Cajun Shrimp Pasta features tender-crisp veggies smothered in a Cajun parmesan sauce! Make this quick and easy Cajun seafood pasta recipe in just 25 minutes!
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
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!
This New Orleans-style Cajun seafood pasta is packed with flavor, and it’s just beyond simple to make.
It’s versatile too — make Cajun shrimp with linguine or fettuccine to soak up the incredible flavors.
Everything cooks together, even the noodles, so there are fewer dishes to do after dinner. Now that’s what I call easy!
Tips for Making Cajun Seafood Pasta
- Cook shrimp with the tails on.
Seafood shells contain flavor that seeps out during cooking, so you’ll have a more robust shrimp flavor in your Cajun shrimp scampi if you leave them on.
For easier eating, you can remove the tails after cooking if you’d like.
- Adjust the spiciness to your liking.
With the amounts listed, this Cajun shrimp pasta recipe comes out about as hot as you would expect from a New Orleans dish.
Feel free to start with half the amount of Cajun seasoning, then increase a teaspoon at a time until it tastes just right.
If you don’t like heat or want this Cajun shrimp scampi to be kid-friendly, omit the cayenne pepper.
- Create a creamier consistency.
Add a few splashes of reserved pasta water or heavy cream to Cajun shrimp scampi after stirring everything together.
Or, cut about 4 ounces of cream cheese into small cubes and stir them in until melted.
- Garnish with fresh ingredients.
Top each bowl of Cajun shrimp linguine with freshly grated Parmesan, lime juice, and fresh parsley.
It enhances the flavors and takes this spicy seafood dinner to a whole new level!
How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp Quickly
Place frozen shellfish in a fine-mesh sieve or colander, then place this sieve in a large bowl of cold tap water.
After 10 minutes, replace the water in the bowl with new cold tap water and re-submerge the shrimp. Let sit an additional 10- 20 minutes.
If you are able to plan ahead, you can also defrost frozen shrimp in the refrigerator. Transfer from the package into a large bowl, then cover and leave there overnight.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe FAQ
Once you remove the shells, make a shallow slice at the back of the shrimp. Then, carefully lift the vein out using the point of the knife.
Grab onto it with your fingers or some kitchen tweezers, then pull it out with one gentle tug.
That said, it’s easiest to make Cajun shrimp pasta with medium uncooked shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined. Buying prepared shrimp makes your job a snap because all you have to do is defrost it!
Yes, you can freeze your leftovers for up to 6 months if you have them. Be sure to store in a freezer-safe airtight container or storage bag.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm on the stove. After reheating, you may notice a slight change in the texture.
If your shrimp have a rubbery texture, it’s a sure sign they have been cooked for too long. Cook shrimp just until they have barely curled into the shape of the letter C.
If they are straight, they are undercooked. If you have cooked them until they are curled into an O, they are overcooked.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Simple Shrimp Dinners
Cajun Shrimp Pasta + Video
- 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 olive oil, extra virgin, 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
- 14 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well-drained
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- fresh parsley
- lemon juice
- Add shrimp to a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 4 minced garlic cloves. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- 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.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and lime juice (optional).
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published February 2018. Updated and republished August 2023.
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