Enchilada vs Burrito: How to Tell Them Apart

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Krishia Modified: September 23, 2022
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The whole enchilada vs burrito debacle might be confusing if you are not well-versed with Mexican cuisine. Like tacos, burritos and enchiladas are tortilla-wrapped and are bursting with different flavors. But how exactly are they different? Worry not because we got you! Read on and discover what sets these two Mexican dishes apart.

Differences Between Enchilada vs Burrito

an infographic on the differences between enchilada and burrito

Mexico is known for its variety of dishes with flavors ranging from sweet, savory, and tangy to spicy. Aside from your typical tacos and quesadillas, there are two prominent snacks you probably heard of — enchiladas and burritos. 

Enchilada is from the Mexican word enchilar, meaning “to season or garnish with chili pepper”, a word that best describes this food because of the range of spices added to flavor and season this Mexican delicacy.

Burrito, on the other hand, means “little donkey” but has several versions of how it got its name. One is how similar a burrito packed with different fillings is to a little donkey that carries heavy loads.

Aside from their names, what else are the differences between enchiladas and burritos? Well, here’s a quick breakdown of the rest of their qualities to help you identify just that!

Type of Tortillas Used

a plate of different tortilla types

Both Mexican foods use tortillas to wrap their fillings. However, enchiladas are much smaller than a burrito as it uses corn tortillas made of corn flour, while a burrito uses flour tortillas, usually made from all-purpose or wheat flour.

A traditional corn tortilla only ranges around 4 to 6 inches in size. That is why enchiladas usually have open ends when folded because of their smaller tortilla. Meanwhile, the size of a traditional flour tortilla used in a burrito is around 10 inches. With that, burritos are usually wrapped over the ends to secure the fillings inside.

Fillings

Enchilada filling is usually only a combination of one to two ingredients. Burrito, on the other hand, has more variety when it comes to its fillings.

Since a corn tortilla is small, enchilada usually contains a limited number of fillings. It’s typically a combination of protein (ground beef, shredded chicken, pork, seafood, or tofu) and vegetables like beans and potatoes.

Meanwhile, a burrito’s fillings are all contained inside its tortilla wrapper. It holds everything from meat, vegetables, cheese, and grains, to even the Mexican classic guacamole. You might be wondering how can such a wrap enclose all these delicious burrito fillings. Well, you can learn how with this easy-to-follow guide on how to fold a burrito.

Sauces

Another difference between enchiladas and burritos is their sauce. An enchilada typically lies in a bed of flavorful sauce. In contrast, a burrito is an easy-to-hold wrap that you can usually dip in a side sauce.

breakfast-enchiladas-recipe

Enchiladas

Since an enchilada only has limited fillings, its sauce is crucial to its delectable flavor. Mexican enchilada sauces are known for flavor and spice as they’re usually chili-based. It provides the heat that creeps into your mouth with every bite.

You can easily purchase variations of enchilada sauces in stores, but you can also recreate this Taco Bell-inspired diablo sauce.  

exposed fillings of a Mexican beef burrito

Mexican beef burrito

Compared to an enchilada, a burrito typically has a side sauce you can drizzle or dip into as you eat it. Other burritos also have sauce wrapped inside with their other fillings. Burrito sauce is usually a mixture of spices, herbs, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and some lime or lemon. An example is this chipotle ranch recipe that you can easily recreate in the comfort of your home.

a plate of wet burrito

Wet burrito or burrito mojado

However, there is also a burrito mojado or wet burrito. Its difference from the typical burrito is that it has a sauce poured over it, similar to enchiladas. Now, is there a difference between wet burrito sauce vs enchilada sauce? The answer is none. A wet burrito also typically uses enchilada sauce.

Their only difference is that you usually bake a sauce-drenched enchilada before serving. Meanwhile, you pour the sauce into a wet burrito before eating it. In case you want to give it a try, here’s a green chili burrito recipe for you to try the flavors of wet burritos. 

How They Are Served

You usually serve enchilada with different sides and toppings, while a burrito is typically a complete meal on its own. 

Since enchilada only has one or two ingredients enclosed in its wrap, all the other flavors and goodness come from its sides and toppings. The usual additions are rice, corn, and beans, along with different types of cheese, herbs, and chilis.

Burritos, on the other hand, are a complete meal, especially those loaded with rice and other grains. Other fast food chains and restaurants sometimes serve this with fries on the side, but burritos on their own are already filling!

How They Are Eaten

You should use utensils when eating enchiladas, while you can gobble a burrito just by using your hands.

Enchiladas are a bit messy to eat if you don’t have utensils. With all the sauce and side toppings that this snack has, using some cutlery is essential.

On the other hand, you can typically find a burrito wrapped in aluminum foil or food-grade paper. The tortilla wrap also holds everything together, so eating this is handy for those on the go.

Enchilada vs Burrito vs Chimichanga vs Fajita

beef chimichangas recipe

Beef chimichanga

The chimichanga is different from enchilada because it uses a flour tortilla instead of a corn tortilla. On the contrary, the difference between a chimichanga vs a burrito is that chimichangas are simply a deep-fried version of a burrito.

If you want to make chimichanga at home, you can start with this easy beef chimichanga recipe

a plate of sizzling beef fajita

A plate of beef fajitas

On the other hand, what is a fajita? Originally, its name means “little sash”, which refers to the cow part known as skirt steak. However, fajita as a dish refers to grilled seasoned meat (usually skirt steak) or veggies. Steak fajita is often used as a filling for burritos, enchiladas, and even tacos.

READ ALSO: Skirt Steak vs Flank Steak: What’s Better and Their Differences?

Burrito and Enchilada Recipes to Try

Chicken and Potato Enchilada Bake

Enchilada recipes to try: 

  • Breakfast Enchilada – Start your day with a yummy breakfast enchilada. The heat from its chilis and spices will definitely awaken your tastebuds.
  • Simple Enchilada – Too busy to make an elaborate dinner meal? You only need a short amount of time to create this delicious meal that will leave you hunger-free all night!
  • Chicken and Potato Enchilada – This enchilada recipe has the perfect blend of savory, earthy, and tangy flavors and is ideal for chicken lovers. 

Burrito recipes to try:

  • Easy Mini Burritos – If you are not a big eater, we recommend these easy-to-make mini burritos. They are small in size but definitely taste grand. 
  • McDonald’s Breakfast Burrito – We know you can easily buy a morning burrito filled with eggs, sausage, and chilis, but you can also try recreating one at home. The fun part? You can modify it to your liking!
  • Chipotle Burrito – If you can’t get enough of the burrito goodness offered by Chipotle Mexican Grill, try this recipe! It has rice, beans, cheese, tomatoes, herbs, and spices — all you can ask for in a burrito.

Burrito vs Enchilada: Which is Better?

Both are delicious and easy to make, but which is better between burrito vs enchilada? Well, if you’re looking for a flavorful kick of spice with the perfect mix of corn tortillas, go for enchiladas. However, if you’re on the go and in need of a hearty meal to keep you full for an extended period, then a burrito is for you.

But if you want both, why choose? Grab a burrito and enchilada, and enjoy the satisfying flavors of what these two Mexican delicacies can offer.

Read Next: Genoa Salami vs Hard Salami: What’s the Difference?

Krishia

KC is a writer, an artist, a theatre enthusiast, and a food lover. She believes in the saying, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” That is why she has myriads of interests—from photography, cooking, designing, journaling, and the list still goes on. She dreams of traveling the whole country on her own someday to satiate her eyes, her curiosity, and of course, her stomach.