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. Cara says:

    Made this tonight for my husband and 1 year old! Taking my last few bites right now, I gotta say… NAILED IT! THIS DISH IS RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING!!!!! Favorite recipe I have right now. WOW! Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. […] recipe is from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, but I’ll include my slightly tweaked version of the recipe […]

  3. […] Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps – These wraps are tasty and good for you. Not only that, but they sure stretch the budget and take only a few minutes to prepare. For added speed, have some chicken already cooked that you can just shred up. My family loves Mexican style food, so this bean, rice and chicken meal is a hit.  […]

  4. […] Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café […]

  5. Melissa M says:

    We made this two nights in a row. The second night we made a few changes and it was even better!

    We added quite a bit of sweet corn into the mix because I love love the stuff and it made the whole thing sweet which was perfect for us. We also used regular sized tortillas (accidentally purchased the wrong size) and we actually liked the smaller versions. I love carbs and tortillas, so the smaller ones were a better ratio of filling to bread for us.

    Love this recipe! It’s so easy to alter and change to taste. Thank You!

  6. Adrienne says:

    I made this last week after smelling all of my coworkers eating Chipotle last week. I found it on the Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour blog. What a great recipe!! Everyone loved it, including the picky ones. We had some leftovers and I could hardly wait til lunch the next day to eat them again!
    Also, what a fabulous collections of recipes you have on your site. I can’t wait to try many of them! Special kudos to you for making all the recipes printable and I love the weekly menus. Great job!

  7. Adrienne says:

    I made this recipe last week after discovering it on the Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour blog. I had been subjected to the smell of Chipotle all afternoon and was just dying to get home and whip this up for dinner. It was a hit! Even the picky ones liked it.
    I will be trying many more of your yummy sounding recipes.
    Great job on this site and all the work that goes into it! I truly appreciate that everything is printable. Kudos to you.

  8. Sarah says:

    These are awesome! I substituted quinoa for the rice to for some additional protein.

  9. Melisa Harker says:

    I just came over from pinterest and I gotta say yu-ummm! This should make taco night all kinds of Delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  10. […] Image & Recipe here at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  11. Krys says:

    These were delicious! I found the recipe about 2 months ago and I finally made them last night. They are yummy and good for you. I used brown rice in place of white and cut down on the black beans because I’m not a huge fan of them. I also used 100% whole wheat wrap and I also used a “healthier” cheese and they still came out great!

  12. […] 8. Crispy Southwest Chicken Wrap The ingredients The result […]

  13. Louise says:

    Sorry, what on earth is ‘cilantro’??? (I’m from England btw!)

  14. Mel says:

    Louise – cilantro is a green plant-like herb similar to flat-leaf parsley but with a completely different flavor. If you can’t find it, sub parsley or leave it out.

  15. Melissa M says:


    Cilantro = Coriander

    Other English translations:
    Eggplant = Aubergine
    Courgette = Zucchini
    Swede = Rutabaga

    You have all of them at Tesco, Asda, or Marks and Sparks…

    Melissa (my husband is English)

  16. Ashley says:

    These were delish and very easy to make.. I used canned chicken which made this recipe even easier! Ty for sharing.. Yumm!!!

  17. Sarah says:

    These were delicious! I used a skillet for a few, but it was a little tedious, and they were not cooking evenly, so I put the rest on a sheet pan and put them under the broiler until brown on each side. Much easier and very crispy!

  18. Merry Flieger says:

    Made this tonight, It was a big hit in the house….
    I added a 1/2 can of corn and mixed Monterey Jack & Cheddar together.

  19. Joslin O'Guinn says:

    These wraps were delicious! I made them for our dinner tonight,but mixed in refried beans instead of black beans, & used ground turkey instead of chicken( only bc thats what we had on hand). I got the approval of my husband, p,us that of 2 11-year olds;-) Def a keeper recipe.

  20. Joy says:

    Sounds like something my family would LOVE! We like to throw burritos into our little Foreman grill, gives great grill marks on both sides & is fast and easy! Makes a nice crispy crust without any Pam or oil needed 🙂

  21. Erica V says:

    I found this recipe on Pinterest, and let me just say, I started drooling at the screen! I LOVE Mexican food but I’ve been trying to watch my weight. This was a great meal that satisfied my “Mexican tooth” and was friendly to my hips. I just made a few simple swaps to lower the calories- brown rice instead of white, weight watchers Mexican style cheese, fat free sour cream, and a whole wheat tortilla. Mmmmmmm! I found myself eating the stuffing while I was cooking my burrito LOL! Thank you so much for posting this- a definite winner!

  22. Jessica says:

    I found this recipe on Pinterest a while ago and was going through my recipes I pinned and came across this one again. We hit the store yesterday and got all of the ingredients. I am so looking forward to making this for dinner tomorrow night! Thank you for the great recipes!

  23. […]  The avocado came through a lot less that way. And the third place winner is… Crispy Southwest (Chicken) Wraps This was delicious but it lacked something.  Maybe it was the difference of using ground beef […]

  24. Kim says:

    I have made this dish lots of times when I have leftover rice. I often throw corn in too. I spray them with Pam and bake them in the oven and they turn out nice and crispy. Sometimes I throw tomatoes in too. Tonight my sister used Greek yogurt because we didn’t have sour cream and they came out really good.

  25. Stacey says:

    I make a version of these too but I add one package of frozen drained chopped spinach and 1 cup of corn and more green onions. I top them off with some taco sauce and bake in the oven for enchiladas! They are a hit for parties too in egg rolls wrappers – great appetizers! Great recipe 🙂

  26. Sheila says:

    This looks amazing! I love Mexican food and always keep flour tortillas on hand. This is a definate must try! Pinning too!

  27. Amy says:

    I tried this tonight, it was excellent! The only change I made as I used quinoa instead of rice. I have been trying to add this more and this was a perfect time. Very easy and delicious.

  28. Joann says:

    I’m making these right now. Sat down while the rice is cooking. I had defrosted ground beef so I used that, added corn. A few extra “Mexican” favors that I have on hand. I had also made a avocado / cilantro cream sauce to put inside. I didn’t have sour cream on hand. As of right now they smell amazing. I can’t wait to try. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

  29. Menu Mondays says:

    […] crispy southwest chicken wraps, […]

  30. gerri says:

    gonna try these today – but will have to leave out cilantro – don’t have any in the frig, but not a big fan of it anyhow!

  31. […] L- Chinese (Grandma in town) D- Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps […]

  32. Z's mommy says:

    When I saw this I knew I had to make it. I made them last night and my family loved them especially my little picky eater thank you!!!

  33. Megan says:

    Oh my goodness…these are AMAZING! My husband said,”these are top ten for sure.” which means his top ten of all time which says a lot. I have made them before but I guess he forgot. Also, this time I used chipotle chili powder, which I love, and it gave them a yummy smoky, chipotle flavor. Thank you Mel, for this wonderful recipe. It took me a little time, because I had to make rice, cook chicken and cook the tortillas….but it was so worth it. Its my husbands happiest day of the year….the start of college football and I wanted to make something yummy. This was a winner. All three of my children ate one whole wrap….even my 26 month old. I used to love the grilled stuffed burritos at taco bell and the way you cook these reminds me of those….but don’t worry….your filling is much better. Thank you Mel. Your site is the best. Hands down.

  34. […] Credit to the Source Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  35. Ryan Kehoe says:

    I made these tonight for my wife and she loved them but because she is on a low calorie diet we used small corn tortillas instead of the flour tortillas (she said they have less than half the calories so they are essentially two corn tortillas for every one flour tortilla in terms of calories). They turned out great and were delicious. She couldn’t believe that they were healthy!

  36. Nicole says:

    Yummmy!! I am making these tonight with left over shredded pork!!

  37. Amy M says:

    Hey i just found your site on pinterest! i was wondering if you knew how many calories are in this recipe?

  38. Mel says:

    Amy – I don’t, sorry!

  39. […] Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps–What can be healthier than tortillas and beans? Did you know, in fact, that beans and rice together make the perfect low-fat protein? All you need to add to this recipe is leftover meat – shredded pork, chicken or beef, or even ground turkey, and you have a meal that will satisfy the whole family in a healthy way. Adaptable for practically any taste, you can do spicy or mild, cheesy or full of veggies. The choice is up to you! […]

  40. Just saw these on pinterest and they look and sound soooo good! I’m starving and inspired and its not even 6 am! Yum!

  41. […] (Mel’s Kitchen Café) […]

  42. Brooklynn M says:

    These are delicious and simple to make! Made them with my boyfriend tonight and we love them! 🙂

  43. Melane says:

    Hey! I came across you receintly and I wanted to let you now my family and I have enjoyed pretty much every recipe we have tried of yours! This one was no exception! Thank you for sharing your talents and great tasting goodies!

    Sincerly, a new follower,

  44. Deb says:

    I’m in this place right now where 3 nights a week, we’re running to soccer/baseball practice and need something we can grab and go and this was PERFECT! Delicious and portable. Thanks Mel!

  45. beth says:

    I love recipes that are easy and yummy! This is perfect and my family loves it. I’ve made it every time with sour cream and love it but I decided to try out a new spread. It’s a jalapeño greek yogurt dip from Costco and I will never go back to using sour cream on these!!! This spread on these wraps is amazing!!!

  46. […] Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps (by Mel @ Mel’s Kitchen Café) […]

  47. ashley says:

    This recipes looks amazing. I am going to be sharing it on my blog as part of my 2 week meal plan.

  48. Erin Kingsley says:

    I have stumbled upon your stupendous website and I am suddenly interested in cooking again! Thank you. I have been looking for something to inspire me and this is it. I started with these chicken wraps and they were a hit! LOVE IT. Next up, Simple Orange Chicken With Broccoli.

  49. Caitlin says:

    Can you use corn tortillas for these? I can’t have flour tortillas but I don’t know how well corn would work since they aren’t as soft and pliable.

  50. Mel says:

    Caitlin – I think others have tried these with corn. It’s definitely worth a try!

  51. angela says:

    We love these in our house. I made them last night, and ran out of tortilla before I ran out of filling. So, I used the filoing in corn tortillas and made taquitos! They were good.

  52. Lizzy says:

    Made these for my family. I linked to you on my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  53. […] Southwest Chicken Wraps-  This is a new tasty recipe that I can’t wait to try out on the family.  I also have leftover cabbage from last week so I am going to tie that into a side dish tonight. […]

  54. J Gearhart says:

    We had these tonight and they were a big hit. I might of rolled them a little too tight as mine was not as wide as the picture. I did flatten and that did help. I loved the crispy outside. This will be a recipe we will make over and over again.

  55. […] Crispy Southwest Chicken Wrap Recipe (from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) […]

  56. […] Crispy Southwest Turkey Wraps A spicer, less bready take on the classic Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Mix together leftover wild rice, shredded […]

  57. […] Crispy Southwest Turkey Wraps A spicer, less bready take on the classic Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Mix together leftover wild rice, shredded […]

  58. […] I wanted to try out some recipes I pinned onto my Pinterest food board. I ended up making these southwest chicken wraps with some of my own twists on it. They were delicious and easy to […]

  59. Alicia says:

    These look yummy! Do you think I could freeze them? and then cook them as I want one?

  60. […] Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps […]

  61. […] Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted in Uncategorized and tagged crispy southwest chicken wraps, food, recipes […]

  62. KC Dear says:

    I made this a couple nights ago, and my husband and I both agree that this is THE BEST recipe I’ve found on Pinterest and tried!!! It was absolutely AMAZING!!! So good that it’s going on my meal list for this week too!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  63. […] found the original recipe on Pinterest here and made some adjustments in my […]

  64. Ashlee says:

    Found these on Pinterest. Made them today. I doubled the recipe, but added corn instead of 2 cans black beans. I was out of shredded cheese, so I used Laughing Cow wedges. Made them creamier. My fam loved them! Definitely plan to make them again. They were so simple and so flavorful. Thanks! Keep the awesome recipes coming.

  65. […] hand for recipes, baked kale chips for Rabbit’s lunches and snacks, and made a big batch of crispy southwest chicken wraps that were super easy and a pretty big hit with the family.  Rabbit’s even taking one in her […]

  66. Jeff says:

    These look great! I need to include rice in my wraps more often, fills them right now! I love the lime juice addition, I bet it really freshens it up!

  67. Samantha says:

    Just made these! They are SO good – I could eat them in a bowl, even without the cheese. The cilantro really pulls it together. Thank you!

  68. […] Chicken Cassoulet Chicken Cordon Bleu Chicken Taco Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken Cream Cheese Chicken Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps Forgotten Chicken General Tso’s Chicken Honey Garlic Pork Chops Meatloaf Mexican Lasagna Mini […]

  69. Jennifer says:

    WoW!! I made this last night, with a few changes based on what I had. It was sooo good! Hubby loved it! Thank you!

  70. Beth Wadsworth says:

    These are fabulous! I love the crunch of the red bell pepper. I would have never thought to put that in the mix. I had a bunch of leftover pork and left my 13 yo daughter in charge of making it while I ran to the bus stop for her sister. I returned to find her shredding the pork with the cheese shredder. It said to shred it!! I had a good laugh. She is Amelia Bedelia, just like her mother was. Anyway, we didn’t have black beans, so I did sub a can of Brook’s Hot Chili Beans (our fave anyway) and did a double batch. We had plenty for our big family for dinner and plenty for the freezer for later dinners. How great is that going to be, pulling out this yummy food in a couple of weeks with no effort on my part! The grilling idea is great too. I would have just nuked them. George Foreman is going to visit us tonight!

  71. […] Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps This was good! I have made it before and will make it […]

  72. Carrie says:

    Yum!! I am pregnant but recently got the dreaded gestational diabetes diagnosis and was struggling with new dinner ideas that didn’t taste modified. This fit the bill perfectly! Rotisserie chicken from the store meant these came together in a snap and I subbed out flour tortillas for whole wheat to up the fiber factor and decrease the carbs a little. This was the first time I’ve had any rice in 2 months – it was just enough to make me feel like I was getting a treat and without spiking my blood sugar too.

    My hubby tucked into these while I was grilling up the 2nd half of the wraps and his plate was nearly clean by the time I was finished! He declared them “keepers”. I can see the potential for modification too depending on what is on hand. I bet these would be excellent with some corn or fresh tomato in the mix too! Looking forward to experimenting with them and will be putting these into the regular dinner rotation.

  73. […] Grilled Chicken Wraps from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe:  I didn’t have everything on hand (as usual) but had the shredded chicken (leftover from last month’s Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos), cheese, beans and rice so I wrapped that up with some sour cream and crisped these up. We had these again the next night (at the request of my “not a fan of leftovers” husband.  I think I’ll eat wraps like this from now on.  I’m not a huge fan of plain tortillas.  Heating them up to crunchy was super good that might be the only way I eat them from now on. […]

  74. Nicole says:

    I made these last night for dinner, one word AMAZING! Theses will become a regular in our home! Loved everything about it!

  75. […] Mel’s Kitchen Cafe: Southwest Chicken Wraps […]

  76. Emily says:

    This is very easy to make. We won’t comment on the taste until we eat them! 😉

  77. Jaime says:

    These worked out great, even though I was missing a few ingredients (cilantro, lime and green onion) and still were a hit! I used leftover beef that I cooked in the crockpot earlier in the week, a partial pepper, rice I had frozen from a previous meal and leftover tortillas. I love how leftover night took on a life of its own. Thanks, Mel!

  78. Cassie says:

    This looks awesome! Do you have any freezer meal tips for this recipe?

  79. Beth W. says:

    Cassie, I have made these exactly as written for freezer meals. I did not grill them prior to freezing. I wrapped them with saran wrap individually and put them in a freezer bag. Instructions to go with the meal start at spraying with cooking spray after thawing. Just be sure there isn’t any water left in the rice or beans. It should not be soupy.

  80. Amanda says:

    I just made these tonight and they turned out really yummy. I didn’t have fresh cilantro, so I used dried (would be better with fresh) and I used taco bell southwest ranch sauce because I didn’t have sour cream. Only thing I would do differently is I would cut back on the cumin a bit. This makes a TON of the mixture. I used fajita size (smaller than burrito size) wraps and two were more than enough for one person and I could probably make 4-6 more.
    I will be using the remaining of the mixture and turn it into soup. I am thinking a can of rotel and a few cups of chicken broth.

  81. KAREN says:

    These were so good. My family loved them and wants me to make sure I saved the recipe! They were so easy which was very nice. Thank you for sharing this! I added some corn and some salsa and used lemon because I didn’t have lime. I used the uncle bens 90 second rice pouch which made it even easier. Great recipe!!!

  82. Laura says:

    Looking forward to trying this one a night when I need something easy. Looks great!

  83. […] I love Mexican food- Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps! Seasoned rice with beans, chickens, and cheese in a crispy tortilla. Sounds delicious to […]

  84. Amber says:

    Just finished these! They are so amazing! I subbed out chiles for bell peppers and used a chipotle sour cream inside. SO GOOD! Thanks for the idea!

  85. Jennifer says:

    Hello Mel,

    I don’t know if this was asked before but if I made these on a Sunday could I use them throughout the week for lunches if I just put them in a container in the fridge?


    • Mel says:

      Hi Jennifer – that’s really up to you. They taste best fresh, in my opinion, but if you are fine with heating up leftovers, I think it would work ok.

  86. Sarah A. says:

    A friend brought me these for dinner after having my baby and we LOVED them! The only thing she did differently is that she omitted the green onion and green pepper and put in a can of green chilies.They were great! Thank you for the recipe! 🙂

  87. shatha says:

    do you really never repeat recipes?? so jealous of your kids right now, my mom cooks the same thing over and over again, she only has like 10 recipes that she keeps making and they are all the same to me :””( forever jealous .

  88. Janet says:

    Made these tonight and my family devoured them, even my picky 7 year old! It seems like the majority of my supper ideas are coming from you these days!

  89. Lacee says:

    Made these tonight with leftover Cafe Rio style shredded pork. Yummy! I used uncooked tortillas. I cooked one side, then removed it from the pan and stuffed it cooked side up-rolled it up, then put back on the stove and flipped occasionally to cook all sides. I even folded the ends and cooked the ends so they stayed closed so when you crunched into it it revealed a warm, soft, delicious inside.

  90. jen says:

    Just made these for dinner tonight. Very easy and only dirtied one bowl with precooked rice from the freezer and leaving out the chicken (trying to find more meatless meals for our rotation). Also added chopped tomato as some others suggested, left out scallions and cilantro ’cause we didn’t have any on hand. Used a little extra rice as my family doesn’t always love beans but DOES love rice.

    Verdict – super! Hubby and I both loved them. We made 4 big burrito size and 4 smaller soft taco size (for my 2 year old and for snacking). Used the sour cream inside and definitely would again. Amazing how much flavor just the lime juice and a few simple spices produced. The only thing I would do to make them even faster next time is just mix the cheese into the filling — it would save me a few minutes of assembly time and I think would turn out equally cheesey delicious.

    Thanks for a great recipe! With a toddler and another due in just a few weeks I’m finding I really have to change how (and what) I cook. No more hours of cooking for one dinner – we need quick, easy, healthy (and preferably inexpensive), and tasty. This one did it all!

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