Crab Enchiladas

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Servings : Prep Time : Cook Time : Ready In : Filled with crab meat, these Crab Enchiladas are low-fat and so easy to make at home.

crab enchiladas


A “Light-weight” Mexican Dish

Mexican food doesn’t have to be full of fat and cheese.  Take these Crab Enchiladas, they are light and filling … so good AND easy to make at home.

Buy Quality Crab Meat

When you are making these, get good crab meat.  I will say it over and over until I’m blue in the face (or dead); don’t buy that stuff on the inside shelves of your grocery store.  That crab meat isn’t good for anything.  Well, it might be good to mix with some sour cream to make some sort of dip to put some nice salty chips in it, but not for anything else.  Best, of course, is to buy your local fresh crab, when in season, and get the meat out yourself.  Next best is to buy crabmeat from your grocery store or meat market’s refrigerated section.  They almost all have the little containers of fresh claw/crab meat.  I’ve seen cans of lump meat crab at Trader Joe’s, Costco, as well as my local supermarket.  So I’m sure you can find some.

Mexican food doesn’t have to be full of fat and cheese

I usually serve these with Arroz Verde (Green Rice) or my recipe for Authentic Mexican Rice. A simple salad of sliced papaya, mango, and avocado with a squeeze of lime juice rounds out the meal.  It’s easy and delicious.

OK…let’s get started…

First, we are going to mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix gently as you don’t want to break up the crabmeat too much. Some nice big chunks are good, gives the crab enchilada some nice texture.


crab enchiladas mix


How to Soften the Corn Tortillas

Next, we need to soften up the tortillas so they roll but don’t break when you stuff them with the mixture of crab. Now, most recipes will tell you to “dip the tortilla into the sauce” to soften them. I find this just makes them soggy. And they absorb too much sauce so when you finish them you get mush, not a nice firm tortilla.

What do I do?

I spray both sides of the tortilla with cooking spray (or you could just use a pastry brush and some neutral oil); then stick them in a 325º oven for about 3 minutes. They are nice and pliable and the oil acts as a barricade allowing the sauce to sauce, not mush up the tortilla.


crab enchiladas


Once those are nice and soft; fill them up, roll them up and stick them in a pan.


crab enchiladas


Bake and eat.

crab enchiladas

Crab Enchiladas


  • 1 pound crab meat (see above comments) picked through for shells and cartilage
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (if you don’t like cilantro, omit)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped green onion (use both the white and green parts)
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced* (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

    1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 (20 ounce) can green enchilada sauce (I use medium heat)
  • Cotjia cheese, crumbled. (Cotija is a mild Mexican white cheese made from cow’s milk. You can use a mild jack cheese if you would prefer, or a combo of jack and Parmesan)
  • Cooking spray


Step 1

Heat your oven to 325°F Spray the tortillas with cooking spray on both sides and put on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 2 – 3 minutes or until they become soft and pliable. Remove and set aside. (Stacking them on top of each other helps keep them warm and pliable.

Increase oven temperature to 350°F

Step 2

In a large bowl mix together the crab, cilantro, green onion, jalapeno and cumin, and oregano.

Step 3

In a baking dish pour some of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 4

Fill each tortilla with some of the crab mixture; roll and place seam side down on the sauce in the pan. Continue until all the tortillas are filled. If you have some extra filling, spoon it over the top of the enchiladas. Pour the rest of the green sauce over the top so the enchiladas are all covered; sprinkle the cheese over the top (use as much or as little as you would like, I use a “moderate” amount of cheese); place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Kaylan on March 21, 2015

    This was a good recipe, but we found the filling to be a bit bland. Full disclosure we did omit the cilantro because one of us thinks it tastes like soap. Next time we think we would include more jalepeno and a few seeds for heat and more green onion. We served with sliced avocado, sour cream and chipotle hot sauce (which was much needed). Great lower-cal option for enchiladas here!

    • posted by LindySez on March 25, 2015

      Thanks for trying and commenting on the recipe Kaylan. The cilantro does add a lot of flavor to the filling but I know to some people it does taste like soap, so then, yes the other ingredients should be increased to compensate. As always, the amount of heat can be modified to ones taste by keeping the seeds from the jalapeno in, or omitting them…a Serrano pepper would be good to add some heat as well. I also enjoy mine sometimes with the added sour cream and avocado; I would think chipotle hot sauce would take over the milder flavor of the crab, but that’s what I love about cooking, each to their own tastes right? Cheers ~ Lindy

  2. posted by Matina on February 20, 2018

    I loved this recipe. It tasted great but my tortillas turned to mush. I did add sauce to the bottom of the pan and also on top. What did I do wrong?

    • posted by LindySez on February 21, 2018

      Did you put the oil on them and bake them in the oven to soften? If so the only thing I can think of is perhaps they sat too long in the sauce before they were cooked, or you could have had some super soft tortillas in the first place. Sometimes these work better with “less fresh” tortillas. Hope you try again. Cheers ~ Lindy


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
  • Fat
    6g (3g Sat, 2g Mono, 1g Poly
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium

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