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Looking for a delicious and quick meal? Try Cajun Jambalaya Pasta! In just 35 minutes, you can enjoy a flavorful dish that combines perfectly cooked pasta with shrimp, chicken, andouille sausage, and Cajun spices. Every bite is a mouthwatering taste of Louisiana.

A skillet filled with cajun jambalaya pasta set on a white table with salt & pepper shakers in the background.

Jambalaya pasta? That’s right! And it’s easier to make than you think. Jambalaya is known for being a tricky dish to master, requiring lots of prep and particular methods. But you won’t believe how simple this tasty jambalaya recipe is when it’s made in well under an hour! 

For more simple-yet-tasty pasta dishes like this easy jambalaya recipe, check out my Instant Pot  Cheesy Taco Pasta, this Creamy Spicy Sausage Pasta, and super-easy Baked Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.

Ingredient Notes

  • Pasta: This recipe calls for penne pasta, which is perfect for capturing all the flavors of the sauce in its nooks and crannies. You really can use any pasta you love.
  • Reserved Pasta Water (or Chicken Broth): It adds a wonderful starchy element to the sauce and helps bind everything together. If you prefer (or if you forget to keep some pasta water), you can use chicken broth instead for added depth of flavor.
  • Cajun: Cajun seasoning is the key to bringing that irresistible spice blend to our dish. You can use store-bought Cajun seasoning or make your own blend with
  • Shrimp: Look for peeled and deveined large shrimp, preferably 31/35 count per pound, which means you’ll get about 6 ounces.
  • Chicken: Dice your chicken breast into ¾-inch pieces. This will ensure that the chicken cooks quickly and evenly.
  • Sausage: Andouille sausage is a classic ingredient in Cajun cuisine, known for its smoky and spicy flavors. Slice about 2 links of the sausage to add that wonderful smokiness to our jambalaya pasta.
  • Olive Oil: We’ll be using olive oil throughout the recipe to sauté our ingredients and give them a lovely flavor. Divide it as specified in the instructions to ensure each component gets the right amount of oil.
  • Onion: Yellow onions are a versatile choice, providing a slightly sweet and savory flavor base for our dish. Dice it up, and get ready for some deliciousness!
  • Bell pepper: Thinly slice a red bell pepper and green bell pepper to add vibrant colors and a touch of sweetness to our pasta. They’ll give it that signature Cajun jambalaya look.
  • Garlic: Mince your garlic cloves to release their aromatic magic. They’ll infuse the dish with that unmistakable garlic goodness.
  • Tomatoes: We’ll be using canned diced tomatoes to add a tangy and juicy element to our sauce. Look for high-quality diced tomatoes, preferably with no added seasonings.
  • Dried Thyme and Oregano: These dried herbs will bring a burst of flavor to our dish. They’ll add depth and a hint of earthiness that complements the Cajun spices perfectly.
A labeled image of ingredients needed for cajun jambalaya pasta recipe.

Equipment Used

  • You don’t need a box of Zatarain’s to make a quick jambalaya pasta – use a storebought Cajun Seasoning for an easy shortcut!
  • Use a deep cast iron pan, non-stick skillet, or saute pan to make this jiffy.
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Tongs are perfect for removing items from the pan and tossing the pasta.

How To Make Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Prep Pasta and Proteins

First things first, we need to cook our pasta. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Follow the package instructions, but make sure to cook it 1-2 minutes less than the suggested time for that al dente texture.

Once it’s done, drain the pasta, saving about ⅔ cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta.

While our pasta is happily boiling away, let’s give our seafood and chicken some Cajun flair. Take the shrimp and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.

Set them aside and do the same with the chicken, using 2 teaspoons of the seasoning. We want those flavors to infuse and make our taste buds dance!

Collage image showing cooking shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage in a skillet.

Step 2 | Cook the shrimp

Now, grab a large skillet or Dutch oven and heat up 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Once it’s nice and hot, add the seasoned shrimp and let them cook for 1-2 minutes per side until they turn beautifully opaque.

Once they’re done, set them aside for now. We’ll be reuniting them with the other ingredients soon.

Step 3 | Brown the chicken

Next, let’s add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and give our chicken a golden brown coating. Cook it on all sides for about 5-6 minutes, making sure it’s almost cooked through.

Once it’s looking deliciously caramelized, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. We’re just giving it a little break before it joins the flavor party.

Step 4 | Brown the sausage

To continue building those fantastic flavors, add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan and brown the sausage slices on both sides. Let them sizzle away for 1-2 minutes, getting that gorgeous color all around. Now, it’s time to bring in the veggies!

Sautéing onions, peppers, garlic in pan with sausage.

Step 5 | Cook the veggies and garlic

Throw in the onions and bell peppers with the sausage and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes, until they start to soften and release their tempting aroma.

We want them to be perfectly tender, adding that delightful crunch to our dish.

Don’t forget to add the garlic and let it sauté for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until it becomes wonderfully fragrant. Ah, can you smell that?

Collage image showing adding pasta, chicken, tomatoes and spices to the skillet; then it mixed together.

Step 6 | Combine ingredients

Now, let’s bring everything together. Pour in the canned tomatoes, reserved pasta water (or chicken broth if you prefer), cooked pasta, remaining Cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, and that beautifully cooked chicken. Stir it all up and let it come to a gentle boil.

Once it reaches that point, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer for around 8-10 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken up and the pasta to become tender and absorb all those fantastic flavors.

Remember those lovely shrimp we set aside earlier? It’s time to invite them back to the party. Add them to the pan and let them cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, just until they’re heated through and ready to mingle with the rest of the ingredients.

Adding shrimp to the cajan jambalaya pasta skillet.

Step 7 | Garnish and serve!

Now that our Cajun Jambalaya Pasta is all done, it’s time to serve it up! Plate it while it’s still hot and, if you’d like, sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top for that final touch of freshness. Get ready to dive into a delicious plateful of Cajun goodness that will surely satisfy your cravings.

Enjoy this incredible dish with your loved ones, and be prepared for a burst of flavor that will transport you straight to the heart of Louisiana.


  • Dial Down the Heat– If you are sensitive to spice, you may want to halve the cajun seasoning and add more to taste as the sauce simmers.
  • Garnish– I recommend garnishing the pasta with fresh, finely chopped parsley (or sliced green onion) to add freshness and a nice pop of green.
  • Perfectly-Cooked Shrimp– Wait until the last few minutes to add the shrimp to the pan to heat through. If you add them too early, you risk overcooking them and ending up with rubbery shrimp.
A white bowl filled with a serving of cajun jambalaya pasta.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Pasta Swap: Any pasta can be used to make this Jambalaya pasta, including rotini, farfalle, or even fettuccine. Just remember to stop 1-2 minutes short of al dente because the pasta will continue to cook once added to the pan with the sauce. Feel free to use whole wheat or gluten-free penne if you prefer.
  • Switch the Meat: If you’d like, use skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for more tender bites. Ensure you remove the bones before cooking. Or, if you are not a fan of pork, you can substitute the andouille sausage with chicken sausage or omit it altogether. Smoked sausage would also work!
  • Creamy Jambalaya Pasta: Add a splash of heavy cream or sour cream to the sauce, and you’ll have a thicker and creamier dish! It also helps to cut the spice if you prefer mild pasta.
  • More Tomato Flavor: Add tomato paste or pure to the sauce for a burst of tomato flavor! Consider using fresh Roma tomatoes over canned diced tomatoes.

Recipe FAQ’s

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is an Americanized Creole or Cajun dish, often with rice, chicken, sausage, shrimp, peppers, tomato-based sauce, and smoky seasonings. It’s typically a spicy recipe with the level of heat differing depending on how it is made.

Can you make jambalaya pasta ahead of time?

Sure! Boil the pasta and combine the sauce ingredients, storing separately for the best results. Then, saute the chicken and sausage, cooking the shrimp just before serving to avoid over-cooked shrimp. Serve this hearty meal the next day or store it for up to four days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

How do you make homemade cajun seasoning?

Making your own cajun spice blend is easy! Combine ½ a teaspoon of garlic powder, salt, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, and thyme in a small mixing bowl. 

Why do you cook each protein separately?

Each has a different cook time, and I like to leave plenty of space in the pan to obtain that nice golden color and delicious flavor. When you overcrowd the pan, you miss out on all that goodness!

A fork removing a bite of jambalaya pasta from a white bowl.


Refrigerate: Store your pasta leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. 
Reheat Leftover Jambalaya Pasta: Reheat them in a skillet with a splash of water or chicken broth to enjoy another day. You can also warm the dish in the microwave for a few minutes, adding broth or water to prevent it from drying out.

What to Serve with Easy Cajun Jambalaya Pasta Recipe

Soak up all the delicious tomato and garlic sauce with classic Skillet Cornbread, gooey and Cheesy Green Chile Bread, or a slice of easy Air Fryer Texas Toast.

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A skillet of cajun jambalaya pasta.
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Cajun Jambalaya Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
Take a trip to Louisiana with this delicious Cajun Jambalaya Pasta Recipe, full of flavor with a kick of cajun spice!


  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • cup pasta water or chicken broth, reserved
  • 6 teaspoons cajun seasoning, divided
  • 12-14 large shrimp, peeled& deveined (31/35 count per pound – about 6 ounces)
  • 12 ounces chicken breast, diced into ¾ inch pieces
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced (about 2 links)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ to ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano


  • Cook the pasta in salted water until 1-2 minutes short of al dente based on package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving ⅔ cup of pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, season the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of cajun seasoning and set aside. Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • Add another 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and brown the chicken on all sides until almost cooked through (about 5-6 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and brown the sausage slices on both sides for 1-2 minutes.
  • Then add the onion and bell peppers to the pan with the sausage and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Pour the canned tomatoes, reserved pasta water or chicken broth, pasta, remaining cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, and cooked chicken to the pan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is tender.
  • Add the cooked shrimp to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are heated through.
  • Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley if desired.


  • Dial Down the Heat– If you are sensitive to spice, you may want to halve the cajun seasoning and add more to taste as the sauce simmers.
  • Garnish– I recommend garnishing the pasta with fresh, finely chopped parsley to add freshness and a nice pop of green.
  • Perfectly-Cooked Shrimp– Wait until the last few minutes to add the shrimp to the pan to heat through. If you add them too early, you risk overcooking them and ending up with rubbery shrimp.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 404kcal (20%) Carbohydrates: 35g (12%) Protein: 27g (54%) Fat: 17g (26%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 93mg (31%) Sodium: 424mg (18%) Potassium: 687mg (20%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 1579IU (32%) Vitamin C: 36mg (44%) Calcium: 62mg (6%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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  1. 5 stars
    This was the perfect weeknight meal! Easy to make and packed with flavor. Will add this to my dinner rotation.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is a flavor explosion! We loved this dish and it was so filling. Perfect for leftovers tomorrow.

  3. 5 stars
    You had me at just 35 minutes! Such wonderful flavors and spices packed into this pasta. So perfect for weeknights.

  4. 5 stars
    I love trying new pasta recipes, so I was excited to find this one. The flavors of this pasta dish are amazing! I also like how it has a mix of protein, veggies, and carbs. Yum!