Enchilada Vs Burrito: How To Tell The Difference Quickly?


When you go out to eat, it might be difficult for you to make up your mind about what to eat. It becomes harder when you must decide between two meals that are similar like an enchilada vs burrito.

Both options are wrapped in tortillas, filled with goodness, and taste delicious. So, how do you decide? What’s the difference?

Short Answer:

Two major differences are the size and the type of tortilla used. Generally, enchiladas come in corn tortillas, while burritos use flour tortillas. Secondly, enchiladas contain cheese and sauce on top, and you typically eat them with a knife and fork. On the other, you can eat a burrito with just your hand. 

But you might still have some questions on your mind:

Well, continue reading, and all your questions shall be answered!


What is an Enchilada?

image of an Enchilada

Let’s talk a little about the enchilada!

Enchiladas are delicious snacks that use corn tortillas as the wrap. Rice, meat, beans, vegetables, cheese, or sauce are the ingredients of its filling.

After wrapping the filling, a delicious queso fresco (Mexican cheese) and salsa are smothered onto the tortilla.

Thus, the ends of the enchilada or tortilla are normally left open.

And you’ll see some of its fillings are out.

In various cuisines, you can bake enchiladas with cheese and sauce to produce a creamy and rich dish. Since there’s some sauce in it, it’s best to eat them with a fork.

  • Fun Fact: The two common sauces are the red enchilada sauce (the more common) and the green enchilada sauce. The option is left up to you.

What Is a Burrito?

image of Burrito

Although there are many varieties of burritos, it generally uses flour tortillas.

A burrito basically consists of a tortilla hugging around a particular filling, normally a combination of refined beans and meat (chicken, beef, etc..).

Additionally, the filling may also include rice, guacamole, sauteed bell peppers, shredded lettuce, meats, cheese, Chile Relleno, and even eggs!

Overall, you can get creative with it!

Unlike the enchilada, you need to roll the tortilla ends towards the center of the burrito.

Hence, the fillings are all inside the wrap. After making one, you can wrap the burrito in tin foil before eating it with your hands.

  • Fun fact: ‘Burrito’ is a Spanish word that translates to mean “little donkey.” Just as how a donkey can carry a lot of weight, a burrito can carry a myriad of ingredients. 

The Difference Between Enchilada and Burrito

1. Taste

The enchilada derives its flavor from the sauce that is used. The sauce is a mixture of dried spices (fried) and tomato paste (rich umami flavor). And it can be either of the red or green variety. The colors might be different, but both sauces deliver a unique flavor.

The red enchilada sauce uses red chili as an ingredient which produces a slightly sweet taste and is milder.

On the other hand, the green enchilada sauce packs more heat as it uses green chiles as ingredients.

Like the enchilada, you taste what you put on your burrito. What you put inside will be the main thing that you will be tasting.

So, if you want a sweet, flavored burrito, you should opt to get some bean-filled burritos. If you prefer some heat, consider getting yourself a burrito with hot sauce inside. The choice is yours!

2. Texture

An enchilada is normally wrapped around a savory filling, covered with sauce, and cooked or baked. A well-cooked enchilada will have a crispy texture.

If you do not prepare your enchilada the right way, it will come out soggy. So always ensure your enchiladas are of the crispy kind.

On the other hand, the texture of the burrito should be soft and pliable. The filling, whether beans or meat, will be moist for the most part. Of course, the texture of the filling will be dependent on what you choose to use.

3. Color

Enchiladas normally use green or red sauce as their topping. This will give it a distinct red or green appearance. Red enchiladas are more common and use red chiles, while green enchiladas use green chiles for the sauce.

Looking at a burrito, the color is normally dependent on the flour and sauce used.

If you are using white whole wheat flour, the burrito wrapping will have a light golden color.

Depending on the amount and type of sauce, the tortilla can reflect the color of the filling, especially in wet burritos.

4. Nutritional Value

If you are looking for nutrition, both options are nutritionally fantastic. Literally! An enchilada is a good source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Like the enchilada, the burrito also contains a wide variety of nutrients. So, if you are looking for a meal with high energy and low cholesterol, then the bean burrito might be for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a wet burrito just an enchilada?

Technically, a wet burrito is not just an enchilada–it’s a burrito that is smothered in sauce. Enchiladas, on the other hand, are tortillas wrapped around a filling and covered in sauce. So while there is some overlap, there is a key distinction between the two dishes.

Which is better enchiladas or burritos?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on personal preference. Some people may prefer enchiladas because of the sauce, while others may prefer burritos because of the filling. Both are delicious options!

Can I make enchiladas ahead of time?

Yes, you can make enchiladas ahead of time and heat them in the oven right before dinner. Simply follow the directions to prepare the enchiladas and store them in the refrigerator.
They can remain for up to 24 hours before you will need to bake them. 
Note: If you plan to refrigerate like this, do not add the sauce to the enchilada until you are ready to bake it. It will get soggy otherwise. 

Can enchiladas be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze enchiladas. Simply wrap the enchiladas with a plastic wrapper and aluminum foil. You can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To prepare, remove the wrappers, cover, and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Can I make burritos and freeze them?

Yes, you can freeze burritos for up to 3 months. Ensure that you wrap them securely before placing them inside the freezer. 
Note: Before freezing a burrito, you should be mindful that not all ingredients/fillings are suitable for the freezer. For example, Burritos with eggs and watery fillings are not suitable for the freezer.

How long do burritos last in the fridge?

You will find that you can keep burritos in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, after which they will start to go bad.
The storage time may be longer or shorter depending on the ingredients used

How to do a burrito wrap?

If you are wondering how to wrap a burrito, here’s how to do it: 
Place the filling over the middle of the tortilla. Avoid getting the filling on the bottom or topsides. 
Fold the right and left sides of the tortilla inwards. 
From the bottom, going upwards, roll the tortilla tightly to enclose it.

Take Away

So now you know what an enchilada and burrito are, but which one is better? Well, as they say, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. It’s all up to you.

If you prefer a crispy, spicy, and corn-flavored tortilla, then you should choose the enchilada. However, if you are into flour and prefer a softer tortilla, then the burrito is for you.

It’s all up to you and whether you will like a tortilla with sauce on top or a tortilla that encloses its filling. Whatever your choice, Enchilada vs Burrito, you are in for an experience.

Happy eating!

Learn more: Chimichanga vs Burrito: What’s the Real Difference?

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