Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Update 6/2012: Taken after the model of these delicious wraps, I threw these together for dinner one night nearly three years ago in a frantic attempt to feed my hungry family and use ingredients I already had on hand. And the result was such a smashing success that we’ve continued to enjoy this recipe at least monthly since (and that’s saying a lot coming from the lady who doesn’t repeat many meals). Full of flavor, these wraps are a snap to make. The method turns out a delightfully crunchy tortilla that is filled with rice, chicken, beans, spices and cheese. And they make great leftovers. I just love it when a meal happens to fit all the criteria I love: healthful, fast, delicious. Score.

What To ServeServed with a light green salad and some fresh fruit and veggies (or perhaps this delicious fruit concoction) and this is a perfectly perfect meal for any night of the week!

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Yield: Makes 6 wraps

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Note: This is one of the most adaptable recipes on here (reading through the comments will prove that – your variations sound amazing!). Feel free to up the cilantro, add in a different meat of your choice, eliminate the pepper, add green chilies – seriously, the options are endless.


  • 1 cup cooked rice, warm or at room temperature
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (or other leftover meat, like shredded pork or beef)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 red or green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I use a combination of Monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • 6 burrito-sized flour tortillas


  1. Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla. (Optional: I like to dollop little bits of sour cream over the cheese before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center – it makes the wraps delightfully creamy.) Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open and slightly flatten the wraps with the palm of your hand. Spray seam-side of the wrap lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange wraps, seam-side down, in pan or griddle and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Cooking them seam-side down first helps seal the long edge so they don’t fall apart. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: original recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

383 Responses to Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

  1. Laura says:

    I have made these a few times and absolutely LOVE them. The crispiness really makes everything extra delicious! I found the recipe on pinterest and wrote about it on my blog.

  2. Cindy says:

    I make these, minus the meat, for meatless Monday. Serve with a guacamole salad and you have a perfect dinner with lots of flavor. So easy to adjust the recipe for just 2. Definitely a favorite!

  3. C. says:

    This recipe is going to go over well with the entire family. I love the simplicity of the recipes you provide and most are just delicious! Thank you very much for what you do here.

  4. Rebecca says:

    These are fantastic! Thanks. Making them again tonight, a new family favorite here! My sand loves anything burrito adjacent!

  5. Lilly says:

    Does anyone know how much calories one wrap has?

  6. Tina says:

    Mel, I just tried these and LOVED them! Seriously awesome and hearty enough to satisfy my hungry husband and my picky kids! Thanks

  7. Troutie says:

    These were really yummy. Loved the little bit of crispiness, and the blend of flavors with sour cream cooked right in there was superb. Will make these over and over, without a doubt.

  8. Kayla says:

    Oh. My. Word. These were delicious!! My husband made an audible “Mmmmmm!” the second he bit into them. I don’t have a meal rotation yet, but these will definitely make me start one! Have already shared the recipe with everyone I know. Thanks for all of your lovely recipes–all of them have been a success!

  9. Amy says:

    These were great, just made them for lunch. So tasty and I will definitely use the recipe again. Thanks:)

  10. […] this week. They have a son who is just a couple months old too, we had fun visiting with them. Dinner was delicious […]

  11. Summer says:

    These were fantastic! Thanks!

  12. […] source: […]

  13. […] Recipe: Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps […]

  14. asdf says:

    You threw together in a frantic attempt to feed your family? With these ingredients, this is literally the only option. Cilantro lasts only a couple days if still considered fresh, so I call bullocks on this being a last minute “throw together”. If you had not purchased the tortillas and cilantro sepcifically to do some sort of mexican dish I would agree, but you don’t just have a full package of tortillas sitting around randomly. those were purchased sepcifically for making these or something very similar.

    • J says:

      I grow Cilantro in my garden and always have tortillas on hand, we use them for everything in our house, wraps, quesadillas, pizzas and more
      and just because she had them in her pantry/fridge doesn’t mean she wasn’t busy all day and made a quick throw together that she hasn’t made before!
      You have no clue what this woman does with her days or time so your negativity is far from needed, instead of rude comments just move on

      • Elena says:

        Haha. I was laughing over here because she said you wouldn’t have tortillas on hand unless you had specific purpose for them. THinking about it, I have 4 kinds of tortillas in our fridge. Just because. And Cilantro. Because my mom puts in in like.. everything. Everything on here, we usually have on hand for other meals. 🙂 I ADORE this recipe. My husband and I use it alllll the time. Our daughter loves it too. She was a a year old when we started using it. I actually put the spices into the rice so it makes mexican rice in the rice cooker. Can also make the spices into a mix. I add a can of corn for an extra veggie and extra yumminess.(We named them Squaritos in our house… 😀 )

    • Nicole says:

      I certainly have large tortillas in my fridge at all times.

      • Nicole says:

        I also ALWAYS have tortillas on hand, and how is this literally the only option? Seems like this is being rude just to be rude

    • I would disagree. I always have two kinds of tortillas in my pantry or freezer. I have two boys and a husband who love snacks. Tortillas with pb and honey or a meIted string cheese are easy after school or after work snacks they can do on their own. I wouldn’t be so quick to assume anything about someone else’s kitchen if I were you.

    • Unique says:

      Yet, people who actually shop for the essentials always keep last minute additions handy. Here is a hint for ya ASDF, I freeze tortillas. Thaw the corn ones out, cut them into triangles and fry them. Chips and salsa or nachos. Do the same with flour make flautas. In a Mexican house, bean rice and tortilla are like water and milk. Guess what. I’m about to make this recipe and don’t need to leave my house AT ALL! Ha, maybe your the one who needs to be more prepared for just about anything!

    • Deb says:

      I have all these ingredients on hand all the time…it’s called a well stocked pantry. You should try it!~

    • Kimberley says:

      good grief that was mean

    • CHERYL says:

      I cook with cilantro a lot and use tortillas in place of bread on many occassions, so it would not be surprising to find these items in my kitchen. Don’t be so quick to assume that she wouldn’t have these items. Just because you don’t use them regularly, doesn’t mean that others don’t as well.

    • Jennfier says:

      I haven’t tried this recipe and I literally have everything on hand. For many reasons. We love mexican food, and I buy all these ingredients regularly. Especially tortillas. I have 2 toddlers. We wouldn’t survive more than a couple of days without tortillas for quesadillas.

    • Vivian says:

      Why would you post this??

  15. chelsea says:

    oh hello. I rarely comment anywhere but I want to tell you, I love trying new recipes, and I love recipe blogs, but yours is always the first one I come to. And most days, the only one I come to. My kids know you by name; I regularly make your haystacks, lemon garlic grilled chicken, sweet and sour chicken, beef stroganoff, southwest chicken wraps, and kale salad, pea/ pesto pasta salad, and I know there are more I’m forgetting. But. These last couple weeks we made your chicken pillows (with the cornmeal crescent rolls)–HOLY MOLY., 30 second turtle cookies, crispy chicken wraps, the taco salad with catalina dressing, greek pastiito, and I always use your method for ‘simple shredded chicken.’ Tomorrow I’m making your mexican lasagna. You are my hero!

  16. Tam says:

    I made these for dinner last night and they were great! I used leftover rotisserie chicken from Costco and added the cheese into the chicken/rice/bean mixture (by mistake) and it turned out wonderful. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  17. Lindsay G says:

    We made these last night! They were sooooooooooooooooooo good! We loved them a lot! They will become a regular on our menu, especially in the summer where we won’t need to turn the oven on! I even froze some extra rice so I can whip them up faster (without planning much) next time. Thanks for the yuminess!

  18. Amy says:

    Found this recipe on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try tonight. SO glad I did! They are SO yummy and huge hit with my hubby and my 15 month old loved the filling. I did do a few substitutions, quinoa instead of rice, Greek yogurt instead of sour creme, and then since my hubby sadly hates cilantro and I hate peppers, I left those out but added green chilies and chunks of avocado. And I think next time (there will definitely be a next time!), I’ll add corn and black olives! Thank you for this super yummy recipe!

  19. Sarah says:

    Had these pinned for the longest time and finally made them this evening! Another delish recipe – I seriously have NEVER been unhappy with anything from your site! Thanks for being my #1 online cookbook! 🙂

  20. Christy says:

    Came across these about 6 months ago and have had them at least 6 times. We love them!

  21. Darlene says:

    I was wondering what you thought about subbing quinoa for the rice?

  22. ZingL6 says:

    These look wonderful. Do you have the nutritional info on them please?

  23. Stacy says:

    I have made several of your recipes in the last couple months. Last night I made these crispy chicken wraps. My oldest declared these the best of the new recipes I have tried. He ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning!

  24. Dana says:

    We love these! Next time I will use my foreman grill instead of frying pan and will add jalapenos to my husbands…..and maybe try them w beef too! Love this recipe!

  25. Amy says:

    I think I have everything to make these….except tortillas. But I DO have some wonton wrappers that need to be used up soon…. Think I’ll use them to make this into little turnovers for football watching!!

  26. CC says:

    So happy to have stumbled on this site. Made this for dinner and everyone loved it. Can’t wait to play around with this recipe and dress it up. Thanks Mel!

  27. Marcy says:

    These were a great twist on a burrito/cafe rio type dish! We just thought that there was too much lime. Excited to try again with less.

  28. caitlyn says:

    We made these today and they were a total hit! My husband raved about them. 🙂 Our mods – I added corn and canned diced chilies but omitted the green onion and bell pepper. I also used half chili powder and half chipotle chili powder. Instead of making wraps, we just made regular burritos. This dish will most certainly be a part of our regular rotation now. Thanks, Mel!

  29. Sara says:

    I love when I have a Pinterest “success”!! These were great! Thanks for the recipe!

  30. kathy Noble says:

    going to make these tonite but in a taco style with avacado cant wait to try them

  31. […] Recipe adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  32. Amanda says:

    I made this last night for my family and it was amazing! The only changes I made were that I used yellow rice and I mixed the shredded cheese with sour cream and spread it on the tortilla. SO good! Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to make it again!

  33. Kristie Hawksley says:

    Just made your Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps tonight. AWESOME! Great flavor. This will be a regular to my menu for sure. Thanks!

  34. Nicole Peck says:

    I just have to say that I made these recently and they are AMAZING!!! My family inhaled them! Huge hit around here!! Speaking of which, I think I need to make them again….

  35. Diane Fernald says:

    First, do understand that I almost NEVER comment on blogs, or recipe sites, or whatnot; however, I do follow your blog and find many of your recipes to be amazingly good, and I’m a big fan. That being said, I tried these southwest chicken wraps only because they were the “‘most pinned’ on your site, and when a recipe has nearly 1.5 million pins, I sit up and take notice. They are truly amazing! My husband loves them, they are relatively healthy and quick. They’ll be regulars on my menu, too! Thanks so much

  36. […] 6. Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps […]

  37. Britt-Marie says:

    yum! I’ve tried so many recipes on your blog, but the name and picture of this one didn’t really grab me/seem like something all the different. But today when I saw it under the “Most Pinned” recipes I figured I’d check it out. I had all the ingredients on hand and WOW was it delicious! All my kids ate it. I was so excited I called my sister and told her she had to try it. Thanks for another great recipe that will now become a regular.

  38. Kathy says:

    I made these and the whole family really liked them – I was surprised at how much!

  39. […] instructions For instructions please visit: […]

  40. Jennifer G. says:

    I’ve been wanting to make these for awhile since they are so highly “pinned.” My son was visiting from college and we made these for a quick dinner one night since I had both leftover brown rice and rotisserie chicken sitting in the fridge. I wasn’t really expecting much but boy were they delicious. The best wrap/burrito thing I have ever made. I really think it’s the preparation method and plan to improvise ingredients such as using refried beans and avocado. I can see how the variations are endless. My son loved them so much he wanted to learn how to make them and brought the recipe back to school with him.

  41. Heather says:

    I seriously did a dance and did some moves that I never knew I had after I took a bite of this wrap..I may or may not have had 3 of these wraps in 1 day(5 hours)! 🙂 Delicious!!

  42. Kari says:

    We loved these! This is the first recipe I have tried of yours and now you’re in my feed reader 🙂 Thanks! The options for the filling are endless. I think we’ll be using this wrap technique for all sorts of things (breakfast wraps w/scrambled eggs & cheese inside? yum).

    I sauteed the green peppers and onions first to soften them and then added the rest of the filling ingredients to the skillet to warm them up (before assembling the wraps).

  43. Tori says:

    I love these wraps but since I’m only cooking for 2 we always have extras, even when I halve the recipe, any idea if this could be frozen? thanks!

  44. Wendy says:

    Have used this recipe many times and LOVE it. Now I’d like to try to make it for a staff lunch and wondered if you had any thoughts or suggestions on how to prep ahead and still get crispy results? Could they be warmed (uncovered) in the oven prior to serving? I know they’ll still taste great – but I do love crispy!

  45. Darla says:

    When I make these, I want to make sure I get extra surface area. So, I end up crisping them a couple of extra times on 2 additional sides making them a long rectangular shape. My son just asked to have those “square burritos” for after Thanksgiving with leftover turkey. We are looking forward to it!

  46. Carie Whitham says:

    YUM! I made this as written except for using soft taco size tortillas, less cheese, no cilantro (yuck!) and I added a little corn. I also made the filling ahead and froze it, so I just had to put it all together tonight. Served it with sour cream and salsa on top. Would also be good topped with cheese dip (of course). 🙂 Thank you!!! I shared your link on FB!

  47. Janelle says:

    So for starters, these are absolutely delicious, combining so many awesome flavors. But the real thing that makes this recipe a winner? It can be prepped ahead of time, then thrown together for dinner many times after you first make it! You didn’t just make dinner for one night, you made dinner for all week! (if you’re a single person without kids to eat all the leftovers). The recipe calls for combining all of the stuffing ingredients together in one big bowl, at the end. Then you just scoop out some of that filling, into each wrap, and fry it up (with cheese/sour cream added). What this means is – at the end of the recipe, you’ve got a giant bowl full of burrito stuffing. It refrigerates easily, so for dinner the next night all you need to do is pull out some tortillas, shredded cheese, and that big bowl – wrap together, fry it up, and you’ve just made a delicious homemade meal more quickly than you could have made a TV dinner.

  48. cheryl says:

    Made these last night. I made brown rice with some shredded zucchini mixed in, roasted a Poblano pepper and chopped it up with 3 fresh serranos; used some diced rotisserie chicken breast, black beans, reduced fat white cheddar (Trader Joe’s), and stuffed into freshly made w/w tortillas from my local store. The idea of frying them to a crispy state with just a couple sprays of Pam is really the key for some reason. Also served with freshly made pico de gallo on the side and a dab of reduced fat sour cream. Yummy!!! We ate two and have the two smaller ones wrapped up in the fridge for a lunch this week.

  49. Britt-Marie says:

    I’ve made these before and my kids all loved them! Tonight I had left over shredded pork I didn’t know what to do with and was searching through your recipes to get ideas, there was my answer: “1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (or other leftover meat, like shredded pork or beef)” MKC saved dinner once again! I didn’t even have lime or cilantro this time (which I LOVE) but they still turned out yummy. Thanks!

  50. Brandie Cotton says:

    We LOVE these! They’re so easy, and they please everyone! Last week I made extra so I could try freezing them…I wrapped them individually in parchment paper and put them in a big ziplock. Took them out last night, put them on a pan, popped them in the oven for about 25 min–perfect!!! Tasted like I had just made them. Thought I’d share!

  51. Debora Cadene says:

    These chicken wraps are the absolute BEST. I came across this recipie quite some time ago, and its since become one of my absolute favorites. The flavor is CRAZY, and if you happen to have left over and don’t want to make another wrap…you can turn the mix into soup….I just add some chicken broth and mabey a small tin of diced tomatoes or Rotel. Dollop of sour cream and OH YEAH!! Thanks Mel!!!!!

  52. Kmduff says:

    I made these with leftover pot roast last night. Doubling the recipe was not enough. So delicious and disappeared very quickly!

  53. Sheryl says:

    These are fantastic! I freeze them and send them with my daughter to college. She thaws and then puts in a pan to warm/toast and loves them!

    • Kelsie says:

      Thanks for that comment! I’m trying to come up with a list of freezer meals to make for after I have my baby. I’ve made these before and think they’re great, but wasn’t sure how well they would work for a freezer meal. Now I won’t be afraid to try it. 🙂

  54. Matt says:

    Great recipe. I double it and use guac and refried beans and no green pepper. Also reheats perfect even 3 days later.

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