Recipe Review: Eating Well's Quick Shrimp Enchilada Bake
Since DC still hasn't recieved the memo (um, hello, it's spring), I thought I'd bake up a little taste of summer here to compensate. We have these gorgeous, cloudless 75 degree days followed by a string of yucky, stormy, 50 degree days. So I go back and forth between craving light summery food and winter-y comfort food. These enchiladas remind me of summer - light, citrusy, yummy, and easy. They're a go-to in the summer when I don't feel like cooking - they come together really quickly and since one recipe yields 8 servings, my husband and I have dinner for four nights, three of which only require me to reheat the enchiladas and throw together a salad. The garnishes are key with this recipe - don't skip the fresh lime and cilantro. I also like to make a quick guacamole (avocados mashed with fresh lime juice and a dash of salt) and smear that over the top of the enchiladas before squeezing lime all over and sprinkling with fresh cilantro. So good and so simple. So with no further ado - Eating Well's quick shrimp enchilada bake (or baked shrimp enchiladas verde).
I changed very few things in this recipe - I use low-sodium beans and the lowest sodium salsa I can find (I like Trader Joe's Salsa Verde), and only one jar of chilies instead of the original two jars. I also use low-fat cheese in this recipe - which is an anomaly, as I'm not a huge fan of low-fat cheese. I'd much rather use a smaller quantity of the full-fat variety, since I don't think you can replicate the texture/melting qualities of full-fat cheese, but in this recipe, low-fat cheese works just fine. This definitely falls into the "quick weeknight meal" category, so it does rely on canned beans and salsas, so you do need to be aware of the sodium content of the ingredients you choose. The fresh herbs and citrus really do make this dish - so like I mentioned before, you don't want to skip the garnishes.
Quick Shrimp Enchilada Bake
- 1 lb peeled cooked shrimp (thawed if frozen), shelled and tails removed, roughly chopped (I like pretty large chunks)
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 4-oz can chopped green chilies, not drained
- 1 12-oz jar (about 1 1/2 cups) green salsa (or salsa verde, or green enchilada sauce), preferably low-sodium
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 15-oz can low-sodium nonfat refried beans
- 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese (I use a light Mexican blend of sharp cheddar, monterey jack, asadero and queso blanco from Trader Joe's)
- 1/2 cup (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
- 1-2 limes cut into wedges
- 1 avocado, smashed
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine corn, chiles and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (or salsa) in a microwave-safe medium bowl. Cover and microwave until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Add chopped shrimp, mix to combine.
- Heat refried beans for about 1 minute, until they're a spreadable consistency.
- Spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce (or salsa) in the prepared baking dish. Top with a layer of 6 overlapping tortillas. Spread refried beans evenly over the tortillas. Top the beans with the shrimp mixture, followed by the remaining 6 tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce (or salsa) over the tortillas. Cover with foil.
- Bake the casserole until it begins to bubble on the sides, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil; sprinkle cheese on top. Continue baking until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes more.
- While enchiladas bake, mix smashed avocado in a bowl with lime juice squeezed from a few wedges with a dash of salt. Top individual servings of enchiladas with a spread of the guacamole and a bit of chopped cilantro, and finish with squeezed lime wedges.
Here are the unbaked enchiladas before the last layer of tortillas are added - the shrimp mixture on top of the beans and tortillas.
And here's the finished casserole, topped with all that melted cheese. Be sure to add the avocado/garnishes to the individual servings at the table - you don't want to add the avocado to the entire casserole if you plan on refrigerating leftovers, as the avocado will turn a really unappealing brown color.
I served the enchiladas with a simple green salad with sliced red bell peppers and a homemade dressing (which I'll talk about in the coming weeks). If you're not a shrimp fan, these enchiladas would work well with shredded skinless chicken (like from a rotisserie chicken) or even go entirely vegetarian and add some whole drained/rinsed pinto beans and extra chilies. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do - I always look forward to dinner when we're eating these as leftovers!