Enchilada vs. Chimichanga: What Is the Difference?

Mexican delicacies, especially enchiladas and chimichangas, are challenging to recognize most of the time. However, there are so many similarities between these two delicacies that many people are unaware of the differences. Now, if you’re among the people who wonder about their differences, you may ask:

What is the difference between enchilada and chimichanga? The main difference between an enchilada and a chimichanga is the wrap. The tortilla used to wrap an enchilada is made of corn, while the tortilla used to wrap a chimichanga is flour. Besides the wrapping, there are other differences between the two, and we’ll tackle each one below.

If you can’t tell the difference between these two famous wraps, we can help. First, check out our detailed enchilada vs. chimichanga comparison below. This way, you can understand each one better and know what you’re eating and pick the next time you get to choose between the two.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Enchilada vs. Chimichanga

What is enchilada?

Enchiladas are corn tortillas wrapped around a filling and with a delicious sauce. Enchiladas, which originated in Mexican cuisine, can be filled with various items such as meat, cheese, legumes, potatoes, veggies, or combinations of these. 

Spicy sauces, such as salsa Roja, different moles, and cheese-based sauces, such as chili con queso, are examples of enchilada sauces. Enchiladas are a fantastic way for Mexicans to use up leftovers. 

Most likely, the first known form of food was just a tortilla with chili sauce. This dish has, nonetheless, become a famous one throughout the decades.

What is chimichanga?

A chimichanga is a fried burrito famous in Tex-Mex and other Southwestern American cuisines. A chimichanga is a flour tortilla with different fillings. In most cases, these fillings are made of dried meat (also known as machaca), marinated meat (or Carne adovada), dried beef (or Carne Seca), or shredded chicken. Other fillings can include rice, beans, and cheese. 

Once the filling is done, the chimichanga is folded into a rectangle. Then, it is deep-fried and topped with sauces of any kind. Some sauces that you’ll usually see are salsa, carne asada, sour cream, or even guacamole.

In short, chimichangas are a well-known delicacy made by stuffing a tortilla with meat, beans, cheese, and other ingredients, then wrapping and frying them.

What is the difference between enchilada and chimichanga?

Below are some of the differences between enchiladas and chimichangas. You can look at each aspect to see how they differ from each other.


The main distinction between an enchilada and a chimichanga is in their packaging. A real enchilada is wrapped in corn tortillas, but a chimichanga is usually wrapped in flour.


For starters, they vary in one central element. For example, a chimichanga typically has rice in its filling, but an enchilada does not. 

Enchiladas and chimichangas can feature cheese, legumes, shredded meat, and other components. However, since a chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito, the filling must include rice.


Third, an enchilada is a classic and indigenous Mexican dish. A chimichanga, on the other hand, is a Tex-Mex dish. 

Simply put, a chimichanga is not an authentic Mexican dish. The name is essentially a combination of Mexican and Spanish words Chamuscado. 

In 1946, a Mexican Kitchen owner mistakenly placed a burrito deep-fried and thought he developed chimichangas. After being added to the menu, the product soon became popular.


Lastly, an enchilada is always served with spicy or a cheesy enchilada sauce. Chimichangas may be paired with a variety of sauces and salsas. Nevertheless, you may match your enchilada with whatever sauce or salsa you like.

What ingredients do you use for cooking enchiladas?

When cooking enchiladas, you’ll need a corn tortilla for its wrap. The filling of the dish may include various components. However, they combine vegetables, beans, potatoes, cheese, and meat. 

The sauces of enchiladas are usually spicy or cheesy. You can get salsa Roja, cheese-based sauces, chili con queso, or other various moles among the sauces.

What ingredients do you use for cooking chimichangas?

When cooking chimichangas, you’ll need a flour tortilla for the wrap. The filling of the dish includes various components, but they are usually meat, rice, cheese, and beans.

Among the meat you can use are dried (machaca), marinated (Carne adovada), dried beef (Carne Seca), or even shredded chicken. The sauce can be made of salsa, carne asada, sour cream, or guacamole.

Which is better, enchilada or chimichanga?

In general, enchilada and chimichanga have their recipes, flavor, and taste. Thus, knowing which is better is relative since it will depend on the consumer’s preference. In short, the best thing to do is to try both wraps and see which one you prefer most.

Enchilada vs chimichanga – calories

The chimichanga has a higher calorie count than enchiladas when it comes to calories. For instance, a hundred grams of beef enchilada has only 168 calories, while the same amount of beef chimichanga contains 244 calories. 

In general, there are almost a hundred calories more from the chimichanga. But, of course, the difference will be much more significant with a higher amount of serving.


In a nutshell, the main difference between an enchilada and a chimichanga is their wrap. While an enchilada has a corn tortilla, the chimichanga has a flour tortilla. Further, the two dishes differ in their filling, origin, sauces, and even the way they cook.

Generally, enchiladas and chimichangas have their recipes, flavors, and tastes. Therefore, it is relative to determine which is better since it depends on consumers’ tastes. In short, you should try both wraps and then decide on which one you prefer.



Image credits – Canva

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