Main dish

Shrimp and Crab Pesto Enchiladas

Rich and creamy enchiladas stuffed with crab and shrimp and covered in a pesto béchamel sauce. This is easy to make and great for a crowd of hungry bellies.

To recipe
Creamy pesto enchiladas with shrimp and crab meat
Recipe insights & TIPS

We all know how awesome one-dish meals can be, less dishes to clean and family style serving make them one of my favorites. Enchiladas can be the perfect example of this, but don't assume they always have to be red and spicy. No siree bob, not when pesto is available!

Creamy pesto enchiladas with shrimp and crab meat

I was all over the place with this idea. It was always going to be pesto but first with spaghetti, then lasagne style and somehow I ended up at enchiladas. I was convinced the lasagne method was super unique until I Googled it- a major fail for me because I should know by now there's almost no recipes around which haven't been made already. I didn't check Google for pesto enchiladas, heck I didn't care anymore I was making them anyway.

Shrimp and crab filled enchiladas

The sauce that covers these enchiladas is a simple béchamel cream sauce. This would usually be the base for lasagne but it's a great sauce for many recipes. It's easy to make if you remember to keep the butter and flour parts equal. This is called a "roux" which is a french term but used in so many other cultures such as Italian and cajun recipes. One very important part of making this sauce is to gradually add the liquid, in this case milk. Whisk after each addition keeping to keep the sauce smooth, if you add too much liquid you may end up with lumps. Sometimes even after all of the milk has been added the sauce will thicken as it cools, if it becomes too thick after sitting just add some more milk and whisk until smooth. A good quality store bought pesto works fine but if you have a favorite homemade recipe, go ahead and use it. Both my kids demolished this and Mom went back for seconds so it seems to have been a success, and I still have leftovers for lunch...score!

Pesto enchiladas stuffed with shrimp and crab meat
Easy pesto enchiladas filled with shrimp and crab meat

A white, fluffy chef's hat with an orange band, logo of Foodness Gracious.


Creamy pesto enchiladas with shrimp and crab meat

Main dish
40 minutes
Total TIME:
80 minutes
40 minutes


For The Pesto Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons pesto

For The Filling

  • 16 ounces crab claw meat
  • 3 cups cooked shrimp (thawed if frozen and halved)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 7 inch soft tortillas (8)
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese (grated)

Ingredient Swaps


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have ready a 13 x 9 inch oven proof dish.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan.
  3. Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, not stopping.
  4. Gradually add the milk to the pan whisking well after each addition making sure the sauce stays smooth and lump free.
  5. Once all of the milk has been added, cook for a further 5-8 minutes still whisking and keeping smooth.
  6. Finally add the pesto and stir through. Keep the sauce warm on a very low heat while you make the enchiladas. If it gets too thick, add a few drops of milk to loosen it up again. It should be pourable like a thick soup.
  7. In a bowl, combine the crab meat, shrimp, basil, salt, pepper and monterey jack cheese. Mix well.
  8. Lay out the tortillas and divide the filling evenly among them.
  9. Make sure the filling is in a line on each tortilla and start to roll them up tightly.
  10. Pour a half cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish and spread it out.
  11. Place each filled tortilla into the dish until full. If there is any filling extra just stuff it between the sides of the tortilla and dish.
  12. Pour the pesto sauce over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese evenly over the sauce.
  13. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes and the top is golden brown and bubbling.
  14. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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