Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

The easiest weeknight meal with a homemade cream sauce that tastes a million times better than store-bought!

Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce - The easiest weeknight meal with a homemade cream sauce that tastes a million times better than store-bought!

When I was a broke college student living on credit card debt and student loans, my life revolved around store-bought jarred pasta sauce. I would stock up on cases of pasta sauce – particularly alfredo sauce – when they went on sale. When it was time to serve, all I had to do was boil some pasta noodles. Done.

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Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce - The easiest weeknight meal with a homemade cream sauce that tastes a million times better than store-bought!

If only I had known back then that making pasta sauce at home was this easy, so much cheaper and a million times better than store-bought sauce. You have complete control over what goes into your dish, and you can pronounce every single ingredient that goes into your sauce.

Now this cream sauce is made predominantly with milk, a nutrient-rich food that contains essential nutrients including B vitamins for energy, protein for lean muscle, vitamin A for a healthy immune system and other bone-building nutrients including calcium and vitamin D. You can also substitute 2% or even nonfat milk here without compromising taste. Plus, lower fat milks pack the same nutrient-rich punch for fewer calories and less fat!

Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce - The easiest weeknight meal with a homemade cream sauce that tastes a million times better than store-bought!

Adding an extra 8-ounce glass of milk to your dinner meal, like this flavor -packed cajun shrimp, is an easy, delicious way to amp up the nutrients at the dinner table. And the pickiest of eaters will be gobbling this up before your eyes. You can’t beat that!

Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

The easiest weeknight meal with a homemade cream sauce that tastes a million times better than store-bought!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, or more, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup half and half*
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the shrimp

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place shrimp in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic and cajun seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes; set aside.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  5. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  6. Gradually whisk in milk, thyme and oregano. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half and Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine.
  8. Serve immediately with cajun shrimp, garnished with parsley, if desired.

*Half and half is equal parts of whole milk and cream. For 1 cup half and half, you can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 533.0 Calories from Fat 170.1
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18.9g 29%
Saturated Fat 7.4g 37%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 243.8mg 81%
Sodium 525.1mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 51.9g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g 9%
Sugars 6.4g
Protein 37.1g 74%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Milk Life. As always, I only partner with brands that I love and truly believe in, allowing me to create more quick and easy recipes to get us through the week without breaking the bank. All opinions expressed are my own.