Shrimp Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce
Veggie-loaded Shrimp 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 for weeknight dinner!
First — Shrimp Enchiladas!
Yuh-Huh. All day. Everyday.
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!
But there’s just something so warm and comforting about a hot plate loaded with Mexican rice, refried 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. I prefer shrimp enchiladas to beef enchiladas because the natural sweetness of seafood pairs beautifully with the cheddar cheese sauce and green chiles. But of course, I can NEVER finish it on my own once I’ve loaded up on chips, guacamole sauce, and restaurant-style salsa and was already close to 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 for a weeknight dinner. 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.
Ingredients for shrimp enchiladas recipe:
- Butter: we’ll use the butter to create a roux for the cheesy enchilada sauce.
- Flour: the flour helps thicken the cheese sauce we’re using in this enchilada recipe.
- Chicken broth or Chicken Stock: adds flavor and thins out the cheese sauce.
- Poblano Peppers: makes the verde enchilada sauce with the diced chilies.
- Sour Cream: Adds a tangy flavor to the poblano cream sauce.
- Seasonings: we’ll use garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper to help flavor the poblano cream sauce.
- Shredded Cheese: I like to use Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe. You can also use pepper jack cheese if you prefer a slightly spicier kick to this recipe.
- Cilantro: adds a pop of color to the sauce and gives it an earthy flavor that pairs beautifully with the shrimp in this recipe.
- Shrimp: Use good quality shrimp for this recipe. I like to use Langostino shrimp for this recipe if I can find them. The natural sweetness of this variety of shrimp makes the enchiladas even more delicious. You can use other types of shrimp as well, just be sure to use a medium-jumbo size instead of the teeny tiny ones!
- Onions: Minced onions go into the shrimp filling.
- Garlic cloves: help flavor the shrimp.
- Carrots: Bulk up the shrimp filling.
- Baby Spinach: Adds color, fiber, and more protein to the shrimp filling.
- Hot Sauce: I like to use a dash of hot sauce on the shrimp to give them more flavor. Feel free to season with cayenne pepper for a spicier kick of flavor!
- Flour Tortillas: I prefer to use flour tortillas for this recipe over corn tortillas because I find them to be much easier to work with, and they hold up well to the sauce. Readers have mentioned using corn tortillas with success. However, I haven’t tried them myself.
Making Shrimp Enchiladas with Poblano Cream Sauce
- Start with the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a few minutes so it doesn’t have a raw flour-y flavor. Then pour the chicken broth in a steady stream as you whisk the sauce. You want it to be smooth and start to thicken slightly. Then add the sour cream, garlic powder, and most of the poblano peppers. Simmer the sauce until it thickens. Stir in some of the cheese and once it melts, remove the sauce from the stove and stir in the cilantro. Set the sauce aside while you make the enchilada stuffing.
- Make enchilada filling. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven while you prepare the filling. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and let them cook until they just start to curl. Season with salt and pepper, and remove the shrimp to a plate using a slotted spoon so that you don’t transfer the liquid.
- Saute the veggies. Wipe the pan clean. Then add a bit more oil and saute the onions until tender. Add the garlic and the poblano peppers and saute them until softened. Add the carrots and baby spinach along with the hot sauce. Once the spinach wilts down, chop the shrimp and add it to the spinach filling.
- Make enchiladas. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Lay a tortilla on a clean, flat surface. Spoon the shrimp mixture in the center, about 1/3 cup in total. Sprinkle some of the remaining cheese over the filling. Roll the tortilla and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortilla and filling.
- Bake until bubbly. Cover the dish with foil. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the tortillas heat through and the sauce is bubbly. Serve topped with a bit more cilantro.
FAQs about this recipe
Every recipe is different. For this recipe, you cook the enchiladas in the cheese sauce in the oven. The thicker sauce keeps the tortillas from becoming soggy.
Covering the enchiladas with a piece of foil in the oven keeps the tortillas from drying out and becoming hard.
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!