Creamy, perfectly spiced and full of fresh veggies and shrimp, cajun shrimp pasta is a quick and easy pasta that everyone will love.
Today I'm sharing a pasta that has quickly become my families favourite. We all love a great restaurant quality pasta, especially when it has shrimp, and the cajun flavours are a fun twist to our usual pasta night.
This cajun shrimp pasta has everything that I love in a recipe:
- full flavour
- real fresh ingredients and loaded with veggies
- simple technique
- minimal cooking time and minimal mess to clean up
I've used a creole spice mix here for simplicity and because I have one that I love - I talk about it below. The sauce is creamy, but not heavy with just the right amount of flavour and comes together in minutes.
This pasta is perfect for a family meal on a busy night but also impressive enough for easy entertaining.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
How to make cajun shrimp pasta
Start by getting a large pot of salted water boiling to cook your pasta, then season your shrimp and heat a large skillet to medium heat with the butter in it.
Add your seasoned shrimp to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes on each side before removing them and cooking the peppers and onions with some fresh ground pepper.
When the water is boiling, get your pasta cooking.
Remove the veggies from the skillet, then add in the cream, chicken stock, tomato paste, garlic, parmesan cheese and the remainder of the cajun spice mix.
Turn the heat up to high, bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it has thickened up a bit.
When the sauce has thickened, your pasta should be cooked. Drain with a colander and then add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet.
Add in the cooked veggies and the chopped spinach, then give everything a good stir until the spinach has just begun to wilt.
Then add the shrimp back to the skillet and serve.
Tips for the Best Cajun Shrimp Pasta
I really love penne, but a long thick noodle, like linguine, would also be a good choice here.
Pay attention to how salty your cajun seasoning mix is. Mine contains salt, some do not and some are saltier than others. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. If you are in Canada, I really like Irie creole seasoning miss, and it's what I used for this recipe.
Don't overcook your shrimp! Cook time will vary by the size of the shrimp, but they only need to cook until they are no longer translucent.
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Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- 12 ounces penne or other pasta
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2.5 Tablespoons cajun seasoning divided
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 red pepper
- 1⁄2 onion
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 cups baby spinach chopped
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Start boiling a large pot of salted water for the pasta.
- Rinse and drain the shrimp, then season with 1.5 tablespoons of the cajun seasoning and slice your red pepper and onions.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, and the butter to a large skillet and heat to medium heat.
- When the skillet is hot and the butter is melted, add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side depending on the size of your shrimp.
- Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Drain the pasta into a colander.
- Add the sliced pepper and onions to the skillet and season with fresh ground pepper. Let the veggies cook while stirring occasionally until they are tender but still crisp - about 5 minutes.
- Remove the veggies from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the chicken stock, garlic, heavy cream, tomato paste, parmesan cheese and the remainder of the cajun seasoning to the skillet and raise the temperature to high. Gently scrape the bottom on the skillet with a wooden or plastic spoon to release any seasoning stuck to the bottom of it.
- When the sauce is boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer until the sauce thickens - about 5 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss until it is coated then add the cooked veggies and chopped spinach.
- Toss until the greens begin to wilt, then add the shrimp.