Air Fryer Ground Beef Chimichangas

I told you about my new Air Fryer in my Crispy Buffalo Wing (click for link to recipe) post. The kids and I are having fun trying to figure out things to make in it. The other day I came home and my daughter was so excited because she was making lunch and found out she could cook her frozen chicken strips in the air fryer. On the back of the bag was the recipe and it totally made her day because she really doesn’t care for them cooked in the oven but the air fryer? Total game changer for her. She loved them.

We are working on using up everything in our freezer and pantry so we are trying to come up with recipes using what we have on hand. This is a simple recipe that was hearty and filling. The kids really liked them made in the air fryer thought they simply could be made in the oven. We thought they were crispier overall and had a great texture compared to oven baked chimichangas.


Simple and delicious! These can be made as spicy as you wish by adding extra Cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or other flavorings (my son likes Max Hot!). This hits a mild/medium spice.

I served these with a green side salad to complete the meal.

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2-3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2  – 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (if desired – I generally don’t add this but some people switching from packages of taco seasoning to homemade like the sweetness added)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups cheese, shredded (can use Mexican cheese blend, sharp cheddar cheese or your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10-12 medium sized tortillas
  • Additions and toppings as desired: roasted corn, black beans, red pepper, red onion, sour cream, salsa, taco sauce, olives, tomatoes….


  1. Brown ground beef in skillet over medium heat, break the meat into small pieces with the side of the spoon as it cooks. Drain off any grease once meat is fully cooked.
  2. Add spices – cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, salt, pepper, hot sauce and brown sugar (if desired) and water to meat. Start with lesser amounts of spices and build up to what you and your family like. My family prefers tons of spice and flavor so we use more. Stir well. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  3. Return pan to heat and allow water to evaporate from meat stirring occasionally. If you wish to mix in corn, black beans, etc… now is the time to put them in. Make sure they are drained and or rinsed before adding them to the dish.
  4. Once the water has mostly evaporated warm tortillas in microwave wrapped in damp paper towels so they are soft and pliable.  Place a hearty dose of cheese in the center of the tortilla and top with meat mixture.  Tuck two opposite sides over the tortilla and then roll to the other sides to completely close. Use a toothpick to keep closed if needed but make sure they are not overstuffed or all your fillings will fall out while cooking.
  5. Preheat your air fryer to 360 and preheat for 3 minutes. (I use a Ninja XL air fryer for this). Place 2-3 chimichangas in the basket of your air fryer in a single layer. Brush lightly with melted butter or olive oil. Cook 6-10 minutes until browned and crispy. Remove and serve with sour cream and salsa as desired.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Erika Kind says:

    It is not only amazing what all you can cook in the air fryer but the results are fantastic!


  2. Incredible. These kitchen gadgets keep getting better and better. 😜


  3. sarah134483 says:

    I have recently purchased an air fryer for myself and I love chicken wings though I am unsure if I would like the Buffalo Sauce I know I can try these with BBQ sauce or a different type of hot sauce and they would be amazing, I will try and print of this recipe tomorrow when it isn’t so late here in the UK.
    Please do free to send me any other yummy recipes to try in the air fryer please?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Sarah, thanks for stopping by. Buffalo sauce is an acquired taste for sure. We have fallen in love with the air fryer. I also have Air Fryer Chimichangas you may like. Change the meat if you want.


      1. sarah134483 says:

        I will definitely be trying a them as well please do feel free to send over some Ideas I love my air fryer definitely can not be going back to a deep fat fryer that’s for sure x

        Liked by 1 person

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