Enchilada vs Empanada: The Important Differences

One of the most difficult decisions you could make when it comes to Mexican cuisine is deciding between Enchilada vs Empanada. The taste, preparation methods, ingredients and variations of each dish can be overwhelming. Have no fear! In this blog post we will discuss both Enchiladas and Empanadas in detail so that you can come to an informed decision for your next meal. We will go over their origins, flavour profiles, ingredient options and more – so get ready for a mouth-watering journey through Latin American cooking!

What Is Enchilada?

Enchilada is a type of Mexican cuisine that typically consists of a corn tortilla filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, and chile peppers. The filled tortilla is then rolled up and covered in either a red or green chili pepper-based sauce. Enchiladas can be served either hot or cold, depending on preference.

Enchiladas have been around for centuries and are considered to be one of the oldest forms of Mexican cookery. The Aztecs are believed to have originated the concept of rolling food in maize-based doughs. They were also known for using various types of chiles such as ancho and guajillo peppers to give their cuisine more flavor. In fact, the word “enchilada” comes from the Aztec word “enxilitl” which means “in chiles” or “covered in chiles”. 

Today’s enchiladas are generally made with red or green sauce but other variations exist throughout Mexico such as mole (a chocolate-based sauce), pipián (a pumpkin seed-based sauce), and tinga (a tomato-chipotle sauce). Enchiladas can be prepared with various types of meats including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, seafood, and even vegetarian options like beans or mushrooms. Cheese is often used as well to add richness and flavor to the dish. 

Enchiladas are usually served with side dishes such as rice and refried beans. They can also be dressed up with sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo (an uncooked salsa), queso fresco (Mexican cheese), onions, cilantro, avocado slices or crema Mexicana (Mexican sour cream). Enchiladas make a great meal that everyone in your family will love!

How To Cook An Enchilada?

Enchiladas are a hearty and flavorful Mexican dish that can be prepared in many different ways. Ingredients typically include tortillas, cheese, meat, beans and a variety of spices and sauces. No matter the ingredients, creating a tasty enchilada is easy with these steps! 

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While that’s heating up, prepare the filling for the enchiladas by combining cooked ground beef (or other protein of choice), cooked beans, onions and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. After about 5 minutes of stirring, add 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of cumin to the mixture then cook for an additional 3 minutes. If desired you can also add some chopped bell peppers or jalapeno peppers for additional flavor. 

When the filling is complete, warm up the tortillas if desired and fill them with the mixture you just made. Place each filled tortilla on top of a greased baking sheet before topping them with shredded cheese. Add your favorite type of enchilada sauce over each one before baking in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted completely through. 

Once out of the oven let cool slightly before serving with sides such as sour cream or guacamole for an extra kick! Enjoy your homemade enchiladas!

What Is Empanada?

An empanada is a stuffed pastry filled with savory ingredients, usually meat or vegetables. It is then baked or fried. This delicious and popular dish originated in Spain but has since spread to many other countries around the world. It’s often served as an appetizer or snack but can also be eaten as a main course.

Empanadas are most commonly made from wheat flour dough, although some variations use cornstarch and even potatoes. The filling can include almost any type of savory ingredient such as beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, ham, cheese, olives, peppers and onions. There are also sweet variations that feature ingredients like sugar, honey, chocolate and fruit preserves.

Empanadas are prepared differently depending on the region where they are made. Generally speaking though, the dough is rolled out into circles and the filling is placed in the center before folding it into a half-moon shape and sealing it shut with a fork or pinching its edges together. The empanada is then either deep-fried or baked until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

In some regions where empanadas are popular (like Argentina), they have become an important part of their cultural identity and cuisine. Eating empanadas is often seen as a social event with friends or family gathering together to share this delicious dish along with some conversation!

How To Cook An Empanada?

Empanadas are a delicious savory pastry dish with a flaky crust and a flavorful filling that can be enjoyed any time of day! Whether you’re looking for an appetizer, snack, or entree, this easy-to-make recipe will have you enjoying delightful empanadas in no time.


– ¾ cup warm water 

– 2 tablespoons olive oil 

– 2 cups all-purpose flour 

– 1 teaspoon salt 

– ½ cup ground beef 

– ½ cup diced onions 

– ½ cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas and carrots)

– 1 tablespoon minced garlic 

– ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 

– ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves 


– Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

– In a large bowl, combine the warm water and olive oil. Stir until combined.

– Slowly add in the flour and salt, stirring until the dough comes together into a ball (you may need to add more water if your dough is too dry). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes or until it’s soft and pliable. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.

– Meanwhile, cook the ground beef with the onions in a skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned and the onions are softened; drain off excess fat as necessary. Add in the frozen vegetables, garlic, black pepper, and oregano leaves; stir to combine everything well before removing from heat to cool slightly before handling empanada dough.

– Cut your dough into 8 equal pieces then flatten each piece into an oval shape on a lightly floured surface; use extra flour as needed to prevent sticking while rolling out each piece of dough.   

– Place approximately one quarter of your filling mixture onto one side of each oval shaped piece of dough then fold over so that edges meet up; press down firmly along edges using tines of fork to seal them shut (you can also pinch them together at intervals along edges). Transfer each completed empanada onto prepared baking sheet(s).   

– Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown then remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving hot or at room temperature – Enjoy!

Enchilada Vs Empanada Comparison

Enchiladas and Empanadas are two popular dishes found in various Latin American countries that are quite similar but have some notable differences. Although both dishes usually consist of a tortilla-like wrap filled with savory ingredients, their origin, preparation methods, and the type of filling used make them unique. 

The enchilada is a Mexican dish which originates from the state of Chiapas. An enchilada consists of a corn or wheat tortilla wrapped around a variety of fillings such as chicken, beef, cheese, beans, potatoes, mushrooms and other vegetables. The tortillas are most commonly lightly fried before rolling them up with the filling inside to hold it in place. This bundle is then covered with chili sauce and cheese before being baked in an oven until golden brown. 

On the other hand, empanadas originate from Spanish cuisine but can be seen in many countries throughout Latin America. Rather than using a flat tortilla like an enchilada does, empanadas use dough to form a pocket which is stuffed with one or more savory fillings. These pockets can be deep-fried or baked depending on personal preference and the type of filling used. Common fillings include meat such as beef or pork combined with onions, garlic, spices and olives; as well as cheese; hard boiled eggs; chicken; fish; potatoes; plantains; and legumes like lentils or beans. 

In terms of flavors these two dishes differ greatly since enchiladas are usually served smothered in chili sauce whereas empanadas can range from sweet to savory depending on what type of filling is used. In terms of calories they can also vary widely depending on how much cheese is used for the enchilada or how much oil is used during frying for the empanada – making one slightly healthier than the other depending on how it is prepared. 

Enchilada vs empanada – In conclusion both dishes provide delicious options that cater to different tastes – though they share some similarities such as common ingredients being used for fillings – each dish has its own unique characteristics that make it stand out. Enchiladas offer diners a mouthwatering combination of crispy fried tortillas combined with spicy chili sauce while empanadas offer options ranging from sweet pastries to flavorful savory pies filled with meats and vegetables – making them perfect for any meal at any time!

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FAQs About Enchilada Vs Empanada

Are There Any Similarities Between Enchiladas And Empanadas? 

Yes! Both dishes are made using doughs that envelope around its fillings making them excellent choices for portability like when packing lunches for school or work – perfect handheld meals! Additionally both dishes come in different varieties allowing you to customize according to dietary restrictions or preferences – whether it’s vegan/vegetarian friendly fillings or alternative flours used in crusts such as gluten free options! Lastly they both offer ability to add various types of sauces and spices on top which makes these dishes flavorful additions no matter what cuisine you’re eating!

What Is The Difference Between Enchiladas And Empanadas? 

Enchiladas and empanadas are two very different dishes, although they both have a Mexican origin. Enchiladas are made with tortillas rolled around a filling, such as meat or vegetables, that have been cooked in a chili pepper sauce. The dish is then baked in an oven. Empanadas, on the other hand, consist of dough circles filled with either savory or sweet ingredients, then deep-fried or baked until golden brown. 

What Kind Of Ingredients Are Used To Make Enchilada And Empanada Fillings?

Enchilada fillings usually consist of some type of meat as well as vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and roasted green chiles. These are often mixed together with refried beans or cheese before being wrapped up in the tortilla shell. Empanada fillings can vary widely depending on personal preference but commonly contain beef, chicken, pork or shrimp along with variations in spices and seasonings like cumin and paprika. Sweet empanadas typically use fruit fillings like apples or cherries. 

Are There Any Health Benefits Associated With Eating Enchiladas And Empanadas? 

Both enchiladas and empanadas can be part of a healthy diet when prepared properly. Enchiladas are generally high in protein due to their meat filling while also providing dietary fiber from the tortillas used to construct them. When consumed in moderation, they provide all sorts of beneficial vitamins such as beta-carotene and vitamin C from their many vegetable toppings. Empanadas can also be a source of healthy fats when using lean meats for their fillings along with unsaturated fat from nuts or seeds included within them. 

Which Dish Is More Popular? 

It really depends on geographical location; each dish has its own regional fans throughout Latin America. But overall it appears that enchiladas tend to be more popular since they’re easy to customize according to personal preference and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner whereas empanada recipes tend to stay more consistent over time due to their deep-frying process requiring specific timing parameters that must be followed precisely in order for them to turn out tasty every single time!

>>> See more: How to make Empanada


As you can see, there are key differences between enchilada vs empanada. Enchiladas are typically made with tortillas, while empanadas are made with dough. Enchiladas also usually have a sauces, whereas empanadas often do not. When it comes to filling, enchiladas tend to have more of a variety than empanadas. Finally, enchiladas are typicallyrolled up, while empanadas are either folded or crimped. So now that you know the difference between these two popular dishes, which will you choose next time you’re in the mood for Mexican food?

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