Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

This one-pot pasta dish (well, two pots if you count the one used to cook the fettuccine) is "a spicy Cajun spin on fettuccine alfredo," says recipe developer Michelle McGlinn. Even though the original Alfredo sauce was a simple one of nothing more than butter and parmesan, this version accompanies these creamy ingredients with cream cheese and whipping cream to make a sauce McGlinn calls "creamier and more decadent than the usual alfredo," as well as "very filling."

While the creamy pasta sauce is alfredo-esque, Cajun seasoning lends this dish a jambalaya-like flair, as do the onions, celery, and bell peppers so typical of Cajun and Creole cuisines. One note on this last-named ingredient: McGlinn says "you don't have to use all 3 bell pepper colors," but she explains that the more colors you incorporate, the greater the visual appeal. If you want to mix and match or just use one type of pepper, she says that about a cup of this chopped vegetable is what you should be aiming for.

Gather the ingredients for this creamy Cajun shrimp pasta

Besides shrimp, this pasta dish also contains sausage (andouille, in keeping with the Cajun theme). The preferred pasta shape is fettuccine, while the sauce is made with whipping cream, cream cheese, butter, tomato paste, white wine, chicken broth, and parmesan. The vegetables in this dish include the Cajun holy trinity of onions, celery, and bell peppers, while the seasonings include garlic, salt, and Cajun seasoning. (Want to DIY this last ingredient? Here's a recipe for homemade Cajun spice mix.) For a final touch, you'll be stirring in some parsley.

Sear the sausage and shrimp

As a first step, cover the bottom of a frying pan with a thin layer of oil and fry the andouille sausage slices until both sides are browned. Set the sausage aside, then briefly sear the shrimp in the same pan — adding more oil if the pan looks dry and keeping in any browned bits left over from the sausage (which will impart a lot of flavor) — until it looks pink on both sides. "You don't need to cook the shrimp all the way through because tossing them in the residual heat of the pasta will finish the cooking, keeping them plump and juicy," McGlinn says. Set the shrimp aside.

Simmer the vegetables in the sauce

To make the pasta sauce, melt the butter in the same pan, using it to scrape up any browned bits left from cooking the sausage and shrimp. Cook the peppers, celery, onions, and garlic until the vegetables have softened, which McGlinn says should take about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook it for 3-5 minutes. Once it starts sticking to the pan, pour in the white wine, allowing it to deglaze the pan.

Simmer the wine for 5 minutes or so until the pan starts looking dry again, then pour in the chicken broth. Once the broth starts simmering, add the cream cheese and stir until it melts. Mix in the whipping cream, along with the Cajun seasoning and parmesan.

Combine the pasta and meats with the sauce

Toss the pasta with the sauce, then stir in the sausage and shrimp. Heat the pasta until these last 2 additions are warm, then taste the dish and add as much salt as you feel it needs. "Because the seasoning mix will already have salt," McGlinn cautions, "you may not need extra, especially after adding the andouille which is also pretty salty." Stir the parsley in as a last step.

McGlinn points out that this creamy pasta is rich, so she suggests lighter sides like roasted carrots, zucchini, and okra if you feel any are needed. Serve up your Cajun fettuccine, and dive into your personal bowl of comfort while it's hot.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe
5 from 68 ratings
This comforting one-pot pasta dish has everything you need: silky fettuccine, creamy sauce, smoky Cajun seasoning, and filling shrimp and sausage.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
servings
fettucine with shrimp and sausage
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • Cooking oil, as needed
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) package andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1 pound cooked fettuccine
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Directions
  1. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large, deep pan over medium heat. Cook the sausage until deeply browned on all sides, then remove it from the skillet.
  2. Cook the shrimp until pink on both sides in the remaining pan grease, adding more oil if needed. Set the shrimp aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the same pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  4. Fry the bell peppers, celery, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened.
  5. Stir the tomato paste into the vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes until it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Deglaze the pan with white wine, then stir the pan contents and bring them to a simmer. Cook the wine for about 5 minutes until almost all the liquid is reduced, then stir in the chicken broth.
  7. Once the broth is simmering, add the cream cheese, stirring until completely melted.
  8. Stir in the heavy whipping cream, Cajun seasoning, and parmesan.
  9. Toss the cooked fettuccine with the sauce, then add the sausage and shrimp back to the pan and stir just long enough to reheat the proteins.
  10. Season the dish with salt to taste, stir in the parsley, and serve hot.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,236
Total Fat 85.7 g
Saturated Fat 38.9 g
Trans Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 373.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Total Sugars 9.6 g
Sodium 1,654.3 mg
Protein 55.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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