This recipe for Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta is loaded with your favorite New Orleans flavors over a bed of creamy pasta coated in a boldly seasoned sauce. This easy weeknight dinner packs just the right amount of kick and is sure to add some excitement to your dinner table.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Fettuccini pasta noodles - You can substitute your favorite pasta noodles if desired.
- Andouille sausage - If you want less heat substitute a smoked sausage instead of a spicy andouille sausage.
- Shrimp - I prefer large shrimp, but small shrimp also work well.
- Olive oil - Any cooking oil will work.
- Red bell pepper - Red, yellow, orange, or green bell peppers can be used.
- Sweet onion - Sweet onion or a yellow onion is recommended.
- Garlic - Garlic powder can be substituted.
- Chicken broth - Since the sauce will be reduced, I recommend using low sodium broth so you have more control over the amount of salt. Chicken stock also works well.
- Heavy cream - Half and half can be used for less calories.
- Cajun seasoning - I substitute my homemade Creole seasoning blend. However, you can use your favorite store-bought Cajun seasoning blend.
- Crushed tomatoes - Diced tomatoes can be substituted.
- Fresh thyme - I don't recommend using dried thyme.
- Parmesan cheese - Grated fresh Parmesan is best.
How to make it
This Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta recipe is made in chunks. First, the meat is cooked and seared, then the vegetables are sauteed, followed by the sauce and noodles being prepared. Finally, everything gets combined and served. It is pretty straightforward, so let's get started!
Add the sliced andouille in a single layer to a large saute pan set over medium high heat. The sausage should have enough fat that you shouldn't need any olive oil to sear it, but you can add some if needed. When the sausage has almost finished searing add the shrimp and cook through. The sausage and shrimp can then be set aside.
Note: You can also use a large skillet, but a saute pan is ideal because of its tall sides.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the peppers and onion to the saute pan along with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, then add the garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Your vegetable mixture can also be set aside with the sausage and shrimp.
Get your noodles boiling in a large pot of water and cook according to the package instructions while you work on the sauce separately.
To prepare the Cajun sauce, add chicken broth, heavy cream, cajun seasoning, and a sprig of thyme to the skillet and scrape up any burnt-on bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to allow them to incorporate into the sauce. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Finally, remove the saute pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, then add sausage, shrimp, vegetables, and cooked pasta noodles to the pan and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Leftovers of your Cajun pasta recipe should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator and enjoyed within five days. It is best to reheat meals in individual servings in the microwave until heated through. The sauce will soak into the noodles as it sits in the refrigerator, so don't expect the leftovers to be as creamy as the original meal.
More Cajun Recipes
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Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- 12 ounces fettuccini pasta noodles
- 14 ounces andouille sausage sliced
- ½ pound large raw shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or as needed
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes drained
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Add sliced sausage to a saute pan set over medium-high heat and cook until nicely seared on both sides. When the sausage is almost done cooking add the shrimp and cook for approximately four minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through and sausage is well seared.
- Remove the sauteed shrimp and sausage from the skillet, setting aside in a large bowl, and drizzle bottom of pan with olive oil along with onion and peppers. Set to medium heat and cook until the onion and peppers are tender, then add the garlic cloves and cook for an additional two minutes.
- Remove the onion, pepper, and garlic and set it aside with the sausage and shrimp.
- Add chicken broth, heavy cream, cajun seasonings, crushed tomatoes, and a sprig of thyme to the saute pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer and scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate any cooked on browned bits into the sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- While preparing the creamy sauce, add pasta noodles to a large pot of salted boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
- After the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Then add set aside sausage, shrimp, peppers, onion, and garlic along with cooked fettuccini noodles. Toss everything to combine and serve immediately.