop of guacamole and pico de gallo, and garnish it with sliced jalapenos and fresh cilantro leaves.
Welcome to my tip section of the vegan chimichanga recipe! Here I provide my top tips to help you perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- The good news, you can air fry these vegan chimichangas! Set the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray the entire chimichanga with cooking oil of choice. Place the chimichanga into the air fryer and cook it for 20 minutes, flipping it over halfway through. Check on it around the last 5 minutes to ensure it hasn’t gotten too dark or crispy, as all air fryer brands cook slightly different. PSSST, this is my all-time favorite air fryer. It is AMAZING!
- What I think would be DELICIOUS would be to add refried beans into the creamy cheese sauce. Then, you would have a cheesy taco bean dip. I haven’t tried this yet, BUT I know it would be delicious served with tortilla chips and perhaps a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese on top! So, if you have a bunch of sauce leftover, there is a fun idea for you to try out!