This Cajun shrimp pasta is made with sauteed spiced shrimp served over creamy pasta, then finished off with fresh tomatoes. An easy dinner that tastes like it came from a restaurant!
I often make shrimp for dinner because it cooks so quickly and is packed with protein. This Cajun shrimp pasta is one of my very favorite ways to serve seafood. Best of all, this dish tastes like it came from a fancy restaurant, but you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.
How do you make Cajun shrimp pasta?
The first step in this recipe is to put your pasta up to boil in a pot of salted water. While the pasta is cooking, you can sear your shrimp and whip up a simple parmesan cream sauce. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, then arrange the shrimp on top. Add a sprinkling of tomatoes and parsley, then you’ll be ready to eat.
Tips for cajun shrimp pasta
- I like to use smaller shrimp for this recipe so that I get a taste of it in each bite. I typically use 31-40 count shrimp, although larger or smaller shrimp will also work just fine.
- You can remove the tails from your shrimp or leave them on, it’s a matter of personal preference. I find that the presentation is nicer with the tails on, but it does make the shrimp a little harder to eat.
- This recipe will work with any short pasta such as rotini, farfalle and rigatoni.
- The creamy sauce tastes best if you use freshly grated parmesan cheese.
HOW TO PEEL AND DEVEIN SHRIMP
This recipe calls for raw shrimp which are cooked in a skillet. I typically buy my raw shrimp with just the tail attached, but many shrimp also come still in the shell. If your shrimp have shells on them, you can easily remove them by pulling the main part of the shell off with your fingers, then removing the tail end of the shell. You may also need to devein your shrimp. If you see a dark line running across the top of the the shrimp, you can remove it by using a paring knife to cut a slit along the top of the shrimp, then use the knife or a wooden skewer to remove the vein.
HOW TO MAKE CAJUN SEASONING
You can use store bought Cajun seasoning for the recipe, or make your own. To make Cajun seasoning, combine 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme. Mix everything together and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.
Cajun shrimp pasta variations
You can add all different kinds of toppings to your Cajun pasta to make your own creation.
- Protein: In addition to the shrimp, you can add 1 cup of cooked diced chicken, smoked sausage or crumbled bacon.
- Vegetables: When you cook your shrimp, you can add veggies to the mix such as red onion or bell pepper.
- Herbs: While I typically make this pasta with parsley, other great options include green onions, basil or chives.
This Cajun shrimp pasta is easy enough for a busy weeknight, yet elegant enough to serve to company. It’s a recipe you’ll find yourself making time and time again.
MORE PASTA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined, I use 31-40 count
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning plus more for garnish
- 10 ounces penne pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the shrimp.
- Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until pink and opaque.
- In small pot, combine the heavy cream, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes.
- Stir the parmesan cheese into the sauce, cook until melted.
- Drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the sauce and arrange the shrimp on top.
- Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, tomatoes and parsley, then serve.