Mildly spicy and delectably zesty, my cajun shrimp pasta is a delicious restaurant quality pasta dish to whip up, ready in a flash. Creole seasoned shrimp and tender fettuccine are tossed together in a creamy sauce kissed with minced roasted red pepper, garlic and crushed tomatoes for mouthwatering flavor!
A Shrimp Pasta with Cajun Flair
I'm definitely a sucker for a spicy pasta dish, and utterly love a spicy pasta dish topped with spicy shrimp.
So when I got a hankering to create a new rich and delicious fettuccine pasta recipe recently, I imagined it with a creamy roasted red pepper and tomato sauce, intertwined with some creole-seasoned cajun shrimp slightly blackened in a hot cast-iron skillet.
The thought of all those flavors dancing together made my mouth water!
So I got to cookin', and came up with this delicious and easy cajun shrimp pasta dish with just enough “kick” that you can taste it, but definitely not the type of spiciness that'll knock your socks off—you could certainly make it that way if you wanted to.
With its earthy blend of seasonings, this cajun shrimp pasta recipe is zesty and lightly creamy, and the perfect pick to twirl around your fork!
My Recipe for Cajun Shrimp Pasta
I love it when the list of ingredients for a pasta recipe isn't too long, and when most of those items can easily be found in our pantries.
When the ingredients are full of flavor and pack a good punch, you don't need too many!
Naturally, shrimp is the star ingredient in this cajun shrimp pasta and I like to use medium, peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience.
The shrimp sears up quickly, and then I simply proceed to make the sauce in the same skillet that I seared the shrimp in—nice and easy!
The rest of the ingredients—garlic, onion and roasted red peppers—are mainly aromatics, which help to create the layers of flavor and zesty-ness in the sauce, the diced tomatoes offer some juiciness and brightness for balance.
Here's a sneak peek at my Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I cook my fettuccine according to package instructions, then drain it and keep it warm.
- Next, I sprinkle my shrimp with a delicious smoky and spicy creole seasoning blend, and let that absorb into the shrimp for a few minutes before searing the shrimp in a hot cast iron skillet.
- Then, I then prepare my creamy roasted red pepper sauce in the same pan by adding in some finely diced roasted red peppers out of a jar, along with some onion and some garlic. I add in some crushed tomatoes, a touch of chicken broth and the heavy cream, and simmer those together for a few minutes.
- Once the sauce has tightened up, I add the fettuccine into the pan along with most of the shrimp (I reserve some to garnish the finished dish with), and gently toss everything together just until combined.
- I finish the cajun shrimp pasta with a little flourish of fresh chopped parsley, then serve.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
by Ingrid Beer
This zesty cajun shrimp pasta has a flavorful and smoky “kick” from the creole seasoning and the creamy roasted red pepper sauce!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 545 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 12 ounces uncooked fettuccine
- 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp (16/20 count)
- Avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt-free cajun creole seasoning
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional, add if you like more “heat”)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- ½ cup (about 4 ounces by weight) finely diced roasted red peppers from a jar
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional, add if you like more “heat”)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14.5 ounce / 411 gram) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list to have ready and organized for use.
- Cook the fettuccine according to the package instructions, and keep warm.
- Next, add the shrimp to a bowl, drizzle over it about 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil, and sprinkle in the cajun creole seasoning, the granulated garlic, and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, if using. Toss to coat.
- Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Once hot, add the shrimp and sear it on the first side until golden-brown and crusty, about 2 minutes. Flip and sear a minute or so more, until crusty on the other side. Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
- To that same skillet add in the tablespoon of butter plus about 2 tablespoons of the oil, and add in the diced onion along with the diced roasted red peppers, stirring to combine. Saute together for about 2 to 3 minutes, until softened and slightly golden.
- Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using), along with the tomato paste, and cook for about 30 seconds or just until aromatic.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes, the chicken broth and the heavy cream and stir to incorporate, and allow the sauce to gently simmer for a couple of minutes just to slightly thicken.
- Next, add the cooked fettuccine into the sauce, along with about half of the shrimp plus about half of the chopped parsley, and gently toss to combine.
- If serving directly from the skillet, top with the rest of the shrimp and the parsley. Or, pour the pasta into a serving dish and then top with the rest of the shrimp and sprinkle over the rest of the chopped parsley.
Tips & Tidbits for my Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe:
- Peeled and deveined shrimp for ease: I buy either fresh or frozen peeled and deveined medium-size (16/20 count) shrimp. I love not having to peel it myself—it saves a lot of time!
- Choice of pasta: Fettuccine pasta is my personal favorite for this type of dish, but you can also use linguine, spaghetti, bucatini, penne, or even farfalle (bow-ties).
- Cream or half and half: While there isn't much cream in this recipe, if you're trying to keep things even lighter, you can substitute half and half for the cream. The cream will give a bit more “body” and a touch more richness, but half and half is a fine option as well.
- Heavy bottom pan: A large heavy-bottom pan such as a cast-iron skillet is perfect for this recipe, as you want a nice “blackened” sear or crust on the shrimp. You will then cook your sauce in that same pan, add the pasta back in, and toss everything together before serving. Just make sure it's a large enough pan to accommodate.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2018, and has been updated with even more love!