This Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta packs a lot of flavor and is loaded with plump shrimp and crispy bits of smoked sausage. It's the perfect quick meal for those weeknights when you feel like a treat!
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If you love Southern flavors, this cajun shrimp and sausage pasta is sure to become a family favorite.
It has shrimp and crispy bits of smoked sauce in a Cajun-inspired sauce, and it's a most delicious treat for a busy weeknight.
This is one of those scrumptious recipes that come together quickly - it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish to get this creamy cajun shrimp pasta with sausage.
Andouille sausage is just perfect for this recipe, but any other smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, would also work.
I typically make it with large frozen shrimp because I always seem to have a pack in the freezer, but fresh shrimp also works. You may need to adjust the cooking times a bit for smaller shrimp because it cooks quicker.
Why you'll love this Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta
- It's creamy, spicy and utterly comforting.
- You can have it on the table in just 30 minutes.
- It's a versatile pasta dish, perfect for busy weeknights and special occasions alike.
What goes into shrimp and sausage pasta
Shrimp - Large shrimp is always best in this type of pasta dish, but any other size will do. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp, raw or pre-cooked.
Smoked sausage - Andouille sausage or kielbasa are both good options here. You can basically use any kind of smoked sausage you like.
Shallot - I like to use shallots in pasta dishes like this because the flavor is mellow, and it cooks quicker than yellow onion.
Red bell pepper - A sliced red pepper brings extra flavor to this shrimp and sausage alfredo and makes it a bit more nutritious.
Garlic - Use freshly chopped or minced garlic for the best flavor.
Tomato paste - Double-concentrated tomato paste has the perfect consistency for this pasta dish.
Chicken stock - Use a low-sodium chicken broth because the sausage and Parmesan already have salt.
Half and half - The sauce will be super creamy and delicious with half-and-half, so there's no need for heavy cream.
Cream cheese is a good substitute but make sure it's at room temperature so it blends in quickly.
How to make Cajun shrimp pasta with sausage
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Add the smoked sausage to the same pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly crispy. Take the sausage out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Add the shallot and red bell pepper to the same pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, add the garlic and continue to cook for a further minute.
Add the half and half, stir to combine and allow the sauce to bubble for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
Add the cooked shrimp and smoked sausage back to the pan and stir to combine.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to cover it in the sauce. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water if it looks too thick.
Recipe notes and tips
- Add some baby spinach for extra brightness and to boost the nutritional content. Stir it in the sauce at the end before tossing the pasta.
- This shrimp and sausage pasta is best served immediately. You can store any leftovers in a sealed container and reheat them over low-medium heat. Add a splash of water or chicken stock to loosen the sauce if needed.
- You can make this pasta dish with leftover chicken instead of shrimp.
- Scatter some freshly chopped green onion on individual bowls before serving.
- To make the pasta extra fiery, increase the amount of Creole seasoning or add some red pepper flakes.
If you liked this Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta, you might also like some of my other easy creamy pasta dishes:
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Chicken Boursin Pasta
- Chicken Feta Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta
- Creamy Tuna and Mushroom Pasta
- 10.5 oz (300 g) pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ lb (225 g) shrimp
- ½ lb (225 g) smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, divided
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- A handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan and cook the shrimp for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, flipping them halfway. Take the shrimp out of the pan and set it aside.
- Add the smoked sausage to the same pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly crispy. Take the sausage out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
- Add the shallot and red bell pepper to the same pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next, add the garlic and continue to cook for a further minute.
- Stir in the Cajun seasoning and tomato paste, then add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan.
- Add the half and half, stir to combine and allow the sauce to bubble for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
- Add the cooked shrimp and smoked sausage back to the pan and stir to combine.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to cover it in the sauce. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water if it looks too thick.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan and fresh parsley, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 535Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 591mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 31g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.