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Make Chi-Chi’s At Home: Seafood Nachos and Seafood Enchiladas

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Before the lowly green onion led to a Hepatitis A outbreak that eventually led Chi-Chi’s to file for bankruptcy in 2004, Chi-Chi’s was my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I ate there at least once a week and always ordered one of two dishes:  Seafood Nachos or Seafood Enchiladas.

When they filed bankruptcy and closed their doors, I went through serious Chi-Chi’s withdrawl.  However, over the next few years, I altered some recipes to come up with my own version of these two dishes at home.  They tasted just as good as the meals served at Chi-Chi’s, and best of all, I could feed my entire family of 5 the mock meal for the same price I had paid for one entree at Chi-Chi’s.

Whether or not you visited Chi-Chi’s before, these are two recipes you will most likely enjoy.  The Seafood Nachos are an especially good appetizer for parties and potlucks.

Seafood Nachos

Seafood Nachos

  • 30 baked tortilla chips
  • 8 oz. imitation crabmeat, chopped
  • ¼ c. reduced-fat sour cream
  • ¼ c. reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp. dill weed (I often omit this)
  • 4 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • ¼ tsp. paprika


  1. Arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine the crab, sour cream, mayonnaise, onion and dill.
  3. Spoon about 1 tbsp. onto each chip. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

Seafood Enchiladas

Seafood Enchiladas

  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 c. shredded, reduced fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped imitation crabmeat
  • 8 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • 1/2 c chopped tomato
  • 1/2 c chopped green onions


  • In a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until tender.
  • Combine sour cream and flour until smooth; gradually add to onion mixture.
  • Stir in the broth and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 mintues or until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.
  • Place crab in a bowl; stir in 1/2 cup sauce (I usually do just a little bit more, just until moistened).
  • Spoon equal amounts on tortillas; roll up tightly.
  • Place seam side down in an 11 inch x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Top with remaining sauce.
  • Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mintues.
  • Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 5 minutes longer or unti cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Top with tomato and green onion.

Serves 4.

(This recipe was modified from a recipe I found in Light and Tasty Magazine.)

I often save even more money by buying imitation crab meat when it is on sale and freezing the extra.  Let it thaw in the refrigerator, and use in one of these recipes.  I noticed no difference in taste.

Did you previously dine at Chi-Chi’s?  If so, what were some of your favorite meals?

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Make Chi-Chi’s At Home: Seafood Nachos and Seafood Enchiladas”

  1. These nachos sound amazing! I guess I missed out on the whole Chi Chi thing.

  2. Shirley says:

    If seafood is ‘not your thing’, these exact recipes are fabulous using cooked chicken (leftover?)instead of the imitation crabmeat (whitefish).

  3. Seth says:

    Yum. I think I just found what I’m making for dinner.

  4. Tim Town says:

    Best Enchiladas ever! I am a Seafood loving freak though. That said, this recipe was a family hit. I made mine a little more healthy by swapping out some ingredients but still full of flavor! ~Tim Town

  5. mary says:

    This is it!! Seafood nachos and Seafood Enchiladas. I have never gotten used to living without them and now I can again wallow in the decadence of my two favorite Chi Chi’s type foods. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Debby Barr says:

    Chi Chi’s Seafood nachos and enchiladas are my favorite foods of all time. I called the enchiladas orgasmic food. I lived in Ohio and dined there many times.

    I tried the recipes from the guy that said he worked at Chi Chi’s for 16 years and the sauce was extremely bitter. I am looking forward to trying yours.

    Thanks for coming up with a recipe that works (assuming it does). It takes time and trial and error. So thanks.

  7. maureen says:

    I used to eat at Chi Chi’s also and loved the seafood nachos. I would make them with a white sauce and use cheddar/ jack cheese. I would then spoon that onto tortillas and back so I’m interested in trying your recipe. Mine is good but wasn’t the same as Chi Chi’s. I also would eat the chicken fajita. I never had the seafood enchiladas. Thanks for posting.

  8. d says:

    I worked at ChiChis and did LOVE the seafood enchilada so much! that is why im here posting on your wall, since i searched for a good photo and recipe to make some at home 🙂 thanks for posting

  9. d says:

    your posting = “serves 6” for th nachos, makes me laugh – yes i could eat that dish in 6 bites for sure 🙂

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