This cajun shrimp and sausage pasta is creamy, spicy, full of flavor and quick to make, making it the ultimate weeknight comfort meal.
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If you’re looking for a flavorful meal to spice up your weekly dinner rotation, than you have to try this creamy cajun shrimp and sausage pasta. It’s colorful, perfectly spicy and so delicious.
This cajun shrimp and sausage pasta features tender shrimp, smoky andouille sausage, crunchy bell peppers and a rich and creamy cajun sauce. It’s also ready in 30 minutes, so it’s great for weeknight meals or meal prep.
The best part about this creamy cajun pasta recipe is it’s super customizable. The veggies and protein can easily be swapped out, the spice level can be adjusted to your preference and this can easily be made gluten free and dairy free (see substitutions below).
Pasta: I recommend a short grain pasta, like a penne or rigatoni.
Shrimp: I used large, peeled and deveined shrimp with the tails removed for easy eating.
Andouille sausage: I used a precooked andouille chicken sausage for lower fat content, which you can find at regular grocery stores by Al Fresco or at Trader Joe’s.
Red & green bell peppers: bell peppers add flavor, color and a serving a veggies.
Garlic: I like a moderate amount of garlic in this recipe to compete with the bold spice blend, but as always, you can add more or less garlic depending on your preference.
Tomato paste: tomato paste gives the sauce a bold tomato flavor.
Cream cheese: cream cheese adds a richness and creaminess to the sauce without the use of heavy cream.
Milk: you can use any unsweetened milk of your choice.
Cajun seasoning blend: smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some pasta water.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers and sausage and cook for 5 minutes to brown the sausage and soften the peppers, stirring occasionally.
3. Next, add garlic and shrimp and cook until the shrimp are halfway cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Make space in the center of the pan and add tomato paste and cream cheese. Stir the tomato paste and cream cheese in the center of the pan to melt the cream cheese.
4. Add the Cajun spice blend and toss everything together. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring to create the sauce.
5. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to coat the pasta in sauce. Add pasta cooking water, if needed, to thin the sauce.
- Measure out all the spices into a small bowl before you begin cooking.
- Avoid stirring the peppers and sausage too much to ensure they both brown, which will add flavor.
- For easier mixing, allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature before using.
- As the pasta cools and sits, the sauce will thicken and the pasta will absorb more sauce. Thin out the sauce as needed, with the pasta cooking water.
Is this cajun shrimp and sausage pasta spicy?
This recipe creates a mild cajun shrimp and sausage pasta that has a subtle kick. If you want more spice, add an additional 1/4 teaspoon cayenne for medium heat or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne for extra spicy.
What to serve with cajun shrimp and sausage pasta?
This recipe is great as a stand alone dinner however, I also like to serve this with a side salad for a lighter meal and to extend leftovers.
How to store leftovers?
Allow everything to cool completely, then store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this as the creamy sauce can separate.
How to reheat leftovers?
Add a splash of milk to leftover pasta and either reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring frequently, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Pasta: if gluten free, use a gluten free pasta. My recommendation is Banza chickpea pasta.
Shrimp: if you don’t like shrimp, chicken is a great sub in this recipe.
Andouille sausage: I like using andouille chicken sausage for lower fat content, but you can also use traditional pork sausage.
Cream cheese: if dairy free, use dairy free cream cheese and milk.
Milk: any unsweetened milk will work in this recipe. I’ve used an almond milk and Nutpods unsweetened dairy free creamer and both worked great.
Cajun seasoning blend: you can use a store bought cajun seasoning blend, just pay attention to the spice level indicated on the bottle and ensure it meets your spice preference.
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If you make this Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!
Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- 8 oz pasta
- 1 lb shrimp peeled, deveined and tails removed
- 6 oz andouille sausage (chicken or pork) sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper deseeded and chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper deseeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
Cajun Spice Blend
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne or more for more spice
- Combine all the ingredients for the cajun seasoning blend together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some pasta water.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers and sausage and cook for 5 minutes to brown the sausage and soften the peppers, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and shrimp and cook until the shrimp is halfway cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
- Make space in the center of the pan and add tomato paste and cream cheese. Stir the tomato paste and cream cheese in the center of the pan to melt the cream cheese.
- Add the Cajun spice blend and toss everything together. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring to create the sauce.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to coat the pasta in sauce. Add pasta cooking water, if needed, to thin the sauce.