Damn Delicious

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.

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!

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!

10 minutes20 minutes


  • 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


  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.

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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.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    My husband loved this recipe Thank you. And it was so easy.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was awesome!  So easy and so good!!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this tonight and it was awesome – but the sauce was a little sweet, which we weren’t expecting, and it wasn’t as spicy as we thought it might be for being cajun. Definitely a keeper! 

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Was so good family loved it

  5. I made this recipe before and used parmesan in the shake can, and it came out good. But the next time I made it I used chicken, spinach and shaved parmesan, it came out even better and it was delicious.

  6. We love this dish! Here’s the recipe for Cajun seasoning I use: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/149221/cajun-spice-mix/

  7. Made this tonight . It was excellent. The shrimp in the oven was just right. I used gf thin spagehetti and substituted gf flour for the regular flour. This is the second recipe I have made from your website. The first was  shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles which is one of  my husbands favorite. 

  8. I’m going to try this with chicken – I think it’ll turn out just fine.

  9. Since I love EVERY recipe I’ve tried of yours, and I’ve tried many, can you please do a shrimp and grits recipe?! Pretty please! Something with bacon and mushrooms lol

  10. I made this last night for supper- it was delicious! I used Kraft shredded parmesan and found i had to add extra parmesan to get it a little thicker. I also stirred the shrimp into the noodles/sauce to infuse the cajun seasoning into the sauce.

  11. My fiance and I made this recipe toguether for supper tonight. It was great! Thanks!

  12. Made it last night pasta for mine linguine for the others and oh so good.. wish I had the parsley for color but even left over today still amazing… wish could add my photo 

  13. This was a crowd pleaser!! Served with roasted brussel sprouts and garlic cheese bread. I did the shrimp in a skillet.

  14. I made this last night and it is… AMAZING!!! It’s so delicious and the combination of ingredients is perfect. The thyme and oregano really blend well with the Cajun zest on the shrimp making it not too spicy.

  15. I love this recipe it is really delicious. I have made several recipes from here and my daughter loves them also. You should try copying Bistro Shrimp pasta from Cheesecake Factory.

  16. This is really good! I used penne pasta since I didn’t have fettuccini, but no biggie. Lol I wish I could post a pic. It turned out great. Thanks!

  17. I have made this recipe multiple times. It has become a staple in our household enjoyed by all. The only change I have made is that I add in some cooked broccoli at the end. So delicious and worth the extra effort. This will continue to be a favorite in my house!! 

  18. This was delicious. I broiled the prawns for a minute or so at the end because they looked a little soggy. I made my own Cajun seasoning but even after cutting the salt down by 80% it was still too salty — the Parmesan is salty enough. Served with steamed broccoli and warm naan — perfect!

  19. I tried this recipe for dinner tonight and what a success!! My boyfriend pretty much licked his plate!  I did double the sauce as we like our pasta more saucy but made enough to freeze some for another quick meal! Thanks again 

  20. I made this tonight with a side of green beans and salad.  It was on the table in about 20 minutes and everyone loved it. 

  21. I just have to comment after making this pasta about 10+ times now. It is fantastic! I follow it exactly and it turns out perfect every time. This a go to for us because we keep everything – even half and half (for coffee) – on hand at all times. Thank you for the great recipe!

  22. You have shown bell pepper in the picture, but haven’t used it in the recipe, so just wondering if adding that would change the taste and how would you add it, with the shrimp or with the sauce?

  23. It was so delish! Put a little too much Cajun spice but it turned out perfect! Added a side salad with cucumber, heirloom tomatoe, topped with mustard avocado dressing. Yum to the max! Totally recommend IMG_4162.JPG 

  24. Sooo good …. Was nervous inwanted to put more cheese but perfert… Thanks 

  25. Could you add sausage to this? If so, would you sauté or bake the sausage?

  26. I have probably missed this somewhere along the way….but why do you always use unsalted butter please.

  27. I made this last night and it was soooo good, I’m eating leftovers now! Thanks for this great recipe 🙂

  28. I can’t wait to make this! My only question is: will using package Parmesan cheese make a big difference? I love the substitution of  low fat cream cheese and almond or soy milk. Let me know, cause I’m chomping at the bit to make this!
    Thanks, Jan

    • That sounds amazing! But unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

  29. I subbed out low fat cream cheese for the half and half and it was still amazing! (For people trying to cut down on some calories/fat). Making it for the second time tonight. Also going to do scallops instead of shrimp this time!

  30. I just made this for dinner, and I have to say its was delicious. The only change I would recommend would be to use less thyme unless its fresh, Dried thyme it is just too strong and overpowers the taste of the dish. Thank you for the amazing dish. 

  31. Ok, I’ll try this again, just wrote U a comment on my name slot.  My teachers always told me I should pay attention, well anyway, like U I use to buy the sauce until I found the sodium content and freaked out.  I don’t have a printer, new to all this to begin with but didn’t see a save button, is there one or am I missing it like most of my high school, hahaha!!?? Peace, be free & enjoy, Casey

  32. Awesome! Quick to make . I grilled shrimp with Cajun seasoning then set aside. I just love the taste of the sear on grilled shrimp.  Did everything like the recipe says otherwise. Oh I added a can of mushrooms also. Taste like the restaurant quality. 

  33. Made this a few nights ago and it turned out amazing! I added a little more Parmesan with the sauce just to make it a little more creamy, but a delicious and simple dinner! Will definitely make again 🙂

  34. Can rice be used in place of the pasta?

  35. We used this Cajun Shrimp recipe on the CousinChat Channel. It turned out so amazing and full of flavor. We took out the carbs and threw it on top of a bed of greens. Worked perfectly!! We made sure to add your recipe in the description. Thanks again for sharing this recipe!


  36. Seems wasteful to heat up your oven to 400 for only a few minutes. Instead, just fry the shrimp up in a skillet on the stove top using the same oil/spice mixture. Then follow the rest of the recipe. Be careful when doing this with olive oil. Use a slightly lower heat (medium heat) because EVOO has a lower smoking point than say canola.

  37. Made this tonight so easy but taste like it took longer my picky eaters devoured it and husband had seconds served with French bread and spinach salad yummy

  38. My girlfriend doesn’t like pasta too much but she loves shrimp so I bet if I make this it will change her tune! Thanks for sharing!

  39. Hi! Just stumbled across your blog when I was looking for an easy shrimp recipe for tonight! So far I love every recipe I’ve seen! 🙂 I’m going to make this one tonight but I don’t have any Thyme. It should still taste good with no Thyme right?? I’m hoping my kiddos love it!

  40. Another Damn Delicious! Recipe. I could not help myself to watch this images again and again I hope I will prepare the same as you did.

  41. My son told me about this recipe and your blog. This will be perfect for my dinner tomorrow (got shrimp) and my daughter who wont eat shirmp can have it plain!!

  42. This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  43. Do you think this would still be good with a thinner pasta? My husband is pretty picky and doesn’t like how thick fettuccine is.

    • Yes, I’m sure a thinner pasta such as spaghetti will work just fine.

      • Or use spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Is thin and is a vegetable so more healthy too! I use spinach in my sauce also to add color and even more healthiness.

  44. This recipe is so good! It taste even better than the restaurant’s. We put boiled broccoli to add color. It is heavenly.

  45. Do you think that soy or almond milk could be substituted in this? Two of my eaters are somewhat sensitive to regular milk.

  46. I will never buy another jar of sauce again! I had all of the ingredients and boy was it yummy! I added a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes to mine. I wish I had known years ago, how easy it is to make this sauce. Think I will make will scallops next Sunday…mouth is watering just thinking about it. THANKS FOR THE EASY RECIPE!

  47. Is there a certain brand of Cajun seasoning that you recommend?

    • Not particularly – I honestly just use the cheapest one I can find at my local grocery store but I do hope to have a homemade Cajun seasoning recipe coming soon!

  48. This sounds INCREDIBLE!!! This is at the top of my “to cook” list. Can’t wait to make it!

  49. OMG this cream sauce sounds AMAZING!! I think I might try with some scallops as well.

  50. Hi 🙂 If half and half is equal parts whole milk and cream, why is a substitute for it 75% whole milk and 25% cream? Or are those substitutes suggestions for a lower fat content?

    • Fitrah, here is a great article for more information on half and half substitutes in various combinations, and what it is best suited for. Hope that helps!

    • It’s equal parts by weight

    • I sometimes substitute sour cream for a lower fat content. I don’t usually have half and half in the house but I almost always have sour cream. One time I tried it as a substitute and I almost prefer it now. It tastes nearly the same and has much less calories. Well, now that I think about it, it was never half and half that I used. It was heavy whipping cream. In any case, I was surprised to learn how much less calories that sour cream has to mayo or heavy whipping cream. I just dump in a container of sour cream to the butter/garlic mixture and then add the cheese, no flour at all. I then add milk or water to achieve the desired consistency.

      I’ve had some people say that they loved it and others claim that they noticed the difference but it’s an option.

  51. This looks amazing! I want to make it for dinner tonight but all I have are frozen pre-cooked shrimp… I wonder if they will be as good or if I should hold off until I get some fresh ones??

  52. You just saved my day . . . . . guess what’s for dinner tonight? Yum! (And I haven’t had breakfast yet.)