Creamy Creole Pasta with Shrimp is a great dish for your weeknight dinner rotation. It’s easy to put together, yet packed with flavors!
When we were in New Orleans last month, I was excited to try the real creole food. Everything was amazing, especially the gumbo. That is on my to-try list for a long time. It sure was packed with flavors and comforting. I’m going to make it one day. But in the meantime, I’m going for something easier and quicker, like this pasta.
In New Orleans, I purposely looked for a popular creole seasoning to buy. I ended up getting Tony Chachere’s. Little did I know that I can actually buy it from local supermarkets. Oh well, at least I know this is a famous brand. I’m happy I got it.
Creole seasoning is a blend of spices, like garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and some dried herbs. You can blend it yourself or buy already blended one like I did. But keep in mind that the salt level of different brand can be different. I treat Tony Chachere’s like salt. Instead of adding salt, I added the seasoning. If you’re using other brand or making your own blend, you may need to adjust the taste with some extra salt.
This pasta is easy to make. First, cook the shrimp with garlic and creole seasoning until just cooked through. Take them out and work on the sauce. The sauce is mainly a creamy tomato sauce with creole seasoning. Very straight forward. Onion, garlic, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, cream, chicken broth, and not to forget creole seasoning. Simmer until the flavors came together. Mix in the pasta & shrimp. That’s it!
Creamy pasta with lots of flavors and a nice kick. It’s the perfect dinner for weeknight. If you’re not a fan of shrimp, feel free to change it up with other meat.
Creamy Creole Pasta with Shrimp
- ¾ pound medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 8 ounces cavatappi (or other tube-shaped pasta)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ onion (finely diced)
- 5 garlic cloves (minced)
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons creole seasoning
- 1/2 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- ¾ teaspoon creole seasoning
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- In a medium bowl, add shrimp, minced garlic, and creole seasoning. Rub and mix gently. Add olive oil and mix again.
- Bring a large pot of water (salted) to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add shrimp and sear the first side for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another minute or so, until slightly golden brown. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion and cook for 6 – 7 minutes until softened. Add garlic and toss for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and 1½ teaspoons creole seasoning. Stir to mix for 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add pasta and cook for another 3 minutes until sauce is thickened and reduced. Taste and adjust with salt or creole seasoning. Toss the shrimp back to skillet and cook for 2 more minutes. If needed, add more broth. Transfer to serving plates, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
- Creole seasoning is a blend of spices, like paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper & herbs. I used Tony Chachere’s. You can get that from most local grocery stores. You can also make your own, like this.
- Different brands of creole seasoning contain different amount of salt. Mine is pretty salty. I used the seasoning to substitute salt. But yours may need more salt. Just make sure to taste and adjust.
- Creole seasoning is not too spicy. But it does have a kick. If you are worried about the spicy level, start with less amount of creole seasoning and add more as you like.