This Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta is creamy and absolutely full of flavor! It's a 30 minute dinner, great for weeknights and super easy to make. Get ready for some New Orleans flavor!
Pasta is everything to me! I could eat it in any way or form for every meal. This pasta dish is the best of both worlds because we get saucy carbs and it's loaded with protein from the sausage and shrimp. The andouille sausage, is already fully cooked and shrimp cooks in minutes, which is awesome for a quick and easy dinner.
Why You'll Love This Pasta:
- It's creamy with cajun flavors
- Packed full of protein and really filling
- So easy to make in just 30 minutes
- Everyone in the family will enjoy this one
Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp Pasta:
Shrimp-My favorite shrimp to use for this recipe is Argentina Pink Shrimp or Gray Shrimp is fine too. My grocery store was out of pink shrimp, and gray was my second choice. Look for shrimp that is fresh and crisp looking and medium in size. To save an extra 10 to 15 minutes and a bit of manual labor, buy the shrimp already peeled and deveined from the butcher.
Andouille Sausage- A large part of this recipe because it's where all of the cajun flavors come from. Look for a sausage that has already been smoked and is fully cooked.
Pasta-My personal favorite part of this recipe and you can use any of your favorite pasta here. I loved the fusilli paired with the shrimp and sausage for its size and shape.
Roasted Red Peppers-Bring a subtle smoky flavor into the cream sauce and just pairs really well with all of these ingredients.
Heavy Cream, Butter and Parmesan- The base ingredients to a really delicious creamy sauce. For the parmesan, make sure to shred it yourself from a block, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano. The bagged cheese will not melt properly in cream sauces because of an anti-caking agent added to it.
Tomato Paste-I wanted the sauce to be a bit pinkish in color to show the Cajun flavors, so I added in a touch of tomato paste. This also helps to thicken the sauce.
*A list of the full ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
If you want to add extra protein, you could add in chicken breast as well.
For more spice, add in a few teaspoons of cajun seasoning in with the salt. You can also add in hot sauce or tabasco in with the cream sauce. I usually keep the heat pretty mild and serve hot sauce on the side, to keep it whole family and kid friendly.
You can use any of your favorite pastas for this recipe. I like fusilli, penne, and rigatoni because of their size.
Frozen shrimp can be used in this recipe, just make sure it is completely thawed out before cooking.
If you love Cajun flavors, don't forget to try my Cajun Salmon Bites!
How to Make Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta:
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Here are the Step by Step Instructions for Cajun Shrimp Pasta.
Step 1: Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Into a stainless steel skillet over medium heat, add in a tablespoon of olive oil. Allow it to heat up and spread over the entire surface. Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until fully cooked, and the internal temperature is 145 degrees.
Step 2: Remove shrimp from pan into a large bowl and set aside. Cook the sausage in the same skillet as the shrimp for a few minutes on each side. Transfer the sausage into the shrimp bowl.
Step 3: Add the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente, firm when bitten into. Strain the pasta and let sit in the colander until the sauce is ready.
Step 4: Reduce the same skillet to medium low heat. Add in the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the brown bits from the sausage, and allow the onions to become translucent and softened. This takes about 3-4 minutes.
Step 5: Add in garlic and cook for 60 seconds. Next, plop in the tomato paste and butter and stir to combine. Toss in the roasted red peppers.
Step 6: Turn heat down to low and pour in the heavy cream. Stir frequently and allow it to heat up, but not boil, for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the cheese and continue to stir the sauce until all the cheese in melted.
Step 7: Pour the strained pasta into the cream sauce and toss to combine. Then, toss in the shrimp and sausage. You want everything covered in that Creamy Pasta Sauce.
Step 8: Top with additional Parmesan Cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
- Time Saving Tip- If you want to save time and keep the recipe at 30 minutes, buy the shrimp peeled and deveined and make sure the andouille sausage is already smoked and fully cooked! Peeling and deveining the shrimp yourself will take an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Make sure to shred the parmesan cheese straight from the block. Bagged or powdered cheese will not create the best texture for the sauce. It doesn't melt right.
- When cooking shrimp, the internal temperature should reach 145 degrees before eating. You can also rely on the color. It will turn really vibrant pink when it's ready.
No, it is actually really mild in spice. The only spicy factors in the recipe is going to be the andouille sausage. I keep it mild to serve the whole family. If you want it spicier, check out the substitutions and variations above in the post.
Peeling and deveining your own shrimp can be a pain, but it does save money. Remove tail and shell from the shrimp. Then, cut about ½ inch deep into the back side of the shrimp. This will allow access to remove the vein, aka shrimp waste. Look under the belly side too for another vein you may need to remove. Rinse under cold water and pat dry the shrimp before seasoning and cooking.
This pasta tastes best fresh, but you can certainly save leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave or 350 degree oven until warm.
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