Enchilada vs Tamale: Difference and Comparison

Enchilada and Tamale are both Mexican dishes. Enchilada and Tamale may sound similar, but they are made in a different preparation. Enchiladas are made by frying in deep oil, but Tamale is made by steaming. The spice level is low in Enchilada, but the spice level is high in Tamale.

Key Takeaways

  1. Enchiladas are a Mexican dish consisting of a rolled tortilla filled with various ingredients. At the same time, Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made of masa dough filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables and steamed in a corn husk.
  2. Enchiladas are served with chilli sauce, cheese, and sour cream, while Tamales are served with salsa.
  3. Enchiladas are rolled and baked, while Tamales are steamed in a corn husk.

Enchilada vs Tamale

The difference between Enchilada and Tamale is Enchilada is made by wrapping the meat in a corn tortilla, but Tamale is cooked in corn husks by steaming the meat in a green or spicy red sauce. Enchilada has a sweet-spicy sauce inside the tortilla. The filling in the Enchilada is more.

Enchilada vs Tamale

Enchilada is made by wrapping the meat in a tortilla which is made of corm dough. Enchilada has more filling of the meat inside the tortilla. It has a sweet-spicy sauce in it, which makes it tasteless spicy. It does not contain any cheese. It is then fried in hot cooking oil.

Tamale is a Mexican dish. It is made in corn husks or banana leaves. It is steamed inside it. It has a red or green spicy sauce in it. The filling is moderate in Tamale. It does contain cheese in it. Tamale is made fluffy and stuffed with chicken or pork and then steamed in the pot.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEnchiladaTamale
PreparationCorn tortilla stuffed with fillings.Steaming the filling in a corn husk or banana leaves
Way of CookingFried in cooking oilSteaming in the husk
SauceSweet-spicyRed or green spicy

What is Enchilada?

This is a Corn Tortilla. It has a filling with meats, beans, or potatoes. It is covered with sauce. The sauce is sweet and spicy. The sauces can be used for different flavors like cheese flavor and Salsa Roja. It is a past participle of Scholar. It says the meaning of adding chili pepper to the food.

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Enchilada was first made in Mexico. This type of rolling was done in the old-time during Aztec times. People of the Valley of Mexico use to eat the corn wrap around a small fish. Enchilada is made by wrapping the stuff in a corn tortilla. It has a filling of meat.

Mexican had a street food which served corn tortilla dipped in a sauce and eaten, and these wraps never had a filling in it. There are many varieties like Enchiladas in different sauces. The traditional way of eating Enchilada was red Enchilada sauce.

The filling is mixed with red chili peppers grounded in sauce with various seasonings.

The Enchiladas which are served in moles are called Enmoladas. Enchiladas place are made with various kinds of vegetables and poultry. This is a type of Michoacan plaza-style. Potosinas was first discovered in San Luis Potosi, which is in Mexico and is made with cheese and chili-spiced filling.


What is Tamale?

This is a traditional dish which is a Mesoamerican dish. It is made of corn-based dough. It is made by steaming in a corn husk or banana leaf. The outer cover is discarded and is not eaten. It has a filling of meat, cheese, chilies, and fruits and vegetables. Tamale has cheese in it.

Tamale can be customized, and the filling can be done according to the taste. It is an anglicized version of tamal. Tamal is a Spanish word. This originated back in 8000 to 5000 BC. Tamales were made in different flavors due to the spread of indigenous culture.

Tamales were considered to be a very old food as it may be from 100 AD. There are shreds of evidence like pictorial references. The old civilizations highlighted that the Tamales are portable food as they can be carried while hunting and can be carried for long distances.

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It does contain spicy sauces in the filling.

Tamales were considered sacred as it was considered the food for the gods. The people of Aztec, Maya, Olmeca, and Tolteca were considered to be the people of the corn. Tamales were made and kept in rituals and ceremonies. The festivals surely have Tamales served to the guests.


Main Differences Between Enchilada and Tamale

  1. Enchilada is made by wrapping the stuff in a corn tortilla, but Tamale is cooked in corn husks or banana leaves.
  2. Enchilada is fried in hot cooking oil, but Tamale is steamed in the banana leaves.
  3. Enchilada has more filling than Tamale.
  4. Enchilada is less spicy than Tamale.
  5. Enchilada has sweet, spicy sauce while Tamale has spicy red or green sauce.
  6. Enchilada has no cheese in it, but Tamale has cheese in it.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 05 04T154236.225
  1. http://library.alzahra.ac.ir:8080/site/catalogue/893812
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/281330

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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15 thoughts on “Enchilada vs Tamale: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Enchiladas and Tamales are both traditional Mexican dishes, and they have very distinct differences in both preparation and flavors.

  2. The detailed historical context provided for both Enchilada and Tamale illuminates the rich culinary history and cultural traditions of Mexican cuisine. Thank you for the insightful article.

  3. The detailed description of the ingredients, fillings, and origins of both Enchilada and Tamale is truly enlightening, adding depth to our understanding of these traditional Mexican foods.

    • Thank you for your insights, Sellis. The historical and cultural background of these dishes enhances their culinary appeal.

  4. The historical context you provided for both Enchilada and Tamale sheds light on the cultural significance of these dishes in Mexican history and traditions.

  5. The distinction in the way these two dishes are cooked, as well as their spice levels, is very informative. It’s amazing to see the variety in traditional Mexican cuisine.

    • Your insights on the differences between Enchilada and Tamale add depth to the understanding of these classic Mexican dishes, Henry99. Well done!

  6. The comparison table effectively summarizes the differences in preparation, filling, and spice levels between Enchilada and Tamale. It’s a valuable reference for understanding these dishes.

  7. The in-depth exploration of the historical origins and religious significance of Tamales offers a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage associated with this traditional Mexican dish.

  8. The contrast between the fillings in Enchilada and Tamale, as well as the spicy sauce variations, provides a comprehensive understanding of their key differences.

  9. The distinct ways in which Enchilada and Tamale are prepared and cooked highlight the intricate culinary traditions of Mexican cuisine.


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