El Monterey Chimichangas Vs. Burritos: Better Frozen Tex-Mex

Frozen Mexican-inspired foods like chimichangas and burritos offer a quick, convenient meal that can satisfy your Tex-Mex craving without a trip to a restaurant. Two popular options are El Monterey chimichangas and burritos. But what exactly is the difference between these frozen foods? And which one tastes better?

Both chimichangas and burritos are made of a flour tortilla stuffed with meat, beans, cheese, and other fillings. The main difference lies in how they are prepared.

A Brief Comparison Table

Cooking MethodDeep-friedBaked or griddled
TextureCrispy exterior, soft interiorUniformly soft
ShapeCylindrical, cigar-shapedCrescent-shaped
FillingsMeat, beans, rice, cheeseMeat, beans, rice, cheese, veggies
Serving StyleServed with sides like guacamoleServed alone or with rice/beans
Portion SizeIndividualSold in 2 or 3 packs
Convenience10-15 minutes to bake2 minutes to microwave
CaloriesHigher, 500+Lower, 300-450
FatHigh, 25-35gLower, 10-15g
FiberLower, 2-5gHigher, 5-10g
SodiumHigher, 1000mg+Lower, 700-900mg
CustomizationLess flexibleMore customizable
AuthenticityLess authenticMore authentic Mexican flavor
IndulgenceMore decadenthealthier
CostSlightly pricierMore budget-friendly

What Is A Chimichanga?

A chimichanga is made by taking a burrito filling and wrapping it in a flour tortilla. The tortilla is then deep-fried to a golden crispy exterior. This gives the chimichanga its distinctive crunchy texture on the outside, while keeping the inside contents warm and soft.

Chimichangas are often served with sides like guacamole, sour cream, salsa, rice, and refried beans. Traditional fillings include shredded beef, chicken, pork, or machaca (dried meat). However, just about any combination of proteins, beans, cheese, and vegetables can be used.

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What Is A Burrito?

A burrito starts out the same way, with tasty fillings wrapped in a flour tortilla. But instead of frying, a burrito is finished by heating on a griddle or steaming to warm and soften the tortilla. This results in a soft, pliable exterior.

Burritos are typically stuffed with the same ingredients – rice, beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream. Breakfast burritos also often contain eggs, potatoes, and other morning favorites.

Size can range from snack-size to extra large mega burritos. Burritos are sometimes served wet (smothered in chili sauce) or dry.

El Monterey Chimichangas Vs. Burritos: The Key Differences

Now let’s specifically compare El Monterey frozen chimichangas and burritos. Here are the main differences:

El Monterey Chimichangas
El Monterey Chimichangas
  • Cooking method: El Monterey chimichangas are deep-fried for a crispy tortilla. Their burritos are oven-baked.
  • Texture: Chimichangas have a crunchy exterior and soft interior. Burritos have a uniformly soft, steamed texture.
  • Shape: Chimichangas are often rolled into a cylindrical, cigar-like shape. Burritos are more freeform and crescent-shaped.
  • Fillings: Both can contain typical Tex-Mex ingredients, but fillings may differ slightly between the chimichanga and burrito options.
  • Sides: Chimichangas are traditionally served with sides like guacamole and sour cream. Burritos can be served on their own or with rice and beans.
  • Portion: Chimichangas come one to an order. Burritos are often sold in multi-packs.
  • Convenience: Burritos require a quick 2 minutes in the microwave. Chimichangas take longer – about 10-15 minutes to crisp in the oven.

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El Monterey Chimichanga Options

El Monterey offers a range of chimichanga flavors to suit different tastes:

  • Beef chimichangas – These contain seasoned ground beef, beans, and Mexican-style rice.
  • Chicken chimichangas – Filled with chicken, beans, rice, corn, and red peppers.
  • Cheese & Potato – A vegetarian chimichanga with cheddar, Monterey Jack, potatoes, and peppers.
  • Ultimate Beef – Beef, rice, beans, nacho cheese sauce, and red and green peppers.

All El Monterey chimichangas have a crispy fried flour tortilla exterior. The larger chimichangas are around 7 inches long, while the bite-size versions are about 3-4 inches.

El Monterey Burrito Flavors

El Monterey Burrito
El Monterey Burrito

For burritos, El Monterey has these microwaveable options:

  • Bean & Cheese – A vegetarian filling of refried beans, cheese, and salsa.
  • Beef & Bean – Ground beef, beans, rice, nacho cheese sauce, and red sauce.
  • Chicken & Cheese – Shredded chicken, rice, beans, and cheese.
  • Chicken Fajita – Chicken fajita strips with peppers and onions.
  • Steak & Egg – A breakfast burrito with steak, egg, cheese, potatoes, peppers, and onions.

The burritos come in packs of 2 or 3, with each burrito 6-7 inches long.

Nutrition Comparison

When comparing the nutrition facts between chimichangas and burritos, here are some key differences:

  • Calories – Chimichangas are higher in calories. A fried chimichanga can have over 500 calories, while a burrito may range from 300-450 calories.
  • Total fat – Chimichangas have significantly more fat due to deep-frying, about 25-35g compared to 10-15g in a burrito. They’re also higher in saturated fat.
  • Fiber – Burritos typically contain more fiber from ingredients like beans and rice. Chimichangas generally range from 2-5g fiber, versus 5-10g in a bean and rice burrito.
  • Sodium – Due to the frying method, chimichangas tend to be higher in sodium, often over 1000mg compared to 700-900mg for a burrito.

So in general, burritos are the healthier option, with fewer calories from fat and more fiber. But chimichangas make up for this with their irresistibly crispy texture.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the difference between El Monterey burritos and chimichangas?

The main differences are that chimichangas are deep-fried for a crispy tortilla exterior, while burritos are baked or steamed. Chimichangas are also typically rolled into a cigar shape, while burritos have a more freeform crescent shape.

What’s the difference between a chimichanga burrito and a regular burrito?

A chimichanga burrito is deep-fried into a chimichanga shape and texture. A regular burrito skips the frying, so remains soft and pliable when cooked. The fillings may also vary slightly.

Is a chimichanga or burrito better?

It depends on your tastes! Chimichangas offer indulgent crispiness and convenience. But burritos are more customizable, authentic, and nutritious. Try both El Monterey options to decide which you prefer.

What makes a chimichanga not a burrito?

The key difference that makes a chimichanga distinct from a burrito is frying. A chimichanga takes a filled burrito-like tortilla and deep fries it for a crispy exterior. Traditional burritos are cooked on a griddle or steamed.
So in the battle of El Monterey chimichangas versus burritos, there’s no one clear winner. Both chimichangas and burritos have their perks depending on what you’re craving. Crisp, fried chimichangas satisfy fast food cravings in an indulgent Tex-Mex package.
But simple, hearty burritos offer a more nutritious meal with customizable flavors. Ultimately, why choose? Mix up these convenient frozen options for a tasty Tex-Mex feast!

Also watch this about El Monterey Burrito!

The Verdict

At the end of the day, which one of these Tex-Mex treats has the superior flavor?

Chimichangas win when you crave:

  • A satisfying crunch – The crispy, fried shell is the chimichanga’s claim to fame. The contrast of the crunchy exterior with the soft filling is what chimichanga lovers adore.
  • Indulgence – There’s no denying chimichangas are the more decadent, gratifying option. From the fried tortilla to the rich accompaniments like guacamole and sour cream, they are hard to resist.
  • Convenience – Chimichangas require less assembly. Just bake and serve!

Burritos have the edge when you want:

  • A healthier meal – Burritos pack in more fiber and nutrients with less fat from frying. Their easy portability also makes them great lunch options.
  • Authentic Mexican flavor – With burritos, you can really taste the spicy, robust fillings. Chimichangas focus more on that fried flavor.
  • Customization – Burritos invite you to pile on toppings like lettuce, salsa, and guac to your heart’s content. Their soft tortilla holds things together better.
  • Cost savings – Burritos tend to be more budget-friendly. When feeding a crowd, burrito packs offer value.

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