Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Creamy Shrimp Pasta has tender pasta in a spicy cream sauce topped with succulent cajun shrimp. It’s a quick and easy dinner that’s versatile and full of flavor.

cast iron skillet with pasta and shrimp, tomatoes, green napkin

We are obsessed with shrimp around here. It’s a low calorie lean protein, it tastes delicious and even my daughter is a huge fan. My daughter’s favorite shrimp recipe is Light and Crispy Fried Shrimp but she’d also never turn down a good shrimp cocktail. There’s also my husband’s Shrimp Ceviche which is incredible and full of tangy lime, creamy avocado, shrimp, tomatoes and jalapeños.

So back to this Cajun Shrimp Pasta. It’s got tender fettuccine noodles coated in a spicy, creamy sauce. The shrimp are coated in cajun seasoning then cooked quickly in butter to add even more flavor.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Like most recipes, the key to a good pasta is quality ingredients. Luckily the items are pretty simple and you probably already have most of them on hand.

2 images of cooking shrimp

The Shrimp

  • Your shrimp should be as fresh as possible. Ask your butcher if he has any in the back; they’ll often take a quick walk back to the freezer and find you something even better than what’s behind the counter.
  • I suggest purchasing shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined. Having the shrimp prepared for you makes this recipe a breeze.
  • Medium shrimp are best; you’ll get about 30-40 per pound. This recipe serves 4 so that’s 10 shrimp per person.

The Pasta

Long pastas like linguine, fettuccine and spaghetti are my favorites. I love twirling the pasta and scooping up all that creamy sauce with it. Fettuccine is what you’ll typically find with this dish at restaurants.

Smaller cut pastas like rotini, rigatoni or penne are my second choice. Use your favorite or whatever you happen to have on hand.

cajun shrimp pasta with diced tomatoes in a cast iron skillet

How to Make Cajun Shrimp Pasta

  1. Start the pasta boiling in a large pot of salted water. Make sure to reserve some of the pasta water towards the end of cooking.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt some butter and olive oil in a separate skillet. Cook the shrimp coated in cajun seasoning (tails of for presentation or tails off for easier eating). The shrimp cooks quickly, just 2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to another plate so you can use the skillet to make the sauce.
  3. Add more butter to the pan, cook some garlic then add some pasta water for deglazing, scraping up all the pretty little brown bits on the bottom  of the pan. Then add some flour for thickening and cook until it’s golden.
  4. Whisk in milk, cream and more pasta water and simmer for several minutes or until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in some Parmesan cheese.
  5. Toss together the pasta and shrimp with the sauce until everything is coated well.

Recipe Notes and Tips

Just about any part of this Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe can be customized, it’s that versatile. Here are a few of our favorite variations.

  • Instead of shrimp, use chicken breast or spicy sausage.
  • Add more or less cajun seasoning based on your liking.
  • I suggest fettuccine or linguine, but I also love penne, rigatoni or even spaghetti.
  • It’s optional, but I love to sprinkle some fresh diced tomatoes and fresh minced parsley on top.

gray plate with pasta and cajun shrimp, cast iron skillet, parsley, green napkin, fork

More Shrimp Recipes to Try

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Cast iron pan full of creamy pasta, tomatoes, and cooked cajun shrimp.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Creamy Shrimp Pasta has tender pasta in a spicy cream sauce topped with succulent cajun shrimp. It's a quick and easy dinner that's versatile and flavorful.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 988kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta in generously salted boiling water according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and set aside on a plate or in a large bowl until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add shrimp and season with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Cook until pink, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt, swirling around to coat. Stir in minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute. Whisk in about ¼ cup of the pasta water and stir constantly to deglaze (loosen and scrape up all those lovely brown bits of flavor) the pan if needed, then stir in flour and cook for about one minute or until golden.
  • Whisk in milk, cream and remaining pasta water and simmer for several minutes until thickened (sauce should coat the back of a spoon). Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted.
  • Toss the cooked pasta and shrimp with the sauce to coat.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with diced tomatoes and fresh chopped parsley.

Notes

  • Instead of shrimp, use chicken breast or spicy sausage.
  • Add more or less cajun seasoning based on your liking.
  • I suggest fettuccine or linguine, but I also love penne, rigatoni or even spaghetti.

Nutrition

Calories: 988kcalCarbohydrates: 100gProtein: 48gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 407mgSodium: 1242mgPotassium: 685mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 3643IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 465mgIron: 5mg
Keyword cajun shrimp, cajun shrimp pasta

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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