Weeknight Shorts: Cajun Shrimp Pasta

'Tis the season for spicy comfort food and finding those little scraps of time in a day to relax a bit and stretch, nap, read, or whatever else you need in your life to find your bliss. Finding those scraps of time can be much easier if dinner takes minutes instead of hours. Enter a quick pasta dish packed with Cajun flavored shrimp and more.

This dish is one of my favorite go-to recipes for busy days because it always goes over well with my family, it does get on the table in about 15 minutes, and it's pretty easy to put together. You can always add more veggies and use half and half if you are looking to lighten it a bit, but one of the things I love about January is that I won't be sporting skimpy summer clothing for months and I can always do a little snow-shoeing or the like with the dog to burn a few more calories.

This can be a one-dish meal if you'd like, but it also pairs nicely with a light salad. I like opting for one featuring spinach, red onion, and chopped oranges since they are all easy to come by this time of the year and the bright flavors pair well with this spicy, creamy dish. A little chilled water with more citrus in it is nice or even a glass of your favorite white wine makes a good accompaniment. Then let someone else do the dishes and get back to that bliss-finding!

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

  • 8 oz. short pasta (I used radiatore)
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. medium shrimp, peeled
  • ⅓ c. chicken broth
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • ⅓ c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. halved cherry tomatoes

Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions. When it's done cooking, strain it and keep it warm while you finish any sauce preparations.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant. Add the seasonings and stir well to coat the onion and garlic. Add the peeled shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp is pink and well-coated in seasonings as well.

Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and cheese and stir until the cheese has melted and a creamy sauce has formed. Add the tomatoes and the drained pasta and toss to evenly coat everything. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2-3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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