Recipe Corner: Spinach and Crab Enchiladas


By Christine Vartanian Datian

Serve these rich, tasty crab enchiladas with a sliced tomato, cucumber and red onion salad. If vine-ripened tomatoes have already disappeared in your area, use cherry tomatoes.

MAKES: 8 to 10 servings


1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped

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4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 fresh jalapeño chilies (about 2 oz. total), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and minced

8 ounces shelled cooked crab or 3 cans (6 oz. each) lump crabmeat, drained

1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

3 cups shredded jack cheese (about 12 oz.)

1/2 cup chopped black or Kalamata olives

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon each cayenne and cumin

Kosher or sea salt and pepper

2 cups salsa or red enchilada sauce

10 white or whole-wheat flour tortillas (7 to 8 in.)

Hot sauce or Tabasco


  1. Pour oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add onion, garlic, and jalapeños. Stir frequently until onion is limp, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix crab, spinach, 2 cups cheese, olives, parsley, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread about 1 cup salsa level in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the crab mixture along the center of a tortilla.  Roll tortilla around filling.  Repeat to fill remaining tortillas, arranging filled tortillas in a single layer over the sauce.  Top evenly with remaining 1 cup salsa and remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake in a 350° oven until cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30-35 minutes.  Let cool in pan about 5 minutes, then serve from pan with a wide spatula.


*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and at

*For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: <>



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