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Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas

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These Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas are crafted with a homemade spice blend and drizzled in a cheesy salsa verde sauce. Every bite delivers the perfect balance of rich creaminess and delectable shrimp. Top these with pico de gallo, salsa, or any of your favorite toppings.

shrimp enchiladas on a plate with Spanish rice and pico de gallo
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What Type of Tortillas to Use

  • Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are a traditional choice for enchiladas and can provide a delicious and authentic flavor. They have a slightly earthy taste and a slightly firmer texture compared to flour tortillas. You can use either white or yellow corn tortillas based on your preference.
  • Flour Tortillas: Flour tortillas have a softer texture and milder flavor compared to corn tortillas. They are more pliable and less likely to break when rolling the enchiladas. Flour tortillas can work well if you prefer a softer, more tender texture for your enchiladas.
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas: If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can choose whole wheat tortillas. They have a nuttier flavor and a slightly denser texture compared to regular flour tortillas.
flour tortillas on a flat surface

What Type of Shrimp to Use

I buy large or jumbo shrimp and dice the shrimp into large chunks. You can also buy medium or small sized shrimp that don’t require chopping and use those if preferred.

When shopping for shrimp refer to our Shrimp Size Guide and Counts Per Pound.

  • Large or Jumbo Shrimp: The work great if you don’t plan to dice the shrimp into smaller pieces, or if you do plan to dice them and want large chunks of shrimp. These shrimp have a meaty texture and provide a satisfying bite in the enchiladas.
  • Tail-On or Tail-Off: You can decide whether to use shrimp with the tails left on or removed. Leaving the tails on can add visual appeal, but it’s more convenient to eat shrimp enchiladas when the tails are removed.
  • Peeled and Deveined: I recommend grabbing shrimp that has already been deveined so that you can save time skipping this step. Deveining in the process to remove the digestive tract or “vein” that runs along the back of the shrimp.
  • Wild-caught or Farm-raised: I prefer wild-caught. Farm-raised shrimp are raised in captivity on a shrimp farm. These farms can be located in ponds or in tanks on land. The shrimp are typically fed a diet of fishmeal, soy, and other ingredients, and are sometimes given antibiotics or other chemicals to prevent disease. Those chemicals are then passed into the food you eat.

Be sure to check out our guides on Shrimp Size Guide and Counts Per Pound and How to Tell if Shrimp is Bad.

raw shrimp in a glass bowl
grated pepper jack in a glass bowl along with a can of dice Rotel tomatoes

Spices and Seasoning

I love to use my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe because you have direct control of the spices you add, along with the amount of salt. A lot of the pre-packaged store-bought seasoning packs have a lot of sodium. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought package if you wish.

The homemade blend is made with:

  • Smoked Paprika: Adds a touch of sweetness and color
  • Chili powder: Rich, smoky flavor
  • Cumin: Warm, earthy flavor
  • Garlic powder: Savory flavor
  • Onion powder: Sweet and slightly tangy flavor
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhances the overall flavor of the seasoning
homemade taco seasoning spices in a white bowl

What Type of Cheese to Use

  • Monterey Jack: A versatile and mild-flavored cheese that melts well. It has a creamy texture and a slightly tangy taste, making it a popular choice for enchiladas.
  • Pepper Jack: If you enjoy a bit of heat, you can use Pepper Jack cheese. It is similar to Monterey Jack but infused with spicy peppers, such as jalapeños or serranos, which add a kick of heat.
  • Cheddar: Has a sharper and more pronounced flavor compared to Monterey Jack. It melts nicely and can add a rich and robust taste.
grated pepper jack cheese, butter, flour, sour cream, diced green chilies, and salsa verde in separate glass bowls

Buy Blocks of Cheese and Grate Instead of Bags of Pre-Shredded Cheese

I always buy blocks of cheese and grate them myself. I do not recommend using pre-shredded, bagged cheese. I use the shred blade on my food processor to save time with this process, you can also use a standard cheese grater. Here’s why I don’t use pre-shredded:

  • Superior melting: Pre-shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents, such as potato starch or cellulose, to prevent clumping and make it last longer in the store. These coatings interfere with the cheese’s ability to melt smoothly and affect the texture of your dishes. When you grate your cheese fresh, it doesn’t have these additives and preservatives, resulting in a more velvety and evenly melted cheese.
  • Better flavor: Pre-shredded cheese is exposed to more surface area, which can cause it to dry out faster and lose some of its flavor. By grating your cheese just before using it, you retain the natural moisture and full flavor of the cheese.

How to Make Shrimp Enchiladas

Full detailed instructions are below in the recipe card.

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add shrimp and diced tomatoes with green chilies to the skillet and season with the spices.
  3. Take a tortilla and place a spoonful of the shrimp filling in the center.
  4. Roll it up and place it into a 9×13 baking dish. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and shrimp filling.
  5. Heat the skillet on medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt.
  6. Once melted, add flour and whisk.
  7. Add in sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), salsa verde, diced green chilies, and 1 cup of grated cheese. Stir until thick to create a cream sauce.
  8. Pour the cream sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.
  9. Cover and bake.
collage of 4 photos with raw shrimp cooked in a pan with homemade taco seasoning
collage of 4 photos with butter, flour, sour cream, and salsa verde cream sauce
salsa verde cream sauce in a pan with a wooden spoon

Why You Use Foil

Covering enchiladas with foil is a common practice during baking to help retain moisture and prevent the cheese or sauce from drying out. I do a mixture of baking them covered and then uncovered.

  • Melting and Browning: If you want the cheese on top of the enchiladas to melt and brown nicely, you may want to bake them without foil. This allows the cheese to develop a golden crust.
  • Moisture Retention: If you prefer your enchiladas to have a softer texture and want to retain more moisture, covering them with foil can help create a steamy environment, preventing excessive drying during baking.

I cover them for most of the baking time so they aren’t dry. During the final stage of the baking process, I remove the foil so that the enchiladas are bubbly and the cheese is gooey.

collage of 4 photos with unbaked shrimp enchiladas in a baking dish with cheese and cream sauce

Substitutions and Additional Toppings Ideas

  • Crab meat
  • Chicken
  • Bell Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapeños
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Green Onions
  • Hot sauce or Salsa
baked shrimp enchiladas in a baking dish
baked shrimp enchiladas in a baking dish with cilantro

How to Store/Can You Make it Ahead

Refrigerate leftovers tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days. You can assemble the enchiladas ahead of time without the cream sauce and cheese and store it in the fridge.

For the best texture, make the cream sauce and grate the cheese when you are ready to bake the dish.

How to Reheat

You can reheat the dish in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees until warm. You can also use the microwave if you wish. My favorite methods are the air fryer and oven.

shrimp enchiladas on a plate with Spanish rice and pico de gallo

Freezer Tips

You can freeze them tightly covered and sealed for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Reheat following the tips above. I have not tested this recipe by freezing it unbaked. If you try that, let me know!

Pair With These Recipes

Chiptole Cilantro Lime Rice
Pineapple Mango Salsa
Chipotle Pollo Asado
Instant Pot Black Beans

Smoked Salsa
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
Homemade Queso Cheese

Steak and Shrimp Surf and Turf
Oven Baked Roasted Corn on the Cob

shrimp enchiladas on a plate with Spanish rice and pico de gallo

More Seafood Recipes

Shrimp Taco Salad
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
Cod Fish Tacos

Lobster Tacos
Creamy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Potatoes
How to Make Shrimp Cocktail

Check out our posts, Side Dishes with Shrimp Tacos  and Side Dishes for Shrimp for ideas for pairing.

shrimp enchiladas on a plate with Spanish rice and pico de gallo

Pair this with Slow Cooker Crockpot Spanish Rice.

baked shrimp enchiladas in a baking dish with cilantro

Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas

These Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas are crafted with a homemade spice blend and drizzled in a cheesy salsa verde sauce. Every bite delivers the perfect balance of rich creaminess and delectable shrimp. Top these with pico de gallo, salsa, or any of your favorite toppings.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 enchiladas
Calories 407 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound raw shrimp Peeled and deveined.
  • 15.5 oz canned diced tomatoes and green chilies Drained.
  • 6 tortillas I used flour tortillas, mine were 6-7inches in width.
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese I use pepper jack.
  • foil

Homemade Taco Seasoning (You can also use store-bought packets if you wish).

Creamy Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese
  • 7.5 oz canned diced green chilies Drained. Optional, if you want an extra kick.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the Shrimp

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Add the shrimp and diced tomatoes with green chilies to the skillet and season with the spices. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.
    1 pound raw shrimp, 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 15.5 oz canned diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Take a tortilla and place a spoonful of the shrimp filling in the center.
    6 tortillas
  • Roll it up and place it seam-side down into a 9×13 baking dish. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and shrimp filling.

Cream Sauce

  • Heat the skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Once melted, add the flour and whisk. Add the flour in stages to prevent clumping. This will create a roux. Continue to whisk until the four is fully combined.
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Add in the sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), salsa verde, diced green chilies, and 1 cup of grated cheese. Stir until thick to create a cream sauce.
    1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup salsa verde, 7.5 oz canned diced green chilies, 1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese

Assemble the Enchiladas and Bake

  • Pour the cream sauce over the enchiladas, making sure to cover them evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of grated Monterey Jack (or pepper jack) cheese over the top.
    1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack cheese
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Once the enchiladas are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. I like to allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes. They will fall apart if they aren't set and properly cooled.
    Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

Notes

I love to use pepper jack cheese for the added heat and flavor. It isn’t as creamy as Monterey Jack cheese. If you are looking for super smooth and creamy, use Monterey Jack cheese or gruyere.
For added flavor for the shrimp, drizzle them with half of a fresh lime prior to cooking.
Using salsa verde may make your cream sauce a little chunky, depending on the brand you use. This doesn’t bother me, if it bothers you, purée the sauce first.

Nutrition

Serving: 1enchilada with sauceCalories: 407kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 27gFat: 20g
Keyword seafood enchiladas, shrimp enchiladas
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating




Micki

Friday 16th of June 2023

This is such a helpful recipe! Thank you for all of the tips on the best tortillas to use, and the best shrimp to use! Yum!

Brandi Crawford

Friday 16th of June 2023

I'm glad it was helpful!

Shadi Hasanzade

Friday 16th of June 2023

I Just tried this recipe and my family loved it. It was so easy and the flavors were fantastic.

Brandi Crawford

Friday 16th of June 2023

Yay! So glad to hear it.