Shrimp and Queso Fresco Empanadas


  1. For the Charred Tomatillo Sauce, toss tomatillos, serrano chiles and garlic with oil. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until tomatillos and chiles begin to char in spots. Cool slightly. Place tomatillos, chiles 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 chiles and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. 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 chiles, 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 in preheated 400°F oven 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Mix remaining 1/4 cup Marcona almonds with remaining 1 tablespoon fresno chiles. Sprinkle over empanadas. Serve with Charred Tomatillo Sauce. Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 Cup almonds, Marcona, finely chopped, divided
  • 3 Tbsp(s). chile(s), fresno, finely chopped and seeded, divided
  • 3 chile(s), serrano, seeded
  • 1 Cup Contigo® Cheese, Queso Fresco Crumble, shredded, divided
  • 4 oz(s). cream cheese
  • 3 garlic, clove(s)
  • 1/2 tsp(s). McCormick Culinary® Ancho Chile Pepper, Ground
  • 1 tsp(s). McCormick Culinary® Cumin, Ground
  • 3 onion(s), green, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp(s). Peak Fresh Produce® Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pie crusts, 14.1 refridgerated crusts, 4 crusts
  • 2 tsp(s). Roma® Oil, Olive
  • 1/2 tsp(s). salt
  • 1/2 lb(s). shrimp, medium, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
  • 8 oz(s). tomatillo(s), papery skin removed and rinsed well