Sunday, July 26, 2020

Cajun Shrimp Pasta + Video

Cajun Shrimp Pasta features tender-crisp veggies smothered in a Cajun parmesan sauce! Make this quick and easy recipe in just 25 minutes!

 Cajun shrimp in pasta in a blue skillet

One-pot recipes help keep me out of the kitchen so I can enjoy all of the beautiful weather in the summer.

They are a quick and easy way to have a delicious dinner on the table fast.

Have you tried my One-Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta? You can make it with a few simple ingredients. And, it comes together in one skillet.

Or, my One-Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken is packed with flavor and perfect for the entire family.

Finally, this One-Pot Jambalaya Pasta is another favorite Cajun shrimp recipe.

step by step cooking veggies and tossing shrimp

Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe Tips

  • To quickly defrost, place the one pound frozen shrimp in a fine-mesh sieve or colander.  Place this sieve in a large bowl of cold tap water for 10 minutes.

  • After 10 minutes, replace the water in the bowl with new cold tap water and resubmerge the shrimp.  Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes.  Now, it's time to make your Cajun Shrimp Pasta.

  • The easier way to defrost your shrimp is to remove your frozen shrimp to a covered bowl and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

  • Cook your shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contain flavor that seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor.  You can remove the tails from cooked and resting shrimp.

  • The spice level for this Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe is customizable.  I find 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to be on the spicy side as you would expect from a Cajun pasta.   To customize the heat level, add 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning to the shrimp then add 1-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning. If you don’t like heat and want this very kid-friendly, omit the cayenne pepper. 

  • If you aren’t sure how much Cajun seasoning to use then start with less then add more to taste at the end of cooking because you can always add more heat but it is hard to take away!

  • Add reserved pasta water or heavy cream after you stir the pasta, shrimp, veggies, and sauce together until you reach the consistency you prefer.  For an extra decadent pasta, add additional heavy cream.

  • Garnishing your individual servings of pasta with freshly grated Parmesan, lime juice, and fresh parsley enhances the flavors and takes this pasta to a whole new level!
cooking the Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze a pasta recipe with shrimp? 

Yes, you can freeze your leftovers if you have them. You may notice a slight change in the texture.

But, it's possible to extend the life of your leftovers this way. Just place the leftovers in the freezer in a container with a tightly fitting lid. Use them within 6 months.

How to devein shrimp 

If you've never deveined shrimp before, you will need to for this Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe.

Once you remove the shells, make a shallow slice at the back of the shrimp. Then, carefully pull the vein out using the point of the knife.

It's easiest to use medium uncooked shrimp that have been peeled and deveined.  Buying prepared shrimp makes your job a snap because all you have to do is defrost the shrimp.

Close up of pasta recipe with shrimp 

How to prevent rubbery shrimp

If your shrimp are rubbery, they have been overcooked. Cook shrimp until they have curled into the shape of the letter C.

If they are straight, they aren't done yet. If you have cooked them until they are curled into an O, they are overcooked.

Equipment for making Cajun Shrimp Pasta
  • Wide Shallow Pan - a 4-quart braiser is one of my favorite pans. It is wide and shallow and perfect for one-pot recipes! Using a wide pan gives more surface area so your pot will heat more evenly and cook faster.
  • Garlic Press - One of my most used kitchen tools! I received mine as a gift years ago and I can't imagine why I never had one. It minces garlic with one squeeze, with the peel still on!
  • Cheese Grater - I am a huge proponent of FRESHLY grated cheese as opposed to bagged shredded cheeses.  Using freshly grated cheeses saves money, tastes better, and MELTS better. 

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Finished cajun shrimp

Watch us make Cajun Shrimp

For a step-by-step look at how we make this easy Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe, check out our video.

Yield: 4/6
Author: Jennifer Sattley
Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta is a quick and easy recipe to make, and it is bursting with juicy shrimp and crisp-tender veggies smothered in a Parmesan Cajun sauce!
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 15 MTotal time: 25 M


  • 1 pound medium uncooked peeled shrimp, deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning spice mix, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine pasta
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers (any color combo), thinly sliced, then halved
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced, then halved
  • 2 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt +salt for water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well-drained
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional Garnishes:
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley
  • lemon juice


  1. Add shrimp to a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 4 minced garlic cloves. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and pasta. Cook until al dente, about 8-12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. Set aside.
  3. While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until peppers reach desired crisp-tenderness, approximately 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  4. To the same skillet (don’t wipe it out), melt 1 tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp mixture and cook 3-4 minutes, just until shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Scrape shrimp and garlic/juices into a bowl. Set aside. After shrimp is cool enough to handle, you can chop tails off if you desire.
  5. To the same skillet (don’t wipe out), melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle in flour and 1-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (3 teaspoons for more heat), and optional cayenne pepper (if you want it spicy) and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes, then turn heat to low. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in diced tomatoes.
  6. Turn heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to low and stir in lime juice followed by Parmesan cheese until melted. Stir in the cooked shrimp, vegetables, and pasta until well coated in sauce, adding additional reserved pasta water or heavy cream if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or cayenne pepper to taste.
  8. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and lime juice (optional).
  1. I find 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to be on the spicy side as you would expect from a Cajun pasta.
  2. If you are sensitive to heat or want to make the dish very kid-friendly then use 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning with the shrimp and only 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning with the roux and omit the cayenne pepper.
  3. At the end of cooking if you want more heat you can always add more, but you can’t take it away.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Originally published February 2018, updated and republished July 2020

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  1. Today I intended to make shrimps in a coconut-curry sauce. Not anymore. I changed the recipee since I saw and read the Cajun shrimp Pasta. Today I will make the Cajun shrimp pasta. Lucky for me I have Cajun seasoning in my refrigirator and everything needed for this recipee. I just smell and taste it already. Thank you for this recipee.

    1. Holli@TheSlowRoastedItalianFebruary 17, 2018 at 6:58 AM

      Awesome!! Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

    2. The result: I made the Cajun shrimp pasta and it was a big succes. My husband tasted it with closed eyes. He was in heaven. I still have some for tomorrow. We had celery and carrots with it. It goes good together. I used everything written in the recipe, except the Cayenne pepper. It was a big succes!

  2. Great recipe! I was down in NOLA for a business trip a few months ago and haven't been able to stop talking about the cajun shrimp pasta I had. I'm going to make this for my wife so she stops thinking I'm crazy!

  3. This is a wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing. My whole family loved it!

  4. what can I substitute for heavy cream? I am newly diagnosed dairy free.

  5. I bought some fresh shrimp at walmart. This pasta is great ideas for the shrimp.

  6. This is such a tasty meal, thank you so much for posting the video! My family loved it and we will definitely be having it again.


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