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Creamy Cajun Pasta Recipe

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This Cajun pasta recipe is such a flavorful dish! The combination of the sausage, shrimp, veggies, creamy sauce, and Cajun spice mix is truly satisfying. 

It’s an easy pasta recipe with a little heat from the seasoning, which can be adjusted to your preference. Shrimp and sausage are the star proteins of this meal; they cook quickly and make for a filling and comforting meal. 

A bowl of shrimp and sausage Cajun pasta topped with parmesan cheese with a silver fork.

The pasta includes plenty of bell peppers, garlic, and onion and is a complete meal on its own. It's super delicious and full of flavor. The contrast between the Cajun spices and the creamy sauce makes for a wonderful pasta dish. 

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Ingredients

Here is what you'll need to make this weeknight pasta recipe.

Ingredients for creamy cajun pasta on a marble background.
  • Pasta - I use penne pasta for this recipe, but you can use any kind of pasta you'd like.
  • Shrimp - Medium to large size raw, peeled & deveined fresh shrimp work best. If you're not a fan of shrimp, you can make this into a cajun chicken pasta recipe by using chicken thighs or breasts instead of shrimp. You'll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 
  • Andouille Sausage - A ground pork sausage, originally from France, that's often used in Cajun cooking. I highly recommend finding andouille sausage for this recipe, but if necessary, you can use Italian pork sausage.
  • Cajun seasoning - You can use a store bought or homemade cajun seasoning. Adjust the heat to your liking by using more or less of the seasoning or adding extra cayenne pepper. 
  • Olive oil - I use olive oil for sauteing the shrimp and veggies. If you prefer another neutral cooking oil, like avocado, that will work too. 
  • Veggies - Yellow onion, red bell pepper, and orange bell pepper add flavor and bright colors to this pasta dish. 
  • Fresh garlic - Garlic adds to the cajun seasoning to flavor this pasta sauce. 
  • Vegetable broth - Vegetable broth will help give a deeper flavor to the pasta sauce. Chicken broth will also work. 
  • Heavy cream - Heavy cream (also known as heavy whipping cream) combines with cream cheese to make a beautiful creamy sauce. 
  • Cream cheese - Cream cheese will add a bit of salty, savory flavor and just the right amount of tanginess. 
  • Fresh parsley - We'll top the pasta with fresh parsley at the end. It's a nice way to get extra nutrients, and it looks pretty. 

See the recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.

Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and toss it with 2 teaspoons of the cajun seasoning.

Raw shrimp tossed with Cajun seasoning.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat and cook the sausage and shrimp for about 4 to 6 minutes, till the shrimp are pink. Remove the sausage and shrimp from the pan and set aside.

Shrimp and andouille sausage cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and once hot, add the diced onion and bell peppers. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of cajun seasoning over the onions and peppers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. 

Diced red pepper and onion cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Pour the broth, heavy cream, and the reserved pasta water into the pan. Add the cream cheese and stir till melted. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 4 minutes to thicken.

Creamy Cajun pasta sauce with red pepper.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add in the chopped parsley, shrimp, and sausage and stir.

Top with optional Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Creamy Cajun pasta in a cast iron skillet with a spatula.

Storage

The texture of this pasta is best when served fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Substitutions & Variations

Shrimp - You can substitute frozen shrimp for fresh. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight first and make sure to pat dry. Precooked shrimp will work, but will not absorb the flavor as well as raw. 

Spice level - If you love spicy food, sprinkle red pepper flakes on top when serving, or mix extra cayenne pepper into the cajun seasoning mix. 

Topping - Top pasta with a little parmesan cheese for extra flavor. 

Creamy Cajun pasta with shrimp and sausage in a large cast iron skillet.


What to Serve with Cajun Pasta

  • Sautéed zucchini - Sautéing zucchini allows the crisp, fresh flavors of the squash to shine. The mildly sweet, nutty flavors of zucchini are deepened over the heat and this veggie dish is wonderful served with a creamy pasta. 
  • Arabic Salad - This traditional Arabic salad combines diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion with spices and herbs for a refreshing, delicious side dish that compliments this creamy cajun shrimp pasta so well. 
  • Focaccia Bread - A delicious bread is always a treat with pasta. Decorate this focaccia with green onions, shallots, and olives for a beautiful and delicious side dish.  

More Delicious Pasta Dishes

  • Awesome Lemon Chicken Pasta - Made with tender chicken breast, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and a hefty portion of baby spinach, this easy pasta is a full meal ready in 30 minutes. It's perfect for busy weeknights. 
  • Creamy Zucchini Pasta - This zucchini pasta made with zoodles and pasta is a bright, fresh meal.
  • Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe - The roasted veggies, grilled corn, and pesto make this a standout summer recipe that can be served warm or cold. 

If you try this cajun pasta recipe, let us know! Connect with us on Instagram and share your photos, or leave us a rating.

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Cajun Pasta

A bowl of Cajun pasta topped with parmesan cheese with a silver fork.

This delicious creamy Cajun pasta recipe is a fantastic weeknight meal. Made with sausage and shrimp, this dish will be a hit with the whole family!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 pound raw shrimp
  • 2 Andouille sausages, sliced into rounds
  • 3 teaspoons cajun seasoning, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional - ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and toss it with 2 teaspoons of the cajun seasoning.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and shrimp and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are pink. Remove the sausage and shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and once hot, add the diced onion and bell peppers. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of Cajun seasoning over the onions and peppers, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. 
  6. Pour the broth, heavy cream, and the reserved pasta water into the pan. Add the cream cheese and stir till melted. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 4 to 6 minutes to thicken.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add in the chopped parsley, shrimp, and sausage and stir.
  8. Top with optional Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 1420mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 21g

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