Cajun Sausage Pasta is a spicy creamy dish full of fresh vegetables. This dish is easy to make and is always a hit!
This Cajun Sausage Pasta is one of our favorite meals! It’s creamy, has so much flavor with a little kick, and it is a pretty balanced meal with all those vegetables in there. For more vegetable filled pasta dishes, try my Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta, Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad, and 30-Minute Pasta Primavera.
Cajun Sausage Pasta
This is one of my go-to meals because it’s easy, delicious, and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. My kids LOVE the andouille sausage and they even eat the peppers! I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do!
- Pasta– Any short cut pasta will work in this dish. I like penne because the sauce slings really well to the ridges.
- Oil– Any type of cooking oil will work (I prefer olive oil).
- Andouille Sausage– This type of sausage has a distinct smoky spicy (not too spicy) taste.
- Cajun Seasoning– This gives the pasta a smoky, garlicy, peppery taste. Make this one that is linked or buy one (preferably salt-free!).
- Salt– This is needed when cooking the pasta but also for the sauce. (Omit salt in sauce if using a Cajun seasoning that contains salt).
- Bell Peppers– Use red, orange, and/or yellow for best flavor and color.
- Onion– Sweet onion is my favorite and breaks down easily.
- Garlic– There is some garlic in the Cajun seasoning but extra fresh garlic is always welcome in pasta! Am I right?!
- Half-&-Half Cream– Alternatively, heavy cream or milk (or a non-dairy substitute) can be used. The higher the fat, the thicker the sauce. See below to see how to thicken sauce if using milk.
- Cilantro– (optional) This garnish adds color and compliments the heat in the dish.
How to make Creamy Cajun Pasta:
Time needed: 35 minutes.
- Boil Water
Begin boiling water for the pasta.
- Brown Sausage
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown sausage (in batches) on both sides (about 1-2 minutes per side). Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Cook Pasta
Boil pasta in salted water according to package. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy cooking water and then drain.
- Cook Vegetables
Meanwhile, add onion and peppers to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Make Sauce
Add the cream, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Simmer and stir for about 3 minutes until thickened. (If using half-&-half, milk, or substitute- Mix cornstarch with water and add to the sauce. Simmer 1-2 more minutes until thickened.)
Mix the pasta and sausage into the sauce along with ~1/4 cup starchy pasta water. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
The best way to get a nice thick pasta sauce is to use heavy whipping cream… but sometimes you don’t want all the calories or just don’t have it on hand. When using milk or half-and-half, the sauce can be thickened with flour or cornstarch.
To thicken with FLOUR, add ~1-2 tablespoons flour to the pan of sautéed vegetables. Stir and cook another minute and then add in the milk. Simmer until thickened. If too thick, add in a splash more of milk or pasta water.
To thicken with CORNSTARCH, mix equal parts cornstarch and cold water in a small dish (I use 1/2 tablespoon each). Mix into the simmering sauce and continue to simmer a few more minutes until thickened.
Andouille sausage is a course-ground, spicy, smoked pork sausage. You’ll find this sausage used in popular Cajun dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and other Louisiana dishes.
If you can’t get your hands on andouille sausage, kielbasa is a good substitute. Spicy ground sausage would also be a delicious in this dish though not as “Cajun”.
Pasta releases some of its starches into the water while cooking. These starches act as a thickening agent, make sauce rich and flavorful, and help the sauce cling to the pasta. Adding this will take your pasta dish from average to restaurant quality!
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS CREAMY PASTA:
- Pot & Skillet Set– These are the skillets and pots I use. They have a heavy bottom making them sturdy and cook the food evenly.
- Cutting Board– Having various sizes of cutting boards is so useful! These are awesome because they won’t slip and slide around on the counter.
- Knife Set– I got this when I got married over 10 years ago. I use them multiple times a day and they’re still going strong!
- Garlic Press– Fresh garlic tastes best and this is the garlic press is the best! It’s easy to use and clean!
LOOKING FOR MORE PASTA? CHECK OUT THESE:
- One Pot Tortellini & Sausage
- Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Chicken Florentine Pasta
- Copycat Macaroni Grill’s Chicken Pasta Milano
Creamy Cajun Sausage Pasta
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 sweet or yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream, half-&-half cream, or milk
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/2 tablespoon water
- Begin boiling water for the pasta.
- Heat 1 tsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown 12 oz. sausage (in batches) on both sides (about 1-2 minutes per side). Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Boil 8 oz. pasta in salted water according to package. Ladle out (or scoop with a mug) 1/2 cup starchy cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, add 1 tsp. oil, 1/2 onion and 2 bell peppers to the skillet and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until tender. Add the 2 cloves garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add 1 c. cream, 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning, and 1/2 tsp. salt (only if using a salt-free Cajun seasoning!). Bring to a simmer. Simmer and stir for about 3 minutes until thickened. (If using half-&-half, milk, or substitute- Mix cornstarch with water and add to the sauce. Simmer 1-2 more minutes until thickened.)
- Mix the cooked pasta and browned sausage into the sauce along with ~1/4 cup starchy pasta water until combined and sauce clings to pasta. (Add more pasta water if needed to thin out sauce.) Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro, and serve.