Cajun Sausage Pasta

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This easy and versatile cajun sausage pasta makes a quick weeknight meal, ready in under 30 minutes. Mix it up with whatever veggies you have in your fridge or freezer.

Cajun sausage pasta served in a dish.

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NOTE: This recipe, photos, and post have been updated since it was first published in 2018. The changes made to the recipe are detailed in the recipe card, in case anyone wants to make it the old way.

Pasta. The only thing everyone, young and old, can agree on at meal time in my house. Whether I’m short on time, inspiration, or ingredients, pasta is the thing I turn to almost every time.

It can make great salads, like this Italian Pasta Salad that is a meal prep staple in my house, or this amazing 20-minute Pasta with Fresh Tomato Cream Sauce that just hits all the right spots, or this Spicy Mac and Cheese for when we’re craving some gooey, cheesy comfort food.

What I mean is that we love pasta in this house… you get the idea right?

Anyway, let’s not get distracted right now because I want to share this easy Cajun sausage pasta recipe that has been in my repertoire of quick weeknight meals for years.

Like most of my weeknight favorites, it’s really versatile and I usually have some variation of the ingredients on hand. This means it’s perfect for those nights when you don’t have a plan and need to come up with something satisfying on the fly.

Close-up of Cajun sausage pasta.

Cajun Sausage Pasta

This creamy, spicy sausage and peppers pasta gets a mild Cajun kick from the andouille sausage and some Cajun spices, which you can adjust to taste.

A little Creole mustard (I often subsitute this with whole grain mustard) gives it a flavor boost without tasting mustardy.

Nutritious vegetables like bell peppers and onion round it out, and the andouille sausage is truly unique, adding a delightful smokiness to the recipe as well as protein to keep you full.

CAJUN SEASONING

Since you have heard the word Cajun a dozen of times now, and might have even come across my delicious Cajun Shrimp Pasta, Cajun Blackened Fish, or this chicken, shimp and sausage jambalaya you might be wondering what exactly is this seasoning.

Cajun Seasoning, often known as Cajun Spice Mix, is a traditional blend of herbs and spices from Louisiana. It’s a versatile blend of just a few basic, everyday spices that you most likely already have on hand.

You can easily find pre-made Cajun seasoning in any grocery story, but making your own ensures fresh taste and you can adjust the level of spiciness by controlling the amount of cayenne pepper.

You’ll find my recipe for the perfect blend in this Cajun Blackened Fish post.


Cajun Seasoning has a strong spicy flavour with a hint of earthiness. It’s the ideal all-purpose seasoning and the spice blend I can’t live without.

It goes well with anything from burgers and steaks to Cajun fries and chicken breasts, as well as soups, pasta, and rice.

Pot of Cajun sausage pasta.

INGREDIENT NOTES

This is one of those recipes where the ingredient list isn’t huge and intimidating, and it comes together quickly with pretty much everything you already have in the pantry.

Sausage

Any sausage will work, but if you want some kick, use a spicy one. This recipe calls for andouille sausage, which is great and most authentic, but you can also use kielbasa, which I often do since Andouille is rare in these parts, or really any smoked sausage.

For a vegetarian version of this recipe, you can also use any plant-based sausage.

You can also use chicken, or skip the meat altogether!

Pasta

You can use any shape or type of pasta you like, but penne is an excellent choice. Use a gluten free version if you have gluten sensitivity.

Cream

I like to use heavy cream in this recipe. I find that 3/4 cup makes this pasta skillet perfectly creamy without being overly indulgent, but I sometimes use only a half cup when I want to keep it lighter.

You can always start at 1/2 a cup and adjust from there.

If you want to make this vegan, there are a few dairy-free heavy cream substitutes on the market, like this silk brand one.

Vegetables

Onions and bell peppers go great with the whole Cajun vibe, but you can use any vegetables you have in your refrigerator.

Thawed frozen veggies work great too!

Mustard

I have used creole mustard in this recipe. It’s a spicy whole grain mustard from the southeastern United States, most especially New Orleans.

It is a robust, spicy, and flavorful condiment that is as diverse as it is tasty, with flavours influenced by French, Spanish, and African influences. It goes great with the cajun seasoning and ties the whole sauce together.

You can also use regular whole-grain mustard.

What’s the difference between Cajun and Creole?

The commonalities between Creole and Cajun cuisines stem from both cultures’ French background, as well as new ingredients to which French cooking techniques were applied by Creoles and Cajuns.

Both forms of cooking have culinary roots in France, with a reference to Spain, Africa, and Native America, as well as, to a lesser extent, the West Indies, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. Both cultures value food and enjoy cooking, eating, and entertaining.


The difference between Creole spice and Cajun seasoning boils down to one simple question: do you want something spicy or something seasoned? Cajun meals are more likely to satisfy your craving for heat. Creole is the way to go if you want something well-seasoned.


Though these two cuisines tend to merge together, folks from the South can always detect the difference. But, no matter where you come from, one thing everyone can agree on is that both of these flavours are excellent for pasta.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Boil your pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al-dente and drain.
Penne pasta boiling in water.

2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the sausages for 3-4 minutes until they are browned.

Sausages being fried in oil in a frying pan.

3. Transfer the sausage to the pot of the drained pasta.

Browned sausage in a pot of penne pasta.

4. Bring the empty frying pan to a medium high heat and add the onions and peppers with salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning. Saute until they are tender.

Onions and red bell peppers in a frying pan with seasoning.

5. Add the cooked pasta and sausage to the frying pan.

Penne pasta, sausages, and vegetables in a frying pan.

6. Add the Creole mustard and cream and stir to combine.

Cream being added to the pasta.

7. Cook a minute or two longer until the sauce is thickened. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. You’re ready to eat!

Spoonful of Cajun Sausage Pasta.

How to Store the Pasta

Store any leftovers of this Cajun pasta with sausages recipe in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

To reheat, use the microwave, or place the leftovers in a pot on the stove and heat until hot all the way through.

Because the sauce tends to thicken as it cools, you may want to add a dash of milk to loosen it up.

What to serve with Cajun Sausage Pasta?

You can enjoy this creamy Cajun Sausage Pasta without anything on the side because it makes for a great stand alone meal. But a simple green salad, some crusty French bread, or the best Cheesy Garlic Bread are great options.

How to make an easy and quick creamy pasta?

You can make a quick and creamy pasta without making a time-consuming sauce separately. Cook your pasta till just al dente, sauté some meat and veggies, and add the pasta back to the pan.

Then stir in some heavy cream and continue to cook a minute or two to thicken the sauce. Season to taste. Unlike a heavy Alfredo sauce, the pasta is lightly coated (or more heavily coated if you add more cream), and still lets the other ingredients shine.

How to make pasta stay creamy?

To make sure your pasta is creamy and delicious, you don’t need to load up on the heavy cream.

Reserving some of the pasta cooking water, and stir it in at the end, if your pasta is looking a bit dry. The starch in the water will bring it right back to perfectly creamy. If you forgot to save some cooking water, a little milk will help too.

The method of adding the cream at the end, as in this recipe, also ensures your pasta will be creamy when ready to serve.

Sound good to you? If you make this recipe, I would be THRILLED if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!

And if you’re looking for more easy dinner inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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Closeup of Cajun sausage pasta with penne in a pan.

Easy Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Skillet

This easy and versatile sausage and vegetable pasta skillet makes a quick weeknight meal, ready in under 30 minutes. Mix it up with whatever meat and veggies you have in your fridge or freezer.
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 623kcal
Author: Ann Otis

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 8 ounces pork sausage such as andouille or kielbasa, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning more or less, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain or creole mustard
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream more or less, to taste

Instructions

  • Bring in a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • While the pasta is cooking, in a large saute or frying pan, over medium heat, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add the sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. Transfer the sausage to the pot of cooked and drained pasta.
  • Return the pan to medium heat and add the peppers and onions, with a large pinch of salt and pepper, Cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Saute until vegetables are tender and lightly colored.
  • Add the pasta and sausage back to the skillet with the vegetables. Add the cream and mustard to the pan and stir until well combined. Cook a minute or two longer until sauce is thickened.

Video

Notes

*I have slighted updated this recipe from the version published in 2018. Cajun seasoning was added, for extra Cajun flavor, and I increased the cream from 1/2 a cup to 3/4 of a cup. I still make it with a 1/2 cup on occasion, when I want a lighter meal, so feel free to start there and adjust to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 420mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1879IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg
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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Well, this is so simple and just great! I made it with jalapeño, cheddar cheese sausage, which added some spicie to the dish. I also increased the cream, making it super rich and creamy. Served with peas, always a good accompaniment to creamy pasta sauces.

  2. 5 stars
    “Make it work pasta” – yes, yes, yes!! I love seeing recipes ideas like this that I can use as a base for whatever veggies I have in the fridge (and let’s be honest, we all always have some that are just about to go off). Your creamy mustard sauce sounds delicious and is a great alternative to my standard butter and herbs. Can’t wait to try!

    1. Thank you so much Danielle! I’m a poor planner, so am all for adaptable recipes. It’s the only way I can avoid tons of waste!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow this Easy Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Skillet looks incredible! I like all the ingredients that are included in this recipe. I definitely want to try this recipe, and I’m sure it’s very tasty. Thank you for sharing this great recipe! YUM!

4.75 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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