This creamy cajun pasta is loaded with chicken, shrimp, and sausage all tossed in a hearty thick cheese-filled roux. It’s the perfect blend of spice, flavors, and down-home delicious cooking.
This is one of those meals that my family makes over and over again. It’s rich, creamy, and totally not for those trying to maintain a diet. Or perhaps, it’s one heck of a cheat meal! This recipe for cajun pasta has a filling blend of spicy sausage, chicken, and shrimp, along with a roux and cheese sauce, similar to an alfredo (but with… cheese) to smooth it out. It’s a blend of flavors that works so well together, we’ve been dishing it out for years.
And you will too. Wondering what to cook for your next big gathering? This is it.
This recipe has a long list of ingreidients, and it isn’t exactly a 20 minute meal. But, after you do all the prep work, it comes together quickly and the steps help the flavors to build upon one another, so turn on some good kitchen tunes and work through it. I promise, it’s worth it.
What you need to make this recipe
For this recipe, gather all of your ingredients ahead of time to make sure there are no last-minute needs to dash to the market. It’s a long list, but the recipe comes together quickly once everything is prepped.
- Butter, always cook with unsalted
- Shrimp, peeled and deviened. We used ‘medium’ shrimp, labeled 41/50
- Olive oil, or other cooking oil
- Chicken, you can use dark or light meat depending on which you prefer
- Andouille sausage, the kind that is pre-cooked
- Holy trinity of Cajun cooking: onion, green bell pepper, celery
- Red pepper flakes, Cajun Seasoning (you know, Tony’s)
- Flour to make your roux
- Chicken broth, low sodium
- Heavy cream, no skimping on this recipe. The cream helps with the texture
- Pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed (a.k.a. Velveeta)
- Green onions, Parmesan cheese, and parsley to garnish
How to make Cajun chicken, shrimp, and sausage pasta
This recipe has a few steps, but each helps build the flavors onto the next. Don’t try to skip ahead. 😉
First, cook the shrimp, chicken, and sausage
Melt a tablespoon of butter and cook the shrimp until just pink on the outside. Remove the shrimp from the pan, cover, and set aside.
In the Dutch oven you will be working in, heat the oil, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from pan, cover and set aisde.
In the same Dutch oven, add the andouille and cook. Add it to the plate with the chicken, re-cover and set aside.
Then, boil the pasta
Boil the pasta until just al dente according to the instructions on the pasta.
Next, make the Sauce
Now the fun part! Your Dutch oven will have browned bits on the bottom, add the Holy trinity (onion, pepper, and celery) and stir to combine. Let the veggies cook down until soft.
Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and then whisk in the Cajun seasoning and flour. Make sure to stir it so that it sticks to and coats the veggie mix.
Once the flour has coated the veggies and cooked for one minute (you know on TV when people complain of ‘raw flour’ it’s because they didn’t allow it to cook in this minute fully), whisk in the chicken broth, a little at a time. While you slowly add the broth, be sure to whisk, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the Dutch Oven as you work, which is a pro trick to really adding a ton of flavor.
As you whisk, it should form a thick almost paste like texture, free of lumps. If you dump in the broth all at once, the roux wont have a chance to work, and you will end up with lumps.
Boil the liquid for a minute, which allows everything to come together nicely.
Now, you can add in the heavy cream and cheese. it should melt together smoothly creaing an crazy delicious sauce.
Finally, Toss it all together
Add the chicken, sausage and shrimp back to the Dutch oven and toss to coat. Mix in the green onions and parsley for added pops of freshness and dish up! Server with a little parmesan cheese on top.
(I did mention this was a cheat meal, right?)
What to serve with cajun pasta
This dish is pretty substatial on it’s own. Pair it with a light salad and crusty bread to sop up extra sauce. To add more veggies, try steamed green beans or broccoli as a side dish.
If you don’t like any of the proteins, chicken, shrimp, or sausage, you can subtitute more of another. Not into chicken, add more shrimp and more sausage and so on for other personal tastes. Just know adding extra andouille will add extra spice to the pasta.
Both diced chicken breast or diced chickn thighs work great in this recipe. Personally, I go with chickn thighs, as I find the dark meat maintains a great texture and doesn’t dry out or get rubbery in the pasta.
Andouille is a spicy Cajun sausage, kicked up with seasonings. To make this pasta more mild, you can use mild sausage or subtitute hot sausage if you can’t find andouille.
Velveeta. Seriously, it makes this recipe. But, if you can’t use Velveeta, try a queso cheese dip (one found in the refridgerated deli section of your market is the best option). This isn’t a ‘macaroni and cheese’ so adding in piles of shredded cheese is not recommended to maintain the creamy alfredo-like texture.
How to store leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, remove single portions and re-heat in the microwave in 30 second blasts, adding a splash of milk if needed, and stirring in between each burst until heated through.
This meal can be made ahead of time, and frozen in an alimunim pan. Cover with plastic wrap and a hearty layer of foil and store in the freezer up to three months.
To reheat, remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350, covered with foil, until the sauce is bubbling, about 1 1/2 hours.
MORE CAJUN-INSPIRED RECIPES
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For the Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 lbs medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 to 2 lbs chicken boneless, skinless, dark or light meat, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1/2 lbs Andouille sausage, chopped
For the Pasta
- 1 12-ounce package fettuccine
For the Veggies
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Roux & Sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 6 oz pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed (a.k.a. Velveeta)
For the Garnish
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Cook the shrimp, chicken and sausage
- In a large non-stick skillet melt the butter over medium heat and cook shrimp until no longer pink, 3 minutes a side.
- Set aside and cover.
- In a large stock pot, or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering over medium-high heat.
- Brown chicken on all sides 5-10 minutes.
- Check for doneness, internal temp of 165, and place chicken in a bowl and set aside.
- Cook sausage 10 minutes, until browned.
- Add the sausage to the chicken in bowl and cover.
Boil the Pasta
- Meanwhile, prepare fettuccine according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Prep the Veggies
- In the same Dutch oven that you prepared the chicken in, add onion, pepper, celery and butter.
- Cook over medium heat 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds longer.
Make the Roux
- Stir in Cajun seasoning and flour, stirring to coat the veggies and absorb the liquid. It should form a paste like texture.
- Cook 1 minute.
Make the Sauce
- Slowly stir in chicken broth, whisking to avoid clumps, and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven as you whisk.
- Increase heat to medium-high heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
- Reduce to a simmer and stir in heavy cream and pasteurized cheese; stir to melt cheese.
- Stir in reserved chicken, sausage, and pasta. Toss to coat evenly.
- Add the shrimp to the Dutch oven.
- Toss the pasta with the green onions & fresh parsley.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes.
Garnish and Serve
- Plate portions of the Cajun pasta on individual plates and garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 727Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 284mgSodium: 2148mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 47g
Nutrition information provided is an estimate from nutritionix.com. For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.