American-Mexican or Tex-Mex foods like Chimichanga and Burrito are all delicious and favorite dishes among many. However, some people get confused in telling the distinct differences between the two, or even deciding between a soft and hard taco. We are going to give a quick run-down of their descriptions so that you can easily figure out the differences between chimichanga vs. burrito at a glance.
Simply put, the chimichanga is a deep-fried meat filled with a flour tortilla and various other ingredients, including cheese, rice, and beans. The dish can be prepared using a dried meat, marinated meat, or shredded chicken. It is then folded into a rectangular or cylindrical package and deep-fried and served with melted cheese, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
We are safe to say that the chimichanga is a crisp, deep-fried tortilla with a spicy filling of meats. Where the chimichanga originated from is uncertain, but some accounts state that it originated from Mexico while others trace its roots to Arizona and the United States. Chimi and changa are two Mexican-Spanish terms, with the latter referring to seared or singed and the former implying to a vulgar expression or a minor insult.
A traditional burrito is an extra-large wheat or flour tortilla filled with a variety of ingredients and folded into a cylindrical envelope to hold the yummy fillings inside. In Mexico, burrito fillings can include refried beans and meat. On the other hand, the Americanized burrito version can be made with a combination of ingredients, such as refried boiled beans, Mexican-style rice or plain rice, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, scrambled eggs, chorizo, guacamole, pork rinds, chicken, and many other veggies.
More often than not, burrito ends are folded into a cylinder because they are meant to be held and eaten by hand. Nevertheless, it is not strange to find current burrito versions being served on a platter smothered in sauce, often known as wet burrito. There are no rules of thumb when it comes to burritos, which is why they greatly vary in size and typically large.
Mexican burritos tend to be smaller than the US burritos which are often pretty large and substantial. There are also sushi-style burritos, vegan burritos, seafood burritos, or turkey burritos. For easier consumption, burritos can be folded with an additional layer of foil. Those are bigger burrito versions known as Mission burritos.
Chimichanga vs. Burrito – Key Differences
A burrito is created by wrapping the filling in a wheat or flour tortilla and closing the ends to achieve a big cylinder. Wet burrito variations are often topped with a sauce or cheese.
A chimichanga is considered a deep-fried burrito that can be created into a rectangular shape or cylindrical roll. The two dishes are prepared in pretty much the same way, but the chimichanga is dropped in boiling oil or lard before serving.
A burrito is said to have originated from northern Mexico but the most popular variation today is the Americanized burrito and an iconic dish of the Tex-Mex cuisine.
The origin of the chimichanga remains unclear and complicated. The terms “Chimi” and “Changa” are considered to have their roots in Mexican or Tex-Mex culture. Apparently, the dish has gained immense popularity especially in the local Arizonian cuisine.
Regarding the ingredients, both dishes consist of the same ingredients and fillings with a few distinctions. Chimichanga fillings largely contain a combination of meat and a few other ingredients. On the contrary, burritos comprise vegan or vegetarian fillings primarily comprising rice or beans. Of course, meat-filled burritos can also be available across different cuisines.