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This creamy Cajun shrimp pasta recipe is a restaurant-quality meal that’s ready in just 25 minutes! It’s a favorite to impress guests or make for a midweek treat with its bold flavors.

Try my Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta or Cajun Chicken Orzo next.

creamy Cajun shrimp penne in a white bowl

Why you’ll love it

I know that every blogger will say they like their own recipes, but I REALLY love this Cajun shrimp pasta Alfredo. It’s a definite make-again (and again) one for me, and I cook it for company every chance I get. It’s super simple and so tasty and fast.

This is basically a jazzed up Alfredo sauce with a delicious kick from Cajun seasoning, and the plump and juicy shrimp are the best complement to it. It’s creamy, garlicky, and slightly spicy. Not like burn-your-mouth spicy, but a harmony of flavors kinda spicy!

What you’ll need

  • Pasta – I chose penne this time, but any shape you have on hand will work. I’ve also made it with spaghetti and linguine.
  • Shrimp – frozen ones that are deveined and already peeled are the most convenient. To thaw them, simply run them under cool water in a colander.
  • Olive oil and butter – for sautéing
  • Onion and garlic – I usually go for sweet (Vidalia) onions in sauces
  • Dijon mustard – it’s one of my top tricks for enhancing the savory quality of sauces. It’s not going to make it taste like mustard!
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – they add more rich flavor to the sauce
  • Heavy cream – to make it extra luxurious
  • Cajun seasoning – the star of the Cajun Alfredo sauce. If sodium is a concern, use a low or no-salt variety. I like Tony’s best.
  • Fresh basil – it’s a pop of herby contrast and freshness
  • Parmesan cheese – always grate your own

Pro tip

If you don’t happen to live by the sea, frozen shrimp are actually a fantastic choice because the ones at the seafood counter at the grocery store have been frozen previously, thawed, and are less fresh when you get them.

shrimp in a Cajun cream sauce in a metal skillet

How to make Cajun shrimp pasta

This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

  • Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in butter and oil in a skillet until lightly browned. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, Dijon mustard, and garlic, cooking for a minute or so. Stir in the cream and Cajun seasoning to make the luscious sauce.
  • Add the shrimp, and cook until they’re pink and cooked through and the sauce has thickened a bit.
  • Drain the cooked pasta and toss it with the sauce. Add some fresh basil and parmesan, and enjoy!

Substitutions and variations

  • I wouldn’t recommend substituting the heavy cream for anything with a lower fat content. It could curdle and won’t taste nearly as rich or decadent. If you’re used to using something like coconut milk, you could try, but our kitchen hasn’t tested it.
  • For the shrimp, I just buy the 31-40 count 3/4 pound bags of frozen raw shrimp, but you can substitute any medium to large size, and the exact number doesn’t have to be precise. If you can only find 1 pound bags, use that.
  • I like leaving the tails on to add some dimension in the photos, but you’re welcome to take them off when you’re cooking it in your kitchen.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

close-up of bowl of Cajun shrimp pasta in a white bowl

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers of this creamy pasta will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Make sure to not let it sit out for too long before refrigerating.
  • This won’t freeze well. Pasta and cream sauces rarely do!
  • To reheat, warm over a low heat in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Add in a splash of cream to revive the sauce if needed.

What to serve with Cajun shrimp pasta

  • I like to pair it with a slice of crusty bread, or you could go all-out and make this Cheesy Garlic Bread.
  • For something lighter, this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad is a great choice.
  • The shrimp and sauce are low carb, so you could even make them and pair with something other than pasta if you wish. Try cauliflower rice!
bowl of Cajun shrimp pasta with grated parmesan garnish

Will you make this easy Cajun pasta? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! I’d love it if you left a star rating and review.

This Cajun shrimp penne is creamy, garlicky, flavorful, and slightly spicy! It's ready in under half an hour, making it the perfect easy weeknight dinner or date night recipe.
5 from 6 votes

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

This creamy Cajun shrimp pasta recipe is a restaurant-quality meal that's ready in just 25 minutes! It's a favorite to impress guests or make for a midweek treat with its bold flavors.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp thawed & peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes julienned 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning see note
  • 8 large leaves basil torn
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste


  • Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, add butter and olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. Sauté onions for 5 minutes or until they’re lightly browned if you wish (this gives extra flavor).
  • Stir in the Dijon mustard, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute. 
  • Add the cream and Cajun seasoning, and cook for a few minutes until you have a nice, smooth sauce.
  • Add the shrimp in, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked and the sauce is reduced to your liking. Season with salt & pepper if desired, add the fresh basil, and toss the drained pasta with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


  • Cajun seasoning can be quite salty, so be sure to give the dish a taste before adding extra salt & pepper, or use a lower sodium version.
  • If you can only find 1 lb. bags of shrimp, use that. You don’t need to be spot on 3/4 pounds (they sell 3/4 pound bags where I live).
  • I used the julienned (cut into strips) sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil and drained the oil prior to adding them to the pan.
  • Feel free to remove the tails of the shrimp. I leave them on for photos but usually remove them in real life. 😉
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 563kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 212mg, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 600mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1900IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 122mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Janet says:

    Did this recipe change? I have been making this for years and I feel like it used to have white wine in it. Maybe I have it mixed up with another recipe but it seems like it’s changed. It’s one of our favorites!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Janet! I don’t recall changing this recipe. That isn’t the type of change that I would make if I were to update a recipe, so I think it’s pretty safe to say this one never contained white wine. With that said, I think it would be a delicious addition, but you’d have to reduce the sauce for a little longer. 🙂

  2. Nina says:

    This sounds amazing! Looking for a simple way to add greens. Do you think I could add spinach to the sauce and pasta?

    1. Natasha says:

      I think adding a handful or two of spinach right at the end is a great idea! Enjoy. 🙂

  3. David says:

    I love this recipe! Had it at a restaurant with chicken and shrimp. This is the closest recipe to the restaurants. The only thing I do different is to saute the shrimp with the onion and oil/butter. To extract a bit of the seafood flavor first. Increadible! Thank you very much!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! I’m so glad you liked it, David.

  4. Allie says:

    Hi! Could I sub the heavy whipping cream for coconut milk?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! You could try, but the taste will change a bit and it may not be quite the same, but if you’re used to doing that sub in similar recipes, it should be ok. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  5. Yules says:

    5 stars
    That was one of the easiest and tastiest meals I cooked in a while! So perfect!! Thank you 😍

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome!! So happy it was a hit!!

  6. Robyn Hartman says:

    5 stars
    Loved this dish and will be making it again!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you!! I’m so pleased to hear that, Robyn! 😀

  7. Debbie says:

    I made this for my family and it was delicious…very easy recipe.

    1. Natasha says: