Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by Shari Mason
Chalupa and Gordita are only two of the all-time favorites on Taco Bell’s menu. If you’re a long-time patron, you’d think you already know the main differences between the two.
And if you’re just about to try out these customer favorites, you need to check out our in-depth guide and discover the difference between Taco Bell Gordita vs Chalupa.
Comparing Taco Bell’s Chalupa & Gordita
Chalupa shells are usually served with tostadas. Its shells resemble flatbreads but in a taco shell shape and are filled with ground beef and other toppings.
On the other hand, Gordita is made from a pita-like flatbread using Gordita dough to make the tortilla shell.
A Chalupa taco shell is also deep-fried, while a Gordita shell is grilled in a skillet until it’s nice and crispy. Aside from these, they also differ in origin, preparation, ingredients, and flavor.
How Are They Different?
Origin & History
Chalupa and Gordita tacos are traditional Mexican dishes with distinct origins. Chalupa taco originated in the central part of Mexico in the state of Puebla.
It is a traditional Mexican food made from fried or toasted masa harina (corn flour dough) shaped into a traditional taco typically filled with meat, some beans, cheese, and other veggies.
Meanwhile, the Gordita (Spanish word for chubby girl) came from northern Mexico, particularly in the states of San Luis Potos and Tamaulipas.
It is a traditional Mexican dish made with corn tortilla or taco shells from masa dough and shaped into a thick, round disc flatbread.
How The Shells Are Prepared
A Chalupa shell is made from unleavened masa and formed until it’s round and flat like a disc before being deep-fried until it becomes crispy and golden brown corn tortillas .
After which, these fried Chalupa shells are topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sauce, refried beans, shredded chicken, and mixed veggies, including shredded lettuce.
“Tortillas are such a versatile ingredient; they’re the foundation of tacos, which can be a great choice in adding variety to your diet.”– Kylie Arrindell, Wellness Dietitian
Meanwhile, a Gordita shell is made from a thicker masa harina or dough and formed into a round ball before it is flattened using a tortilla press and shaped like pita bread.
Gordita shells are a bit thicker than Chalupa’s.
Chalupa’s dough is only made with a few ingredients. Just combine masa harina, water, and a small amount of flour.
Then, all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed before it is shaped into a small, round, and flat dough.
Additionally, Gordita’s dough uses more complex ingredients, including vegetable oil or shortening (lard), masa, flour, and water.
Vegetable oil or shortening makes the texture a bit fuller and fluffier (like in a masa cake) .
Shape & Size
Chalupa is smaller than a Gordita. Hence, Chalupa is best served as a fried snack, while Gordita is usually served as a main dish.
Additionally, the size of a Chalupa depends on the amount of tortilla used to make it. After it is flattened and shaped, it is fried until it achieves a crispy texture.
Likewise, the size of a Gordita depends on the dough’s thickness and the amount of filling used.
Taste & Flavor
Chalupa has a crispy fried flatbread, so every bite of its thin corn tortilla leaves a bold crunch. Additionally, its flavors become more pronounced as more toppings are used.
Usually, a Chalupa is topped with beef and beans. A well-seasoned beef Chalupa (Carne Asada) tastes better and bolder when topped with refried beans.
Meanwhile, a Gordita feels softer due to the masa harina used. In terms of taste and flavor, Gordita is way more flavorful than a Chalupa since it has more fillings.
Usually, Chalupa is filled with shredded chicken, cotija cheese, salsa, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese sauce, sour cream, chopped raw onion, and cheese blend.
It’s also one of the traditional tacos you can enjoy at a reasonable price.
Meanwhile, Gordita’s traditional tortilla is stuffed with beans, cheese, ground beef, pork rinds, braised pig al pastor, carnitas, carne asada, or shredded chicken (can also be grilled chicken).
Lots of cheese flavoring are added to this traditional dish, including queso de rancho, queso Oaxaca, and garlic powder for a bolder flavor.
Chalupas are meant for you if you want to try bold and crunchy folded shells. It has a crispier texture than a Gordita since it is thin and deep-fried.
A cheesy Gordita crunch isn’t as crispy as the Chalupa due to its soft and doughy-like texture.
Chalupa and Gordita’s prices vary depending on the Taco Bell locations. A double cheesy Gordita can be bought at around $3.49, and a Chalupa is roughly $4.99.
Generally, both the Gordita and Chalupa can be bought at an affordable price.
International Versions: Taco Bell’s Chalupa vs Gordita
Taco Bell has many franchises worldwide, and you may find its taste slightly different depending on the location.
For instance, Arepas is a Colombian and Venezuelan staple snack similar to Gordita in Mexico. This is usually fried and stuffed with some ingredients similar to Gorditas.
Aside from that, Roujiamos in China is also quite similar to Gorditas. Although its tastes and spices may differ, the concept is almost identical to Gorditas.
Setting aside the various and distinct differences between the two, both Chalupas and Gorditas use the same flatbread or shells (corn or wheat tortillas).
Oftentimes, their fillings may also be quite similar as the ingredients used in their fillings or toppings may be interchanged.
After all, it’s the same taco in a different shape and texture.
Which is crunchier, Taco Bell Gordita or Chalupa?
Chalupa is crunchier than Gordita since it is pressed until thin and flat like a pita. Gordita is a bit fluffier due to the baking powder or vegetable shortening added to its dough mixture.
Can you order a vegan Taco Bell Gordita and Chalupa?
Yes, you can order vegan Taco Bell Chalupa and Gordita. Taco Bell modified its recipes so vegans can now enjoy and order their favorite vegetarian Chalupas or Gorditas anywhere.
Taco Bell offers Mexico’s traditional dishes like the crunchy Chalupa and cheesy Gordita crunch.
Although both tacos technically use the same shell, Chalupa is crispier and crunchier, while Gordita is softer and more doughy.
The best thing is you can buy their packaged shells available in-store. Just note that if you want to store Gordita or Chalupa shells, ensure to keep them in a cool, dry place.
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