This quick and easy 20-minute seafood pasta recipe is made with plump shrimp and caramelized peppers and onions seasoned with Cajun spices.
Seafood is one of my favorite lean, quick-cooking protein sources which you’ve probably figured out by now due to my extensive and growing collection of seafood recipes. Fortunately, my entire family loves seafood as well. From Shrimp and Broccoli Penne, Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Peas, to Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Arugula, we enjoy shrimp at least one or two nights a week.
To help save time and get dinner on the table faster during busy weeknights, I always keep a bag of frozen shrimp stashed in my freezer. Most recently I decided to use a bag of frozen shrimp I had on hand to create a flavor-packed pasta recipe using Cajun spices, peppers and onions.
To begin cooking, simply prep the vegetables, boil the pasta and begin seasoning the shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, be sure to fully defrost before use. Then, pat them dry and season liberally with Cajun spices.
Next, heat half of the olive oil in a deep skillet. Cook the peppers in onions with garlic until they begin to caramelize, and remove them from the pan. Now, add the rest of the oil and shrimp until they turn a bright pink color. Be sure to turn them every 2-3 minutes! Finally, combine all the ingredients, add salt and pepper, and garnish with minced scallions.
Tips for Cooking with Shrimp
- Use frozen shrimp for convenient and affordable recipes.
- Although shrimp are labeled in size as small, medium, and large, there is no official regulation. Instead, look for the count number on the bag to get the most bang for your buck.
- Buy de-veined shrimp to make preparation super easy.
- Cook shrimp in their shells to increase their flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to use linguine pasta?
No! Any pasta variety you prefer will work with this shrimp pasta recipe. To make it allergy friendly, opt for gluten-free varieties. Or, up the nutritional value even more by choosing a protein pasta.
Should I use fresh or frozen shrimp?
Both fresh and frozen shrimp work with this recipe! If using frozen shrimp, make sure they are completely thawed before use.
How long will shrimp pasta last in the refrigerator.
On average, shrimp pasta will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What can I use if I can’t find Cajun seasoning?
Most Cajun seasonings are a blend of paprika, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne, and dried thyme. Here is a great recipe to make your own!
Can I substitute shrimp with a different protein?
Personally, I prefer to cook with shrimp because of how quickly it is ready. However, chicken or sausage would work just as well in this recipe. Use whatever is available to you!
Your fork is waiting.
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- 8 ounces linguine (cooked according to package instructions)
- 1 pound shrimp (whole, peeled and deveined – thawed)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1 medium onion (any color, thinly sliced)
- 1 red bell pepper (cored and sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- scallions (optional garnish)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions; set aside.
- Place shrimp in a bowl and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Toss with Cajun seasoning and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat half of the olive oil (1 tablespoon) over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet. Add garlic and heat until fragrant, about 20 seconds, then add peppers and onions. Cook until they begin to caramelize, stirring frequently, about 5-6 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook shrimp until bright pink, turning once, about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to overcook shrimp.
- Stir in the reserved pasta, peppers and onions and toss well. Add additional salt and pepper to taste before serving. Garnish with minced scallions if you wish.