I love both chimichangas and burritos and every single dish that can be served alongside and inside them. While both of them are made of corn flour tortilla wrapped around delicious fillings, their final preparation ends up producing two Mexican food staples that are so different, yet delicious. If it were your choice, who would win the battle of chimichanga vs burrito?
- Chimichanga vs Burrito
- What is a Chimichanga?
- What is in a Chimichanga?
- How to Serve
- How to make Chimichanga
- What is a Burrito?
- Burrito Fillings
- How to Perfectly Fold a Burrito and Chimichanga
- Tips for Perfecting the Fold:
- People Also Ask [FAQs]
- Wrap Up: What is the Difference Between Burrito and Chimichanga?
Chimichanga vs Burrito
Here below you can find a quick deep dive into the main differences between chimichangas and burritos.
- Burritos originated in Northern Mexico and Southern California and are believed to have been created around the 1900s.
- Chimichangas, on the other hand, are definitely more recent. Some say they originated in Tucson, Arizona, while others believe they were first made in Sonora, Mexico.
- FUN FACT! One popular story is that a chef accidentally dropped a burrito in a deep fryer, resulting in the creation of the chimichangas! Whether this is true or not, I am grateful to whoever invented this delicious dish!
- Burritos are typically made by filling corn tortillas with various ingredients, such as rice, beans, meat, cheese, and salsa, and then rolling it into a cylindrical shape.
- Chimichangas are also made by first filling a corn tortilla with ingredients, but they are then folded [rather than rolled] into a rectangular shape, and finally deep-fried until crispy.
- Both: Various herbs and spices are used to flavor the fillings!
- Burritos often include rice, beans, cheese, and different meats, such as chicken, beef, or pork.
- Chimichangas usually contain similar ingredients to burritos, but the main difference is that they’re deep-fried. This gives chimichangas a crispy texture on the outside, while still being soft on the inside.
The way chimichangas and burritos are served is another difference between the two dishes.
- Burritos are typically served wrapped up and can be eaten by hand. They are in fact a popular street food all over the world and can be found at stalls in markets too.
- Chimichangas, however, are usually served on a plate with sauces such as sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. Melted cheese sometimes is added on top, making utensils quite useful!
What is a Chimichanga?
Chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito, a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a filling, usually meat or beans [or both], and cheese, wrapped in a big flour tortilla and then deep-fried until crispy. The crispy exterior and warm, gooey filling make for a perfect combination of texture and flavorful goodness.
What is in a Chimichanga?
The possibilities of what can be wrapped inside corn flour tortillas are endless! You can go for classic shredded chicken or beef, or mix it up with veggies, beans, or seafood. I love my corn flour tortilla filled with a combination of shredded chicken, black beans, cheese, and some spicy salsa, although I never say no to tomato rice. However, you can also get creative and try fusion-style fillings like Korean BBQ or buffalo chicken.
How to Serve
When it comes to sides, you will want something fresh and light to balance out the richness of the Chimichanga. Most times, a side of guacamole and sour cream will do the job, although salsa is a great addition too. For an even fresher and lighter side, you can also go for a simple salad of greens with a citrus vinaigrette, nopales, or a salsa. For something more indulgent, some crispy sweet potato fries or fried plantains are also great popular options.
How to make Chimichanga
You can make a Chimichanga in a few different ways, but deep-frying is the most common and traditional way. For a healthier version, these can also be baked!
- Preheat oil to 350 degrees F to deep fry, then carefully add your Chimichanga, ensuring it is fully submerged. Fry until golden brown, typically for about 5-7 minutes.
- If you are baking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F, and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. You can also use a little oil spray if you have it, before adding the chimichangas to the oven!
What is a Burrito?
A burrito is a flour tortilla that is filled with ingredients such as beans, meat, rice, cheese, and vegetables, then wrapped and rolled to form a cylindrical shape. Of course, the beauty of a burrito is that you can make it your own by customizing the filling and adding different flavors and textures!
Like most, I love serving my burritos with a side dish! A simple side salad with a tangy dressing cuts through the richness of the burrito and adds a refreshing touch to the meal. Alternatively, you can whip up some homemade guacamole and serve it with tortilla chips for a crunchy and creamy snack on the side. Many other side options include sour cream, mild to super spicy salsas, refried beans, and good old fries!
- Vegetarian option: Fill your burrito with black beans, sautéed bell peppers and onions, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese.
- Meat option: Slow cooked shredded chicken or beef made with taco seasoning, rice, beans, salsa, and - of course! - shredded cheese.
- Breakfast Burrito: Scrambling some eggs with chorizo, cheese, and chives and rolling it up in a tortilla is the perfect way to start your day. Add some crispy bacon or hash browns to the mix too if you have them!
- California Burrito: One big flour tortilla filled with fries, carne asada, guacamole, pico de gallo, and melty cheese.
How to Perfectly Fold a Burrito and Chimichanga
Burritos and chimichangas need to be wrapped tightly to avoid the filling going all over the place, so here below I share how I do it at home.
1. How to Fold a Burrito:
- Place the tortilla wrap on a flat surface and scoop your fillings along the center. Keep the ingredients close to one end of the tortilla for best results, leaving an inch or two of space around the edge.
- Now that the fillings are in place, take the end closest to the ingredients and pull it towards the center, tucking the contents inside. Repeat with the other end, creating a "U" shape with the tortilla.
- With both ends secured over the fillings, it's time to roll the burrito. Fold the bottom of the tortilla towards the center, then tightly roll the tortilla towards the edge that still hasn't been folded over.
- Once the burrito is tightly rolled, tuck the remaining edge underneath to ensure that it stays closed.
2. How to Fold a Chimichanga:
- Similarly to the burrito folding technique, scoop your ingredients onto one side of the tortilla wrap, leaving space around the edges.
- Fold the unfilled end over the ingredients and tuck in the edges.
- Now that the ingredients are secure, tightly roll the tortilla to the opposite side.
- To ensure that it stays closed, fold the sides up towards the center and insert toothpicks to hold it in place if needed.
- Once you've finished frying the chimichanga create, remove the toothpicks, and serve with your favorite toppings.
Tips for Perfecting the Fold:
- Don't overload your tortilla with ingredients. Keep it simple so that the tortilla can easily be folded into a tight wrap.
- If you like a very rich roll, buy extra larger tortilla wraps, so allow more filling to fit in.
- Make sure that the tortilla is warm. This helps it to be more pliable and easier to fold.
- Tuck the tortilla tightly as you roll it, preventing the contents from spilling out. This is especially important if deep frying your chimichangas, as they may completely break in the hot oil.
- Use toothpicks to secure the chimichanga while frying it; this will help hold it together while retaining its shape.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
According to Tasting Table, Monica Flin is credited with inventing the modern-day chimichanga in the late 1940s or early '50s when she owned El Charro Café in downtown Tucson; it was a happy accident that resulted from her dropping a burrito into the hot oil.
A wet burrito is a burrito filled with ingredients like beans, cheese, and meat that is smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese for an extra flavorful experience.
Wrap Up: What is the Difference Between Burrito and Chimichanga?
- Chimichangas (deep-fried burritos) and burritos are two traditional Mexican dishes that have similarities but are also distinct in their own way.
- Whether it's deep-fried or baked, stuffed with meat or beans, the endless possibilities of fillings make both dishes incredibly delicious and satisfying.
- As most of the ingredients can be easily found in larger supermarkets, you can make these Tex Mex dishes in the comfort of your home and personalize them to your taste!