Shrimp enchiladas are a blend of flavors where shrimp meets the warmth of Mexican spices. These enchiladas are cooked with jalapeños and onions and covered with a luscious sour cream enchilada sauce that adds a creamy, tangy element, perfectly complementing the tender shrimp.
Add some Southwest flavors to your dinner routine with an easy enchilada dinner made with shrimp. Cooked with onions and jalapeños, they give the shrimp extra flavor without making it too spicy. A sour cream sauce mixed with the shrimp creates a fabulous interior for the enchiladas.
Top them off with a sour cream cheese sauce with some extra flavor from canned enchilada sauce and be prepared for a creamy shrimp combination that will spice up your weeknight routine.
My beef enchiladas are one of the top recipes on my site and are on my regular dinner rotation, but seafood recipes are amazing so I wanted to see if I could create seafood enchiladas that weren’t bland. I started with the sauce from my creamy chicken enchiladas and came up with a blend that compliments the shrimp and is still quick and easy to put together.
This sauce is amazing, packed with flavor without being too spicy and it doesn’t overpower the shrimp. It’s a recipe the whole family will love.
These shrimp enchiladas are incredibly flavorful and perfect for making ahead of time. While you can easily make this for a weeknight dinner, the dish is special enough for entertaining friends.
What to Serve with Seafood Enchiladas
This easy shrimp enchiladas recipe is seriously great served all by itself, but it’s even better when paired with some of my other favorite Tex-Mex recipes! Start your meal off with a fresh peach corn salsa paired with crisp tortilla chips. Since the dish is pretty rich, you don’t really need much else, but you could add some charred corn to round it out or a simple spinach salad with strawberries. (I’m not a fan of refried beans and don’t think they go with shrimp)
What is an enchilada?
An enchilada is a Mexican dish that consists of a filling (usually a meat filling) rolled inside of a tortilla and covered in a savory sauce before baking. Traditionally, Mexican enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, but most versions in the U.S. use flour tortillas which are more flexible and easier to roll.
What kind of shrimp should I use for this recipe?
Any raw shrimp can be used for this recipe, as long as it is peeled and deveined. Purchasing frozen shrimp and thawing it yourself is often the best way to get the freshest product depending on where you live. Since you will be cutting the shrimp into small pieces, purchase the size that is least expensive.
Why You’ll Love Seafood Enchiladas
- Easy to make
- Can feed a crowd
- Tex-Mex flavors
- Tender and juicy shrimp
- Flavorful sauce, shrimp, and melty cheese are the perfect combo
Shrimp Enchiladas Recipe Ingredients
- Shrimp – Use any size of uncooked shrimp you like for this. Since it gets diced up to go in the filling, you do not need to use large shrimp. You can use fresh shrimp or frozen.
- Fresh Cilantro – This pungent herb is a classic flavor in Tex-Mex cuisine, but for those who don’t like it, you can leave it out.
- Jalapeño – Jalapeño pepper adds both spice and pepper flavor. To keep it from being too spicy remove all of the ribs and seeds when you cut it.
- Heavy cream – Just a little cream adds amazing richness and a silky mouthfeel to both the sauce and the filling. You can substitute half-and-half.
- Sour Cream – Sour cream adds a great acidic note to both the sauce and the filling as well as making it thick and creamy.
- Butter – Butter is combined with flour to make a roux, which will thicken the sauce and make it luscious and creamy.
- Chicken Broth – Chicken broth is the base for the creamy sauce and gives more flavor to the dish, you can use vegetable broth if you prefer.
- Red Enchilada Sauce – Store-bought enchilada sauce adds the Tex-Mex flavor and spice to the dish. It’s made up mostly of chili powder. If you want to make your own, here’s a recipe I would trust from Carlsbad Cravings. If you want to change it up, you could use green enchilada sauce or try salsa verde instead.
- Pepper Jack Cheese and Cheddar Cheese – Pepper jack adds a great spicy flavor to the dish, if you don’t want the spice, use Monterey jack cheese. A sharp cheddar blends well with the pepper jack.
- Flour Tortillas – Flour tortillas hold the filling and act like sponges to absorb all of the flavorful sauce. They’re flexible and easy to roll up.
- Pantry Staples – White onions, flour, salt, pepper. You could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to make it spicier.
How To Make Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas
Step 1: Make the filling.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and then add in the onion and jalapenos. Saute until soft before adding in the shrimp and cooking until pink.
Shrimp cooks quickly, so start adding the sauce as soon as it starts to turn pink. Add cream, sour cream, cilantro, salt, and pepper, and simmer until thickened and the shrimp is cooked all the way through.
Step 2: Make the sauce.
Melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Cook for about a minute before slowly streaming in the chicken broth while whisking constantly until smooth, and the sauce begins to thicken. Add cream and cheese, whisking until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Then, stir in sour cream and enchilada sauce and stir to combine.
Step 3: Assemble
Warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to soften. Add some of the shrimp mixture onto one side of the tortilla and roll it up. Place the rolls seam-side down into a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
Step 4: Bake
Pour the sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Grab a fork and dig right into your new favorite dinner.
How to Store Shrimp Enchiladas
Allow the enchiladas to completely cool to room temperature before placing them into an airtight container. These enchiladas will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave.
Can I freeze shrimp enchiladas?
These enchiladas are freezer-friendly and great for making ahead! Whether you are bringing a meal to a friend, preparing for a busy weeknight, or you’re stocking your freezer, these enchiladas are the perfect choice.
Follow all steps up to baking the enchiladas once they have been assembled, cover the casserole dish in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Place into the freezer, where the dish will keep for up to three months. When you’re ready to bake, let them thaw in the refrigerator.
PRO TIP: To make freezing even easier, make the enchiladas in a disposable foil casserole.
Creamy Shrimp Enchilada Recipe FAQs
Can you used cooked shrimp?
I would not recommend using cooked shrimp, they will get overcooked and be tough and chewy.
Are enchiladas better with corn or flour tortillas?
I prefer enchiladas made with flour tortillas. You can use corn if you’d like, and they are the traditional choice! Some people enjoy the texture and flavor of one type of tortilla over the other, and this recipe will work with either variety.
Can I make this dish with other seafood?
Other seafood like crab or lobster could be used in this recipe if desired. Use cooked seafood and stir it into the peppers and onions just before adding in the other filling ingredients – take care not to overcook it.
When do you put the sauce on the enchiladas?
When assembling, pour the sauce over the enchiladas just before baking.
More Tex-Mex Recipes to try
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Shrimp Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
- 1 onion medium, chopped
- 1 Jalapeno diced, seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined, cut into bite size pieces
- ¼ cup cream
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup cream
- ¼ cup enchilada sauce
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese grated, divided
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese grated, divided
- ½ cup sour cream
- 10 flour tortillas 8 inch
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and cook onions and peppers until the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until almost cooked through. Add ¼ cup cream, ¼ cup sour cream, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
- In a separate skillet melt the butter over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk for about a minute. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup cream and ½ of the cheese mixture. Stir in ½ cup sour cream and ¼ cup enchilada sauce and mix until the cheese has melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Warm tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds. Place the shrimp mixture down one side of the tortilla and top with a little cheese. Roll up and place in a casserole dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned and bubbly.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use tortillas that fit your baking dish.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp.
- Don’t use pre-cooked shrimp.
- You can leave out the jalapeno or just remove the seeds and the stem for a milder flavor.