Taco Bell Chalupas vs Gorditas: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a Taco Bell Chalupa and Gordita is? Are you also curious about the history and origins of these beloved Mexican-inspired fast food menu items? Look no further! In this blog article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about Chalupas and Gorditas. From their beginnings to how you can make them at home, we’ll cover it all. So get ready to satisfy your cravings and impress your friends with some homemade Mexican cuisine.

What’s the Difference Between Taco Bell Chalupas and Gorditas?

Definition and Description of Chalupas

A chalupa is a type of fried, crispy tortilla that is shaped like a boat or canoe. The shell is made by frying a wheat flour tortilla until it becomes slightly puffy, then pressing down the center to create a depression for filling. The edges are often dusted with spices or seasoning for added flavor.

Definition and Description of Gorditas

Gorditas are similar to chalupas in shape but use corn masa dough instead of wheat flour. Unlike chalupas, gorditas are not typically crispy but rather soft and fluffy. They can be filled with beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato salsa or other toppings.

Comparison of Ingredients Used in Chalupas and Gorditas

  • Taco Bell’s classic chalupa contains seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato salsa blend and reduced fat sour cream inside its crispy shell.
  • Their gordita includes grilled steak with avocado ranch sauce or black bean relish; tomatoes for garnish if desired – all wrapped up in warm corn masa flatbread pocketing the fillings inside like burritos.
  • While both dishes may contain some similar ingredients commonly used in Mexican cuisine like beans and cheese but they are quite different due to their unique dough makeup that impacts texture (crispiness versus fluffiness) and flavor profile.

Differences in Preparation and Cooking Methods

To make Chalupa shells using wheat flour tortillas — first remove excess moisture from the tortillas by heating them on low heat on stove top. Then fry until golden brown and crispy.

Gordita pockets require making a corn masa dough paste, shaping the discs and then cook them on griddle till lightly crisp on both sides. They can be either baked or fried depending upon personal preference of texture.

Analysis of Nutritional Information of Chalupas and Gorditas

  • The Classic Beef Chalupa at Taco Bell contains 350 calories, with 19 grams of fat, 7 grams saturated. Compared to the Gordita Supreme with seasoned beef which has only about half as many (230) calories
  • Chalupas offer more protein per serving than gorditas because they have a higher meat-to-bread ratio due to their shape.
  • Overall, both chalupas and gorditas are delicious Mexican dishes that vary in texture, taste, preparation process but it’s up to your preference whether you want the crispy crunchiness of wheat flour tortillas or soft substantial bite of homemade corn masa pocket filled with fresh ingredients. It is also worth keeping in mind that some popular fast-food chains add high amounts of sodium in their menu items so it is always advisable to check nutritional information beforehand for any health-conscious choices.

    History of Chalupas and Gorditas

    Anyone who’s loved Mexican food has probably heard of, or even tasted chalupas or gorditas. These delicious dishes are staples of authentic Mexican cuisine that have an interesting history behind them.

    Brief history of Mexican cuisine

    Mexican cuisine is one of the oldest cuisines in the world, boasting a rich mix of Native American, European and African cultures.

    • Native American influence: The indigenous people brought traditional ingredients like corn, beans, and avocados to the mix.
    • European influence: After the Spanish conquests in the 16th century, European settlers introduced new spices like cilantro and cinnamon as well as livestock such as cows and pigs that became staples in Mexican cooking
    • African influence: With Africans arriving in Mexico as slaves after Europeans landed there. their flavors joined those of the natives and Europeans.

    Origins of chalupas and gorditas

    The exact origin story for these two dishes remains contested. However chalupas are also said to be derived from atole which was served with small boats made out tortillas called “chalupa” (canoe)

    • Gorditas:
      • Gorditas first emerged around 2000 BC made with maize dough shaped by hand filled with beans, cheese or meat (guisado) inside a pocket-like shape then cooked on hot rocks known as comals which were used during Prehispanic times.
    • Chalupas:
      • There are several theories of the origin for chalupas that can trace back to different regions in Mexico like San Luis Potosí, and Puebla. One theory is that they were created by nun after a battle victory celebrating it by convoking the surrounding villages to share her plate of atole with people where the tortillas resembled small boats or canoes(Gondolas) floating on the surface.

    How these dishes have evolved over time

    Over time, both chalupas and gorditas have evolved into various regional variations. In Northern Mexico, Gorditas became tacos de harina (flour tacos), while in other places like Hidalgo they prepare them with stuffing filled with nopalitos, beans, rajas/chiles or cheese which vary depending on the ingredients locals have access to.

    When it comes to Chalupas recipes tend to stay close looking like savory sopes as their recipe varies similarly through adding meat (Carnitas or Asada).

    The variety available today literally speaks of how good those ancient corn dough pockets must taste and how easy they are modified even when something so delicious is not lacking anything at all!

    How to Make Chalupas and Gorditas at Home

    Are you a fan of Mexican cuisine? If so, then you should definitely try making chalupas and gorditas at home. These dishes are not only delicious but also very easy to make with the right recipe.

    Easy-to-follow recipes for chalupas and gorditas

    • To make chalupas, start with some corn tortillas and fry them until they are crispy. Then add your choice of filling, such as shredded chicken or beef, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa.
    • Gorditas is made by combining regular cornmeal with water until it forms a dough. From there you can flatten the dough into small rounds using either your hands or a tortilla press before cooking them on a griddle until they’re lightly browned on both sides. Then slice open the pocket-like centre of each gordita to stuff them with cooked meat (like pork carnitas), cheese, lettuce and other toppings like pico de gallo or guacamole.

    Tips for preparing and serving these dishes at home

    • If you’re making chalupas or gorditas as part of a larger meal plan out your prep work to avoid running out of time. Delegating tasks if you’re working together in the kitchen helps speed things up as well!
    • Serve your chalupas or gorditas with additional toppings including diced onions, cilantro slices, lime wedges, fresh jalapenos etc. To add dimensions in flavour feel free to experiment from time to time based on what’s available.
    • Frying fresh corn tortillas can be messy. Consider making oven-baked chalupas or gorditas as a healthier (and less messy!) option: Preheat your oven to 375 F, Coat the tortillas lightly with cooking spray before baking them for 5-7 minutes. Once done stuff with your filling and toppings.

    Ingredient substitutions and variations

    • If masa harina, a type of corn flour is not available -you can substitute it with regular corn meal. (however note that the texture may differ slightly).
    • In place of pork carnitas you can use chicken or steak strips for making gorditas too.
    • For vegans: swap out meat fillings like chorizo, cooked mushrooms, or jackfruit. Instead of cheese opt in for avocado, guacamole sauce & plant-based alternatives or skip altogether. The same goes for sour cream replace with non-dairy/vegan spread options tailored according to taste preferences. For simplicity’s sake consider making your own homemade vegan refried beans they top nicely on both dishes!

    These are just some ideas about preparing and enjoying both Chalupa and Gordita at home. Not only will these recipes impress family & friends, you’ll also feel an added sense of satisfaction from having prepared delicious Mexican meals yourself. Begin by gathering all ingredients needed, and then dive into crafting wholesome dishes everyone will want seconds of!


    In conclusion, whether you’re Team Chalupa or Team Gordita, both are delicious options for when you need a quick meal fix. While they may look similar on first glance, there are distinct differences in their compositions that affect the flavor and texture profiles. And while making them from scratch takes a bit more effort than hitting up the drive-thru, it’s a fun way to experiment with flavors in your own kitchen.


    1. What’s the main difference between Chalupas and Gorditas?

    The main difference is that chalupas have a fried bread base while gorditas are made with masa dough.

    2. Can I substitute ingredients if I don’t have everything on hand?

    Absolutely! Feel free to use substitutes as necessary based on what’s available in your pantry or grocery store.

    3. How long does it take to make homemade Chalupas/Gorditas?

    It varies depending on your level of experience with cooking techniques like frying or working with dough, but usually around an hour or so from start to finish.

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