Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

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As the summer sun starts to mellow and the evenings turn cool, there’s nothing like gathering around the table with loved ones for a comforting meal. This Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta is one of those dishes that brings everyone together, reminding me of the time I spent in New Orleans last year. The vibrant city, with its rich culinary history, inspired me to experiment with Cajun flavors, and this recipe quickly became a family favorite. The combination of succulent shrimp, creamy sauce, and a hint of spice creates a dish that’s both indulgent and satisfying.

One of the things I love about this recipe is its versatility. While the basic ingredients are straightforward, there are plenty of opportunities to make it your own. For instance, you can swap out the shrimp for chicken or even a mix of seafood if you prefer. If you’re looking for a bit more heat, increase the chili flakes or add a dash of hot sauce. On the other hand, if you’re cooking for kids or those with a milder palate, you might dial back the Cajun seasoning a bit.

Another great tweak is to use whole wheat pasta or even a vegetable-based pasta if you’re looking to add more nutrients to the meal. And don’t forget about the wine—you can substitute chicken broth for a non-alcoholic version without sacrificing flavor. The key is to let the sauce simmer until it thickens to a luscious consistency that clings beautifully to the pasta.

This dish not only captures the essence of Cajun cuisine but also offers the comfort and familiarity of a classic pasta dinner. It’s quick enough for a weeknight meal yet special enough to serve when entertaining guests. I hope you enjoy making and sharing this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta as much as I do!

How to Make Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined prawns or shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun spice blend
  • 2 teaspoons freshly crushed garlic
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Directions

  1. Set a large pot of salted water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente as per package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain and set pasta aside.
  2. Mix the shrimp in a large bowl with olive oil, crushed garlic, half the seasonings, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir until shrimp is well-coated.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sear the shrimp for about a minute on each side until golden brown and just cooked. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, melt the butter and add crushed garlic. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the remaining seasonings. Cook for another 30 seconds, then pour in the white wine, allowing it to deglaze the pan and reduce by half.
  5. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Return the shrimp to the pan and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, heating the shrimp through.
  7. Mix the shrimp and creamy sauce with the cooked pasta, adding a splash of reserved pasta water as needed to reach the desired consistency. Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley and oregano, if desired.

Making Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

FAQs:

Can I use a different type of pasta for the Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta?

Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer. While the recipe doesn’t specify a particular type, fettuccine, linguine, or penne work well with creamy sauces.

What can I substitute for white wine in the recipe?

If you prefer not to use white wine, you can substitute it with chicken or vegetable broth. This will still provide a flavorful base for the sauce without the alcohol.

How can I make this dish less spicy?

To reduce the spiciness, you can decrease the amount of chili flakes and Cajun seasoning. Additionally, you can omit the chili flakes entirely for a milder flavor.

Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Yes, frozen shrimp can be used. Just make sure to thaw them completely and pat them dry before seasoning and cooking to ensure they sear properly.

Is there a dairy-free alternative for the heavy cream?

For a dairy-free version, you can substitute the heavy cream with coconut milk or a non-dairy cream. These alternatives will still give the sauce a creamy texture.

What other vegetables can I add to this pasta dish?

You can add a variety of vegetables to this dish, such as bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms. Sauté them along with the garlic to incorporate them into the sauce.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

This Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta combines succulent shrimp, a luscious cream sauce, and a hint of spice for a comforting and delicious meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
...

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 lb shrimp / prawns peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place a large pot of salted water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the peeled and deveined shrimp with olive oil, crushed garlic, half of the seasonings, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to coat the shrimp in the spices.
  • Heat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Sear the shrimp for about a minute per side until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan, melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the remaining spices. Cook for another 30 seconds, then pour in the white wine. Allow the pan to deglaze and the wine to reduce by half.
  • Pour in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Let the cream simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Add the shrimp back to the pan with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Allow the shrimp to heat through.
  • Toss the creamy sauce and shrimp with the cooked pasta, adding a splash of the reserved pasta water if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and oregano, if desired.
Keyword cajun, shrimp

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