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7 October 2020

This Cajun pasta recipe is loaded with shrimp and smoked andouille sausage, with lots of  flavorful Cajun seasonings, so easy to make, a perfect weeknight dinner!

It’s pasta night in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Everyone loves pasta night, don’t they? Pasta is very satisfying and it’s usually super easy to prepare. There are so many ways to make it. For me, the secret is in the sauce and the seasonings. And the fun extras!

This particular recipe is one of my favorite pasta dishes. It’s perfect for the spicy food lover, seasoned with copious amounts of Cajun seasonings and filled with loads of shrimp and smoky andouille sausage.

We’re talking Cajun Pasta, and I think you’re going to love it!

The sauce is a tomato-based sauce. You have the option to serve it as-is, or as a creamy version, which adds no time at all to your cooking time. Very simple. If you enjoy jambalaya, you’ll enjoy this recipe that brings all of those flavors and tosses them up into a big bowl of pasta.

Cajun Pasta in a pan

Another great thing about this recipe is that it is FAST.

Yep. Quick and Easy, ideal for lunch or dinner in a hurry. Of course you can leave the sauce to cook and simmer awhile to let the ingredients mingle and develop with even MORE flavor, but this hit that sweet spot I was looking for without any additional time.

Let’s talk about how we make Cajun pasta, shall we?

Cajun pasta in a pan with lots of shrimp and andouille

Cajun Pasta Ingredients

  • Cajun Holy Trinity. The traditional Cajun Holy Trinity consists of onion, celery and bell peppers, along with garlic. I like to use 1 medium onion, 1 stalk celery, 1 small green bell pepper and 1-2 jalapeno peppers (sometimes serrano peppers for extra heat) and 2-3 cloves fresh garlic.
  • Tomatoes. Use 28 ounces (1 large can) of crushed tomatoes, or you can use diced. You can also use fresh chopped tomatoes, though you may need to break them apart and simmer for longer.
  • Cajun Seasoning. Use 1 tablespoon of your favorite Cajun seasoning blend. I like to add in more for myself. Try it with my Homemade Cajun Seasoning blend.
  • Andouille. Use 4 ounces smoked andouille sausage, sliced, though you can very easily include more to your preference.
  • Shrimp. Use 1 pound shrimp.
  • For Creamy Cajun Pasta. Use 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream or crema for a creamy version of the recipe. You can also use heavy cream or even cream cheese.
  • Pasta Noodles. Use 8 ounces of your favorite pasta noodles, cooked to al dente. I used linguine today, though I often use other noodles. This recipe works with any type of pasta.
  • Garnish. I like to garnish with fresh chopped parsley and spicy red pepper flakes. Chopped green onions are great here. Don’t forget your favorite hot sauce!

Cajun pasta in a bowl with lots of shrimp and andouille

How to Make Cajun Pasta – the Recipe Method

Cajun Holy Trinity. Heat the olive oil in a large pan to medium high heat. Add onion, celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring.

Garlic and Andouille. Add garlic and andouille and cook another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Get the Sauce Going. Add crushed tomatoes and Cajun seasonings and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes to 30 minutes (or longer) to let the flavors develop. You can cook the pasta according to package instructions while the sauce is simmering.

Cajun pasta sauce simmering

The Shrimp. Tuck the shrimp into the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through and nicely pink.

Pasta Noodles. When the pasta is al dente, drain it but retain 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Stir it into the sauce and stir pasta noodles as well.

Swirling pasta noodles into our Cajun pasta sauce

For Creamy Cajun Pasta. If you prefer a CREAMY VERSION, stir in the sour cream or crema at this time. Here is what the creamy version looks like.

Creamy Cajun Pasta Recipe

Garnish and Serve. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and chili flakes and serve.

Cajun pasta in a bowl

Boom! Done! Your quick and easy Cajun pasta is ready to serve. Looks wonderful, doesn’t it? I love this recipe. So easy to make and so delicious. Perfect for spicy food lovers.

Patty and I both go a little crazy over Cajun flavors. Such powerful food when it comes to flavor. The seasonings blends are potent and can truly liven up any type of a dish. 

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Seasonings. Cajun seasonings are key here for that authentic Cajun flavor. It typically consists of cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and a few other ingredients. Use your favorite Cajun spice. You can also use a good Creole Seasoning blend as well.
  • The Sauce. I love using crushed tomatoes for this, though any tomatoes will do. Try it with tomato sauce. If you’d like a thinner sauce, stir in some chicken broth or even a bit of water. The flavor develops even more the longer you simmer.
  • The Pasta. Vary up the type of pasta with your favorite kind. I used fettuccine noodles, but this works with pretty much anything. It’s important to incorporate both shrimp and sausage to truly get the flavors we’re going for, but maybe some crawfish would be nice as well, or even a seafood version. 
  • Heat Factor. You’ll get a good amount of spice and heat, depending on your chosen Cajun seasoning blend. For a spicier version, use hotter peppers like I do, such as the jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, or even hotter. You can also add in more Cajun seasonings, spicy chili flakes and/or some hot sauce.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my Cajun pasta recipe. Such a great pasta dish. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Also Try Some of My Popular Cajun Recipes

A forkful of Cajun pasta

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

A forkful of Cajun pasta
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Cajun Pasta Recipe

This Cajun pasta recipe is loaded with shrimp and andouille sausage, with lots of flavorful Cajun seasonings, easy to make, a perfect weeknight dinner!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: andouille, cajun, pasta, shrimp, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 553kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped (optional, for more spicy)
  • 1 small green pepper chopped (or use half a large one)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (or use equivalent fresh)
  • 4 ounces smoked andouille sausage sliced
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (or more to taste - I usually use 2 tablespoons)
  • 2-3 tablespoons sour cream or crema (optional, for a creamy version)
  • 8 ounces prepared pasta noodles
  • Chopped parsley and chili flakes for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add onion, celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring.
  • Add garlic and andouille and cook another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Add crushed tomatoes and Cajun seasonings and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes (or longer) to let the flavors develop. You can prepare your pasta while the sauce is simmering.
  • Tuck the shrimp into the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through and nicely pink.
  • When the pasta is ready, drain it but retain 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Stir it into the sauce along with the cooked pasta noodles.
  • If you prefer a CREAMY VERSION, stir in the sour cream or crema at this time.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and chili flakes and serve.

Notes

Heat Factor: Medium. The jalapenos will give you a bit of a kick. If you'd like to increase the heat, sprinkle on some spicy chili flakes or add in some hot sauce to the mix.

Nutrition

Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 313mg | Sodium: 1417mg | Potassium: 1051mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1514IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 274mg | Iron: 7mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 10/7/20 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 4/18/16.

Cajun Pasta

17 comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is in our dinner rotation- we love it. I make it exactly as written although I may need to try adding some onion and garlic as recommended by others. But it is good as is.

  2. 5 stars
    Look so delicious and good for health. Amazing food. I followed your recipe. It works. I had a really good meal. It took me a long time to cook, but the results were great. Thanks for your useful article. Can I add more pepper on this recipe, is it okay? What do you think?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Long. Absolutely, you can adjust to your own personal tastes. Enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Outstanding!!! In fact, I completely forgot to add the sour cream, and it was STILL super yummy!!!

  4. Caroline R Young

    5 stars
    Made this tonight (doubled the recipe), with only minor adjustments. I tasted the sauce and felt it needed some depth, so I added thyme, oregano and green onions. It balanced out the heat perfectly. Everyone had seconds, some had thirds and one had fourths! Definitely a keeper!

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Great additions, Caroline. Always good to tweak recipes to your own flavor preferences. Sounds perfect! Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. This recipe looks awesome. Big question, how many does this recipe serve ?? I have a family of four.

    REPLY: Thanks, Brian. This recipe serves 2-4, though it can easily be upscaled. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  6. Barbara Jean

    I’m gonna do this tonight but sub chicken for the proteins… Look so yummy.

  7. How many does this recipe serve ?

    REPLY: Brian, this will serve 2-4 people. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  8. Do you add the sour cream to the fettuccine while the water, or do you drain and then add sour cream?

    REPLY: Casey, drain the pasta first. Add the sour cream or crema to the pan and stir, then add in the drained pasta. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  9. roy spray

    I made this with very few changes and doubled it. What a great recipe! Going to get some crusty french bread for leftovers tomorrow.. Only added ingredients was one chicken buillon, finishing with parmesan and I put dried chives. We didn’t to the parsley garnish but only because we forgot it on the shopping list. Thanks so much. I love it. I have to post my simple crawfish and or shrimp easy creole sometime.

    REPLY: Super happy it turned out! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  10. This looks “Rock Star“ good Mike. I love all things Cajun & this is right up my alley! Going on my to make list really soon. Like tonight! Keep coming with the awesome recipes!

    REPLY: ROCK ON!!! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  11. 5 stars
    I think I’d change my middle name to “cajun pasta” if I could. Honestly, my obsession is getting out of hand. But I don’t think that’s enough to keep me from trying this recipe… Looks amazing!

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