cajun shrimp pasta

Are you the type of person that plans your meals for the week?  I am definitely a meal planner.  I think it stems from preferring to do one large grocery store trip on the weekend…also the fact that I hate not having a plan for my meals…I need to know what I’m eating next!  So I like to have a game plan for what I’m making throughout the week so I know what to buy at the store.  Sometimes, however, I will plan for something and then when it comes time to make it, it’s not what I feel like eating.  

This happened when I bought frozen shrimp for a stir fry…but it turned out I didn’t want a stir fry that night.  I wanted pasta….creamy, comforting pasta.  I decided to go with my craving and after an additional trip to the store, I was set to make my revised meal.  I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s site and though I usually take awhile to choose recipes, the Pioneer Woman knows what she’s doing and I knew that I could count on her for a good meal.  

She was right on target with this dish.  The flavors of the bell peppers go perfectly with the spicy cream sauce, and you can tweak how mild or spicy you want it with the amount of spice you add.  While the Pioneer Woman made her version with chicken, I really thought the shrimp was great with the pasta.  Overall it was a quick and delicious meal that is definitely a keeper!    

Cajun Shrimp Pasta
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail off
1 lb spaghetti pasta (I used whole wheat)
3+ tsp cajun seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, or half-and-half
1 tsp chili powder/cayenne pepper (I used chili powder)
salt and pepper, to taste


In medium pot, bring water to boil and prepare spaghetti as directed.  

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet.  Add shrimp and 2 tsp of cajun seasoning.  Cook until shrimp are completely cooked.  Mine were frozen and took about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and place on a plate to set aside. 

In same skillet over high heat, add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add peppers, onion, garlic, 1-2 tsp of cajun seasoning, and a bit of salt (I’d say 1/2 tsp).   Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables get nice and fragrant, and a little dark in color.  Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.  

Add wine and chicken broth, and scrape the bottom to get any bits stuck to the pan.  Let simmer for about 7 minutes.  

Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add heavy cream or half-and-half.  Keep whisking the sauce until fully combined.  Do a little taste-test at this point to see if you want more spice.  Now is the time to add more if you want, along with the cayenne pepper/chili powder for some heat.  Also, add salt and pepper to taste.  

Continue to cook until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.  If you use half and half, it might take a while longer to cook down.  Add in shrimp and mix to combine.  Combine with cooked spaghetti and toss to coat pasta in sauce.  Enjoy!

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  1. says

    Looks delish! Pioneer Woman is such a winner for great ideas and recipes… Luv the Cajun spice idea with shrimp! (Thanx for visiting our blog – hope you will visit again!) Great post!

  2. says

    I shop what appeals to me in the shop, goods that look fresh and nice, everything decided emotional, out of the guts, without thinking about a menu.
    Then I think about what to cook based on the stuff that is at home. How could I know today what I like to eat tomorrow? Some exceptions, though :-)

  3. says

    I love the Pioneer Woman! And that recipe does look amazing. I try to plan my meals for the week but I’m the kind of person who has to eat what she’s craving or I don’t feel satisfied, so my menus usually get mixed up a lot. At least I have a general idea of what I’m going to eat when I go to the grocery store.

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