Difference Between Enchilada and Quesadilla

Mexican food is known for its spiciness and distinctive flavors. Enchilada and Quesadilla are two of these foods. The richness of the cheese and different spices make them a fan favorite. They may have originated from Mexico but now have been eaten all over the world.

Enchilada and Quesadilla are very popular and a staple in Mexican households. They use similar ingredients, and it may be the reason why people get confused between the two. The dishes are now served with various combinations than earlier.

Enchilada vs Quesadilla

The main difference between Enchilada and Quesadilla is that Enchilada is known for its special “red” sauce that is traditionally tomato-based and is highly spicy. Quesadilla, on the other hand, is known for preparing with the use of different types of cheese.

Enchilada vs Quesadilla

Enchilada is a Mexican dish that is packed with flavors of traditional chili sauce. The name means ” to the season with chili,” and this chili sauce is the main ingredient. The dish is also topped with cheese on top. It can be made with either corn or wheat flour.

Quesadilla is a very popular food dish that is made of tortilla, and the inside is usually filled with full of cheese. It is the main ingredient of the dish. Many variations can be done in the preparation of the dish, that is, whether meat be added or not, what kind of veggies, etc.

Comparison Table Between Enchilada and Quesadilla

Parameters of Comparison EnchiladaQuesadilla
Word comes fromFrom the Mexican word “to season with chilli”.From the Mexican word “queso”, which means cheese.
DefinitionEnchilada is a food dish that is made by rolling put tortilla and topped with a tomato-based sauce.Quesadilla is a dish made out of corn tortillas that are stuffed with cheese, meats, and vegetables. It depends on the choice of the eater.
  Main ingredientRed chilli sauce that is topped on the rolled tortilla.Cheese stuffed between two pieces of tortillas is the main food ingredient.
 Side sauce There is no need for side sauce for Enchilada, the red sauce on top of it is enough.Different types of sauces to dip Quesadilla can be prepared.
Food preparation methodEnchilada is baked after its preparation.Quesadilla is melted or grilled until the cheese inside melts.

What is Enchilada?

Enchilada is a traditional Mexican dish that is drenched in sauce. Cheese is a main part of the food and acts as a dash. The dish is so special for the people of Mexico that they celebrate the 5th of May as the “National Enchiladas Day.”

For the preparation of an Enchilada, one would need corn flour for the making of the bread of the dish. Next comes the filling, which depending on the user, can be made of mutton or chicken. Now, many vegetarian and vegan options have been in use as well, whether it be in homes or restaurants.

Enchilada is spread with a load of sauce on it before rolling the stuffed tortilla. Cheese is also a popular choice for topping with the sauce. The dish is then baked in an oven for a particular time, depending on the size. Cuttlery like knives and spoons are used for cutting and eating food.

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What is Quesadilla?

Quesadilla is a cheese dish from Mexican roots. The main dish is made out of corn or wheat tortilla with cheese and other toppings like vegetables in between them. A side sauce is made to be eaten with the dish. It is typically made with a whole lot of different spices and other ingredients like mayonnaise, etc.

The toppings between the two tortillas can be of many variations. Most popular include types of beans like pento or black, different types of vegetables like onions, corn, tomatoes, etc.

Cheese like mozzarella, American, any other type is also added. The tortilla for the dish is now also made with wheat as well, but traditionally, it is made with corn tortilla. Queso means Cheese in Mexican, and thus the name clearly defines the intent of the dish.

The cheese is also depended on the choice of the eater. Though, cheddar cheese is not typically used. And now, for people who don’t like cheese, they can use other ingredients like avocados or any other option.

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Main Differences Between Enchilada and Quesadilla

  1. The main ingredient in Enchilada is the sauce, traditionally a spicy chili sauce. On the other hand, the main ingredient in Quesadilla is the cheese-filled between the two tortillas.
  2. Enchilada needs a sort of rolling method or technique for its preparation. On the contrary, there is no need for any type of rolling or anything in the making of Quesadilla. For Quesadilla, only stuffing between the two tortillas is enough.
  3. Quesadilla is traditionally grilled or melted after it is fully prepared, while after the final step of drenching the sauce on Enchilada, they are baked in an oven.
  4. Enchilada does not require any side sauce(s) as it is already covered with its traditional hot red spicy sauce. Though, for Quesadilla, it can be eaten without or with different options of sauces to dip.
  5. Enchilada, on average, has fewer calories in comparison to Quesadilla. Quesadilla is usually higher in calories. The reason can be that load amount of cheese that is used in the making id the dish.
Difference Between Enchilada and Quesadilla


Enchilada and Quesadilla have similar roots. They are both some flavorful wrapped Mexican foods. Both the foods have come up quite a long way from their traditional ingredients, now people can make them with their own variations and combinations which they prefer.

But both have distinctive features about them. Whether it be the ingredients involved in them or the preparation method. For Enchilada, one of the features that make it different is that it is baked, and the Quesadilla is just heated to a certain degree until the cheese inside is melted.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27502154
  2. https://www.proquest.com/openview/ff78cf5201345f4cf441f6748a9dda67/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1819820
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Last update on 2022-10-04 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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