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.
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 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. You can also use salt and black pepper to taste as well.
- 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!
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.
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 add the pasta noodles as well. The starchy pasta water when you stir in the pasta thickens the 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.
Garnish and Serve. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and chili flakes and serve.
Boom! Done! Your quick and easy Cajun pasta is ready to serve. Looks wonderful, doesn't it? I love this dish. Such a great 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, sweet paprika, smoked 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.
- Other Proteins. This recipe is great with chopped chicken breast or chicken thighs, crawfish, and even oysters.
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
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Red Sauce
- Pasta Puttanesca with Shrimp
- Creamy Taco Style Pasta
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Rasta Pasta
- Shrimp Pasta
- Pesto Pasta with Soft Boiled Egg
- Spaghetti Verde
Also Try Some of My Popular Cajun Recipes
- Creole Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Shrimp Creole
- Easy Creole Sauce
- Cajun Shrimp
- Cajun Corn Maque Coux
- Hoppin’ John
- Cajun Boiled Peanuts
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.
Cajun Pasta Recipe
- 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
- 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.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 4/16/21 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 4/18/16.