When you want a tasty Mexican appetizer, serve shrimp chimichanga! These crispy burritos are easy to make, but they’ll wow your guests.
However it came to be, chimichangas became really popular. In most restaurants, they’re deep-fried burritos filled with chicken or beef.
But in this recipe, I’ve swapped those typical fillings for shrimp. I love the saltiness and lightness of the shellfish.
I also cook these shrimp chimichangas in the oven instead of deep-frying them. Baking is a healthier option, and it’s a lot less messy.
However, you won’t miss all that oil! These shrimp chimichangas still have a delicious crunchy tortilla shell.
Also, play around with toppings and dips for this dish! They’re especially delicious with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or melted cheddar cheese.
With all these options, shrimp chimichangas make a great appetizer or a full entree. Wow your friends and family at your next party or event!
Tips for Making the Best Shrimp Chimichanga
Fresh or Frozen?
You might think that using fresh shrimp would give you the best result. But it’s often very hard to find that.
Instead, opt for frozen shrimp that are farm-raised. Most supermarkets carry this, and this type of shrimp is reliably fresh.
Unless you live near a fishing port, most of the “fresh” shrimp in the grocery store is thawed. This shrimp won’t have as good a texture or flavor as frozen shrimp you thaw yourself.
Plus, frozen shrimp lasts for weeks in the freezer, while thawed shrimp will only stay good for a couple of days in your refrigerator.
But for an easy meal, you can use lightly-breaded prepared frozen shrimp.
To bulk up your shrimp chimichangas, add pinto beans to the filling. This will give the rolls more texture and increase the fiber content of the dish.
You can also season the filling in different ways. For example, you can add salsa to make it tangier – and then dip the cooked chimichangas in the extra!
Instead of baking, you can deep-fry shrimp chimichanga the traditional way.
Or, you can use an air fryer. For this method, set the air fryer to 390 degrees F, and cook the shrimp chimichangas for 6-7 minutes.
How to Make Shrimp Chimichangas
- Prep Time15 min
- Cook Time30 min
- Total Time45 min
- Preheat Oven
First, set the oven to 350 degrees F and let it preheat.
- Fry Shrimp
Meanwhile, add a layer of cooking spray or a small amount of vegetable oil to the frying pan. Set the stove to medium heat, and fry the shrimp for about 12-14 minutes.
Flip the shrimp occasionally, and continue frying until the shrimp are cooked through and browned. Next, remove them from the heat, chop the cooked shrimp into small pieces, and set the pieces aside in the small mixing bowl.
- Make Filling
In your blender, add the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, jalapeño pepper, and ½ cup of cilantro. Then, run the blender until the mixture is smooth.
Make sure you scrape down the sides if needed so that everything is evenly combined. Next, pour the contents of the blender into the mixing bowl, and add shrimp, avocado, and corn.
Stir everything gently until combined.
- Roll the Tortillas
Divide the filling into 6 portions and spread one portion down the center of each tortilla. Next, sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top.
Roll up each tortilla tightly, and tuck in the ends. Then, place each one with the seam down on the baking tray.
Spray each tortilla with cooking spray, or brush lightly with vegetable oil.
- Cook Shrimp Chimichanga
Put the tray in the oven and bake the shrimp chimichangas until they’re golden brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
To serve, slice each shrimp chimichanga in half on the diagonal, and serve them with avocado sour cream. Yum!
Storing and Reheating Instructions
Put away your chimichangas as quickly as possible so they won’t spoil.
If you put them directly in the refrigerator or freezer, they’ll cool rapidly. Just make sure you wrap them tightly or put them in airtight containers.
In the refrigerator, your leftover shrimp chimichangas will last for about 3-4 days. But if you put them in the freezer, they’ll last 3-4 months.
When you want to enjoy your shrimp chimichangas, you can reheat them in 3 different ways. For the first two methods, wrap your chimichangas in tin foil; for the second, brush them with oil or cooking spray.
- Oven: Warm the chimichangas for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F.
- Air fryer: Let your air fryer preheat to 350 degrees F for 3 minutes, and then air fry the shrimp chimichangas for about 5 minutes.
- Cast-iron Skillet: Add a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray to your skillet, and turn the heat to medium. Warm the shrimp chimichangas for about 15 minutes, turning them over frequently so they cook evenly.
I love this method of cooking shrimp chimichangas because it’s a healthier way to eat this delicious dish. It’s a lot lower in fat because it’s baked instead of deep-fried.
Also, shrimp is a great protein because it’s low-calorie, and the fats it does have are “good fats.” In general, shrimp meat won’t negatively affect your cholesterol level.
On the other hand, this recipe does have some high-calorie, high-fat ingredients. Mayonnaise and sour cream, for example, have a lot of saturated fat in them.
If you’re watching your fat and cholesterol intake, you might want to limit how much you eat of this dish, or make some substitutions, like using Greek yogurt instead. – Kirsten Mae Magbanua, RND