This spicy shrimp and sausage pasta dish is inspired by both Cajun and Mexican cuisine and makes an easy and delicious dinner. It has a deep and complex flavor from smoked paprika, smoked Andouille sausages and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. And because you can do all the prep work while you cook the pasta, the whole dish comes together in only 30 minutes!
If you love Cajun-inspired food you might also enjoy this spicy Cajun chicken marinade.
- Because there is shrimp and sausage in this dish you don’t get the same thing in every bite. That adds a lot of complexity and makes for a really satisfying meal. The sausage is hearty and smoky and the shrimp add great contrast with their light, sea-salty flavor.
- Both the sausage and the shrimp are cut into bite-sized pieces so you get either meat or seafood in every bite.
- The preparation is fast and easy.
- You can use any size shrimp that you like and cut it into bite-sized chunks. I recommend that you get uncooked shrimp for best flavor.
- If jalapeno pepper is not available you can use ¼ green bell pepper instead.
How to make it (overview with photos):
1. Cooke the pasta. Meanwhile, prep vegetables, sausage and shrimp.
2. Brown sausage and shrimp.
3. Saute vegetables.
4. Add spices, tomato and chicken broth.
5. Add sausage and shrimp back to the sauce, then bring to a simmer.
6. Stir in cream.
Recipe notes, tips and questions:
How spicy is this dish?
This dish is very spicy. The chipotle chili, the adobo sauce and the smoked hot paprika powder all pack quite a bit of heat.
How to store leftovers:
You can store sauce and pasta in separate, airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 day. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. (Don’t store pasta and sauce in the same container because the pasta will soak up the moisture out of the sauce and dry it out.)
Variations on this recipe:
Instead of pasta, you can serve the sauce with rice. It tastes delicious that way as well.
About chipotle pepper in adobo sauce:
Chipotle peppers start as jalapeno peppers that are left to ripen on the vine until they turn red in color. Then they are dried, smoked, cooked and canned in a tomato-based sauce to make chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
The pepper and the sauce add a great smoky and spicy flavor and because both are wet, they keep sauces nicely “saucy.”
Transfer the remaining contents of the can into a small glass jar and keep in the fridge for up to about a month. (Don’t store in a plastic container because it will stain.)
More delicious pasta dishes:
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Full Printable Recipe
Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- 2 cups medium-sized pasta shells, uncooked
- 3 ounces raw shrimp*, thawed, peeled and deveined
- 6 ounces smoked Andouille sausages
- 1 large jalapeno pepper**
- ¼ medium-sized yellow onion (~2 ounces)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon smoked hot paprika powder
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (~9 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon finely diced canned chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
- 1 teaspoon canned adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Cook the pasta to desired doneness, then drain, cover and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the meat and the vegetables: Cut shrimp and sausage into bite-sized chunks. Remove ribs and seeds from jalapeno pepper, then dice jalapeno pepper and onion. Mince or press garlic clove. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a cast-iron pan, then brown the shrimp and sausage bites in it (~4 minutes). Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
- Add onion and jalapeno pepper to the pan and saute until starting to soften (~3 minutes). (There should be enough fat in the pan from the previous step, so you don't need to add any.)
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (~30 seconds).
- Stir in the paprika powder, then the chicken broth, canned crushed tomato, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, thyme and tomato paste.
- Add the shrimp and sausage back in and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off, stir in the cream and serve over the pasta.