This recipe for Creamy Cajun Pasta Sauce is from Brian, who hails from New Orleans. He was a line cook at a popular restaurant and cooking school in Sarasota, Florida, where I used to teach cooking classes. In the late afternoons, after spending hours prepping ingredients for that evening’s service, Brian would make this Creamy Cajun Sauce, and toss with whatever pasta he had in the kitchen pantry. In the lull between 4pm and 5pm, when all the prep work was complete, and when the first customers arrive, this was Brian’s indulgent treat.
It’s not the healthiest recipe, in fact, the reason it’s so delicious is because there’s full-fat cream in the recipe (and a lot of it!)
What makes this pasta sauce so luscious is (well, ok other than the cream) is one word: reduction. Reducing a sauce evaporates liquid and concentrates the flavors. This recipes includes two different reductions. When I go out to eat at an Italian restaurant, nothing bugs me more than ordering a cream based sauce and what shows up is so much cream that it feels like I’m drinking the pasta. Because of the reduction in this recipe, the cream just hugs the pasta. Now, I’m not advocating that you eat like this every day.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you need something to soothe your soul, a bowl of something to prop on your lap while curled up on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy. Plus, if you garnish with something green and healthy like I did, it just might make you feel a little bit better…even if it is only 3 miniscule broccoli florets.
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Creamy Cajun Pasta Sauce
- 1 pound dry pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cajun or creole seasoning
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In large stockpot, boil salted water for pasta. Cook pasta 1 minute shy of package instructions. Drain pasta. (You can cook the Creamy Cajun Sauce while the pasta boils.)
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add onions. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the white wine. Let the wine reduce to half – about 3 minutes.
- Add cajun seasoning, salt, paprika and tomato paste. Stir.
- Add heavy cream. When the cream mixture is almost bubbling, turn heat to low. Let the cream mixture reduce to half – about 2 minutes. Add the pasta to the cream sauce and cook additional minute. Toss with freshly chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.
I made this tonight. Made a stir fry with Cajun andoullie sausage & noodles pour the sauce over none left went down a treat thank you.
I made this tonight. It was absolutely delicious. Definitely restaurant quality. I was rolling my eyes. When you stumble across a meal that is this good, eat it slowly so you can savour the flavour. Thanks for a great recipe!
I had to substitute chicken broth for the wine cause my grown granddaughter doesn’t yet like wine. What a brat! But I loved your Cajun pasta sauce and can’t wait to make it again. My granddaughter is already wanting to put your sauce on eggplant. This is a keeper
This is a great base recipe. I added roughly a pound of shrimp, crawfish and gator with pasta and doubled the sauce.
Absolutely delicious! I took a lot longer to reduce both times because it needed it and because I was busy preparing other dishes. So good.
Thanks so much Lisa! jaden
How would this sauce work cold? I’m wanting to make a cajun pasta salad for a potluck. Thanks!
It’s not the best sauce to serve cold because of the cream.
I used Emerils Essence spice mix.
In the end I felt the paprika was too pronounced.
I’ll do it again, probably with double the Essence and no extra paprika
Csn I make this sauce the day before?
Yes absolutely! jaden
Really good. But I think it needs a lot more than 2 minutes to reduce to half after you add the heavy cream. Think it bubbled on medium for close to 10 min and that was barely enough.
Served it with grilled cajun chicken (and pasta of course)
If I want to add shrimp to this dish, at what point should I? I have noticed that fresh shrimp releases a bit of liquid when cooking, and I am concerned that it may dilute the reduced sauce.
Hi Camille, pat the shrimp very dry. Add the shrimp once the cream mixture begins to bubble in step 4. The shrimp should be perfectly cooked by the end of the recipe.
fat is not “unhealthy” Unhealthy is SUGAR. Let’s get off this debunked myth that fat causes heart disease. However, calories still count and fat is 9cal/gram.
I definitely agree, Keto has taught me this. Sugar kills people and eating healthy fats is great for your body.
This turned out great. I added chicken breast and andouille sausage plus some chopped Roma tomatoes and turned it into a main dish.
I have searched the internet for a creamy cajun sauce for years after trying one in a restaurant ages ago, I’ve made quite a few but they were nothing like the one I had and I didn’t really like them. Then I came across this one and thought it sounded really good so I made it tonight. I don’t normally cook with wine so I wasn’t sure how it would taste but it was amazing!
I made a few changes; I reduced the amount of salt as I thought i would find it very salty, I am glad a did.
Another thing I did was blend the sauce, I was serving it to my children and knew they would freak at the onion, I am glad I did as they ate it and liked it a lot 🙂
I also added chicken & sweetcorn.
Thank you so much for the recipe! I will use it again and again!
Thank you Shona! I am so happy you love it! Jaden
How much parmesan cheese does this recipe call for?
As much as you want. I usually use 4 tablespoons, which is 1/4 cup.
Omit salt I used half the salt recommended and the sauce is way too salty. Otherwise, pretty good.
I was wondering what “1 cup white wine fresh ground pepper” means. White wine pepper or white wine and pepper or is it a typo?
That should be 2 separate lines! Will fix.
Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally got the
bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas!
Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!
Was desperate to find something different for dinner that did not require a trip to the store! Made 1.5 times this recipe and threw in some rotisserie chicken – it was really, really good. Thumbs up from everyone.
Thanks for the recipe! Halved it, threw some crawfish tails in to warm through at the last minute, and used it to top some blackened chicken. Left out the parmesan and garnished with green onions. Amazing! Keep them coming.
Just found this and can’t wait to try it. of course Im leaving out the white wine and I am not sure how to do the parsley Parmesan but I’ll figure it out.
Loved this meal!!
I am making this meal for my girlfriend tomorrow for valentines day! She loves Cajun Pasta, but how necessary is the white wine?
it’s not! just leave it out.
Sooo looking forward to try this!!!
OMG! I made it without the wine but added additional chicken broth because we don’t cook with alcohol. It was D.E.L.I.C.O.U.S.
My family said it was the best recipe I’ve ever made.
This is seriously delicious. I always forget something at the store (cheese, wine, whatever) but it’s always to die for.
If only I didn’t eat about 1,000 calories every time I had it! The best sauce ever.
How much does this make? How many people can this serve? And will it be okay to DOUPLE the recipe?
This recipe feeds four – and yes you can double recipe.
Can I add veggies to this? If so, what kind would you recommend? Other than broccoli that is.
Red bell peppers would be great in this dish.
Can I add veggies to this? If so, what kind would you recommend?
Thanks, Jaden! For the “chicken base” – is that the same as chicken bullion or something completely different?
It’s more like a concentrated paste: http://www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Bouillon-Chicken-Base/dp/B00016LA7K
Any idea how I can find “cajun seasoning”? And what is the “chicken base”? The link goes elsewhere. Thanks!
Look in the spice aisle for cajun or creole seasoning – like this one: http://www.tonychachere.com/
Chicken base is right where the chicken stock is.
Chicken base is a concentrate of chicken stock. Usually comes ina paste form. Think boullion cubes if nothing else.
I will have to make this soon!
The link to chicken base seems dead.
What is it?
One of my better received dishes is just a simple twirly pasta dish with sun dried tomato pesto and a good sausage. I’d like to try swapping the pesto for this and see what happens. 1 pint of cream? We’ll probably be sound asleep 30mins after eating it.
I searched for a half an hour plus on the internet for a recipe that in my mind encapsulated the perfect ingredients for a cajun cream sauce to compliment my leftovers from a backyard crawdad boil. I finally happened upon yours and I whole-heartedly agree that it is worth going to the fat side, Luke.
Delicious…perhaps a new favorite as far as cream sauces go. It worked in perfect harmony with my already flavorfully seasoned crawdads, shrimp and andouille sausage. Thank you!
And I’m joining you on The. Fat.Side. Master…