This creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta combines Parmesan, tender shrimp and penne pasta with a spicy kick of peppers and paprika from Creole Seasoning, a staple in Cajun cooking. Create a delicious seafood dinner in under 30 minutes!
I’m a sucker for a creamy, dreamy, seafood pasta dish. This creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe has everything you could possibly want. Tender and succulent shrimp is coated with cajun seasoning, which adds just the right amount of spice and a deliciously blackened crust. The cream sauce only takes a few minutes to come together, plus I use a secret pantry staple, so you don’t need to head out to buy fresh cream!
My husband loves pasta, but he’s not big into creamy pasta recipes, he’s more of a tomato sauce kind of guy. But the cajun seasoning in this recipe adds an awesome flavor and a kick of spice that had him coming back for seconds! Since cajun seasoning can have different levels of spice, make sure you use one that your family loves, or make your own!
How To Make Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
I love making seafood dishes for quick weeknight dinners. I always keep frozen shrimp on hand, because it lasts a while, defrosts quickly, and cooks up perfectly in no time. This recipe is super quick to make with just a few pantry staples. In fact, you can make assemble this recipe in about 15 minutes.
I like dropping the pasta into the boiling water, and then cooking the shrimp and making the cream sauce while the pasta is cooking. Then once the pasta is done, you can drain it and combine everything! The cajun cream sauce is simply a mixture of evaporated milk and parmesan cheese that melts in creamy smooth. I also add fresh garlic to the sauce, it gives it great flavor that compliments the shrimp. I use evaporated milk instead of cream, because I usually never have heavy cream in the fridge, but I always have a can or two of evaporated milk. It’s great for cooking and baking!
What to Serve with Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Since this dish is rich and decadent, I like serving it with a side salad. You also have the option of tossing in some frozen or fresh veggies for some extra color and nutrition. Frozen broccoli or peas would be a great addition, just add them to the sauce to warm up for a minute or two, before adding in the pasta and shrimp.
Other fresh veggies that would be great in this recipe are blanched asparagus or sauteed strips of colorful bell peppers. You can also wilt some fresh spinach or arugula into the pasta while it’s warm, like I did in my Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes & Arugula!
What type of shrimp is best for Cajun Shrimp Pasta?
I’m lucky enough to live in Florida, where wild caught shrimp is fresh and local, so I always go with wild caught shrimp when it’s an option. There is definitely a huge difference in quality, taste and texture and it’s worth it to eat wild caught.
For this recipe, I definitely recommend going with large or even jumbo sized shrimp. The great part of about this recipe is that the pasta helps stretch your budget, so you can splurge on larger shrimp and still feed 4-6 people with just a pound! I buy frozen shrimp by the pound so that I always have some in the freezer for quick dinner recipes.
Looking for even more shrimp recipes? Check these out from Delish D’Lites!
- Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles
- Plantain Cups with Shrimp & Avocado Salad
- Garlic Grilled Shrimp
- Shrimp Alfredo Pizza with Pesto
- Blackened Shrimp Po’ Boys
- Roasted Shrimp and Sweet Corn Pasta Salad
- Camarones Enchilados (Cuban Style Shrimp Creole)
- Grilled Cajun Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
This creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta combines parmesan cheese, tender shrimp and penne pasta with a spicy kick of peppers and paprika from Creole Seasoning. Make a delicious seafood dinner in under 30 minutes!
- 12 oz penne pasta, uncooked
- 4 tbsp salted butter, divided
- 2 tsp Cajun or Creole Seasoning store-bought or homemade
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 12 ounce cans of evaporated milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, for garnish fresh is fine too!
Cook pasta as directed on the package for al dente (usually 1-2 minutes less than the box recommends) Drain well and toss with one tbsp of butter to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Place shrimp in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the Cajun Seasoning, toss to coat well. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir just until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan.
Melt remaining butter in same skillet on medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds. Add evaporated milk and remaining Cajun Seasoning. Bring to simmer. Stir in cheese; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Return shrimp to pan. Add pasta; toss to coat well. Sprinkle with parsley and additional shredded Parmesan, if desired, before serving.
To make this with chicken instead, substitute 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips. Prepare as directed, cooking chicken 5 to 6 minutes or until cooked through.