Shrimp and Queso Fresco Empanadas with Charred Tomatillo Sauce

This empanada is filled with shrimp and queso fresco offset by a creamy Mexican tomatillo sauce.

Ingredients 20 (1 empanada) Servings

  • Step1
  • 8 ounces tomatillos, papery skin removed and rinsed well
  • 3 serrano chilies, seeded
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded queso fresco, divided
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped and seeded Fresno chilies, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Marcona almonds, divided
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 2 packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie crusts, (4 crusts)


  • 1 For the Charred Tomatillo Sauce, toss tomatillos, serrano chilies and garlic with oil. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until tomatillos and chilies begin to char in spots. Cool slightly. Place tomatillos, chilies and garlic in blender container. Add cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the queso fresco; cover. Blend on medium speed until pureed. Add green onions, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the fresno chilies and salt. Blend until smooth.
  • 2 Preheat oven to 400°F. For the Empanada Filling, mix 2/3 cup of the Charred Tomatillo Sauce with remaining 1/2 cup queso fresco in large bowl Add shrimp, 1/4 cup of the Marcona almonds, 1 tablespoon of the remaining fresno chilies, cumin and ancho chile pepper; mix until well blended.
  • 3 To assemble Empanadas, unroll pie crusts on lightly floured surface. Using 4-inch round cutter, cut each into 5 rounds for a total of 20 rounds. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling onto half of each round. Moisten edge of each with water. Fold in half; press edge with a fork to seal. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Pierce top of each with fork to vent.
  • 4 Bake 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Mix remaining 1/4 cup Marcona almonds with remaining 1 tablespoon fresno chilies. Sprinkle over empanadas. Serve with Charred Tomatillo Sauce.

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