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Crab Enchiladas

Homemade crab enchiladas are easier to make than you might think, and they are loaded with flavor. These enchiladas start with fresh lump crab meat, and they are covered in a homemade white enchilada sauce that is out-of-this-world good.

Crab meat falling out of an enchilada.

These enchiladas are a delicious spin on our white chicken enchiladas and it’s a great way to serve crab other than the usual crab cakes.

Here is Why This Recipe Works

  • A splash of brandy enhances the sweetness of the fresh crab
  • The recipe has substitutions if you don’t want to cook with alcohol. 
  • A mix of sauteed vegetables and fresh dill complement the crab meat without overpowering the flavor. 
  • Enchiladas with crab are a creative take on the traditional Mexican dish.

Freshly baked crab enchiladas in a baking dish.

The Ingredients:

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • White enchilada sauce
  • Onion 
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Seafood seasoning
  • Frozen corn (or fresh corn if it is available)
  • Brandy (see the recipe notes for substitutions) 
  • Cooked crab meat
  • Lemon
  • Fresh dill
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Corn or flour tortillas

Ingredients used to make crab enchiladas.

How to Make The Enchiladas

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Make the white enchilada sauce.
  2. Make the crab enchilada filling. 
  3. Scoop some filling onto the tortillas and roll them up. 
  4. Place the enchiladas in a baking dish and cover with the sauce and cheese. 
  5. Bake. 

Six photos showing how to make crab enchiladas.

Tips for Success:

  • Cover the white sauce so a film doesn’t form while you make the crab filling for the enchiladas. 
  • Gently fold the crab into the filling mixture to keep the lumps of meat large. 
  • Spray some tin foil with non-stick spray before covering the enchiladas. That way, the foil will not stick to the cheese topping. 
  • When you make the enchilada sauce, pour the broth in gradually while whisking constantly. If you put too much liquid in at once, it will be difficult to whisk out the lumps.
  • If the tortillas are stiff and crack when you roll them, warm them up briefly in the microwave or a skillet. Warm tortillas are more flexible. 

Four photos showing how to roll crab enchiladas.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should you use corn or flour tortillas for crab enchiladas?

Traditional enchiladas use corn tortillas, but you can use flour tortillas if you prefer.

What’s good to eat with enchiladas?

Serve these enchiladas with Spanish ricechipotle coleslaw, guacamole, Instant Pot pinto beans, or black beans.

Do you fry tortillas before making enchiladas?

Many Mexican restaurants will fry tortillas to prevent them from getting soggy and make them more flexible. You can make them without frying them if you want.

Two crab enchiladas on a plate.

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to add some seafood to your dinner menu, look no further than these homemade Crab Enchiladas. The fresh crab meat, cheese, and a cheesy white enchilada sauce make for a perfect combination.

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we frequently have an abundance of crab meat. If you have leftover crab, make this hot crab dip, our crab-stuffed shrimp, or a crab cocktail.

Our chicken mole enchiladas or enchilada casserole are more ways to enjoy a spin on classic enchiladas. They are perfect for family dinners or potlucks.

This tortilla chip casserole is a great way to use extra chips as a go-to recipe for an easy and delicious weeknight meal. Serve it with a tossed green salad and Instant Pot Mayocoba beans for a hearty dinner.

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Crab Enchiladas

Crab Enchiladas

Yield: 8 enchiladas
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

These crab enchiladas are a delicious twist on the traditional Mexican dish. Large chunks of crab meat get mixed with corn, red bell pepper, and onion to add texture and flavor.

A dash of brandy enhances the sweet flavor of the crabmeat while adding a depth of flavor. See the notes if you want to substitute the brandy.

Ingredients

For the white enchilada sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups broth
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

For the crab enchiladas

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup brandy**
  • 1 pound cooked crab meat
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon freshly chopped dill
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 13x9 inch casserole dish. 

Make the white enchilada sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, cumin, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the broth, a little at a time, whisking constantly. When all the broth gets added, continue cooking until thick and bubbly.
  3. Lower the heat to low and whisk in the milk. Whisk in the sour cream then the cheese. Continue stirring over low heat until the cheese melts. 
  4. Set the sauce aside and cover it so it doesn’t form a skin while you make the crab filling.

Make the crab enchiladas

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, seafood seasoning, and corn. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  2. Pour in the brandy and cook for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the crab meat, lemon juice, and dill. Stir gently so you don’t break the clumps of crab. Cook just until heated through then remove from the heat.
  3. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Cover the sauce so it doesn’t form a skin while you assemble the enchiladas. 
  4. Spoon about 1/4 cup of crab mixture into each tortilla then top with a sprinkle of cheese (save some cheese for the top of the enchiladas). Roll the tortillas up and place them in the casserole dish seam side down.
  5. Pour the rest of the white enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese. 
  6. Cover the casserole dish with greased foil and bake for 18 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes uncovered until the cheese starts to get bubbly.
  7. Serve with lemon or lime wedges and fresh dill. 

Notes

  • When you make the enchilada sauce, pour the broth in slowly while whisking constantly. Initially, if you pour too much liquid in at one time, it will be hard to whisk out the lumps. After you get about half of the broth incorporated, you can pour the rest in quicker. If you still end up with lumps, strain the sauce through a wire mesh sieve. 
  • If you don’t want to use alcohol, substitute the brandy with apple juice, or add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • If the tortillas are stiff and crack when you roll them, warm them up for a few seconds in the microwave. Warm tortillas are more pliable.
  • You can also heat some oil in a skillet and fry the tortillas for 2 to 3 seconds per side.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 862Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 891mgCarbohydrates: 111gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 37g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

I've had crab enchiladas, but never made them myself. Love crab, though, so I'll definitely be making these. Such a nice recipe -- thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

Thanks John, I hope you enjoy them.

angiesrecipes

Monday 25th of April 2022

This must have tasted amazingly delicious with crab, Dahn.

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