This Cajun shrimp pasta recipe is like spicy comfort in a bowl!

Succulent shrimp and pasta are tossed in a spicy and creamy sauce for this one-dish wonder.

Make this creamy Cajun shrimp pasta recipe as an easy 30-minute weeknight meal or to impress dinner guests.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe on a fork

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

  • Minimal prep and maximum flavor with only 8 ingredients!
  • Budget-friendly and versatile Cajun shrimp pasta can be customized to use different proteins and pasta shapes.
  • Serve it from a Crockpot with a side of dinner rolls or breadsticks to sop up all that delicious sauce.

Ingredients and Variations

Shrimp: Choose whole shrimp and thaw if using frozen. Medium (41-50) or large (31-40) shrimps are perfect for this recipe.

Cajun Sauce: Make a thicker sauce by stirring in chunks of cream cheese until it’s melted and then add the parmesan cheese. If you don’t have Cajun seasoning, make it homemade or use Old Bay or chili seasoning.

Pasta: Any pasta or noodle works, but we recommend shapes with ridges or tubes so all that creamy cheesy sauce gets soaked up into every bite!

Variations

  • Add Cajun seasoning to a jar of ready-made Alfredo sauce if time is short.
  • Sliced mushrooms, asparagus, green peas, spinach, or sundried tomatoes are excellent additions.
  • A little Andouille sausage kicks in some more Cajun flavor, or use chicken cutlets or strips. Cook per recipe in Step 4.
adding shrimp to noodles to make Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

How to Make Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Creamy Cajun shrimp pasta goes from the stovetop to the tabletop in less than 30 minutes!

  1. Cook and drain pasta.
  2. Toss shrimp with Cajun seasoning and oil, cook in butter, and set aside (recipe below).
  3. Lower heat and add cream and parmesan cheese to the skillet.
  4. Add cooked pasta and shrimp to the skillet and stir to combine.
close up of Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Tips for Success!

  • If using peeled shrimp, get the kind with the tails off so it’s easier to eat.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta, you want it to be al dente since it will cook a little more once added to the shrimp and sauce.
  • If the sauce is too thick, use a little reserved pasta water to thin it out.

Serving and Storing Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun shrimp pasta is a one-dish delight that pairs well with veggies like oven-roasted asparagus or roasted broccolini.

Keep leftover Cajun shrimp pasta in a covered container for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop with a little milk mixed in to loosen up the cream sauce.

Our Favorite Pasta Dishes

Did your family love this Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe? Leave us a rating and a comment below.

adding shrimp to noodles to make Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe
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Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Cajun Shrimp Pasta with a hint of heat and a rich cream sauce is easy and elegant.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces penne pasta with ½ cup of reserved pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound raw shrimp deveined, cleaned, tail removed
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook pasta al dente. Drain pasta, reserving at least ½ cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine shrimp with Cajun seasoning and olive oil.
  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Melt butter, then add shrimp in a single layer.
  • Cook until golden brown on each side, turning only once. You may have to cook shrimp in two batches to allow enough room. Once finished cooking, transfer cooked shrimp to a clean plate and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Add heavy cream to the skillet and scrape the bottom to release any bits that are stuck. Allow the cream to bubble. Reduce heat to low and stir in parmesan cheese to melt.
  • Add cooked pasta and shrimp, then stir gently to coat. Use reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed.

Notes

  • Cook pasta al dente. Do not overcook.
  • Leftover Cajun shrimp pasta can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat on low on the stovetop with some milk mixed in to loosen up the cream sauce.
4.77 from 46 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 1989mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2784IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course dinner, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine American

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About the author

Krissy is married to the Leftover King, has two food-loving kids, and lives on a 10 acre farm with 5 goats, 22 chickens, and one barn cat named Barn Cat. Krissy left a life in the suburbs and a career in the high tech industry that spanned almost two decades to devote all of her time and energy to her family, recipe creation, photography, and eating. You can find hundreds of delicious recipes on her blog, Self Proclaimed Foodie, and you can read about her farming adventures and mishaps on her new, more personal blog, Ten Acre Baker.
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very simple yet delicious dish to make after work for my family. I added garlic to the butter and added an extra tbps of the cajun seasoning and it turned out perfect.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this for family and guests and it is amazing! It is easy and the creamy Cajun flavors go together with the shrimp and pasta. We make this dish frequently because it is just amazing

  3. 4 stars
    This was yummy. Another time I think I would start with 2 tsp of cajun seasoning. My hubby adds hot sauce to everything and I enjoy spicy food. This was overwhelming. Maybe I have super seasoning? I ended up making second batch of pasta and the sauce and it was still really spicy.

    That being said, this was so delicious! It was really quick and easy but I felt it was nicer than most weeknight meals I manage to throw together. Thanks for sharing!

    1. 5 stars
      I loved your recipe. After tasting I added a little cayenne for a bit more heat. I will definitely make this a lot. Next time I want to try adding a few anchovies to the melted butter before putting the shrimp in the pan. It took me a bit longer to make, but I am a slow cook. I’m sure as I repeat I’ll be able to cut the time down. Thanks so much for this treat.

  4. Great recipe- I added fresh garlic and andouille sausage and substituted half & half in place of heavy cream. 

  5. 5 stars
    This was AWESOME!  I did make 2 minor changes.  The first was; I added the Cajun spice and olive oil as per the recipe then put in the refrigerator for about 90 minutes.  The second change was I had some homemade garlic butter in the refrigerator so I used that for the ship sauté and for the sauce.  My wife re-saved about how good it smelled as I was cooking off the shrimp!  I did not want to burn the garlic so I cooked the shrimp a little more than half way through. One the sauce was ready I turned down to a barely simmer and added the shrimp back in to finish in the sauce.  Then added the pasta and it was Heaven on a plate!  Everyone raves about this pasta!  It has earned a place on our family favorites list!  I’m glade I doubled the recipe right off because I knew it would be a WINNER!

    1. 3 stars
      This was really good but two Tablespoons of Cajun seasoning was way too salty so I would cut that amount in half next time depending on the brand you use. 

    1. You can use either for this recipe. But for this recipe we used shredded and it melted nicely into the cream sauce.

  6. I added another tsp of cajun seasoning cooked the shrimp for about. 2 minutes per side, then I added 1 cup of Rao Arrabbiata sauce to the simmering cream and parmesan, then added the shrimp back into the sauce before I added it to angel hair pasta (the refrigerated kind you only have to cook for 2 minutes, ) it was wonderful, would make it again and again…

    1. We’ve only made the recipe as listed Courtney. But you could try making a heavy cream substitute by combining 3/4 milk with 1/3 cup butter. If you give that a try, let us know how it turns out!

      1. 5 stars
        I used 3/4 cup of half & half and 1/4 cup of sour cream.  I’ll definitely make again but will probably double the cajun spice for more kick.

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for this super easy, but fancy-seeming recipe that my husband and daughter really enjoyed. (I’m vegetarian, but cook everyone’s meals). Served with roast green beans, and sprinkled with a little chopped parsley it was a win for the cook and the diners.

  8. how many people does this serve? and if I wanted to make the whole box of pasta do I have to double the recipe? 

    1. Hi Mandy, this recipe makes 4 servings. If you wanted to double the pasta we would recommend doubling all the ingredients to keep the flavor consistent! This may also increase your cooking time!