Shrimp Enchiladas

Update 12/10: After two plus years of this recipe residing on my blog, I can still say these enchiladas are one of my favorite meals. They definitely rank up there with special occasion dishes but are well worth the splurge on ingredients and time (I request them every year for my birthday dinner!). The creamy, cheesy sauce is seasoned perfectly with just the slightest kick of heat. Combined with the succulent, tender shrimp, these enchiladas are a knock out! I’ve streamlined the recipe just a bit from when it was originally posted to cut down on a few steps.

Shrimp Enchiladas

What To ServeSteamed Broccoli
Pao de Queijo
Fresh Fruit

Shrimp Enchiladas

Yield: Serves 4-6

Shrimp Enchiladas

Update 12/2013: After making these for the bazillionth time, I made some calorie-cutting changes that still produced fabulous tasting enchiladas. I've made notes in the recipe below but basically I cut the butter in the cheese sauce from 4 tablespoons to 2, used milk instead of whipping cream, used light sour cream, used coconut oil (and less of it) in the shrimp mixture, cut down on the cheese in the sauce just a bit.


    Cheese Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream or milk
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, light or regular
  • Shrimp Mixture:
  • 1 tablespoon butter, canola oil, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack cheese
  • 8 (9-inch) flour tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch dish and set aside.
  2. Saute red pepper, onion and green pepper in 2 tablespoons butter until crisp-tender. Add oregano, salt, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper, and flour; blend well and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute. Whisk in the cream or milk and continue cooking for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the cheese; stir until melted. Add sour cream, stir to blend. Set aside.
  3. In another skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Saute onion in the oil until translucent and soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink (don't overcook or the shrimp will be tough). Add chopped tomatoes and 1/2 of the cheese sauce. Spoon 1/3 cup shrimp mixture into each tortilla. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on top of shrimp mixture. Roll the enchiladas up tightly. Arrange seam side down in a 9X13-inch glass baking dish. Spoon remaining cheese sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Recipe Source:
adapted from a recipe A. Marilyn sent me

86 Responses to Shrimp Enchiladas

  1. Joanne says:

    Hi Mel, I’ve made so many of your wonderful recipes including these fantastic shrimp enchillsdas, but I need to make 40 enchillsdas for a church function and I’m wondering if it’s ok to make them several hours in advance and bake them when I’m ready to serve the dinner, I’m concerned about them getting soggy sitting there.

  2. Nyna says:

    I think it might be a good idea to indicate that the pepper is a red bell pepper. I would have bought the hot kind of red pepper if I hadn’t read all of the comments. I can’t wait to make this recipe. It sounds heavenly.

  3. Vicki says:

    I’ve been make this recipe for years and it is among my favorites. The only change I make is substitute a can of drained rotel for the tomatoes. Thanks so much.

  4. Lee says:

    These are awesome!

  5. Lisa says:

    These were awesome, thank you! My husband and my 7 year old gobbled them up! My 5 year old is a different story, lol. Anyway, if you’re like me and into what goes into your food, there is a brand of raw tortillas at Kroger called Tortilla Land and they don’t have any preservatives in them. They also worked perfectly in this dish as well as the chicken enchiladas (which are my personal fave!). Also, the only Monterey Jack available at my grocery store was a Monterey Pepper cheese. It added the perfect amount of heat!

  6. Rebecca says:

    These were SO delicious!!! Thanks for a wonderful and different recipe!

  7. Renee says:

    Oh Mel, these were absolutely phenomenal just as you said. The cheese sauce was so luscious and loaded with flavors. Made them for dinner and my husband and I took one for lunch to work the next day…people were asking us which restaurant they came from because they wanted them! Next time I will add a little crab into the shrimp mix. Thanks Mel for another keeper! 🙂

  8. Katee says:

    I’m wondering if you could use precook end salad shrimp in the recipe?

  9. Stephanie says:

    SOOOO DELICIOUS! I made these for my boyfriend and I after a few failed attempts on other enchiladas recipes! And man! These are amazing! My boyfriend was definitely impressed and has asked that I keep this recipe for future use! Thanks Mel, I just love your website!!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Wow!!! I made these on Sunday and my taste buds were in heaven!!! Definitely worth the splurge (both in cash and calories!)! You never let me down!

  11. Cindy Harris says:

    Thanks Mel can’t wait to make these.
    On a side note–several years ago I won a kitchen scale on your site. I love it, use it every day and think fondly of you each time I use it! Thanks again–years later!

  12. Cindy Harris says:

    This recipe looks delicious–I’m excited to try it. Just a few clarifications.
    How much onion do you use in the cheese sauce–directions say to saute the red pepper, onion and green pepper…
    Instructions say to add oregano–how much?
    Instructions say to add flour–how much?
    Is the amount of cheese in the sauce 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups.
    Thanks Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Doreen and Cindy – thanks for the heads up! Looks like an old version of this posted after I edited it. I fixed the issues. It’s 1/2 cup chopped onion in the sauce, 1 cup cheese in the sauce, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1 tablespoon flour. Sorry about that!

  13. Doreen says:

    Mel, how much onion in the cheese sauce? It says to sauté the onions and peppers but onions are not included in the cheese sauce ingredients.

  14. Tracy says:

    This is long overdue, but I must thank you for making me a really great cook in the eyes of my family! Your blog is my first stop for ideas or a recipe search — every. single. recipe. has been wonderful and as expected since you have done the research and tweaking. Thank you. 🙂

    My question: Have you ever frozen these? I’d love to double and freeze… They are absolutely delicious!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Tracy – thanks for the sweet comment! And yes, I have frozen these. They do just fine – especially if the shrimp isn’t overcooked in the first step (otherwise it tends to get a bit rubbery in the freezer). I think the sauce loses a bit of it’s silky texture in the freezer but not so major that anyone can tell but me, probably. Basically, yes, these freeze great. 🙂

  15. matt loehrer says:

    So you’re batting 1000 with me and my family—made these for dinner last night (and lunch today, woo hoo!), and they turned out great! I did tweak a few things—my shrimp was already cooked, so I just skipped that sauteeing step, took the shrimp and a can of tomatoes and added it to half the filling, then used that 1-1/2 cups of cheese to line the bottom of each tortilla before I scooped the filling in, then used the remaining half of the filling to cover it all. Truly great, another of my new favorites! One thing: I only had 1 lb. of shrimp, and I definitely recommend using the full 1-1/2 lbs. the recipe calls for, it could have used more shrimp. But still, excellent, I will be making it again for sure—I asked my wife how I could improve it, and she said I couldn’t, they were perfect as is. High praise!

  16. RVD says:

    Hey, I tried these the other night and they were AMAZING.. I was wondering if you know of anyway I can substitute the heavy cream and all that butter to make it a healthier yet tasty meal?

  17. JennyP says:

    I made these last night – truth be told, your site is pretty much the only site I go to anymore for dinner and baking ideas, as I am always certain they will turn out perfectly! This, like the many others I’ve tried, held true to that theory. Wonderful recipe. THANK YOU so much for all that you do on this site. I know it is not easy, and is fairly time consuming, but this really is the best cooking blog site out there!

  18. Amanda Z says:

    I made these last night and they were amazing! My husband and I ate until we were in pain, they were so hard to step away from. The cheese sauce was so good, I was taking tortilla chips and dipping them in the baking dish for the remaining sauce, it was a sad sight to see! Thanks for another winner, this recipe was worth the extra effort.

  19. Tara says:

    We loved these over here!! I used a can of Ro*tel instead of chopping tomatoes and added some mushrooms I had in the fridge. Super rich and cheesy, and not a “quick meal” with all the chopping and peeling – but well worth the work! 🙂

  20. Esther says:

    These enchiladas r Delish!(I did use olive oil instead of butter & uses already cooked shrimp)…super easy & quick dinner! Served them with Spanish Rice along with lettuce & avocado slices!

  21. Mel says:

    Georgia – I used flour tortillas.

  22. Georgia says:

    What type of tortillas did you use with this recipe? Looks delicious!

  23. Kelly C says:

    I just made this tonight. They are BY FAR the best enchiladas I’ve ever had…the best thing I’ve ever cooked in my kitchen, to be exact. AMAZING. Thank you!!!!!!

  24. Sharlene says:

    Made these today but I had to adjust them for a crowd, so I put a thin layer of shrimp combo, layer of corn tortillas ripped up, layer of shrimp combo, layer of cheese, layer of corn tortilla, layer of shrimp combo, layer of cheese, layer of corn tortillas, then add the cheese sauce saved from the beginning and more cheese. pepper jack is amazing in this. Next time if I make it this way I will probably make double the cheese sauce, but it was still amazing!

  25. jena says:

    just found your blog via Pinterest, tried this today, they were Awesome!!! used corn and flour. will be trying out some more recipes this week!

  26. Angela says:

    Another great enchilada recipe of yours! DELICIOUS!!!! I’ve made 3 out of 3 recipes from your blog this week and just Love!

  27. Mel says:

    Laura Gail – yes, use a red bell pepper!

  28. Laura Gail says:

    Mel – I want to make these but was wondering if you mean a red bell pepper when you say sweet red pepper or is that something different? I’m making out my grocery list now. 🙂

  29. Deb says:

    This meal was seriously AMAZING! !! MORONI said it was a perfect combo between Mexican and seafood! Loved it!!

  30. Sarah says:

    Made these and everyone LOVED them – well a husband who will eat anything, a picky 6 year old and a 1 year old food shoveling machine. My 6 year old son didn’t realize there was even shrimp in there…….I knew if I told him, he would of said he didn’t like it. He ate an entire enchilada! Thank you so much for your awesome recipes!!

  31. lisa says:

    i’ve been making these since i 1st discovered your blog in 2009. everyone LOVES them when i make them. you mentioned you stream-lined the recipe. what did you change from the original recipe? thanks again for sharing your amazing recipes.

  32. Heather says:

    Just made these tonight. SO SO YUMMY! absolutely perfect. my husband told me throw out my other enchilada recipes. he only wants these from now on! thanks!

  33. AJ says:

    I just made these last night and they were super yummy. They were a little more work to put together than other enchiladas I have made, but for a nicer version it was great. I also made them with some jalepeno cilantro tortillas and I think it added a nice extra spice and yumminess.

  34. Debbbie Schelling says:

    These were delicious. I added bay scallops along with the shrimp and everyone loved it. Thanks for a great recipe.

  35. Kimiko says:

    All I can say is…! I made these last night for dinner, and they were a hit. My boyfriend and I LOVE seafood, so I had to try making these. We loved the flavor of these enchiladas! And the best part is since its just the two of us, we still have some leftover for tonight! Thanks for another good one, Mel.

  36. Gina says:

    These are amazing. I saw this recipe a while ago but held off on making them since I’m really not a fan of seafood in Mexican food, but they really were delicious and not seafoody (?) tasting at all. My hubby loved them too, said they were the best enchiladas I’ve made, and I’ve made a lot of enchilada recipes. Yum, yum. Can’t wait to eat the left overs tonight.

    • Mel says:

      Gina – that’s high praise from you husband! I definitely look forward to these leftovers when I make them, too. Thanks for letting me know they worked out well for you!

  37. stacey says:

    Hi! Wondering if anyone has tried freezing these and if they hold up well for freezing…also, what about making them a day in advance..does that work? Thanks!

  38. Melanie says:

    Gina, I’m always glad when someone likes these because I know it means I will REALLY like that person…same food taste makes for great friends. Thanks for letting me know!

  39. Gina says:

    OMG these were fantastic! Total food-gasm! Even my husband who doesn’t usually care for seafood or spice went back for seconds! Thank you so much for an awesome recipe…I’ve blogged about it and linked you so everyone can come by and see you…lots of pictures of the process. Thanks again, Melanie!

  40. Melanie says:

    Morgan – your comment made me smile. Thanks for letting me know you liked the enchiladas!

  41. Melanie says:

    Hi Lisa – the cream and flour are added in the second step, after the peppers and onions are sauted in the butter. Add the cream and flour with the salt and spices.

  42. Melanie says:

    Island School House – oh, I’m glad they turned out! When I got your first comment I was worried because you mentioned the filling was too runny but I’m glad it came together in the end. The filling is on the thin side, but you are right, it all bakes up just great. Thanks for letting me know you liked it!

  43. Melanie says:

    Sarah – thanks for trying these and letting me know you liked them. They are one of my favorites!

  44. Melanie says:

    Brady and Allyssa – SO glad you liked the enchiladas! Thanks for commenting and letting me know you enjoyed them. I’ll have to try wheat tortillas next time, too – make it a little healthier!

  45. Ware Family says:

    I made this tonight and they were incredible. I didn’t have red pepper so I substituted red onion and Jalepeno. I also used low-fat monterery jack cheese, pepper jack cheese and some cheddar. They were definitely spicey, but amazing. Thanks!

  46. Danielle says:

    I made these over the weekend & they were delicious! I am somewhat new to cooking & had never cooked shrimp before. I was nervous, but this recipe is a lot easier than I thought it would be. The monterey jack cheese melts nicely & is so creamy. My boyfriend absolutely loved them!

  47. Deborah says:

    I’ve only tried making seafood enchiladas once, and it didn’t work out very well! I will have to try your recipe, because these sound delicious!!

  48. Marmee says:

    We just made this, and though I thought the filling was too runny when I put it into the tortillas, once it was cooked it was fine.Really REALLY yummy! This one will be added to our favorites list!


    I made these two nights ago. It was delicous! The only thing I changed the recipe was the wheat tortillas I used instead of white. Thank you for the recipe! 🙂

  50. Melanie says:

    Hey Michelle – my mom’s recipe isn’t on the blog yet but I’ve been meaning to make it and post it since they are so good. Send me your email address and I’ll email you the recipe if you want it now: mykitchencafe {at} gmail {dot} com

  51. Erin says:

    I made these tonight and they were so good! If I had ever heard of Shrimp Enchiladas before, I know I wouldn’t have been interested. But because I know all your recipes are good, and if you rave about something then it will definitely be delicious, I decided this was worth making. And boy, it WAS! Jed and I really enjoyed these enchiladas tonight. Very different and fun. Thanks!

  52. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – wonderful idea to add rice. I’m glad you liked this recipe!

  53. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I have never made them with anything but shrimp but if you want to substitute, I would use chicken over beef. I’m sure you would still get great results. Let me know if you try it.

  54. Sarah says:

    I just made these tonight and they are FANTASTIC! Thank you for the recipe!

  55. Melanie says:

    Deb – I haven’t tried these enchiladas with chicken but I’m glad to know they turned out delicious that way! Thanks for letting me know!

  56. Melanie Anne says:

    These look great!! I have to say that after i looked at your post–I was inspired to make shrimp quesidillas tonight for dinner! I didn’t have the time to make the enchiladas tonight–but I sure plan to! They look awesome!

  57. Cakespy says:

    I love enchiladas…but have never tried with Shrimp!! Oh my, these look FANTASTIC. SO glad I found you!! I am saving this recipe!

  58. CB says:

    OMG! Get out of my head! I have been looking for a shrimp enchilada recipe. I totally have to try this one since your honey/lime rec was so delish! Thanks!-Clara

  59. PheMom says:

    These look great and my DH would love them!

  60. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I always use frozen shrimp and just defrost it before using!

  61. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness those look great! I love enchiladas and shrimp, so I will be trying this recipe SOON!

  62. Melanie says:

    Danielle – thanks for checking in! I’m glad these worked out for you and that your boyfriend liked them. That is always a plus! I agree the monterey jack makes them very creamy. Thanks for commenting and letting me know you enjoyed them!

  63. LyB says:

    Look at all that creamy, cheesy goodness! My those look good! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  64. Morgan says:

    HOLY CRAP! I made these tonight and I thought I died and went to food heaven! These were DEE-LICIOUS!

  65. Anonymous says:

    yum, this looks delicious! can you use frozen shrimp here? i have a bag in my freezer begging to be used in this recipe!

  66. lisa says:

    what do you do with the whipping cream? didn’t see that or flour mentioned. thanks

  67. Michelle says:

    Melanie, Is your mom’s famous recipe on your blog too? I’d love to try that one too!

  68. Anonymous says:

    Crazy good! I added rice to the filling, it made 7 enchiladas. Thank you for the recipe!

  69. Anonymous says:

    I just made these last week and they were absolutely awesome. My kids don’t like shrimp so I added the cheese sauce to chicken, they were great!! I highly recommend these!!!Deb

  70. Anonymous says:

    Can you make this without shrimp? WIll it still taste as good?

  71. Molly says:

    AWESOME!! Absolutely LOVED them!! My 2nd recipe of yours I’ve made today! 🙂

  72. Melanie says:

    Molly – I got your comment on the lemon blueberry muffins and I’m glad you liked these shrimp enchiladas, too!

  73. Maria says:

    Thank you for sharing this great recipe! I made it on Sunday ane it was wonderful. I’ve actaully added it to my blog!

  74. Melanie says:

    Maria – I’m glad you liked this – it is a bit unusual way to prepare enchiladas but we loved it, too. Thanks for letting me know!

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