This Cajun Shrimp Linguine is decadent and filled with juicy shrimp, flavorful cajun spice and a creamy cheesy sauce! It will become your favorite fast weeknight pasta meal. Prepped in just 30 minutes, you can have this incredible dish on the table for your family in no time!
The Heart and Soul of the Best Cajun Shrimp Linguine Recipe
This week’s obsession is this Cajun Shrimp Linguine; it’s cheesy, smooth, spicy and full of tender, juicy shrimp. Have I pulled you in yet?
Cuisine Inspiration: Cajun Comfort Embrace the zest of the South with our flavor-packed Cajun Shrimp Linguine, a true delight for spice enthusiasts!
Primary Cooking Method: Sauté & Boil Quick sautéing and careful boiling meld our ingredients into a tantalizing ensemble of textures and tastes.
Dietary Info: Shellfish and Gluten Alert Attention, diners: this scrumptious fare contains shellfish and gluten.
Key Flavor: Cajun Spice Prepare for a flavor explosion, courtesy of our bold, spicy Cajun seasoning!
Skill Level: Intermediate A little kitchen experience will go a long way to nail this spicy, creamy wonder.
- Creamy Indulgence: A rich, smooth sauce that makes each bite a luxurious experience.
- Spice Symphony: A thrilling heat level, thanks to the authentic Cajun spice blend.
- Shrimp Delight: Succulent shrimp add a protein punch and sweet contrast.
- Linguine Love: Perfectly cooked pasta that’s a true sauce magnet.
- Universal Yum: A guaranteed hit for any gathering, satisfying all spicy-food lovers.
I have a Cajun Spice Recipe here that you can keep stored in your pantry for whenever you are in a pinch!
Most recipes use chicken or beef stock but, I absolutely love a full-bodied seafood stock. Its addition boosts flavor, accentuates the shrimp and makes for a stand-out dish.
The use of heavy cream in this recipe is delicious, but it can be a little overpowering. To counteract that, I added a bit of lemon juice. Just a few squeezes adds a brightness that lifts up the entire dish. Acidity is the perfect way to lighten up anything that’s outwardly a bit heavy.
Parmesan is pungent, nutty, fruity and slightly bitter. I love how parmesan adds in a cheesy indulgence without being overwhelming or too heavy.
Similarly to the lemon juice, basil helps to lighten and brighten this pasta. Basil is sweet, fragrant and herby; it’s perfect way to create another layer of flavor. Just a few sprigs lifts up the sauce like none other.
Tips for Perfect Pasta
We’ve all made our fair share of boxed pasta because let’s be honest, it’s so easy. Having made my fair share, I’ve nailed my pasta game. With just a few simple steps you can too be pasta Queen (or King).
Use a Large Pot
If possible, it’s best to use an 8-quart stock pot. Just a little extra space helps to keep your pasta sticking and breaking.
Heavily Salt the Water
Don’t be afraid of salt! I’d suggest using 2-3 tablespoons of coarse salt; sea-water salty means an incredible flavor boost.
Pasta has a nasty habit of clumping. Stir the pot at least 3-4 times while cooking to keep those strands swirling wild and free!
Test Before It’s “Ready”
The packaging to your pasta of choice will have a suggested cooking time. But, you should keep in mind that it is “suggested”. Test your pasta about 2 minutes before the given time by removing a strand from the water and chomping down.
Personally, I like my pasta to have a soft exterior with a slight springy bounce. If you have a different preference, go for it!
Finish off your pasta by draining, tossing into the sauce and serving piping hot. It’s that simple!
How to Make Shrimp Linguine
- Start Sizzling: Melt butter with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat.
- Season the Shrimp: Toss shrimp in 2 tsp cajun seasoning for an even coat.
- Cook Shrimp: Sear shrimp in the skillet for 2 minutes each side, then set aside.
- Garlic Time: Sauté garlic in the skillet for 2 minutes, till fragrant.
- Create the Sauce: Pour in seafood stock, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Sprinkle in Parmesan, parsley, basil, onion powder, the rest of the cajun seasoning, and black pepper. Boil until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Simmer Down: Reduce heat to medium-low. Gradually add linguine, ensuring it’s well-coated with sauce. Toss shrimp back into the mix.
- Serve with Flair: Dish out the pasta, and garnish with extra Parmesan, cajun seasoning, and parsley.
How to Store and Reheat
If you have enough restraint to not eat every last bite of this recipe, I commend you. Leftovers are rare but more than welcome.
I prefer storing leftover shrimp linguine in lidded glass containers; they don’t absorb smell or taste the way plastic might. Refrigerate your pasta within two hours of serving; seafood goes bad quickly. Once stored, your pasta will last 2-3 days.
When ready to reheat, place the pasta in a sauce pan and turn on a low heat. Watch carefully, stir often and add water if your sauce begins to dry out.
Avoid the microwave! Using a microwave will dry out the pasta and make for rubbery shrimp. Just don’t do it.
More Seafood Dishes
We all need that weeknight pasta dinner to get us through the week. Try out a few of Grandbaby Cakes’ best pasta recipes and find your go-to!
- Cacio E Pepe
- Creamy Garlic Pasta with Scallops,
- Shrimp Scampi and Grits
- Cajun Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Easy Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- Cajun Jambalaya Pasta
Cajun Shrimp Linguine
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning divided
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup seafood stock or chicken or vegetable stock if you can't find it
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup fresh finely chopped parsley plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp fresh finely chopped basil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 lb angel hair pasta, cooked up to 1/2 lb
- Add butter and olive oil to cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- While butter and oil heat, toss shrimp with 2 tsp of cajun seasoning making sure it is completely coated.
- Add seasoned shrimp to cast iron skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side then remove shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Next add garlic and cook for just 2 minutes.
- Then add seafood stock, heavy cream, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, onion powder, remaining ½ teaspoon of cajun seasoning and black pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil and allow sauce to thicken for just a few minutes.
- Once thickened, lower heat to medium low and then toss in small amounts of linguine tossing as you go along. Don’t add too much pasta since you want there to be a fair amount of sauce and the pasta not to be dry then toss in the shrimp. (I only use about a ¼ of the package but use as much as you prefer).
- To serve, add pasta to plates then sprinkle with additional parmesan, cajun seasoning and parsley for garnish and serve.