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Cajun shrimp pasta recipe in a bowl with a fork in it.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Teri & Jenny
The best, most delicious and flavor packed Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe you'll ever make! Cajun spice marinated shrimp is perfectly cooked and tossed together with spaghetti, sweet sautéed bell peppers, and a rich cream sauce with a kick! A great pasta recipe for any night of the week!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Inactive Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Amercian
Servings 4
Calories 1006 kcal

Ingredients
  

cajun spice mix

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

shrimp pasta

  • 16 extra large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1/4 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

cajun spice blend

  • Place all Cajun spice mix ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
    Cajun shrimp pasta recipe seasonings in a bowl mixed together.

shrimp pasta

  • In another mixing bowl toss together shrimp, oil and half of the spice mix until shrimp is evenly coated. Allow mixture to sit for 15 minutes.
    Shrimp in a bowl mixed with seasoning.
  • Fill a large pot with water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and add linguine. Cook linguine, stirring occasionally until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
    Linguine cooked and in a colander.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add half the shrimp and sear on each side for about 3 minutes or until shrimp just turns opaque and barely cooks through. Transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
    Cajun shrimp cooking in a skillet.
  • Return skillet to stove and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and bell peppers and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle vegetables with remaining spice mix and continue to sauté for an additional 2to 3 minutes. Deglaze skillet with pasta water and simmer until water evaporates and vegetables have softened. Transfer vegetables to plate with shrimp.
    Bell peppers cooking in a skillet to make Cajun Shrimp.
  • Return skillet to stove and melt remaining butter. Add cream to skillet and simmer until cream has reduced by 1/3, about 4 minutes.
    Creamy pasta sauce for a cajun shrimp pasta recipe.
  • Add hot sauce and grated Parmesan to cream and stir together until sauce thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon.
    Cajun shrimp pasta sauce with hot sauce added into it.
  • Add pasta to sauce and toss together.
    Linguine tossed in a creamy sauce for cajun shrimp pasta.
  • Add shrimp, vegetables and cilantro to skillet and continue to toss together until everything is evenly coated in sauce. Season with salt and pepper and toss together.
    Shrimp and peppers added to pasta to make cajun shrimp pasta.
  • Top pasta with sliced green onion and serve.
    Cajun shrimp pasta recipe in a bowl with a fork in it.

Notes

Variations for Our Shrimp Pasta Recipe

  • Although it's a cajun shrimp pasta recipe we love subbing in scallops, chicken or even mushrooms for the shrimp from time to time, just to mix things up.
  • The bell peppers can be swapped out for thinly sliced poblano peppers, which still have a mild and bright flavor, but add just a little more heat and have a little more of an earthy flavor.
  • Spinach or kales leaves can be stirred into the cream sauce to bulk it up and to add some greens into the sauce.
  • We love using linguine for this shrimp pasta recipe because it's not to thin or thick, but you can really use whatever pasta shape and size you would like!
  • If you want to lighten the sauce up you can use half and half or whole milk instead of cream. If you use whole milk, the finished sauce will be thinner than if you were to use cream, but will still coat the pasta.

Prepping Our Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe Ahead of Time

  • Slice the onions and peppers up to 3 days ahead of time and store together in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Thaw, peel and devein shrimp up to 1 day ahead of time and store in an airtight container. Drain any liquid that has accumulated and gently rinse shrimp before combining with cajun spice blend.
  • Make cajun spice blend up to 3 months ahead of time.
  • Sliced green onions and mince cilantro up to 2 days ahead of time and store separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tips for Buying Shrimp

  • Try to buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined to save yourself time while preparing the shrimp pasta recipe.
  • Buy shrimp from the freezer section to save some money. The shrimp in the seafood case is usually previously frozen anyway. You'll get a better deal from the frozen food section while essentially getting the same quality shrimp.
  • If you forget to thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight, you can toss them into a colander and run cool water over them to quickly thaw them.

Nutrition

Calories: 1006kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 25gFat: 69gSaturated Fat: 40gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 275mgSodium: 1128mgPotassium: 515mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3882IUVitamin C: 96mgCalcium: 328mgIron: 3mg
Keyword cajun shrimp, cajun shrimp pasta, shrimp pasta
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