Everyone will love Cajun shrimp pasta! It’s an impressive dinner idea that’s irresistibly seasoned and easy to make.
- 8 ounces* short pasta, like penne, rigatoni, or casarecce (gluten-free if desired)
- 1/2 medium yellow or white onion
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 stalks celery
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined and thawed if frozen (tail on or peeled)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons purchased Cajun seasoning (or 1 1/2 tablespoons homemade Cajun seasoning or blackened seasoning**)
- 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
- Lemon wedges, optional
- Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Start the pasta: Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente.
- Prep the veggies: Finely mince the onion, mince the pepper, and finely chop the celery and place it on a bowl. Mince the garlic and place it in a separate bowl.
- Sauté the shrimp: Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder. In your largest skillet (cast iron or stainless preferred), heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. Once cooked, remove to a bowl, cover, and set aside. Leave the browned bits in the skillet.
- Sauté the veggies: In the same skillet that you cooked the shrimp, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and add bell pepper, onion and celery. Cook for about 3 minutes until the veggies start to become tender. Reduce to medium low heat and add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until fragrant and garlic just starts to turn golden. Remove from heat before garlic browns. Add the butter and let it melt while you get the pasta.
- Mix with the pasta and sauce: When the pasta is ready, drain it. To the pan with the veggies, add the pasta, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, the grated Parmesan cheese, and the cream or milk. Toss until fully combined, then add the shrimp. If desired, spritz with squirts from a lemon wedge. Taste and add additional seasoning as necessary. Serve warm, garnished with chopped parsley if desired.
*To increase this recipe for more servings, we’d recommend making 1 pound pasta, but go up to 2 pounds on the shrimp (not 3). You can double the veggies and sauce ingredients accordingly.
**If using the homemade Cajun seasoning, you can omit the garlic powder and onion powder in this recipe. For a less spicy variation, use less cayenne in your homemade Cajun seasoning or make homemade blackened seasoning.
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Cajun inspired
Keywords: Cajun shrimp pasta