Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with mushrooms, peppers, and onions. This 30 minute, one pot pasta is perfect for weeknight cooking and will become a family favorite!
Why You’ll Love this Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Penne pasta tossed in a decadent Cajun cream sauce with vegetables and succulent shrimp. A meal packed with bold, irresistible flavor that comes together in just 30 minutes.
- Pasta: While the recipe calls for penne pasta, you can use any shape you like! I also love using shells, bow ties, or fusilli pasta. If you’re making this recipe gluten free, I suggest using a brown rice or chickpea pasta. My gluten-free go-to brands are Jovial and Banza.
- Shrimp: I suggest using peeled and deveined medium (or large) shrimp for this recipe. Alternatively, if you don’t like seafood, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Spices: You have the option of using homemade or store-bought Cajun seasoning here. If you do use store-bought, just be mindful of the sodium content. Some spice mixes can be quite high, so you’ll want to reduce any additional salt added in the cooking process.
- Vegetables: I love using a mix of bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms, however you can use any combination you like! Zucchini, summer squash, and spinach are also great options.
- Broth: The pasta cooks in chicken (or vegetable) broth to really season the noodles and sauce. I suggest using a lower sodium version so you have better control of the salt content.
- Cream: A dash of heavy cream is added at the very end to make the sauce luxuriously creamy. If you’re making the recipe dairy-free, use cashew cream or canned coconut milk instead.
Step 1: Prepare the Cajun Seasoning
In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, cayenne, and black pepper; stir well. (For less spice, use 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Step 2: Sauté the Shrimp
Heat oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle half of the seasoning mix over the shrimp.
Once hot, add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side, until opaque. (If your pan is small, cook the shrimp in batches to avoid overlap.) Once cooked, transfer the shrimp to a plate.
Step 3: Cook the Vegetables
Add a little more oil to the pan, along with the the peppers, mushrooms, and onion. Season with remaining spice mix, and cook for about 8 minutes, until the vegetables become tender.
Step 4: Add the Pasta, Broth, and Tomatoes
Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, pasta, and broth to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 12 to 14 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
Step 5: Stir in the Cream, Garnish, and Serve!
Remove the lid, stir in the cream, and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. At this point, the sauce should start to slightly thicken and coat the noodles. Lastly, stir in the parsley, and divide the pasta evenly between 6 plates. If desired, garnish with additional parsley and lemon wedges.
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More Easy Shrimp Pasta Recipes
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Large Dutch oven or soup pot
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on desired level of spice)
- 1 lb. raw peeled and deveined shrimp
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 8 oz. white or baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
- 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced (any colors)
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 12 oz. dry penne pasta (about 4 heaping cups)
- 1 (14-oz.) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream sub cashew cream if making dairy-free
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Prepare Cajun Seasoning blend by combining all spices in a small bowl; stir well.
- Heat butter and 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high. Season shrimp with half of the Cajun seasoning. Once the pan is hot, add shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Transfer to a plate.
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to pan, along with mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, and remaining half of Cajun seasoning. Cook over medium-high until vegetables become tender, about 8 minutes. Add pasta, tomatoes, and broth, and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
- Remove lid and stir in heavy cream. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 2 more minutes, until sauce begins to thicken and cling to noodles. Stir in parsley and serve.