Difference Between Chimichanga And Burrito


Difference Between Chimichanga And Burrito

What is the difference between chimichanga and burrito? There are many similarities between the two, there are also several differences that should be factored in as well.

Chichimanga vs burrito

There is, however, one unique difference, especially that sets a chimichanga apart from a burrito.

Below you will learn all the details about burritos, and chimichangas. Be sure to read the details below, then let us know which one is your favorite! 

mexican burrito

Chimichanga vs Burrito: The Ultimate Tex-Mex Guide

Burritos and chimichangas are often confused with each other, there are many differences that can separate them. Below we will look first at what each one of them is, followed by the many differences between the two types of Mexican food. Let’s begin with the burrito. 

The Burrito

What is a burrito? 

A burrito is a type of Mexican food. It is a tortilla shell that is loaded with all kinds of delicious goodies. A burrito can contain many different ingredients inside of it; however, it is typically made using a large tortilla shell, filled with rice, beans, meat, and may include a variety of vegetables. Some burritos also include a sauce, salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. 

A burrito is then rolled into a large wrap. If you’re getting a burrito from a fast food restaurant it’s typically served wrapped in foil or some kind of parchment paper.

Burritos are then held in your hand as they are eaten, from fast-food chains or restaurants. If you buy a burrito at a Mexican restaurant, it’ll typically come with a large tortilla shell packed to the max and wrapped, served on a plate. It may be topped and cheese sauce. 

How are burritos made?

Burritos originated from a small tortilla filled with only a couple of ingredients, such as rice and beans, cheese, or meat. This is how it would have been traditionally served in Mexico. 

Now, depending on where you are, and what type of place you are at, you can find a burrito, from the traditional, all the way to a loaded supreme burrito decked out with all kinds of goodies.

How is burrito served?

Nowadays burritos are usually served wrapped in paper and eaten while held in your hand. I know in some cases you might find burritos served on a plate and topped with various types of toppings depending on if you are at a fast-food restaurant or sit-down restaurant. 

chimichanga from the side

The Chimichanga

What is a chimichanga?

Although chimichangas are sometimes described as a fried burrito, which can technically be correct, there are other differences that set them apart as well. 

Chimichangas are made with a soft tortilla shell filled with meat ranging from chicken, beef, and sometimes seafood. The meat is usually cooked together with onions, peppers, and sauce such as enchilada sauce, or salsa. The meat is rolled into the tortilla shell, and then it is deep-fried. 

How are chimichangas made?

Chimichangas are made by filling a large tortilla shell with slow-cooked meat, peppers, onions, red sauce, and seasonings. These ingredients are rolled together into a tortilla shell, and then the tortilla shell is deep-fried. Often a chimichanga will be served with queso or cheese sauce on top. 

How is a chimichanga served?

A chimichanga is served on a plate, often topped with queso or another kind of cheese sauce. Chimichangas are usually served alongside refried beans, Mexican rice, Pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole. 

Because chimichangas are not filled with all of these ingredients, they are only filled with meat and peppers along with the sauce, they are usually served with sides such as rice and beans next to the chimichanga. In this way, they are similar yet different from burritos. 

Grilled Cheese Burrito close up

What is the difference between a burrito and a chimichanga?

Chimichangas and burritos are often confused with one another. Although they are both wrapped in a soft tortilla shell, one is deep fried and the other is not. There are also other differences with the ingredients used to make them. Below is a detailed explanation of some differences between a burrito and a chimichanga. 

1. Preparation

The preparation of a burrito and chimichanga are different in that one is fried while the other is not. 

2. Ingredients

Ingredients between a chimichanga and a burrito are also quite different. A burrito is loaded with all kinds of goodies such as rice, meat, vegetables, beans, and sauces such as guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. On the other hand, chimichangas are filled with slow-cooked meat, peppers, onions, and sauce. 


Soft shell tortilla
Slow-cooked meat
Red sauce


Soft shell tortilla
Sour cream
Other sauces

While burritos are loaded and rolled tightly, to form a large tortilla wrap, chimichangas are deep-fried, then sometimes topped with cheese sauce and served with sides such as rice, refried beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole. 

3. Serving

Often times burritos can be served at a fast-food restaurant and served as a handheld wrap. They can also be found at sit-down restaurants, served on a plate. 

Chimichangas on the other hand are served on a plate, after they have been deep-fried, and sometimes topped with cheese sauce. Chimichangas are served with sides like refried beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and Mexican rice. 

4. Appearance

The appearance of a burrito and chimichanga are also different. Burritos are wrapped in a large soft tortilla shell and are usually very big. They are full of delicious goodies. Chimichangas on the other hand are deep-fried and served with several sides on their plate. Chimichangas are smaller in appearance than burritos. 

chimichanga top down

5. Texture

The texture of a burrito and chimichanga are often similar. They are both served in a soft tortilla shell. Usually, a burrito is served in a warm tortilla shell, and a chimichanga is served in a deep-fried soft tortilla shell. 

6. The Taste

The taste between chimichanga and burritos is similar, yet different. Burritos are loaded with rice, beans, meat, vegetables, and sauces. 

While chimichangas are filled with slow-cooked meat, peppers, onions, and sauce. Both could be mild or spicy depending on what types of sauces and seasonings are used. 


7. Eating Method

The eating method between a chimichanga and a burrito may vary as well. A burrito can be served wrapped and eaten held in your hand, or it can be served on a plate, and eaten by cutting it with a knife and using a fork. Both of these methods are appropriate for a burrito. 

In contrast, chimichangas are served on a plate and eaten using a fork and a knife. It is not common to find a chimichanga that is served wrapped and eaten and held in your hand. 

8. Origins

The origins of a burrito come from Mexico. The original burrito is a simple dish made using a soft tortilla shell and filled with a couple of ingredients such as rice and beans, meat, or cheese. 

Chimichangas on the other hand are unknown how they originated, but it is theorized that they came about as a modification of a burrito. Most likely chimichangas did not originate in Mexico, but their origin is not known for sure. 

9. Sauces/dips

Both burritos and chimichangas may be served with sauces and dips. Usually, they are served with things such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or even hot sauces either in them or as a side to dip them in. 

Which One Is Authentic Mexican?

Chimichangas are not known for sure how they originated, therefore it is not possible to definitely state that they are authentic Mexican. Most likely they are not. 

Burritos on the other hand did originate from Mexico, therefore the simple version is most likely authentic Mexican. However, burritos have been modified and made bigger, better, and grander by adding all kinds of ingredients to fill them making them much different nowadays from the authentic Mexican dish. 

burrito ingredients


Is a Chimichanga just a fried burrito?

No, although similar to a burrito, chimichangas are only filled with meat, peppers, onions, and sauce such as enchilada sauce or salsa. They are then deep-fried and served sometimes with a cheese sauce on top. Burritos on the other hand, usually have many more fillings and sauces. 

What is the difference between Burrito Enchilada and Chimichanga? 

Burritos are usually wrapped in a large soft tortilla shell such as a flour tortilla shell, and filled with rice, beans, meat, vegetables, and a sauce. The ingredients may vary but they typically are made up of these categories. 

Chimichangas are made using a soft tortilla shell, typically a flour shell, filled with slow-cooked meat like chicken, peppers, onions, and enchilada sauce or salsa. These tortilla shells are then wrapped tightly around the filling and deep-fried. 

Enchiladas on the other hand are usually made using corn tortillas, filled with slow-cooked or smoked meat, and are baked covered in sauce. 

chimichanga very close up

What makes a Chimichanga a Chimichanga?

The most iconic part about a chimichanga is that it is deep-fried after it is assembled. But let’s back up, a chimichanga is made using a soft tortilla shell, usually a flour tortilla. It is then filled with slow-cooked meat, peppers, onions, and red sauce like salsa or enchilada sauce. 

This combination of filling is then rolled securely into the soft tortilla shell. The assembled tortilla is then deep-fried. After it is fried sometimes it’s covered in a cheese sauce, but this is optional.

Chimichangas are usually served alongside beans, Mexican or yellow rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, or sour cream. 

What is bigger, Chimichanga or Burrito?

Usually, burritos are much larger than chimichangas because traditionally burritos are filled with many more ingredients than chimichangas are. This results in burritos being much larger. 

Grilled Cheese Burrito stacked

Are chimichanga and burrito the same?

Although burritos and chimichangas have many similarities, they are also quite different. They are both made using large soft tortilla shells, usually flour tortillas, but that may vary. 

Burritos are then filled with a mixture of rice, beans, meat, some vegetables, and even some sauces. 

Chimichangas on the other hand are filled with slow-cooked meat, peppers, onions, and a red sauce such as salsa or enchilada sauce. This wrap is then deep-fried, making it uniquely a chimichanga. 

While burritos are filled with all of the goodies inside, chimichangas are usually served with side dishes such as refried beans, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. 

Burrito Vs Chimichanga: What Are The Differences?

Sometimes it is very easy to get burritos and chimichangas confused with each other. Although they are both very similar, there are some specific differences that make each one unique. 

While one is decked out with all of the ingredients on the inside, the other is very basic, deep-fried, and usually served with side dishes that might be included inside the other one. 

Now that you know the difference between a chimichanga and a burrito, would you rather have a burrito or a chimichanga? They are both very delicious to enjoy! 

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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