Enchilada vs. Quesadilla: What Is the Difference?

Mexican food lovers have always fought a fierce battle between enchiladas and quesadillas since their showdown is never decided. Some people prefer enchiladas because of their spicy, meaty flavor, while others enjoy fresh hot quesadillas because of their melting cheese. However, some people may still find it confusing to know which. If you’re one of those people, you may ask:

What is the difference between an enchilada and a quesadilla? Essentially, an enchilada is made of tortillas rolled up and covered in a tomato sauce. On the other hand, corn tortillas are stuffed with cheese, meats, and vegetables in a quesadilla. 

If you’re a fan of Mexican staples but aren’t yet familiar with all these dishes, it can seem not very clear to you. It’s also why many people find it hard to know which is better. However, if you have the same question, then look at this in-depth article.

In this article, we’ll give you all the things you need to know about enchiladas and quesadillas. This way, you’ll have a better comparison between the two and understand each one on their own.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Enchilada vs. QuesadillaPin

What is enchilada?

Enchiladas are essentially corn tortillas that are 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 a quesadilla?

Mexican quesadillas are made from a tortilla filled mostly with cheese and proteins, chilies, and other toppings and then grilled. Corn tortillas are traditionally used. While you can also use flour tortillas, they are less common.

Two tortillas are layered with cheese and sandwiched together to form a quesadilla. A half-moon is formed when a tortilla is filled with cheese and rolled up like a half-moon.

Shortly put, quesadillas are tortillas stuffed with cheese. But, of course, a quesadilla can be filled with almost anything except cheese.

What is the difference between enchilada and quesadilla?

Let’s compare enchiladas and quesadillas to discover their similarities and differences. First, we’ll examine their wrap, fillings, and sauce.


For a reason, both enchiladas and quesadillas use corn tortillas as their outer wraps. However, quesadillas can use flour tortillas in some cases, although it’s uncommon.

Tortilla derives its name from the Spanish word cake, first mentioned in the mid-1600s. However, Mexicans have been making the ingredient for centuries, a thin flatbread made from dried, thinly ground maize.

The tortilla appears to have originated around 10,000 B.C.E., which corresponds with the first domestication of maize in the region. Maize has played a crucial role in numerous Mesoamerican cultures. Locals use it for energy.

There’s more to corn than Mexico and Central America. Corn represents their identity. Most of their classic Mexican recipes include corn tortillas, a treasured ingredient.


Fillings for Enchiladas are entirely up to you. You can use freshly prepared protein or leftovers. Veggie options are also available if you are a vegetarian.

You might consider trying meat components like chicken and beef if you belong to the meat team. Nowadays, any ingredients could theoretically go into your enchiladas.

In contrast, a traditional quesadilla consists of two tortillas stuffed with cheese and personal fillings.

The Mexican cook’s 1831 guidebook described quesadillas with old cheese, cinnamon, honey, saffron, cloves, and roasted and powdered coriander.

Filling choices these days are practically limitless, ranging from fully vegan options to substantial, fusion-inspired variations. It goes well with everything from poultry to livestock, with or without peas, and without the cheese.


The Rojo red chili and the Verde’s green chili are often served with enchiladas. These dressings contain tomatoes, garlic, onion, chopped red or green chilies, and roasted red or green peppers. As a result, the food is usually somewhat spicy.

Quesadillas, meanwhile, are typically served with a combination of green or red salsa sauce, pico de gallo, minced onion, and guacamole. There are several options for sauce, however.

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 various moles among the sauces.

What ingredients do you use for cooking quesadillas?

When cooking quesadillas, you’ll need a tortilla, but it can be made of either corn or flour. The filling of the dish also includes several components, although the primary filling is cheese. Some quesadillas include spices, meats, and other fillings.

A quesadilla consists of heated tortillas filled with melted cheese. Besides cheese, you can put just about anything in a quesadilla. The main component of a quesadilla is the tortilla wrap and the cheese.

Which is better, enchilada or quesadilla?

Enchiladas and quesadillas both have their recipes, flavors, and tastes. The consumer’s preference will determine better since it is a relative answer. To sum it up, you should try both wraps and decide which you like best.

Enchilada vs quesadilla – calories

The quesadilla has a higher calorie count than enchiladas when it comes to calories. For instance, a hundred grams of beef enchilada has 168 calories, while the same amount of meat and cheese quesadilla contains 324 calories. 

In general, there is almost double the number of calories from the quesadilla. But, of course, the difference will be much more significant with a higher amount of serving.


An enchilada is essentially rolled tortillas covered in tomato sauce. Quesadillas are corn tortillas filled with cheese, meat, and vegetables. 

Quesadillas and enchiladas each have their recipes, tastes, and flavors. It is a relative answer, so what is better will depend on the consumer’s preference. In summary, you should try both wraps and decide which you prefer.



Image credits – Canva

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