Even when you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, burrito vs. enchilada is a topic that sometimes confuses you due to their similarities. However, they differ greatly from each other. Knowing their differences helps you to order the right dish in any Mexican restaurant.
As you may know, many love exquisite Mexican cuisine because of its flavor and fresh ingredients. Among them, burritos and enchiladas have won the hearts of many gourmets.
In today’s post, I’ll provide an overview of burritos and enchiladas, their similarities and differences, and some fantastic recipes to make them. So, let’s go!
An Overview Of Burritos
As a popular dish in Mexican cuisine, a burrito consists of a flour tortilla tightly wrapped into a cylindrical shape around its fillings (1). To make the tortilla soft and pliable, people often slightly grill or steam it before wrapping.
In Mexico, where it originated, the traditional fillings only contain one or two ingredients: beans, meat, Mexican rice, cheese, vegetables, or sauce. The proteins can be beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Interestingly, Mexicans also use leftovers to make enchiladas.
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Meanwhile, burrito fillings in the U.S. can be combinations of meat, beans, and various ingredients. Vegan or seafood burritos are also available in many places.
In Spanish, the word burrito means “little donkey,” indicating that a burrito contains many different things, similar to a donkey’s ability to carry many things on its back.
Different styles of burritos will come with different names. Normally, there is no sauce or melted cheese topped on the burrito, but if you do so, you have wet burritos. Or, when you deep-fry burritos, you have chimichangas.
What You Should Know About Enchiladas
Besides burritos, you can’t help but mention enchiladas as a well-known Mexican entrée. Enchiladas include corn tortillas rolled around their fillings, and these tortillas are covered with a sauce (2).
This sauce has several options: red chili-based, green tomatillo-based, and creamy cheese-based. Nowadays, you can find many flavorful canned enchilada sauces in the nearest grocery store.
The fillings usually rely on personal preferences. They may be rice, beans, meat, seafood, potatoes, and vegetables. Before baking, it’s essential to cover tortillas with the sauce and top with some cheese.
People usually use an oven for baking enchiladas. Different recipes need different temperatures and baking times, but on average, it’s 350°F for about 25 minutes.
Enchilada is the Spanish past participle of enchilar which means “to season with chili,” so the traditional enchilada is often covered with chili-based sauce.
A Full Comparison Between Burritos And Enchiladas
As you got some basic information about enchiladas and burritos from above, I’ll compare them in this section. First of all, let’s consider their similarities.
What Do Burritos And Enchiladas Have In Common?
Because burritos and enchiladas are Mexican dishes, they share a few common characteristics.
The Use Of Tortillas & Filling Ingredients
Both burritos and enchiladas are wrapped with tortillas. But they use different kinds of tortillas. You mostly find burritos with flour tortillas and enchiladas with corn tortillas.
Besides, the selections for their filling ingredients are quite similar. They are usually beans, meat, Mexican rice, cheese, and vegetables. However, there’s a distinction in their fillings, which I’ll tell you in the next part of this post.
Wet Burritos Vs. Enchiladas
In 1966, Beltline Bar, a bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reportedly served the very first wet burrito smothered in sauce.
Interestingly, you can use the enchilada sauce to cover a wet burrito, making this a similarity between wet burritos and enchiladas. Nevertheless, people usually add some tomato sauce to it.
What Makes Burritos And Enchiladas Distinctive?
You can separate burritos and enchiladas by criteria such as tortillas, fillings, size, serving methods, and nutritional values. Before diving deep into each criterion, see the summary table below.
|Tortillas||Large flour tortillas||Small corn tortillas|
|Size||Bigger (1 burrito/serving)||Smaller ( 3 or more enchiladas/serving)|
|Number of ingredients in fillings||Traditional burritos: one or two ingredients|
Others: various fillings wrapped in a tortilla (meat, beans, rice, cheese, and vegetables)
|A limited number of ingredients in an enchiladas tortilla (rice, beans, meat, seafood, potatoes, and vegetables)|
|Serving methods||Eat by hand|
|Eat with a fork and knife |
Accompanied by side dishes
Tortillas Make The Main Difference
The most noticeable difference between the two delicious Mexican dishes comes from the tortillas. Burritos use large flour tortillas, while enchiladas use small corn ones. Also, flour tortillas are often thinner than corn tortillas.
Flour tortillas are made from simple ingredients, including wheat grains, salt, and water. In return, corn tortillas are a mixture of ground corn (maize) and lime. In terms of colors, corn tortillas are yellow, while flour tortillas are significantly lighter.
Burritos Are Larger Than Enchiladas
Yes, they are. Due to the difference in tortilla sizes, burritos are much bigger than enchiladas and often lie alone in each serving. For enchiladas, three or more of them are together on a plate or a takeout tray.
Placing enchiladas together helps to keep them sturdier so that the ingredients do not fall apart after you wrap the tortillas around the fillings.
Number Of Components For Fillings
Except for the traditional burritos, each burrito is large, so you can include various fillings such as meat, beans, cheese, and toppings in just a single tortilla. Meanwhile, you have to limit your fillings to a few ingredients to fit the small enchilada tortillas.
That’s why sometimes you see only chicken covered by the tortilla in chicken enchiladas.
Distinctive Serving Methods
For burritos, the tightly wrapped tortilla around the fillings allows you to enjoy it with your hands. Also, burritos are usually wrapped with foil, which makes it much more convenient. You just need to unwrap it and eat it.
For enchiladas, there are three or more enchiladas on a plate with plenty of sauce. People usually use a fork and knife to eat enchiladas because the rolls’ open ends and the savory sauce make them impossible to eat by hand.
You always need some side dishes for enchiladas, such as coleslaw and guacamole. Rice and extra salsa can also appear on a plate of enchiladas. Inversely, burritos are usually served alone after you unwrap the foil.
Because both dishes are customizable in ingredients, it’s hard to decide the exact nutrition values. However, I’ll show you a chart of nutrition values found in 1 small chicken burrito and 1 enchilada.
|Nutrients||Chicken burrito (Serving weight: 142 g)||Chicken enchiladas (Serving weight: 142 g)|
|Calories||281.2 kCal||210 kCal|
|Total Carbs||25 g||22 g|
|Protein||24.5 g||8 g|
|Fat||8.6 g||10 g|
|Calcium||75.3 mg||60 mg|
|Iron||2.5 mg||0.4 mg|
|Sodium||724.2 mg||540 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.4 mg||6 mg (3)|
Judging from the chart above, a chicken burrito has higher calories, carbs, and protein than chicken enchiladas. This is also the case for most burritos and enchiladas, in which burritos are richer in calories, carbs, and protein.
While chicken burrito also contains more calcium, iron, and sodium, chicken enchiladas are fattier and have more vitamin C. But anyway, both dishes provide essential nutrients, energy, and vitamins and satisfy your craving.
Which Is Better, Burritos Or Enchiladas?
The answer to this question really depends on your preferences. If you want to enjoy the food conveniently with your hand, you can go for a burrito. Or, enchiladas couldn’t be a better option if you want to enjoy a saucy dish.
Another factor you can consider to choose burritos or enchiladas is their tortillas. Burritos are for those who like flour tortillas, and enchiladas are for those who are into corn tortillas.
Oh, here’s just a note: Burrito tortillas contain flour, so traditionally, they are not gluten-free. However, because not all flour comes from wheat which contains gluten, you can try ordering or making gluten-free burritos.
When it comes to enchiladas, corn tortillas are gluten-free, so they are a better choice for those who cannot tolerate gluten.
Savory Burrito Recipes For Your Family Meal
At the moment, I hope you can easily tell the differences between burritos and enchiladas. If you can’t decide which dish you like more, why don’t you try preparing those delicious burrito and enchiladas recipes below? I’m sure these recipes won’t let you down.
What could be a better dish to explore Mexican cuisine than a chicken burrito? Learn how to cook a simple but mouth-watering chicken burrito now with this recipe. Pulled chicken, pinto beans, salsa, and sautéed peppers make a perfect combination.
As its name says, this Mexican-style recipe for vegetarians and vegans is so easy to make with simple ingredients, and it takes you only 15 minutes. This bean burrito is handy for preparing a quick yet healthy lunch or dinner.
If you want to try burritos but in a new style, smothered burritos or wet burritos are here for you. Well-seasoned ground beef and cheese are the highlights of this dish. One tip is to enjoy it when it is warm to feel the most flavors.
Treat your family with these delicious smothered beef burritos.
Highly Recommended Enchilada Recipes
In this section, I’ll give you my favorite recipes for savory enchiladas. I hope you will find your favorite ones and make them right away.
Chicken enchiladas are so popular that you can find them in any Mexican restaurant. Interestingly, you can make them at home with this easy recipe. The filling involves sautéed chicken, green chiles, beans, onions, and cheese. Of course, it’s customizable!
The second enchilada recipe I want to recommend is ground beef enchiladas. This Mexican dish is superb with ground beef, soft corn tortillas, red sauce, and melted cheese. Let’s try this classic enchilada as soon as possible!
It would be a shortcoming not to recommend seafood enchiladas. Fresh shrimp, creamy sauce, and soft tortillas make it a comfort dish. Make your dinner delightful with this recipe now!
Try making this cheesy shrimp enchilada recipe at home.
Here are some frequently asked questions to give you more information about burritos and enchiladas. Therefore, remember to read them thoroughly.
Burritos And Enchiladas Are Both Worth Trying!
So far, I have provided you with everything about the differences between burritos and enchiladas. It’s difficult for me to choose which of them because both are so delicious. How about you? I guess you already have an answer.
If you enjoyed reading my post, don’t forget to share this article with the people around you. Also, in the comment section, please let me know your ideas about burritos and enchiladas. Hope to see you in my next post!
- En.wikipedia.org. 2022. Burrito – Wikipedia.
- En.wikipedia.org. 2022. Enchilada – Wikipedia.
- Manager, C., 2022. Carb Manager.
Table of Contents
- An Overview Of Burritos
- What You Should Know About Enchiladas
- A Full Comparison Between Burritos And Enchiladas
- What Makes Burritos And Enchiladas Distinctive?
- Which Is Better, Burritos Or Enchiladas?
- Savory Burrito Recipes For Your Family Meal
- Highly Recommended Enchilada Recipes
- Burritos And Enchiladas Are Both Worth Trying!