Cajun Shrimp Pasta

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Cajun Shrimp Pasta is made with linguine and seasoned shrimp in a creamy fire-roasted tomato sauce. With spices like Old Bay seasoning, paprika, and chili powder, this dish packs just the right amount of heat. The best part? It’s ready in under 20 minutes!

Close up of Cajun shrimp and pasta

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

If you love a little heat in your dinner, you’ll love this Cajun shrimp pasta! It has all the classic Cajun spice but it’s balanced out by a creamy sauce and lots of cheese. Fire-roasted tomatoes add an extra bit of flavor too.

Cajun shrimp and pasta makes an excellent dinner for busy weeknights as it comes together in just 20 minutes. By the time the pasta is done boiling, the shrimp and sauce will be ready too.

Prefer chicken to shrimp? Try my Cajun chicken pasta instead!

A bite of Cajun pasta on a fork

Why You’ll Love This Cajun Shrimp and Pasta

  • Quick and easy. Shrimp cooks up quickly so from start to finish, you’re looking at well under 30 minutes to prepare this dinner.
  • Perfect Cajun flavor. A combination of seasonings including Old Bay, smoked paprika, and chili powder give this shrimp the classic Cajun seasoning flavor without being TOO spicy.
  • Easy to customize. Feel free to swap the linguine for your favorite pasta and adjust the heat level of the shrimp as desired.
Overhead view of Cajun shrimp pasta

What You’ll Need

This creamy Cajun shrimp pasta is made with just a handful of ingredients. Scroll down to the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Pasta – I used linguine, but any pasta (like penne, spaghetti, etc..) will work.
  • Shrimp – I used medium pre-peeled and deveined fresh shrimp. You can use tail-on or tail-off.
  • Seasonings – Old Bay seasoning, chili powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper give this shrimp pasta the Cajun flavor.
  • Butter – I used salted but unsalted works too.
  • Heavy cream – Gives the pasta a rich, creamy texture. Half and half will work too.
  • Parmesan – Freshly grated from the block is always best!

How to Make Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Here’s a quick overview of how to make Cajun shrimp and pasta. See the recipe card below for detailed measurements.

  • Prepare pasta. Cook the pasta according to the boxed package instructions al dente.
  • Cook the shrimp. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and then toss with the seasonings. Melt the butter in a skillet then cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate.
  • Make the creamy Cajun sauce. Add the heavy cream to the skillet on medium heat, stirring frequently, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese by small handfuls until smooth. Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes, turning the heat to medium-low to heat through.
  • Combine and serve. Stir in the reserved pasta with the cream sauce then add the shrimp on top. Serve and enjoy!
Close up of Cajun shrimp pasta

Tips & Variations

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when preparing your Cajun shrimp pasta.

  • Don’t skip drying your shrimp. Drying your shrimp will help the seasoning stick and make for a more flavorful dish.
  • Adjust the spice level. You can control the heat in your Cajun shrimp to your taste by omitting the crushed red pepper and/or adding less chili powder.
  • Cook your shrimp in batches. If you find your pan getting too crowded, opt for smaller amounts to cook your shrimp. This way you can ensure even cooking time for every piece.
  • Reserve some pasta water. If your sauce is too thick, adding a small amount of pasta water will thin it out perfectly.
  • Thicken the sauce with cheese. If the final sauce is too thin, add more small batches of parmesan cheese and let simmer to help it thicken.
Overhead view of a plate of Cajun shrimp pasta

Serving Suggestions

Serve your Cajun shrimp pasta immediately, with some extra grated parmesan cheese on top. This makes an excellent meal on its own, with the pasta, shrimp, and tomatoes though you can always add a side salad or even some roasted veggies on the side.

I do love serving it with a slice of crusty bread or breadsticks to swipe up all that yummy sauce.

Overhead view of Cajun shrimp pasta in a skillet

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge. Transfer leftover Cajun shrimp pasta to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • Reheat. Reheat the pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a bit of liquid to maintain the creamy texture.

More Easy Pasta Dishes

Cajun Shrimp Pasta feature
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Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta is made with linguine and seasoned shrimp in a creamy fire-roasted tomato sauce. With spices like Old Bay seasoning, paprika, and chili powder, this dish packs just the right amount of heat. The best part? It's ready in under 20 minutes!
Servings: 6 people
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes


  • 16 ounces linguine pasta
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup salted butter ½ stick
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes 14.5 ounces


  • Cook pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions and set aside.
  • On a large plate pat the shrimp dry on both sides with a paper towel.
  • In a large mixing bowl or ziploc bag toss shrimp in old bay seasoning, chili powder, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper.
  • Using a large skillet, melt the butter on low heat.
  • Turning the heat up to medium, place shrimp in and cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
  • After the shrimp have cooked, set them aside on a plate.
  • Returning to your skillet, add in the heavy cream, keeping the heat at medium. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula to scrape up any bits left in the skillet.
  • Simmer on medium low heat for 1-2 minutes until bubbly.
  • Turn off the heat and add in shredded parmesan cheese by small handfuls. Stir until smooth.
  • Pour in the fire roasted tomatoes, turning the heat back up to medium low to warm through.
  • After heated through, turn off heat and add back in the reserved pasta, mix well to combine.
  • Place shrimp on top and serve immediately.

Last Step:

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Calories: 754kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1881IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 332mg | Iron: 2mg


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