Cajun Shrimp Mac and Cheese – Cajun shrimp are resting atop creamy baked mac and cheese! You won’t be able to resist making this recipe!
What Is Cajun Shrimp?
Cajun shrimp features shrimp coated in a blend of Cajun inspired spices then cooked until longer pink. Cajun shrimp can be served in a multitude of ways; it can be served over rice or in a dish like this Quinoa Bowl, as a Cajun Shrimp Pizza or in a skillet and served with a side of crusty bread.
WHERE IS THE CAJUN SHRIMP MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE?
If you’d rather skip cooking tips, suggestions, handy substitutions, related recipe ideas – and get straight to the Cajun Shrimp Mac and Cheese Recipe– simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
How To Make Cajun Shrimp Mac and Cheese
This recipe starts with jumbo gulf shrimp tossed in butter and seasoned with spicy Cajun seasoning (I used a jarred Cajun seasoning blend). While the shrimp is soaking up all the spicy flavor, I make some pasta.
I chose Campanella pasta because the shape is perfect for capturing sauce and melty cheese. The white sauce is whisked with white cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, The sauce and the pasta are tossed together then poured into a skillet or a baking dish. The shrimp is nestled right on top. Tender bread crumbs are sprinkled over the top just before this kicked up mac and cheese gets placed in the oven. But it isn’t baked for long, just long enough for those bread crumbs to crisp up and the cheese sauce to thicken around the curves of each piece of pasta.
Is Cajun Shrimp Spicy?
The heat level in this recipe is totally up to you! My family doesn’t do spice that well, so my seasoning was mild. I find that in general, the pre-made Cajun seasoning jars tend to be mild. If you like things spicier, toss the shrimp with hot sauce in addition to the seasoning or add a few dashes of hot sauce to your mac and cheese!
This recipe is great for the family or for entertaining, it is a real palate pleaser!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced green pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 lb Key West Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used Private Selection)
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 lb Campanella pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar
- 1 cup shredded jack cheese
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add minced garlic, stir and cook an additional minute or until vegetables have softened. Remove vegetables and set aside.
- Add the butter to the same skillet. Add shrimp and Cajun seasoning, tossing to coat. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and flour whisking until combined. Slowly whisk milk and heavy cream and continue to whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture for 3-5 minutes or until it begins to thicken (do not let the milk boil). Whisk in cheese and stir until smooth. Carefully toss pasta with cheese sauce and cooked vegetables.
- Pour pasta into a cast iron skillet that is sprayed with cooking spray. Arrange shrimp over the pasta. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle bread crumbs over pasta.
- Place pasta in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or just until cheese has set Preheat broiler and broil pasta for 3 minutes or just until bread crumbs are golden, and cheese bubbles.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 620 Total Fat 35g Saturated Fat 20g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 12g Cholesterol 253mg Sodium 1547mg Carbohydrates 40g Fiber 2g Sugar 2g Protein 35g