Burritos vs Enchiladas: How Do These Compare?

There is only one weakness on this planet that can bring me to my knees; Mexican food. Burritos and enchiladas are both favorites in my household, so I thought, why not compare them?

Burritos and Enchiladas

Burritos and enchiladas are two of the most beloved foods in Mexican cuisine. But what exactly sets a burrito apart from an enchilada? This thorough guide will compare and contrast burritos vs enchiladas when it comes to ingredients, nutrition, calories, cost, versatility, and more.

Main Ingredients in Burritos vs Enchiladas

While burritos and enchiladas share some common components, their ingredients differ in key ways:

  • Tortillas – Burritos are made with bigger, wheat flour tortillas while enchiladas use smaller corn tortillas. Flour tortillas have more calories and carbohydrates than corn.
  • Fillings – Burritos can have a wide variety of fillings like rice, beans, meat, cheese, and veggies. Enchiladas are traditionally filled with cheese, chicken, beef, or other protein.
  • Sauces – Burritos often rely on tomato-based Mexican salsa for flavor. Enchiladas are bathed in flavorful chili sauces like mole or enchilada sauce.
  • Garnishes – Burritos add extras like guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato. Enchiladas use cheese, onion, and cilantro as toppings.

So while both dishes use tortillas and similar fillings, burrito shells are larger and flour-based compared to small corn tortillas for enchiladas.

Nutrition Profile: Macronutrients in Burritos vs Enchiladas

Since ingredients vary widely, nutrition will differ based on the specific recipe. But in general, here is how burritos and enchiladas compare nutritionally for a typical 6-inch serving:

CaloriesCarbsProteinFat
Burrito300-50030-60g10-20g10-15g
Enchilada150-35020-50g10-25g5-15g

Burritos are higher in calories, carbs, and fat compared to enchiladas depending on serving size. But fillings impact actual nutritional values.

A burrito
Example of a burrito.

Burritos vs Enchiladas vs Other Mexican Favorites

How do burritos and enchiladas stack up nutritionally against other popular Mexican dishes? Here’s an overview:

DishCaloriesCarbsProteinFat
Burrito300-50030-60g10-20g10-15g
Enchilada150-35020-50g10-25g5-15g
Taco150-30010-20g8-15g10-15g

Burritos are higher in calories, carbs, and fat compared to tacos and enchiladas. But enchiladas have more protein than tacos per serving.

Calorie Count: Burritos vs Enchiladas

Given their substantial size differences, burritos also pack a bigger calorie punch than petite enchiladas:

  • A large 6” steak burrito can contain 400-600 calories.
  • Chicken or cheese enchiladas average 150-250 calories each.

So two small enchiladas may equal one hefty burrito in calories, depending on the filling. Veggie versions tend to be lower in calories than meat burritos or enchiladas.

Cost Comparison: Burritos vs Enchiladas

When dining out at Mexican restaurants, burritos tend to cost slightly more than enchiladas based on typical serving sizes:

  • Burritos: $8 – $12 per large burrito
  • Enchiladas: $3 – $5 per enchilada

However, prices vary widely depending on ingredients, restaurant and portion size. Homemade versions can reduce costs for both dishes.

Preparation: Burritos vs Enchiladas

In terms of ease of prep, burritos have some advantages over enchiladas:

  • Burritos simply require rolling up desired fillings in an oversized tortilla.
  • Enchiladas need assembly then baking with sauce as a casserole.
  • Burritos can be lightly fried or pan toasted after wrapping.

So burritos offer quicker assembly and less cooking time compared to baked enchiladas.

Versatility Differences: Burritos vs Enchiladas

An advantage of burritos is their versatility and flexibility compared to enchiladas:

  • Burritos can be hand-held or eaten with a fork and knife on a plate.
  • Burrito “bowls” served without the tortilla shell have become popular.
  • Burritos work for breakfast dishes, lunch, and dinner entrées.

Enchiladas are traditionally baked casseroles served on a plate, less conducive to hand-held eating. However, both dishes allow for creative fillings.

Calories in Beef, Chicken and Veggie Versions

Calorie counts can also vary between different burrito and enchilada fillings:

  • Beef burrito (6”): 350-500 calories
  • Chicken burrito (6”): 300-450 calories
  • Veggie burrito (6”): 250-400 calories
  • Beef enchilada: 150-200 calories
  • Chicken enchilada: 150-200 calories
  • Cheese enchilada: 150-250 calories
  • Veggie enchilada: 100-150 calories

So vegetable versions of both tend to be the lowest in calories, while beef is the highest.

A pan of enchiladas
Example of enchiladas.

Nutritional Benefits of Ingredients

Despite calorie differences, burritos and enchiladas can provide nutrition through quality ingredients:

  • Beans offer fiber, vegetarian protein, and antioxidants.
  • Cheese provides protein, calcium, and vitamin A.
  • Avocado delivers healthy fats, and vitamin E.
  • Rice and tortillas offer quick carbs, and B vitamins.
  • Salsa incorporates vitamin-rich veggies like tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Choosing lean proteins and loading up on veggies boosts overall nutrition. Consider swapping out fatty meats for plant-based protein.

Regional Differences: Burritos vs Enchiladas

While both are found across Mexico, burritos and enchiladas also have some regional distinctions:

  • Burritos are especially associated with northern Mexico and the states of Sinaloa and Sonora.
  • Enchiladas have roots in central Mexico and the state of Puebla, where mole sauces originated.

So burritos could be considered more norteno style, while enchiladas are a central Mexico tradition. But both have become popular nationwide.

Sauces Used: Burritos vs Enchiladas

The sauces and salsas used in burritos vs enchiladas also differ:

  • Burritos showcase Mexican salsas like pico de gallo, salsa verde, and salsa roja. These are tomato-based and spicy.
  • Enchiladas are drenched in classic chili sauces like mole, enchilada sauce, and chili gravy. These are rich, complex, and gently spiced.

So burritos highlight fresh, bright salsas while enchiladas feature cooked sauces with deep flavor.

Taste Experience: Burritos vs Enchiladas

Speaking of taste, here’s how burritos and enchiladas compare in overall flavor experience:

  • Burritos offer a handheld blend of fillings, salsa and textures. Crunchy, cooling, spicy, hearty.
  • Enchiladas provide a baked medley of cheese, sauce, meat. Rich, warm, comforting, savory.

Of course, fillings impact specific flavors. But the burrito and enchilada formats lend themselves to particular taste profiles.

Ease of Eating: Burritos vs Enchiladas

Another difference is how you eat burritos vs enchiladas:

  • Burritos are hand-held. You can pick them up and bite right in.
  • Enchiladas are fork and knife foods. The baked dish doesn’t allow for tidy hand-holding.

So burritos offer on-the-go convenience while enchiladas are better suited to a plate. This makes burritos preferable for quick meals.

Leftover Potential: Burritos vs Enchiladas

How do burritos and enchiladas fare as leftovers?

  • Burritos hold up well for a day or two in the fridge. You can briefly reheat in the microwave or toaster oven.
  • Enchiladas also retain their flavors for leftovers. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave without drying them out.

Pro tip: Freeze burritos or enchiladas in individual servings for grabbing on busy days.

Want to learn about the differences between other foods? Check out Hamburgers Vs Hotdogs

Final Verdict: Burritos vs Enchiladas

While different, both burritos and enchiladas have their place in Mexican cuisine. Choosing between them depends on your tastes, nutrition needs, and meal time constraints.

Burritos make an easy protein-packed hand-held meal. Enchiladas satisfy comfort food cravings with a savory baked casserole. Vegetarian? Burrito bowls accommodate dietary needs well. Got time to bake? Indulge in cheese or beef enchiladas.

At the end of the day, burritos and enchiladas can both provide satisfying flavor. Mix and match both in a Mexican-inspired feast.

In fact, I almost always get the combo plate that has both! Leave a comment below to tell us which is your favorite. ¡Buen provecho!

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