This Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.
Cajun Shrimp Alfredo is an excellent meal for any night of the week. This simple pasta features shrimp and andouille sausage and is a great recipe to feed a family. It’s also ready in 30 minutes or less. Makes 6 servings.
Cajun Shrimp Alfredo
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. (Love Cajun comfort food? Try our Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.)
This Creamy Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo recipe is one of those that we keep coming back to because it’s comforting and jam-packed with the flavors we all know and love. It’s a dish that the whole family adores.
All you have to do is toss your favorite pasta noodles in a homemade creamy alfredo sauce — which is easier to make than you think! — and top them with perfectly spiced cooked shrimp and sliced andouille sausage.
As with many comfort food meals, this recipe is NOT low fat, but it certainly does not skimp on flavor.
It’s also ready in 30 minutes, which makes it an easy dinner recipe for busy weeknights or a special (but simple) dish to serve for a more elegant dinner, like an at-home date night.
More weeknight pasta recipes: Chicken Pesto Pasta | Cajun Chicken Alfredo | Spicy Sausage Ground Turkey Pasta Sauce | Spicy Fettuccine Alfredo with Hatch Green Chile Peppers | Lemon Salmon Pasta | Steak Alfredo
Looking for dinner inspiration? Head on over to my Dinner Recipe Index for more ideas.
What you need to make this recipe:
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Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 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 are excellent if you’re serving kids.
- Shrimp — we purchased peeled, deveined shrimp in the freezer section of our grocery store. Let the shrimp thaw. 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 seasoning — 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. If you want to make homemade Cajun seasoning, have at it!
- Salted butter — this serves as our base for the sauce.
- Fresh garlic — this aromatic adds just a bit more flavor to the cream-based sauce
- Heavy cream — also known as heavy whipping cream. It’s thick, luscious and provides a TON of flavor to our dish. 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 color. You could also garnish with green onions.
- Salt and black pepper — if your sauce needs a little extra seasoning, add these! We don’t always add them in because the sauce has great flavor already.
If you can’t find andouille at your grocery, look at a specialty shop online OR swap it with hot Italian sausage. While it won’t have the exact same flavors, you’ll get a hint of heat.
While I do not recommend making a ton of substitutions in this recipe, here are some ways you can customize it:
- Make it gluten free. Use your favorite gluten free pasta, and read the packaging of the rest of the ingredients (because they should be gluten free.)
- Add some spice. Sprinkling in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper will add a lovely kick to this creamy Cajun shrimp pasta recipe.
- Add some color. Feel free to slice up some green bell peppers, red bell peppers and onions to add to the pasta!
How to make this Cajun Shrimp Alfredo recipe
Cook the fettuccine pasta in salted water. Cook to the package directions.
Basically, you want to boil until the pasta is cooked through but still has some shape to it. (This is called al dente.) Before draining, save about a cup of the pasta water for later.
Drain the pasta in a colander, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking to itself and set it aside.
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.
If you’re using fresh andouille, cook over medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.
When crispy and browned, remove the sausage from the pan. Slice into rounds and set aside for later.
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.
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.
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.
Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet in a single layer. 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!
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.
Did you know…
The cream can curdle. To prevent this, simply cook it on low and don’t let it come to a boil.
Heat it slowly until the sauce thickens. You’ll know it’s done when the sauce is a creamy texture and coats the back of a spoon. You can swipe your finger through it without the rest running off.
Once the sauce is done, give it a taste. If necessary, add extra salt, pepper or Cajun seasoning. You can also add in a little cayenne pepper if you want more spice.
Transfer the cooked fettuccine noodles into the skillet, and toss until they are coated with the creamy sauce. This is why we’re using a high-sided skillet — to ensure that there’s enough space for the pasta and sauce!
If the sauce has a hard time time adhering to the pasta, drizzle in some of the reserved pasta water to help it stick.
Serve the pasta topped with the shrimp and sliced sausage. Garnish with parsley and a sprinkling of Cajun seasoning.
Storage, make ahead and freezing options
If you’ve got leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I suggest storing the shrimp, sausage and pasta separately, as they’ll take different times to reheat.
To reheat the leftovers, add a drizzle of whole milk to the sauce before warming in the microwave. Heat in 30-second increments until warm.
I have not tried freezing this recipe, but have read mixed reviews about freezing cream-based sauces. I do not recommend freezing leftovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is essentially a Fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp. It should go without saying that this is the best kind of comfort food that involves a flavorful cream sauce, perfectly cooked noodles, spicy shrimp and sausage.
If you want to add some more colors to this recipe, you could add sliced red or green bell peppers and onions to the sauce. Cook the peppers and onion in the skillet after the shrimp (but before the garlic), cooking until softened. Remove them before you make the sauce in the skillet and add at the end.
Quick Tips for making the best shrimp alfredo pasta
- This is not a low-fat recipe. It’s not meant to be. Please do not make substitutes to try to make it “healthier.” Alfredo sauce is meant to be decadent.
- Make it faster! Purchase shrimp 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. It will not taste the same.
- You can use Creole or Cajun seasoning in this recipe. They have the same flavor profiles, but Creole seasoning has more herbs. 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.
Other Cajun recipes:
Cajun Shrimp Alfredo is an excellent meal for any night of the week. This simple pasta features shrimp and andouille sausage and is a great recipe to feed a family. It's also ready in 30 minutes or less.
- 1 lb. fettucine pasta, uncooked
- ½ lb. smoked andouille sausage
- 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (plus extra, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese*
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- 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. 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.
How to store: Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Store the pasta and proteins separately. When reheating, prepare to add a little extra milk to the pasta sauce since it will coagulate in the fridge. Reheat in 30-second increments in the microwave.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 728Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 1624mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.