The is one of my go-to dinners right now, because it’s super fast and easy, and tastes really (REALLY) good. It’s a lot like the Cajun chicken pasta that you can get at Chili’s, and if you wanted to use chicken instead of shrimp, go for it. I’ve put the spice level at about a one, right where the kids can still eat it and enjoy it, without having to take a giant drink of water between every bite. If you like a lot of heat, you can triple the Cajun seasoning, and if you’re somewhere in the middle, just double it.
Also, if you don’t have the lemon pepper seasoning hanging around the house, just add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You could also dice up some fresh tomatoes to stir in just before serving, something the kids and I would love, but Bo gets weirded out when there’s “cooked tomatoes” in something, and arguing that these wouldn’t be cooked was next to impossible. So, the next time frozen shrimp are on sale, stock up, because this is a great 20 minute meal!
- 1 lb shrimp, shells off and de-veined
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 4 tbsp butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- ½ tsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (use to taste)
- 8 oz penne pasta
- Get a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the penne and cook until just barely al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning to coat (a zip lock bag or a bowl works well).
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and saute. After 1 minute add the garlic, and continue to saute until the shrimp is just done, if not a minute before. It's important not to over cook, as they will continue cooking in the sauce. Remove the shrimp to a plate, scraping out all of the garlic with it.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the now empty skillet, along with the heavy cream, milk, lemon pepper seasoning, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk together, bringing to a boil, until starting to thicken. When the pasta is ready, add it to the sauce, along with the shrimp. Continue to cook for a few more minutes, until the sauce has thickened up a bit, and the pasta is the perfect consistency.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese to taste and serve.
Whenever I make pasta I like to keep a bit of the water it boiled in set aside. If my sauce ends up too think, I use this to thin it out.