Cajun Shrimp Pasta, with a spicy and rich cream sauce, is a quick and easy dinner recipe with just the right amount of kick!
This dinner recipe has everything you could possibly want. Tender and succulent shrimp is coated in cajun seasoning which adds just the right amount of flavor. The cream sauce only takes a few minutes to come together and the pasta soaks up all the delicious flavor.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
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There are two things I can always make for dinner that will have my family drooling: shrimp and pasta. On the nights when I go that extra mile and actually make homemade pasta, we all eat way too much because nothing quite beats the taste of fresh pasta. But, most nights call for a quick and easy dinner, so dried pasta from the store is in order.
I wasn’t sure if my kids would like the cajun seasoning, and although it was more spicy than the foods they typically eat, they simply couldn’t resist the fact that I made sauteed shrimp with pasta in a cream sauce. It’s basically their love language. The apples don’t fall far from the tree!
How to Make Cajun Shrimp Pasta:
This really is a quick and easy dinner recipe perfect for a busy weeknight. Since there is little measuring and no chopping, the entire recipe can pretty much be cooked in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta. That means you can have a complete dinner ready in a short 10-15 minutes!
- Boil Pasta: Boiling the pasta in salted water. It’s important to use a full tablespoon of salt in your pasta water because the salt will flavor the pasta. Reserve some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce later, if needed.
- Cook Shrimp: While the pasta is cooking, saute the shrimp.
- Prep Sauce: The cajun cream sauce is simply a mixture of heavy cream that you bring to a boil and parmesan cheese that melts in creamy smooth. There’s enough cajun seasoning on the shrimp and in the pan to give the sauce plenty of flavor.
The sauce thickens within minutes and then you simply toss everything together to serve.
What to Serve with Cajun Shrimp Pasta:
Since this Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe is rich and heavy, it goes wonderfully with vegetables. Either a healthy green salad, a side of steamed broccoli or spinach, or Oven Roasted Asparagus are all great choices to pair with this dinner.
The Cajun Shrimp Pasta has so much flavor, the vegetable side dish you choose should be simple and light to help balance everything out.
What type of shrimp is best for Cajun Shrimp Pasta?
Wild caught shrimp has the best flavor and texture. Also, with shrimp, I most often recommend that bigger is better. I’m not a fan of those teeny tiny bay shrimp. Rather than buying fresh shrimp, I often buy frozen shrimp by the pound so that I always have some at the ready in the freezer!
Our Favorite Pasta Dishes:
- Italian Sausage Pasta – One pan!
- Garlic Shrimp Pasta – Quick and fresh!
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta – Family favorite recipe!
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad – Make ahead!
- BLT Pasta Salad– Potluck favorite.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 1 pound raw shrimp deveined, cleaned, tail removed
- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Add salt to pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente doneness. Before draining, scoop out at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp and sauce. Combine shrimp with cajun seasoning and olive oil in bowl. Toss to combine.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and melt. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook until golden brown on each side, turning only once. You may have to cook shrimp in two batches to allow enough room. Once done cooking, transfer cooked shrimp to a clean plate and reduce heat to medium low.
- Add heavy cream to pan and scrape bottoms to release any food that is stuck to the bottom. Allow cream to bubble. Reduce heat to low and stir in parmesan cheese to melt. Add cooked pasta and shrimp and stir to coat. Use reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed.