Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta

This delicious Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta makes an easy lunch or dinner! The cajun zing adds a nice burst of flavor to this tasty plate of pasta.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta

There are certain dishes I throw together without a single thought, measurement, or care in the world. They’re usually accompanied by a desperate need to restock the fridge and always a last minute endeavor. Sometimes the result is simply okay, but sometimes it’s pure freaking magic.

So magical, in fact, that your husband comes home from the grocery store with the exact ingredients needed to remake the dish and does the whole “Imma leave these right here and let you do your thing mmkay?” song and dance.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta

After repeating the dish several times over the course of the month I figured I should probably suck it up and get out my measuring spoons so I can share the love with my blog buds. Today’s that day. I hope this super simple, uber flavorful dish rocks your face! We love it so.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta

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Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta

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This delicious Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta makes an easy lunch or dinner! The cajun zing adds a nice burst of flavor to this tasty plate of pasta.

Ingredients

  • 25 medium raw shrimp [see below]
  • 2 cups bowtie/farfalle pasta
  • 1 + 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup half and half [half cream; half milk]
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning blend
  • additional salt and pepper, to taste
  • a sprinkle of paprika
  • extra Parmesan, for topping
  • note: keep an extra bit of milk or half and half on hand to thin the sauce at the end as needed. I'll sometimes add a few extra tablespoons at the end.
  • tip: eliminate food waste by shredding the raw, unused broccoli stalk into broccoli slaw for salads or coleslaw, or by juicing it along with your favorite fruits and veggies!

Instructions

  1. Defrost shrimp if using frozen. If using whole shrimp, clean/peel/de-vein shrimp as needed.
  2. If using fresh, set aside and grab your pasta!
  3. Cook pasta as directed until tender.
  4. Next steam or blanch your broccoli tops. Save time and dishes by blanching them quickly in the pot of boiling pasta water. You can do this during the last minute or two of the pasta's cook time.
  5. While your pasta and broccoli cook, bring a pan/skillet to medium-high heat with 1/2 tsp of olive oil.
  6. Add the shrimp and toss to coat, then top with garlic powder, parsley, and salt.
  7. Cook shrimp until pink and opaque, adding the garlic in for a quick saute towards the end to prevent it from burning. If the pan is dry you can add a smidgen of olive oil before adding the garlic.
  8. Drain the pasta and add back into the pot.
  9. To coat my pasta in teeny broccoli "sprinkles" versus chunks of broccoli, I use a knife to slice off the very top portion of the broccoli, avoiding the stalk altogether.
  10. I save the leftover broccoli to make a basil-broccoli pesto or freeze them to use in mac and cheese recipes. Feel free to add large chunks into your pasta if you prefer! It's great both ways!
  11. Reduce heat to medium setting and pour in the half and half, cheese, and cajun seasoning.
  12. Stir constantly until the dairy thickens into a delicious sauce.
  13. Add in your shrimp along with your broccoli and stir to coat.
  14. Taste, then add any additional seasoning you'd like. Extra cajun kick is always welcome!
  15. At this point you may also want to add a little more milk to thin the sauce. Add 2-3 tablespoons and give it a good stir!
  16. Plate then top with a sprinkle of paprika and a light shaving of Parmesan cheese. Yum!

Notes

When it comes to the shrimp you use, fret not. What works for you works for this recipe! My one rule is that you cook from frozen. Pre-cooked shrimp has a rubbery texture that just isn't worth your money. Shrimp cooks so quickly that you can save time by buying it fresh or save a little money by buying it frozen. When it comes to frozen shrimp, you can do the prep-work yourself or buy the already peeled and deveined, up to you! As for size, any size will work! If you have larger shrimp on hand feel free to use less for this recipe or you can use a smaller sized shrimp like I did. You can measure them out or just eyeball what you would consider two servings of shrimp would be. Simply season accordingly.

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Comments

  • Sherri

    Made this last night….so delicious and easy! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • So thrilled to hear it Sherri, thanks! 🙂 I need to make this one again soon for sure.

  • I love broccoli!!! This looks amazing in so many ways 🙂

    • Jenn

      Thanks Jessica!!!

  • Kay

    This looks fabulous! I know I will love it!

  • This is why you need to adopt me. I swear you’re yet to produce something I won’t eat and the fact that it includes cheese, seafood, bread and well..the good things in life? Genius.

  • Jenn – This looks so yummy! I think this recipe and I are meant to be…I just picked up shrimp at the store this week and I have all the other ingredients too. Looks like it will be on our meal plan too.

    • Jenn

      Sah-weet! I hope you guys love it!

  • Yummy! This sounds like one that would definitely please the husband. Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

  • Nicole Kathryn

    OH. MY. GAWD. (said in my best Janis from Friends voice)
    I want to eat this right now!!! 🙂

  • Moving to San Diego has made me crave seafood even more that usual (and it was a lot already!). So you’re going to move with me and make dinner while I bitch slap people, right?

    • Jenn

      Right! You’re hurting my credit card… now that THREE of my favorite people all live in SD I really want to go out to visit all of you. Cross country flights man… WOOF!

  • OH MY, looks soooo delicious! I’ll have to try whipping this one up! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jenn

      Thank you! I hope you adore it! My husband is so hooked he keeps sneaking it onto the meal plan – love it!

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