Cajun Shrimp Pasta

This creamy Cajun Shrimp Alfredo recipe is an excellent meal for any night of the week. This simple pasta recipe that features juicy shrimp, andouille sausage and a creamy sauce is great to feed a family. Also, it comes together in 30 minutes or less, so it’s an easy to make and enjoy.

cooking vessel with alfredo and shrimp


 

You will love this Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Recipe

Cajun dishes are some of my favorites to serve in my home because, well, my husband hails from Cajun country and because these dishes never disappoint.

This Cajun Shrimp Alfredo recipe is one of those that we keep coming back to because it’s comforting and jam-packed with flavors we all know and love.

All you must do is toss your favorite pasta noodles in a homemade creamy alfredo sauce—which is easier to make than you think!—and top it with perfectly spiced Cajun shrimp and sliced andouille sausage.

As with many comfort food meals, this recipe is NOT low fat, and it’s certainly FULL of flavor.

It’s also ready in 30 minutes, which makes it a fabulous meal for any night of the week.

Shrimp Alfredo Recipe ingredients

This great recipe calls for a LOT of dairy products, so plan on visiting your grocery store for the ones you don’t keep at home. The good news is these should be simple, easy-to-find ingredients. 

  • Fettuccine pasta—This is the classic pasta for Fettuccine Alfredo. If it’s not your favorite, use another type of pasta that makes you happy. Bow ties and penne pasta are a excellent choices, especially if you’re serving kids. Cream sauces do well with long stranded noodles.
  • Fresh Shrimp—We purchased peeled, deveined shrimp in the freezer section of our grocery store. You can purchase them fresh, too, though you might have to peel and devein them. That will take more time than it takes to make this alfredo recipe.
  • Andouille sausage—Smoked andouille is best here, in my opinion, but if you can only get the fresh kind, that works, too! You’ll need to cook it all the way through before slicing and adding to the pasta. I prefer pork over chicken andouille sausage because I think the flavor is better.
  • Cajun spice– This is a mixture of several different spices, including several peppers. You should be able to find this in the spice aisle at your local grocery store! There are lots of brands and different levels of spice., or make your own homemade Cajun seasoning. Make your own or use just cayenne pepper.
  • Salted butter—This serves as our base for the sauce. 
overhead of cajun shrimp alfredo in a cooking vessel
  • Fresh garlic—This aromatic adds flavor to the cream-based sauce. Garlic powder can be used, but fresh is always prefered.
  • Heavy cream—Also known as heavy whipping cream. It’s thick, luscious and provides a TON of flavor to our cajun shrimp alfredo. There is no substitute.
  • Whole milk—This thins out our sauce without skimping on flavor. While you could substitute it for lower fat milk, I don’t suggest that since Alfredo sauce is meant to be decadent.
  • Grated parmesan cheese—Please purchase the real deal and not the shelf-stable kind. The cheese counter at our local grocery sells containers of freshly grated parmesan, and I bet yours does, too.
  • Fresh parsley—For garnish and optional.
  • Coarse kosher salt and black pepper—If your sauce needs extra seasoning, add these! We don’t always add them in because the sauce has great flavor already.
close up of shrimp and sausage in white cream sauce

How to make Cajun Shrimp Alfredo

  1. Cook the fettuccine pasta. Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water to al dente, remember it will cook a little more when tossed in the sauce. Drain it in a colander, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking to itself and set it aside.
  2. Sear the andouille sausage in a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. We’ll do this to crisp up the sausage casing, as well as warm the meat through. When crispy and browned, remove the sausage from the pan. Slice into rounds and set aside for later.
  3. Melt butter. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Don’t turn up the heat higher than this—we don’t want any burned bits making our Alfredo sauce bitter.

Pro tip: Use the same skillet for the meats and the sauce! As the andouille and shrimp cook, browned bits will stick to the bottom of the pan. This is flavor and will add some depth to the creamy pasta sauce.

  1. Season the peeled, deveined shrimp with Cajun seasoning. I like to do this in a bowl and then gently toss them together so the shrimp are evenly coated. 
  2. Cook the shrimp on both sides until pink and firmed up. This should not take a lot of time because shrimp cook quickly. Remove the shrimp from the pan, and let it rest!
  3. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant. Lower the heat to a simmer, and pour the cream and milk into the pan. Add in the grated parmesan cheese, and stir until smooth.
  4. Transfer the cooked pasta into the skillet, and toss until it’s coated with the alfredo sauce. This is why we’re using a high-sided skillet—to ensure that there’s enough space for both the pasta and sauce!
  5. Serve the pasta topped with the shrimp and sliced sausage. Garnish the creamy cajun sauce with parsley and a sprinkling of extra Cajun seasoning.
shrimp and sausage in pasta and white sauce

Variations for Cajun Alfredo

This type of recipe has so many fantastic variations.

  • Onions or Shallots– If I have onions, white, yellow or red, I slice and add with the garlic. Onion powder can also be used to season the sauce and is present in most Cajun seasons.
  • Veggies– At the end, toss in steamed or at least pre-cooked broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, peas, sun dried tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes or squash.
  • Protein– This dishes uses sausage and shrimp, but you can double up and use all of one or the other or swap them out for chicken or other types of seafood like scallops or crawfish.
  • Creamy Tomato– If you want another variation- add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the cream sauce to make a silky pink sauce.
  • Red Pepper Flakes– Like it hot? Add a teaspoon of red crushed red pepper flakes. Or serve them on the side so everyone can adjust their own heat level.
cajun shrimp alfredo in a white serving bowl with seasoning and shredded cheese

How to store Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of additional milk or cream to revive the sauce.

Reheat: To reheat the leftovers, add a drizzle of whole milk to the sauce before popping in the microwave. Heat in 30-second increments until warmed through.

Freezing: I have not tried freezing this recipe, but have read mixed reviews about freezing cream-based sauces. I do not recommend freezing leftovers at this time.

cajun shrimp alfredo on a fork

Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe Tips

  • This is not a low-fat recipe. It’s not meant to be one, so please, do not make substitutes to try to make it “healthier.” Alfredo sauce is meant to be decadent—enjoy it!
  • Make it faster! Purchase shrimp from the store that has already been peeled and deveined.
  • Grate your own cheese or purchase the grated stuff from your grocery’s cheese counter. Please don’t use a shelf-stable cheese in this recipe. It will not taste the same.
  • You can use Creole or Cajun seasoning in this recipe. They have the same flavor profiles, though Creole seasoning has more herbs. Keep in mind that both can get super salty, so read the label before you purchase. Our favorite brand has a salt-free variety, and that’s what we keep at our home.
close up of shrimp seasoned with cheese

How to serve Cajun Shrimp Alfredo

This pasta dish can be served alone or alongside some other favorites. Start with a leafy green salad or appetizer like fried green tomatoes or mozzarella sticks.

And all pastas pair well with bread like my 2-ingredient dough breadsticks with famous cheesy breadstick spread.

Shrimp Alfredo Recipe FAQs

How do you make Alfredo sauce thick?

Alfredo sauce can be thickened in several ways. The first is using enough hard cheese, like parmesan or Pecorino Romano. The second is a roux, which is equal parts fat and flour. I like make little balls of softened butter with flour and mix them in.
Lastly, pasta water can help to thicken and thin at the same time. This sounds like a contradiction, but the pasta water has starch in it from the pasta so it adds volume while also thickening.

How long is shrimp alfredo good for?

Because there is seafood and dairy, I don’t recommend keeping for longer than 5 days, optimally is should be enjoyed within 3 days.

Is shrimp alfredo and shrimp scampi the same thing?

No. Shrimp alfredo is a cream and cheese base while shrimp scampi is a butter and garlic base.

How do I fix alfredo sauce that is too thick?

Thick alfredo sauce or leftover cream-based sauce can be thinned with 1-2 tablespoons of cream, milk, white wine or even low sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock.

collage of cajun shrimp alfredo with text overlay for pinterest

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overhead shot of pasta in a white bowl

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overhead image of cajun shrimp alfredo with text overlay
cajun shrimp alfredo in a white serving bowl with seasoning and shredded cheese

Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe

4.91 from 10 votes
This Cajun Shrimp Alfredo features shrimp and andouille sausage, and comes together in 30 minutes or less. The perfect spicy comfort food.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Follow the instructions on its packaging. Drain in a colander, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
  • Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, sear the smoked sausage on both sides until the exterior is browned and crispy. Remove from the pan, slice and set aside.
  • Season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning in a mixing bowl. Toss to coat.
  • Melt the butter in the same skillet that you cooked the sausage in over medium heat.
  • When the butter bubbles, add the shrimp, and cook on both sides until pink and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp.
  • Remove the shrimp from the skillet, and set aside.
  • Add the garlic, cooking until fragrant and lightly colored, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to low, and pour in the cream and milk. Add the grated parmesan cheese, and stir until smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Give the sauce a taste, and add extra salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce, and toss until coated.
  • Serve the pasta in bowls, then top with the shrimp and sliced andouille sausage.
  • Garnish with parsley and more Cajun seasoning, if desired, and enjoy immediately.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 851 kcal, Carbohydrates: 63 g, Protein: 29 g, Fat: 54 g, Saturated Fat: 30 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0.3 g, Cholesterol: 222 mg, Sodium: 829 mg, Potassium: 520 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Vitamin A: 1956 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 360 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Erin Skinner
Calories: 851
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun shrimp alfredo
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Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

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4.91 from 10 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love Cajun

    I love Cajun food. Tried this recipe, and was completely blown away! This recipe is so quick and easy that you’ll want to make it over and over again. The textures and seasonings are fantastic.