For the ultimate quick and easy dinner, coat Cajun Shrimp Pasta in a sauce infused with fresh lemon juice and garlic.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a really delicious dish that you can whip up in a hurry, and this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe will help you do just that.
This recipe will not disappoint if you enjoy shrimp. The shrimp are seared until tender before being gently tossed in a flavorful velvety cream sauce with just the right amount of pasta.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS PASTA RECIPE?
- Simple and easy: This meal is extremely simple and easy to prepare. It can be ready in 30 minutes if you cook the pasta, shrimp, and toss them all together.
- This cajun shrimp pasta is delicious and tasty. It will be difficult to stop at just one serving because it is so flavorful and delicious.
- To make it even healthier, use lentil pasta or replace the pasta entirely with zucchini noodles. Fresh and clean ingredients were used to make this dish.
WHAT IS CAJUN SEASONING MADE OF?
Cajun seasoning is a spice blend that includes garlic powder, paprika, salt, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and pepper!
It’s slightly sweet, perfectly spicy, and insanely flavorful, and it makes this Cajun shrimp pasta so delicious!
WHAT PASTA TO USE?
This cajun shrimp pasta recipe works well with any type of pasta.
I use penne pasta because I like how the sauce penetrates the tubes and coats the outside of the pasta.
However, I believe any pasta you have on hand will suffice. Try rotini, rigatoni, linguine, and other similar pastas. Whatever pasta you use, make sure it’s al dente.
HOW TO COOK SHRIMP FOR PASTA?
Cooking shrimp for pasta is a breeze! When using raw shrimp, simply place them in a pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, flipping once, depending on their size.
When the shrimp begin to curl and turn pink, they are done. It only takes a few minutes to cook shrimp, and they are easily overcooked, so keep an eye on them.
Alternative Cajun Shrimp Pasta No Cream video recipe
HOW TO MAKE CAJUN SHRIMP PASTA?
- Cook pappardella or your preferred shaped pasta according to package directions, salting the water first.
- Devein the shrimp, wash them in cold water, and thoroughly dry them. For tips on how to prepare shrimp for this recipe, please see How to Cook Frozen Shrimp.
- Season shrimp and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides in a prepared skillet, then transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Allow the cream sauce to simmer in the same skillet where you made the pasta and seared shrimp, then toss until well coated with freshly squeezed lemon juice from half a lemon.
- Taste and season with more salt if necessary.
- Serve immediately garnished with cilantro or parsley.
CAN I USE FROZEN SHRIMP?
Yes! I keep frozen shrimp in my freezer specifically for recipes like this one.
Look for shrimp that hasn’t had any chemicals added to it. I also buy them already peeled and deveined to make my life easier.
To thaw your shrimp in preparation for this Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe, place them in the fridge 24 hours ahead of time.
If you don’t have time, put them in a colander in the sink and run cool water over them until they thaw.
HOW TO THAW FROZEN SHRIMP?
I always recommend following the instructions on the package of shrimp you have, but the general rule of thumb is to soak the shrimp in cool water for 10-30 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight.
I like how simple this recipe is as is, but there are a few fun ways to change it up.
- Adjust the Spice Level: I think this Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe has a great flavorful spice level, but if you want it less spicy, use regular cream cheese instead of jalapeno cream cheese. You can also reduce the amount of Cajun seasoning used. If you want it extra spicy, add more cayenne pepper.
- Add More Veggies: Adding more vegetables to this Cajun Pasta would be simple. If you do this, simply sauté the vegetables after cooking the shrimp and set them aside with the shrimp. This recipe would be fantastic with bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, or even chopped asparagus.
- Make it vegetarian by omitting the shrimp and adding more vegetables, such as mushrooms! You could also easily substitute tofu or tempeh for the shrimp. It would soak up all of the flavor of the cajun sauce.
- Change the Protein: Simply swap out the protein to make this Crawfish Cajun Pasta, Chicken Cajun Pasta, or even Sausage Cajun Pasta.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta to make this gluten-free.
- Add Some Citrus: At the end of the cooking process, a squeeze of lemon would be delicious.
STORE AND REHEAT CAJUN SHRIMP PASTA
When storing leftovers, place them in an airtight container with an airtight lid and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
When reheating, you can do one of two things:
1) place the pasta in a pot or pan, add a splash of water, unsweetened coconut milk, or chicken broth, and place over low heat with a gentle stir every now and then until warm, then plate; or
2) tear off a large piece of foil, place 1 or 2 servings of pasta onto the foil, add a splash of water or chicken broth, and fold the edges of the foil to create a packet.
- When searing shrimp, cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp. Shrimp will become dry and tough if cooked for an extended period of time.
- When searing the shrimp, do not overcrowd the skillet; instead, cook the shrimp in batches to avoid steaming.
- To get that crusty outer coating on the shrimp, use a cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom skillet.
- When shopping for shrimp, look for a bag of frozen raw shrimp that is large or jumbo in size.
- Cook pasta noodles until al dente in salted water.
- Before draining the pasta, save a cup of the pasta water in a measuring cup or other small cup to thin out the sauce if it becomes too thick.
- Be mindful of the pasta-to-sauce ratio; because pasta absorbs sauce, do not overfill the skillet with pasta.
- After returning the seared shrimp to the skillet, there will be some juice on the plate. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon onto the plate and swirl it around before pouring it over the creamy shrimp pasta for an extra flavor boost.
- To increase the heat, add cayenne pepper to the sauce or leave it out entirely.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to cook shrimp for pasta?
It is best to sauté or pan fry the shrimp with a little oil and seasoning first. Then, cover and set aside until you’re ready to cook the pasta and sauce.
How to season shrimp for pasta?
When it comes to flavors, shrimp and pasta are extremely adaptable. You can make it Italian-style or Mexican-style, such as cajun. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
How to store shrimp pasta?
Refrigerate any leftover shrimp pasta in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
Is shrimp OK on keto?
Fish and shellfish are excellent keto-friendly options. Salmon and other fish are not only low in carbohydrates, but they are also high in B vitamins, potassium, and selenium ( 8 ). However, the carbohydrate content of shellfish varies depending on the type. While shrimp and most crabs are carb-free, oysters and octopus are.
More of Cajun Shrimp Recipes you can try:
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage is a quick weeknight pasta dish!
This shrimp pasta dinner recipe is simple, quick, and delicious, taking only 40 minutes to prepare.
I’m always looking for quick and easy dinner ideas. I particularly enjoy the shrimp and sausage combination because it is so flavorful and delectable.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Spinach
Spicy Shrimp Spinach Pasta – a quick 30-minute weeknight spinach spaghetti dinner that packs a flavorful punch with no cream and only a few ingredients.
Everyone will enjoy this spicy, creamy, loaded pasta dinner!