Creamy, spicy, and utterly DELICIOUS… Cajun Shrimp Pasta!! This is the Cajun cuisine at its best, perfect for seafood and spice lovers alike, featuring juicy, perfectly cooked shrimp paired with a homemade, vibrant Cajun sauce.
It’s a dish that combines the bold and zesty flavors of Cajun seasoning with the succulent, ocean-fresh taste of shrimp. Nestled with perfectly cooked pasta, you sure are in for one major treat.
After our NOLA visit in the past, we are super fans of Creole and Cajun foods. We have some great seafood recipes from New Orleans. Shrimp Recipes like Pastalya, Cajun Shrimp Scampi and New Orleans BBQ Shrimp are some of the real flavor benders on GypsyPlate.
Today’s Cajun Shrimp Pasta sure fits into that category, and hits the right spot if you are looking for something decadently creamy delicious, loaded with BOMB Cajun flavors.
Whether you’re looking to impress your guests or simply indulge in a luxurious dinner, this recipe is a surefire way to bring the essence of Southern comfort food right to your table.
We Love to Cook this Creamy Pasta Again and Again For
- Delicious Flavors: The combination of spicy Cajun seasoning with the natural sweetness of shrimp in a creamy sauce is super tasty.
- Creamy Texture: The sauce, enriched with cream and Parmesan cheese, adds a luxurious creaminess that perfectly complements the pasta and shrimp.
- Visual Appeal: The colorful bell peppers and fresh herbs not only add flavor but also make the dish visually vibrant and inviting.
- Versatility: This recipe can be easily adapted to suit different palates. You can adjust the level of spice, substitute different types of pasta, or even add other seafood or vegetables.
- Simplicity: Despite its sophisticated flavors, this recipe is straightforward to prepare, making it accessible for home cooks of all levels.
For a complete list, along with exact measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post. Here are the main things you’re going to need to make Cajun shrimp pasta:
- Shrimp: We like big plump shrimp here, preferably wild caught. We love to keep tails on, but that’s to your taste.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing the shrimp.
- Creole/Cajun Seasoning: This is the star of the dish, providing a spicy and robust flavor. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste preference. Our Homemade Creole Seasoning is the best, without all the extra salt found in store-bought varieties.
- Butter: Adds richness to the sauce and helps in sautéing the vegetables.
- Onion, Red and Green Bell Peppers: These veggies add sweetness and texture to the dish, as well as vibrant color.
- Garlic: Essential for its aromatic and flavor-enhancing properties.
- Red Chili Flakes: Add these for an extra kick. Adjust according to how spicy you like your food.
- Tomato Paste: It adds depth and a slight tanginess to the sauce.
- Dry White Wine: This deglazes the pan and adds a sophisticated flavor. You can substitute with more broth if preferred.
- Chicken Broth: It forms the base of the sauce, adding more flavor than water would.
- Heavy Cream: Provides the creamy texture of the sauce. For a lighter version, you can use half-and-half.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated.
- Basil and Parsley: Fresh herbs bring a burst of freshness and balance out the richness of the dish. If you don’t have fresh, use one third as much dried.
- Salt: Since the Cajun seasoning already contains salt, adjust the added salt to taste.
- Pasta: Penne is what we used, but feel free to use your favorite pasta shape.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe
1. Cook the Pasta: Boil water in a large pot. Add 2 tsp salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Prepare the Shrimp: Season shrimp with Creole/Cajun seasoning. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook shrimp until pink, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
3. Make the Cajun Sauce: In the same skillet, melt butter. Add onions, red and green peppers. Cook until they start to soften, around 5 minutes. Add garlic, Creole seasoning, and red chili flakes. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Stir in tomato paste, cook for a couple of minutes. Add white wine, cook for 2 minutes. Then, add chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Lower the heat, add heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, basil, and parsley. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt to taste.
4. Combine and Serve: Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce, warming them up for a minute.
Mix in the cooked pasta, ensuring it’s well coated in the Cajun sauce. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve immediately.
- Quality of Ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality shrimp and produce. Fresh shrimp especially makes a significant difference in flavor and texture.
- Shrimp Preparation: Don’t overcook the shrimp, as they can quickly become rubbery. Cook just until they turn pink and are opaque.
- Spice to Your Liking: Adjust the Cajun or Creole seasoning according to your heat preference. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with less and add more as needed.
- Sauce Consistency: If your sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little extra chicken broth or pasta water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer a bit longer to reduce and thicken.
- Al Dente Pasta: Cook your pasta to al dente (firm to the bite) as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
- Reserve Pasta Water: Before draining your pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water. It’s great for adjusting the sauce consistency if needed.
- Fresh Herbs: Use fresh basil and parsley for the best flavor. These herbs add a fresh, vibrant touch to the rich sauce.
- Cheese Quality: Grate your own Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture. Pre-grated cheeses often contain anti-caking agents that can affect the smoothness of your sauce.
What to Serve with Creamy Cajun Pasta
This pasta dish is fully loaded with protein, starches and veggies. That being said, sides are always good! Here are some nice pairings:
Leftovers and Storage
Leftover Cajun Shrimp Pasta refrigerates great in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Simply reheat on the stovetop over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water, or in the microwave.
We don’t recommend freezing it, due to the cream.
Make this amazing pasta dish for your friends and family, and enjoy the essence of Cajun cuisine in your own kitchen. Tell us how these wonderful meals turn out, and spread the love.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1.5lbs shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
- 1.5 Tbsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1.5 tsp red chili flakes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2.5 Tbsp Creole or Cajun seasoning (see note 1)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
- 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- salt to taste
- 8oz penne pasta (or any pasta shape of your choice)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 tsp salt and the pasta. Cook for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, season shrimp with 1.5 Tbsp Creole or Cajun seasoning. Heat olive oil in large skillet and cook shrimp until light pink on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
- In the same skillet, melt butter and add the onions, red peppers, and green peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, remaining Creole or Cajun seasoning and red chili flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, for a minute, or until fragrant.
- Add in the tomato paste and cook for couple of minutes. Stir in white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add Chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, basil, and parsley. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes. Taste and add salt according to taste.
- Add shrimp and let them heat it up for a minute in the sauce. Add in cooked pasta and mix everything well until the pasta is nicely coated in the sauce.
- Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
- This recipe is based of off our Homemade Creole seasoning which has lower sodim content. Store-bought Cajun blends often have a higher salt content compared to homemade mixes. So, start by adding just a little to your dish. After the initial sprinkle, taste your dish. If needed, you can gradually add more seasoning until it aligns with your flavor preferences.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 635Total Fat 43gSaturated Fat 24gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 352mgSodium 3654mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 34g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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