Appetizers & Snacks/

Shrimp “Rellenos”

Here's a dish that takes the flavors of chile rellenos and lightens it up by using shrimp, corn and tomatoes. I've used rehydrated corn husks to protect the filling while baking and to dress up the final presentation. You can prep the dish early in the day and refrigerate them until about half hour before you're ready to bake.  The corn husks can be soaked a day ahead and stored in a resealable bag in the refrigerator to make prepping this dish even easier.
Servings: 8


  • 12 to 14large driedcorn husks
  • 5largepoblanos
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/3cup flour
  • 1/2cup milk
  • 1/2cup Chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2pounds large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and split in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2cups (approximately 2 cobs) raw corn kernels
  • 1chayote, peeled, pit discarded and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2cups (8 ounces) cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 12ounces shredded melting cheese (I like a mixture of Monterey Jack and White Cheddar)
  • 1cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2teaspoons smoked paprika


In a heat-proof bowl, pour boiling water over the corn husks. Lay a plate on top to keep the husks submerged. Let them rehydrate for a couple of hours until pliable. If you're doing this step ahead, store in a resealable bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Over an open flame or 4 inches below a preheated broiler, roast the poblanos, turning them regularly until evenly blistered and blackened. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel. Once handleable, peel off the skin, split in half lengthwise and remove the seed pod. Set 8 poblanos halves aside. Roughly chop the remaining poblano and scoop into a blender jar.

Melt the butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown. Scoop in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until it releases its aroma, then stir in the flour and continue stirring for 1 1/2 minutes to cook the flour. Raise the heat to high and whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour the sauce into the blender and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt, usually 1/2 teaspoon. Let cool to room temperature before proceeding.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, corn, chayote, tomatoes, the cheese and the cooled poblano sauce. Transfer each of the prepared poblano halves to the center of a corn husk. Scoop a portion of the filling onto each poblano half. Overlap the ends of the corn husk to seal the poblano and filling. If your corn husks aren't large enough, use a second one. Twist the ends closed and, using one of the extra corn husks, tear off strips to use as a tie and secure each end of the corn husk. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and place on the center rack. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the filling is hot.

While the shrimp rellenos are baking, prepare the panko crumb topping by mixing the panko, oil and paprika together. Scrape into a small skillet set over medium heat and toast until golden brown.

Remove the shrimp packages from the oven. Transfer them to individual plates with the poblano side facing up. Using a small paring knive, split the packages open by cutting down the center. Sprinkle the tops with the panko mixture and serve immediately.

Testing Note: Always shred your own cheese since the pre-shredded versions contain stabilizers that affect how well the cheese melts.


  1. Hi Rick,
    Love all your recipes but there are some ingredients we can’t buy here. We live on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. What could you replace the chayote for that would have a similar taste. Also the corn husks, could us use fresh corn husks and dry them until you need them or use a cabbage leaf. I would love to try this recipe for shrimp rellenos. How about coming to Vancouver sometime, love to see you in person? ?..or Seattle Washington?. Thanks so much, Ann

    1. Hi Ann –
      Zuchinni or another type of squash would be a good substitute for the chayote – but since it is a much softer vegetable it may not need as long to cook – so I would reccomend waiting a bit and then adding the squash to the oven.

  2. Hello, I am hoping to make this for multiple people for a party. I have made it a few times but usually the day we eat it. Is it possible to make the filling the day before we assemble them? Or does food safety become a problem?

  3. Hello,
    My husband and I made this recipe and the sauce came out incredibly thick. Is the ratio of butter/flour for the roux correct as it relates to the liquid of milk and chicken stock? The 1/3 cup flour seems to be a lot.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Julie!
      Try using 2 tablespoons of butter to 2 tablespoons of flour, see how that turns out! Happy Cooking!

  4. Hello! We love this recipe and have made it several times. This time I ran out of poblano peppers to fill. I have a lot of extra filling left over with the shrimp chayote, corn, and flour mix with the cheese. Do y’all have any recommendations on whether I can freeze this, or if there is a bake or some thing I could make out of it? Any help would be great, I hate to waste this delicious mixture. Thank you so much for your help. I hope y’all are still on here!

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