Wraps and burritos are two popular flatbread dishes that are served almost worldwide, and the two can look very similar at first!
However, there are some big differences between wraps and burritos, and knowing the differences does help you know which would be better for certain meals.
What is the difference between a wrap and a burrito? While they are both flatbread foods, there are a few differences between wraps and burritos. The main difference between the two is that wraps are most commonly served cold. Burritos are mostly served hot, but they can be served cold too.
Read on to find out more about the differences between wraps and burritos so you can better identify both and know when it is best to use one or the other!
What Is A Wrap?
A wrap can refer to a range of unleavened and leavened flatbreads (like tortillas) which are rolled flat and then cooked, either baked or fried.
Leavened flatbreads can contain some type of leavening agent, whether it is yeast or a sourdough starter. How dense or airy a leavened flatbread is will depend on how long it is left to rise.
A wrap is filled with different ingredients and then rolled around them to create a meal.
Wraps are very versatile, as they can be served with a wide range of ingredients and meals, and while they can be served warm, they are most commonly served cold.
The most popular way to enjoy a wrap is at lunchtime, filled with ingredients such as salad and protein, as it is easy to carry and eat and makes for a light meal. They’re also a common staple of catered office lunches in the United States.
Wraps can also be served plain alongside a meal, where you can use them to pick up food on your plate and eat it as is.
What Is A Burrito?
Burritos are a Mexican meal made from a rolled-up wheat tortilla containing a Tex-Mex filling, at least in the United States.
There are many possible fillings that can be used to make a burrito, but generally, it involves minced meat, chicken, or grilled vegetables.
Burritos are a popular meal served at Mexican-American restaurants where your option of fillings is quite wide, with the wheat tortillas containing meat, rice, beans, vegetables, cheese, and salsa, creating a filling and delicious dish.
One thing to keep in mind is that the wheat tortilla used to wrap a burrito can also be considered a wrap — it is the filling and the way that a burrito is served that differs from a wrap!
Burritos are often fried or baked with the filling, to warm it all up and to melt the cheese in the wrap. Burritos can be served cold, but they are almost always served warm.
Wrap Flatbread Ingredients
The ingredients used to make a wrap can vary depending on whether it is leavened or unleavened, but generally, the ingredients are fairly similar.
A basic leavened flatbread for a wrap includes the following ingredients:
- Active dry yeast
- Warm water
- Olive oil
- Whole wheat flour
- All-purpose flour
A mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour can be used, but you can use one or the other if you would prefer.
Burrito Flatbread Ingredients
Most burritos are made using wheat flour tortillas, which are unleavened flatbreads that are quite simple to make as they only contain a few ingredients, all of which you would likely have at home already!
The ingredients needed to make wheat flour tortillas include:
- Plain wheat flour
- Vegetable oil
Corn tortillas were traditionally used to make burritos as well, and these can still be enjoyed as a gluten-free option.
The ingredients for corn tortillas include:
- Masa Harina corn flour
That’s all you need to start making corn tortillas for burritos!
How Are Wraps Made?
You can easily make wraps at home — the process is fairly easy, but it is slightly time-consuming and fairly laborious.
The first step in making leavened wraps is to dissolve the yeast in warm water and help to activate it. The flour, oil, and salt are then mixed into the yeast and water, stirring for long enough until it forms a firm dough.
This dough then needs to be kneaded on a floured countertop until it is elastic and smooth, which usually takes around 8 minutes.
The dough, once kneaded, is then placed in an oil-coated bowl and left to rise in a warm area until doubled in size, which will take around an hour.
After an hour, the dough is then punched down and placed back on a floured surface. It should then be divided into smaller portions and rolled into desired wrap size, usually with an 8-inch diameter.
The individual wraps should then be fried on a skillet over medium heat, turning once bubbles have formed. Once both sides of the wrap are golden brown, it is cooked!
How Are Burritos Made?
Burritos are popularly made using flour tortillas — while these are similar to wraps, they are unleavened, so there are a few steps that are left out when making tortillas compared to wraps.
The first step in making tortillas is to combine the vegetable oil, salt, and flour in a bowl. Water is then added to the mix and it is all mixed together until it forms a dough.
The dough should then be kneaded on a lightly floured surface for around 5 minutes, until soft and smooth. It should then be covered with a clean kitchen towel and left to rest for around 15 minutes.
After being left to rest, the dough can then be cut into smaller portions, and each portion should then be rolled out as thinly as possible.
These individual flat portions should then be cooked in a frying pan over medium heat, for around 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
How Are Wraps Served?
How wraps are served does really come down to personal preference, but they are most commonly served cold.
The ingredients that are found inside of a wrap are usually best suited to being served cold, such as salad ingredients, but there are other wrap ingredients that are suited to being served warm.
Wraps are filled with the chosen ingredients, and then rolled up and secured. Usually, wraps are eaten like a sandwich, without unrolling them.
However, some types of wrap flatbreads are served on their own alongside a meal, and can be used as a carrier for some of the food, such as naan bread might be used for a curry.
Wraps are most popularly enjoyed as a lunch meal, but in the summer they can make for a light, cool dinner — there really are so many options with what you can fill the wrap with!
How Are Burritos Served?
Burritos are served similar to wraps, but one of the biggest differences is that burritos are almost always served warm, whereas wraps are almost always served cold.
Burritos can also be served cold, but it is not that common.
The other difference comes in with the fillings found in a burrito. Where wraps usually contain light, salad-like fillings, burritos are heartier, and commonly include a combination of meat, rice, beans, cheese, and more.
These fillings are placed onto a tortilla wrap which is then wrapped up securely to keep the fillings contained to ensure they do not fall out the other end, even when taking a bite.
Often, once rolled, the burrito is wrapped in aluminum foil, and then baked in the oven to warm up. If aluminum foil is not used, then the burrito can be placed on a skillet to warm through and melt any cheese it might be filled with.
Burritos are also commonly served with sides and condiments such as guacamole, salsa, and crema.
What Are Wraps Filled With?
As wraps are commonly served cold, they can be paired with many different ingredients, and you can also warm the wrap up if the ingredients call for it too.
Some people even use lettuce instead of a flatbread wrap — obviously you wouldn’t heat those. Just make sure to use enough lettuce layers so you have a sturdy wrapper!
Here are some popular wrap fillings to try out:
Vegetarian wraps are light and make for a great lunch. You can add in just about any type of veggie you want, but a good combination is roasted vegetables, pickled onions, and tzatziki.
You can either choose roasted vegetables or fresh, depending on the type that you are using.
A falafel wrap is one of the most popular around, and for good reason. The combination of falafel, avocado, herbs, hummus, and tahini is nearly unbeatable!
Chicken is a popular wrap filling, as it is great to serve cold and hot. A simple chicken wrap is very versatile — start with some shredded chicken, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and garlic mayo. You could add in some extra veggies too.
A salad wrap is a great way to use up the small bits of salad left in your refrigerator. A good combination to include is lettuce, rocket, cucumber, onions, grated cheddar, avocado, and some hummus.
Once again, this is a very versatile wrap that can be mixed and changed to suit your preferences and to suit whatever you need to use up in your fridge.
If you are feeling a little fancy, you can try out a prawn wrap. A prawn wrap includes cooked prawns, diced avocado, chives, and a mix of mayonnaise, ketchup, and tabasco. It will taste similar to a prawn cocktail in a wrap.
To add a little more crunch and freshness to the wrap, you can include some freshly chopped lettuce.
What Are Burritos Filled With?
There are many different types of burrito fillings to choose from, whether you want something classic or a little different! It’s a fun food to experiment with.
Here are some of the classic combinations for burrito fillings:
A classic burrito combination includes seasoned ground beef, rice, refried beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, chili sauce, and sometimes cheese.
This is the burrito that you will likely receive if you order one at a Mexican restaurant.
Steak burritos, or carne asada, features marinated grilled steak, cilantro, diced onion, and black beans. This is another classic and very popular option!
With pork burritos, you can usually choose between shredded pork or carnitas. Pork burritos are best served with green chiles, shredded cheese, and rice.
Chicken burritos are just as popular as pork and beef, and taste great with many ingredients. One chicken burrito filling includes shredded chicken, diced onion, and mole sauce.
You can however choose to have a classic chicken burrito, which would consist of shredded chicken, rice, refried beans, salsa, cheese, and crema.
Breakfast burritos might not be all that traditional, but they are definitely very popular today, and it’s because they really are so delicious.
Breakfast burritos are super versatile, and you can pretty much fill them with any of your favorite breakfast foods.
A popular option is scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, tomato, and Tabasco sauce. You can choose other meat options, such as sliced chorizo, sausage, or ham.
Another breakfast burrito option is fried egg, warm tomato salsa, and refried beans.
If meat is not your thing, then you can still enjoy a delicious vegetable burrito. A classic vegetable burrito consists of red chile sauce, refried pinto beans, shredded cheese, and rice if preferred.
This is great when served with cilantro, salsa, avocado salsa or guacamole, and crema.
Not as popular as some of the others, seafood burritos might not show up on a menu as often as pork or beef, but they can be just as delicious!
An example of a classic seafood burrito might include shrimp or lobster (or both), some cilantro, refried beans, a mix of vinegar and mayonnaise, and pepper jack cheese.
Once again, this can be altered to suit your taste and how you prefer your seafood to be served and cooked!
Wraps Vs Burritos
Wraps and burritos might appear super similar at first, whether just comparing the flatbreads or the whole meal, but there are substantial differences between the two that are worth knowing.
A wrap can refer to a range of leavened or unleavened flatbreads, and as a meal, a wrap can be filled with a variety of ingredients and is most commonly served wrapped and cold, although it can sometimes be served warm.
Burritos are also filled wraps, but they are made using either flour tortillas or corn tortillas and are most commonly served warm. Popular burrito fillings include minced beef, pork, rice, refried beans, and salsa.
Both wraps and burritos are popular lunch and dinner meals, but wraps are better suited for lunchtime as they are lighter and served cold, whereas burritos are heartier and served warm, which is better suited for dinner time.
Does a burrito need to have rice?
There is quite a bit of freedom when it comes to burrito fillings, and while there are some classic filling combinations, there are no hard and fast rules.
Rice is a common filling found in burritos, but it is not absolutely necessary — you can definitely leave rice out of a burrito if you wanted to.
What sides go well with burritos?
Burritos are filling enough on their own, but if you wanted to serve a side with it, then you could choose a lime and coriander rice side, a Mexican corn side, a Mexican bean salad, or pico de gallo.
Something light and fresh is best served on the side of a burrito, to pair with the rich flavors that the burrito might have.