Shrimp and Zucchini Chimichangas

Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away. What great food are you planning to eat for your upcoming fiesta? Still unsure? Well, here’s an idea – these Shrimp and Zucchini Chimichangas!

I’m no stranger to chimichangas. If you’ve been following along since my original blog days over on my Guest Chef business website, you may remember this entire video post where I share how to host a fiesta with all kinds of customizable chimichangas for your guests. But, I always like to reinvent things, so I’m taking one of my favorite foods that I crave every year around this time and filing it with some of my current food obsessions.

A shrimp and zucchini stuffed chimichanga, but in half and resting in a bowl of tomatillo salsa.

First current obsession? Zucchini. Seared. Crisp. Yum!

Second obsession? Frontera Foods cooking sauces. Truth be told, as a personal chef I cook nearly everything from scratch, but anytime I discover quality products that taste amazingly fresh and help me cut corners (ie. work more efficiently), I fall in love immediately. Since I love Chef Rick Bayless, I trust these products completely, and I have loved every sauce (and salsas) I’ve tried thus far. Even the guacamole mix, which, let’s face it, you shouldn’t have to cheat on guacamole, but if you can, I mean, why not?!

I’m so obsessed, in fact, that I’ve used two Frontera sauces in this recipe. One to cook the shrimp and the other as a finishing sauce. (I pinky-swear, this is not a paid add for Frontera foods.)

So, let’s take a look at how these craveable treats come together.

To start, I’ll admit this recipe has a few steps. I manage the effort by making the filling the day before.  Searing the zucchini, simmering the shrimp and tossing all the ingredients together into a blend of yummy goodness. See?

A bowl of shrimp, zucchini, corn, queso and pepperjack cheese filling for chimichangas.

You can also wrap the burritos ahead of time. Soften large tortillas in a pot of warm oil set over medium heat. (You can save this oil until later when you want to fry). Then, to wrap the bundles, place a heaping 1/2 cup of filling on the lower half of the tortilla. Fold up the bottom half just over the top, then fold in each side. Continue to roll away from you tucking the sides in tight. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.

Folding chimichangas

Folding chimichangas

Folding chimichangas

Once the bundles are rolled, you can use toothpicks to secure them closed before frying. Since fried food always tastes best when eaten right out of the fryer, wait to fry until just before serving. The good news is that these fry in less than 5 minutes. Quick and easy!

When the time comes, heat oil to between 360-375º F. Fry for 2-4 minutes until golden brown and delicious looking! Remove from oil and set on paper towel to drain excess grease.

A shrimp and zucchini stuffed chimichanga, but in half and resting in a bowl of tomatillo salsa.

Finally, to serve, set out a choice of toppings. Here I use the Frontera green chile enchilada sauce, but sour cream, salsa, or hot sauce would all be great, too, as would lettuce, tomato, onions or olives. Or, if you really wanna get loco, smother it in some of my Roasted Garlic White Queso. I mean, just sayin’!

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A shrimp and zucchini stuffed chimichanga, but in half and resting in a bowl of tomatillo salsa.

Shrimp and Zucchini Chimichangas

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Shrimp, zucchini, corn, queso and pepperjack cheese all stuffed into soft tortillas and fried until golden and crispy satisfy my most serious Mexican food cravings!


  • 1+1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces zucchini, about 3 cups 1/2″ dice
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup Frontera Foods Fajita Sauce (chipotle lime)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 tablespoon cold water
  • 3/4 cup queso fresco
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • 68 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 6 9-inch flour tortillas

Optional Toppings:


  1. Dice the zucchini into 1/2″ cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the zucchini. Toss with salt and pepper, then sear quickly, just until golden on one or two sides, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels.
  2. While the zucchini cooks, chop the shrimp into a small dice. Season with salt and pepper. Also, take a minute to stir together the corn starch and cold water in a small bowl.
  3. After cooking the zucchini, set the pan back over medium high heat. Add another tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the shrimp. Sear until pink, tossing or stirring to cook evenly. Once shrimp is pink on all sides, pour in half cup of chipotle lime sauce and bring to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch “slurry”. Stir to incorporate then bring back to a boil for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Transfer to another clean dish.
  4. Back to the bowl of zucchini. Remove the paper towel. Stir in corn, chopped cilantro, grated pepper jack cheese and crumbled queso fresco. Add shrimp, then season with salt and pepper to taste. You can stuff tortillas now, or refrigerate overnight.
  5. To build the chimichanga’s, pour oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed, large saucepan so it’s a few inches deep. Warm over medium heat. As the oil warms, dip the tortillas to soften. Blot on layers of paper towels. Then, scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of filling onto the lower half. Fold the bottom edge over the filling, then fold each side in and over. Roll the burrito away from you tightly, tucking the sides in tightly as you go. Secure with toothpicks.
  6. Chimichanga’s can be fried now, or refrigerated overnight. If you aren’t proceeding to fry right away, turn off the heat on the pot of oil and set a lid or foil over the top. Save until ready to fry. Remember to take the chimi’s out of the fridge about 30 minutes before frying to bring to room temp.
  7. To fry, continue to warm the oil to between 360-375º F. Gently lower the bundles into the oil. You may only be able to fit a few at a time. Use a spatula to rotate the chimichanga’s as they cook to brown evenly. This only takes a few minutes as the filling is already cooked, so you are just crisping and browning the tortilla. Use a slotted spoon or spatula or tongs to transfer the chimi’s to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt while hot. Repeat until all chimi’s are fried.
  8. Serve warm, letting diners add their own toppings. Enjoy!

Keywords: chimichangas, shrimp recipes, zucchini recipes, cinco de mayo party recipes

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