Cajun Shrimp Pasta

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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.

pan of pasta with shrimp

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!

cajun shrimp and pasta

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.

skillet of shrimp and cajun pasta

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!

bite of shrimp pasta

Our Favorite Pasta Dishes:

pan of pasta with shrimp
Print
3.87 from 29 votes
Servings: 4 servings
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
 
Author: Krissy Allori
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun shrimp pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta with a spicy and rich cream sauce is a quick and easy dinner recipe with just the right amount of kick!

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp and sauce. Combine shrimp with cajun seasoning and olive oil in bowl. Toss to combine. 

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 643, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 383mg, Sodium: 2878mg, Potassium: 353mg, Carbohydrates: 46g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 36g, Vitamin A: 2785%, Vitamin C: 5%, Calcium: 371%, Iron: 4%

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

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Cajun shrimp pasta in a pan with a title

Cajun shrimp pasta in a pan and in a bowl with writing

Krissy Allori

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.

26 comments on “Cajun Shrimp Pasta”

  1. 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!

  2. 5 stars
    My boyfriend said it was the best meal I’ve ever made for him. It is simply awesome.

  3. Grated or shredded Parmesan?

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

  4. If you use frozen shrimp, do you thaw it first?

  5. 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…

  6. This was delicious! A hit with the whole family!

  7. What could I use if I dont have heavy cream?

    • 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!

  8. Delicious. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit. thank you!

  9. 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.

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

    • 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!

    • 5 stars
      What did you do with the 1/2 cup of the pasta water?

  11. This looks insanely, incredibly good. Yummmmmmy!

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