Shrimp Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce
Shrimp and veggie-loaded enchiladas topped with a simple homemade creamy poblano sauce and freshly grated cheese. THese shrimp enchiladas are hearty and filling and easy enough to pull together on a weeknight!
First — Shrimp Enchiladas! ??? Yuh-Huh. All day. Everyday.
Survived the weekend y’all.⚡️☔️ Didn’t even need a boat. Ironically enough, I decide to make us seafood enchiladas right after the intense flooding in Houston last week. Shrimp, veggies, cheese, poblanos, and a cream sauce! How could you not love that? The end. Please scroll to the bottom, grab the recipe, and be on your merry way to enchilada bliss, like right now.
I mean, shrimp enchiladas or seafood enchiladas are
probably my #1 favorite item to order at a Mexican restaurant. It just doesn’t happen very often because um.. calories! There’s just something so warm and comforting about a hot plate loaded with rice, beans, and enchiladas stuffed with seafood, be it fish or shrimp, and smothered in a way-too-rich cream sauce only to be covered in melty, gooey cheese. But of course, I can NEVER finish it on my own and boy do I feel guilty when i’m done — because you know that I loaded up on chips and guac and restaurant style salsa and was already close to be being full when my enchiladas hit the table.
But this recipe for shrimp enchiladas! Nailed it! Instead of filling my enchiladas with tons of seafood and mountains of cheese, a quick swap for some protein-rich baby spinach and crunchy matchstick carrots makes these a much healthier choice. I use poblanos to flavor the sauce and the enchilada stuffing to make these rich in flavor without a lot of heat. So you know everyone at home can enjoy them.
Why I love homemade shrimp enchiladas:
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all come to terms with my slight obsession with sticking veggies into places they don’t belong and churning out a healthier version and delicious meal that otherwise would’ve been calorie dense. One of my all time favorite mexican restaurants in Houston makes a version of these shrimp enchiladas (their’s are actually called seafood enchiladas) that are stuffed with crawfish, tilapia, and shrimp — which isn’t the bad part. Seafood is good for you right? Nope. Not when it’s smothered in the most sinful cream sauce and topped with a boat load of monterey jack cheese. And to top it all off they’re served with refried beans and mexican rice. Talk about a calorie rich meal! As much as I love those enchiladas, they aren’t something that I splurge on more than once every couple of years. So these homemade shrimp enchiladas with tons of veggies are definitely much lighter on the waistline and totally manageable for a weeknight.
Sautéed onions, garlic, minced poblano peppers, baby spinach, and matchstick carrots are all mixed together with cooked shrimp and stuffed inside. Are you on your way to enchilada heaven already? Well wait till you hear about that sauce, you will be.
Take Shrimp Enchiladas to the Next Level with Poblano Cream Sauce
That is where it’s at, yo! It’s a simple homemade creamy white sauce. It’s made with equal parts butter and flour. In our case, we’re using 2 tablespoons each. Along with some chicken broth, a little sour cream, and tons and tons of minced poblanos. Poblanos are a mild chili, so you don’t have to worry about the heat, it’ll just add the flavor. A little bit of garlic powder, a couple of tablespoons of cilantro, and some pepper jack cheese added right into that sauce so it’s all nice and melty when baked with the enchiladas.
- Start by melting the butter and then slowly whisking in the flour. Allow the flour to cook for a minute so we get that raw flavor out. Slowly pour in the chicken broth while you whisk. Don’t add it all at once. You’ll notice it starts to thicken and sizzle immediately when you add it in, let it continue to thicken for another 1-3 minutes before you stir in the sour cream.
- And now we flavor it with garlic powder and poblanos. Taste the sauce for salt. I like a little pepper so I seasoned it up a bit.
- And finally, just stir in that 1 cup of shredded jack cheese. I suggest getting your own block of cheese and shredding it. Pre-shredded cheese is a hassle at times because it doesn’t melt the same way freshly grated cheese does. At this point, your sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it’s not, don’t worry, allow it to cool while you prepare the shrimp mixture for the enchiladas and it will thicken.
Let’s talk about the shrimp. Just a tablespoon of oil with 1 lb. on shelled and deveined shrimp and a hint of salt and pepper. I used these huge, wild caught Argentinean shrimp that I found at Trader Joe’s. They’re about $10 a bag and I kid you not, they taste like a cross between shrimp and lobster. My heart pitter patters at the thought.
Now the enchilada stuffing.
Once I cook the shrimp, I get them out of the skillet. Shrimp takes a quick 1-2 minutes to cook so you don’t want it to dry it. Once you see the little ‘c’ shapes, get them out!
Next we add in that last little bit of oil along with the diced white onions. The white onions have a little more mild flavor and they sweet when you cook them. I sauté them for a minute before adding in the minced garlic and minced poblanos. Let them sizzle a bit before you add in the fresh baby spinach and matchstick carrots. You can shred your own carrots if you’d like but i’m not above pre shredded store-bought matchstick carrots. I love to cook but shortcuts are necessary sometimes! Also, while we’re talking about the veggies, I don’t suggest using frozen spinach for this recipe, you want the leaves to be nice and bright and leafy. The frozen stuff is just not going to cut it. I add in the baby spinach, matchstick carrots, and a dash of hot sauce and let them cook for just 30 seconds. The spinach will continue to wilt a bit while it sits in the hot pan, so don’t worry if it isn’t completely soft just yet.Just add your stuffing to your tortillas along with a big pinch of cheese and roll them up. I drizzle on half the sauce and cover the casserole dish with a piece of foil so the tortillas warm all the way through for 20 minutes in a 375ºF. And when the shrimp enchiladas come out of the oven I add on the leftover sauce just before serving. And of course, a big sprinkle of cilantro.
It’s easy, it’s simple, they’re delicious, what are you waiting for? Get this in the oven for TONIGHT.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Salmon Burgers with Cajun Remoulade Sauce
- Enchiladas Suizas
- Cheesy Bean and Rice Enchilada Soup
- The Most Delicious Carne Asada
- Spicy Mexican Shrimp Salad
creamy poblano sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 large poblano, minced (reserve 2 tablespoons)
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups Monterey or pepper jack cheese (divided)*
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ cup white onions, diced
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups shredded (matchstick) carrots
- 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
- a couple dashes of hot sauce*
- 12 flour tortillas (homemade or store-bought)
- CREAMY POBLANO SAUCE: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes or until it just begins to brown. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and cook. You want to whisk continuously so you don't have any lumps, about 2-3 minutes. When the sauce begins to thicken just a bit, add in the sour cream, whisking if necessary. Next, add garlic powder and the poblano (except the reserved 2 tablespoons). Simmer and allow the sauce to thicken for another 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and stir in 1 cup of cheese, When the cheese melts, remove from stove and stir in 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Set aside.
- ENCHILADA STUFFING: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and allow them to cook about 1 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the shrimp to a plate using a slotted spoon. Discard any moisture from the pan and wipe clean. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the onions for 1-2 minutes or until they just being to turn translucent. Add the garlic along with the 2 tablespoons of reserved poblano and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the matchstick carrots and baby spinach along with a couple dashes of hot sauce.Allow the spinach to just barely begin to wilt and remove from stove. Chop the shrimp and add them to the spinach mixture, stir to combine.
- ASSEMBLY: Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the tortillas on a flat surface such as a cutting board and spoon the shrimp and spinach mixture in the center, about ⅓ cup. Sprinkle some of the remaining cheese and roll the tortilla and place it seam side down on the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Drizzle the tops of the tortillas with ½ of the creamy poblano sauce, cover the casserole dish with foil and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tortillas heat all the way through. Drizzle the remaining sauce on the enchiladas and top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cilantro.
- Cheese: I highly highly recommend shredding your own cheese for this recipe. The consistency of the sauce won't be as creamy and smooth if you use pre-shredded cheese.
- Hot sauce: For the hot sauce I used Louisiana style hot sauce which is a little more acidic and not as spicy. Feel free to use whatever kind of hot sauce you like best!