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Burritos Vs Chimichanga Vs Enchiladas: What’s The Difference?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Mexican cuisine is well-known for its vibrant flavors, rich spices, and diverse range of dishes. It’s one of the most popular types of cuisine across the United States and some of the biggest favorites are burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas.

These mouthwatering creations share similarities but possess distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Burritos Vs Chimichanga Vs Enchiladas: What's The Difference?

If you’re not familiar with Mexican cuisine, you might be wondering what the difference between the three is. Even if you do know them all very well, you may be concerned about the nutritional content and want to know which of the three is the healthiest option.

In this article, we will take a look at Mexican cuisine to unravel the differences between burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas.

We’ll explore each dish’s origins, preparation methods, and key components and answer all of your questions. Whether you’re new to Mexican cooking or looking to expand your knowledge, this article is for you.

Difference Between Burritos, Chimichangas, And Enchiladas

The main differences between burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas are the type of tortilla they’re made from and how they are served. Both burritos and chimichangas are made with flour tortillas while enchiladas are made from corn tortillas.

However, chimichangas are deep-fried before being served and enchiladas are covered in a sauce. Burritos are easy to eat by hand but enchiladas need a knife and fork and chimichangas can be eaten in either manner.

What Are Burritos?

Burritos are arguably the most widespread of the three dishes. They are a flour tortilla that is wrapped around various fillings to make a delicious dish that can be eaten with your hands.

Traditional burritos from northern areas of Mexico are pretty small and usually only contain one or two ingredients as the filling. These can be meat, rice, beans, vegetables, or cheese.

Across the United States, however, burritos are generally much larger and are packed with as many ingredients as they can hold!

What Are Chimichangas?

Chimichangas are not authentically Mexican. It’s believed that they originated in Arizona and then became popular in Tex-Mex cuisine and across the American Southwest. 

They’re burritos that have been deep-fried. Like burritos, the fillings can differ depending on who is making them, but the most important part is that they are deep-fried before being eaten.

After being deep-fried, they’re often served covered with sauces, making them also similar to an enchilada.

What Are Enchiladas?

Enchiladas and burritos can look similar, but they are very different. Enchiladas are made with a corn tortilla instead of a flour one.

They’re smaller than American-style burritos and are served covered in enchilada sauce, so they have to be eaten with a knife and fork.

Enchiladas are also authentically Mexican and can be filled with meat, cheese, beans, or vegetables. The sauce used on enchiladas is savory and can be based on chili, tomato, or cheese.

Tips For Making The Best Burritos

There are so many recipes out there for burritos that it is impossible to recommend one. They all use different ingredients and the best burrito is purely down to individual taste and the ingredients you want in your burrito.

However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that whatever your burrito is filled with, it’s as delicious as possible!

Burritos need a source of protein to make them filling so make sure you start by choosing the right one for you.

For meat eaters, this is usually beef, chicken, or pork, and vegetarians or vegans can opt for beans or tofu. From there, you can add other ingredients such as rice or vegetables. 

Make sure that you cook all of your ingredients thoroughly. Even if you plan on crisping your burrito and cooking the tortilla a little, your ingredients should be fully cooked.

Try to season them all in a way that will bring out their best individual flavors as well.

Balancing cooking all of your ingredients can be tricky. You want everything to finish cooking at the same time so that everything is still hot when you eat them.

If you do mistime things and your rice or beans get cooked first, keep them warm while you wait for your meat and vegetables.

And finally, the most important part of making the perfect burrito is wrapping it correctly. If you don’t have much experience wrapping burritos, use a larger tortilla.

Wrapping a 10 or 12-inch tortilla is easier than wrapping an 8-inch one and it will give you more burrito to eat!

Tips For Making The Best Chimichangas

Burritos Vs Chimichanga Vs Enchiladas: What's The Difference?

Many of the tips we gave for making the best burritos also apply to making the best chimichangas. You will need to cook your filling and assemble your tortilla before you can fry it, after all!

Traditionally, chimichangas are deep-fried to get that delicious crispy exterior. However, you can also pan-fry them or even fry them in an air fryer if you want to avoid using hot oil.

If you do decide to fry them in oil, make sure that your oil is at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need much oil and only a few inches deep will suffice.

One of the trickiest oars of deep-frying chimichangas is ensuring that they stay together as they’re being fried. The easiest way to prevent them from coming open is to use a toothpick or wooden skewer and pierce them closed.

You can also press the sides together with your fingers and place them in the oil seam down if you don’t want to use skewers.

Tips For Making The Best Enchiladas

Making enchiladas is a little different from making burritos and chimichangas because of their smaller size and corn tortillas.

It’s very easy for enchiladas to become too soggy, especially after the sauce has been applied, so we recommend frying your corn tortillas for a few seconds before making your enchiladas.

This will prevent them from soaking up too much sauce and becoming soggy.

We also recommend being restrained with your enchilada sauce. Enchiladas do not need to swim in sauce and should be lightly coated with sauce, not fully submerged! We recommend using one cup of sauce for every two enchiladas.

Burritos Vs Chimichangas Vs Enchiladas Comparison Table

Type of tortillaFlourFlourCorn
Method of eatingHandHand or knife and forkKnife and fork
Cooked wraps?NoFriedNo

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

The nutritional content of all three can vary greatly depending on the fillings. You should check the nutritional value of your chosen burrito, chimichanga, or enchilada.

For the purposes of this table, we’ve picked a pretty simple variation of each that has meat but isn’t packed with many other fillings. The enchilada includes a typical enchilada sauce.

Enchiladas have a much lower calorie content compared to burritos and chimichangas because corn tortillas are healthier than flour tortillas.

Corn tortillas are made from whole grains so they naturally have fewer calories, but are also lower in sodium and carbs. Even the addition of enchilada sauce doesn’t negate how much healthier corn tortillas are.

Frying chimichangas affects their nutritional value. Although the calorie content of chimichangas isn’t that different from the content of burritos, it does greatly increase the amount of sodium.

If you’re trying to avoid sodium in your diet, you should avoid fried foods such as chimichangas.

Category 3.5 oz (100g)BurritosChimichangasEnchiladas
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin D0.2mcg0mcg0.1mcg
Vitamin B120.64mcg0.27mcg0.5mcg

Final Thoughts

In this article, we took a closer look at burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas. Although the three dishes share many things in common, they differ in the type of tortilla used, the cooking method, how they’re served, and their origin.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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