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Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle

May 18, 2024
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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If you're in the mood for pasta with a kick, look no further than this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle--- Thick, velvety noodles enveloped in a spicy, creamy Cajun sauce, all topped off with juicy shrimp. It's comfort food with a fiery twist!

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle

Dive into a Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle—this dish is bursting with flavor! Picture juicy succulent shrimp, and perfectly cooked pappardelle pasta, all coated in a rich and spicy ultra-creamy Cajun sauce. It's comfort food with a kick, and it's guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Gluten-free + Dairy-free option.

Up close shot of shrimp pasta with two forks.

I am such a big shrimp lover---- and this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle is my latest obsession. I whip it up with my homemade cajun seasoning which adds such a nice level of heat + spice without it becoming overwhelming. And, of course, a sprinkle of Parmesan on top because, let's be honest, it's my weakness! Haha.

Pappardelle isn't your usual pasta—it's like fettuccine, but bigger + better! I have a bit of a pasta obsession, I'll admit. My husband always laughs at me for it, but I swear, different shapes just make dinner more fun, you know? But don't worry if you don't have it, any pasta works here!

This shrimp pasta will elevate your weeknight dinners effortlessly while maximizing flavor. It's honestly the epitome of comfort food with simple steps + endless personalization options. You can swap in gluten-free pasta or make the whole dish dairy-free! Ready in just 30 minutes, it's comfort in a bowl, with succulent, juicy shrimp stealing the show! Try it out in my Braised Steak Ragu with Pappardelle recipe next!

Jump to:
Ingredients on a blue wood table.

Why You Will Totally LOVE Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

  • SO creamy, spicyoh-so-delicious!
  • Loaded with succulent juicy shrimp!
  • Perfect for busy weeknights or a quick date night pasta--- ready in 30 minutes!
  • A definite crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds!
  • Loaded with velvety cheesy creamy flavors + spoonfuls of savory goodness.
Cooked pasta in a pot on a blue wood table.

What is Pappardelle?

Picture wide, flat ribbons of pasta that provide a delightful mouthful in every bite. They are like the red carpet of noodles, making any sauce feel like a VIP. Pappardelle's broad surface area allows it to carry robust and chunky sauces effortlessly, ensuring each forkful is a satisfying and flavorful experience. Sounds delicious right?

But don't worry if you can't find Pappardelle. Here are a few other options-

  • Tagliatelle: Think of it as the charming cousin of pappardelle. Wide and ready to soak up all that saucy goodness.
  • Fettuccine: Slightly narrower than pappardelle but still brings that satisfyingly wide noodle experience.
  • Wide Egg Noodles: A wildcard option that adds a touch of whimsy to your dish. They may not have the exact shape, but they can still handle sauciness like a champ.
  • Spaghetti: Ah, the beloved classic! While spaghetti may not be as wide as pappardelle, its long, slender shape is a perfect vessel for any sauce you desire and is readily available!
Chopped veggies on a cutting board with a knife.

How To Make Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

First up you will sauté your shrimp--- I love using large/jumbo shrimp for a nice bite. Then like with many other types of pasta, you bring a pot of water to a boil, add the dried (or fresh) Pappardelle pasta along with olive oil or salt, and let it boil for 8-12 minutes, depending on the packaging and brand. As always, it’s best to cook your pasta to al’ dente so that it’s not too soft for the sauce when stirring it in. Finally you will make your creamy cajun sauce and stir it all together. See recipe card below for full step-by-step breakdown!

Ingredients

SHRIMP:

  • Shrimp. Wild-caught jumbo or colossal shrimp, deveined.
  • Cajun seasoning. Homemade or store-bought.
  • Unsalted butter. For cooking. For a dairy-free option, use vegan butter.

PASTA:

  • Pappardelle pasta. You can use your fave Ribbon-shaped pasta.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to use your favorite high-quality EVOO. My fave tried and trusted brand is California Olive Ranch.
  • Garlic cloves. Minced.
  • Bell pepper. like to use a mix of colors of bell peppers when convenient, however, you can use mini sweet peppers (all colors) and chop them medium-thin.
  • Organic all-purpose flour. This helps to create a nice thick + creamy sauce.
  • Cajun seasoning. You can use store-bought or homemade!
  • Heavy cream. I recommend organic–always! I use Organic Valley. Of course, for a dairy-free option, just use full-fat coconut cream/milk.
  • Organic stock. You can use chicken, veggie, or seafood stock.
  • White cooking wine. You can omit the wine to make this recipe alcohol-free. You may want to substitute it with lemon juice for some acid.
  • Parmesan cheese. Freshly-grated.

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Green onions. Aka scallions.
  • Candied bacon. See my recipe HERE!

SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS PASTA DISH!

Here, I've curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe. Everything from my fave baking sheet, dutch ovens, immersion hand-blender, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

Shrimp pasta in a yellow skillet with a wooden spoon.

What Type Of Shirmp Is Best?

When selecting shrimp for this recipe, I suggest going for jumbo or large shrimp. These sizes strike a balance between being substantial enough to provide a satisfying bite and not too overwhelming.

Can I Use Frozen Shrimp?

Yes! While it may sound counterintuitive, using frozen and thawed, shrimp can actually be advantageous. Opting for frozen shrimp allows you to have more control over the quality and timing of your meal preparation. It's like having a secret stash of deliciousness in your freezer, ready to be transformed into a scrumptious meal whenever you desire an easy weeknight dinner.

Do You Eat The Skin/Tails On Shrimp?

Yes, you can if desired! The shrimp shells/tails are cooked until tender and are infused with seasonings and spice, which make it truly easy and delicious to eat as a whole. Of course, if preferred, you can always remove the shells.

Shrimp pasta in a yellow skillet with a wooden spoon on a blue wood table.

Delicious Additions To Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Although this Shrimp Alfredo Bucatini Pasta recipe is amazing on its own, if you feel like adding a little extra flare, here are some ideas:

Topping Ideas

For extra flavor, color, and texture for this pasta recipe, you can try:

If you discover a new favorite topping idea, be sure to let me know in the comments section below!

Can I Swap The Shrimp For Another Protein?

If you make this more than once and want to try something other than shrimp, or maybe want to try a vegetairan option then you can spruce things up by adding:

VEGGIE

  • Roasted chickpeas for added crunch and protein
  • Grilled eggplant or zucchini slices
  • Marinated artichokes
  • Kale or other greens!
  • Steamed broccoli florets for added greenery

MEAT

Shrimp pasta on a white plates with a fork, drink, and parmesan.

What Are Delicious Foods to Pair This Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta With?

Here's the thing. This Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe is so delicious and flavorful that you can honestly enjoy it all by itself. Seriously, the thick Pappardelle shape is ideal for soaking up the spicy creamy cajun sauce and the juicy shrimp just take it to the next level! So, feel free to dig in and savor every single bite. It's a dish that stands tall on its own!

But if you're anything like me (A huge bread lover.. Haha), then I recommend enjoying some crusty bread on the side. I make my own homemade Cheesy Kale Garlic Bread and Homemade Roasted Garlic Bread -- and they are an amazing vessel for scooping up every last drop of saucy goodness.

If you want a little freshness, serve it with a salad on the side, like this Fall Harvest BBQ Chickpea Kale SaladFall Harvest Apple Kale Salad or this Best Buffalo Chickpea Kale Salad. It's like a fresh burst of flavor that complements this easy date night dinner beautifully.

Choosing Your Perfect Pasta

I love using Pappardelle pasta because it does a beautiful job of embracing and holding onto the sauce and the texture is just fun to eat! But any of these pasta varieties would work for this dish -

  • Spaghetti
  • Tagliatelle
  • Perciatelli
  • Fettucini
  • Rigatoni
  • Shells
  • Penne
  • Paccheri
  • Orecchiette
  • Spirals
  • Ravioli + gnocchi would also go wonderfully with this sauce combo!
Shrimp pasta on a white plates with two forks and a side of drink.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Q + A's

How to best store?

Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, it's best when done in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop. You'll need to add a bit of heavy cream or seafood stock to re-create the creaminess of the sauce when heating it up. Stir in the added liquid and it should become creamy again. 

How can i make this dairy-free?

To make this sauce dairy-free, simply use vegan butter instead of the regular butter. Then swap the cream with full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. And use your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese or nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. See Homemade Alfredo Sauce recipe for option!

How to make this pasta gluten-free?

To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free pasta and ensure that the cream (see sauce recipe) and stock are GF-friendly. 

How to reheat?

To reheat, simply microwave for a minute or two or add to a skillet over medium-high heat and stir until heated through. You may need to add ¼-½ cup of veggie stock or heavy cream to make things creamy while reheating.

Shrimp pasta on a white plate with two forks on a blue wood table.

More Deliciously Good Pasta Recipes

If you are a fan of this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle recipe, then you will also love these recipes:

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. And don't forget to tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea! I love hearing from you!

Shrimp pasta on a white plate with two forks on a blue wood table.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle

May 18, 2024
5 from 1 vote
Dive into a Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Pappardelle—this dish is bursting with flavor! Picture juicy succulent shrimp, and perfectly cooked pappardelle pasta, all coated in a rich and spicy ultra-creamy Cajun sauce. It's comfort food with a kick, and it's guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Gluten-free + Dairy-free option.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

SHRIMP:

  • 1 lb. wild-caught jumbo shrimp, deveined
  • 1-2 Tbsps cajun seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • 4 Tbsps unsalted butter

PASTA:

  • 1 (16 oz) package Pappardelle pasta (You can use your fave Ribbon-shaped pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 ½ cup organic heavy cream
  • 1 cup organic chicken, veggie, or seafood stock
  • 3 Tbsps white cooking wine
  • 1 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Green onions (aka scallions), chopped
  • handful of Chopped candied bacon

Instructions

SAUTE/SEAR THE SHRIMP:

  • In a medium 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter until melted. Next, add in the shrimp (seasoned with cajun seasoning) and cook on both sides (about 3-4 minutes), until pink and cooked through. Set aside unto a plate.

COOK THE PASTA:

  • Cook pasta according to packaging. NOTE: Pappardelle cooks about the same time as other pastas, usually 8-10 minutes, depending on brand.

TO MAKE THE CREAMY CAJUN SAUCE:

  • In the same medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute or so, until fragrant.
  • Add the chopped bell peppers and sauté until translucent + fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cajun seasoning and flour stirring until combined.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add in the heavy cream, stock, and white wine, stirring until combined. Let it slightly bubble for 1-2 minutes and then add in the grated parmesan, whisking until fully melted and sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
  • When the Pappardelle pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce, tossing until sauce fully coats + sticks to pasta. Feel free to add the shrimp to coat them, if desired. If not, add pasta to prepare plate(s) or bowl(s) and top with sautéed shrimp. Serve immediately!
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, it's best when done in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop. You'll need to add a bit of heavy cream or seafood stock to re-create the creaminess of the sauce when heating it up. Stir in the added liquid and it should become creamy again. 
  • OIL: You can also use coconut oil or grapeseed oil, instead of olive oil.
  • PASTA: You can use long pastas like Tagliatelle, Fettuccine, etc. however, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. Otherwise, other pastas such as Penne, Rigatoni, Paccheri, Orecchiette, etc. are perfect.
  • GREENS: To add a bit more flavor to this dish, you can always feel free to add in your favorite greens such as spinach, broccolini, collards, or asparagus.
  • OTHER MEAT OPTIONS: If you'd like to switch things up, see post for more alternatives!

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3918IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 296mg | Iron: 1mg

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Xx, Shanika in script writing

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