Cajun Pastalaya

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Pastalaya in a white pasta bowl with bread in background.

Has anyone been watching Top Chef New Orleans? I don’t usually watch Top Chef, but since this season takes place in one of my favorite cities in the world, I’ve been tuning in. It’s made me realize that I miss Emeril since he’s not on the Food Network 24/7 like he used to be. And it’s really put me in the mood for some Creole/Cajun food.  There is no food like the food of New Orleans and it is a spice lovers heaven.

Cajun Pastalaya. What is it? It’s jambalaya made with pasta instead of rice and it’s absolutely delicious. Jambalaya is a Louisianan dish that’s basically a relative to paella. It usually has multiple types of protein. The ones I’ve used are very common- shrimp, chicken , and andouille sausage. Lots of times crawfish are used instead of shrimp.

Cajun Pastalaya in a white serving bowl.

Cajun Pastalaya is the perfect dish to make when you want the flavors of jambalaya, but you’re craving pasta. It’s a great dish to feed a crowd and can easily be doubled or tripled. Pastalaya is a very versatile dish and you can use pretty much any type of pasta. I like to use linguine, but fettucine, penne, shells, or rotini would work well.

You can sub the Andouille sausage with kielbasa, but I really suggest using Andouille if you can get your hands on some. In my opinion,  the Andouille sausage is the ingredient that really makes the dish.

Pastalaya in a white pasta bowl with bread in background.



Course: Main Dish
Servings: 4
A spicy pasta based jambalaya with shrimp, chicken, and Andouille sausage.
Print Recipe


  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 pound shrimp
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 pound Andouille sausage (about 3 links), cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 green onions. sliced


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta liquid.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add shrimp to skillet. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until no longer pink in the middle, stirring once or twice, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from skillet and place with shrimp.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter and Andouille sausage, onion, green pepper, red pepper, and celery. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, until Andouille is browned and vegetables are softened.
  • Add garlic, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and thyme and cook 30 seconds. Then add Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Let simmer 3 minutes.
  • Add cream and simmer 3 minutes. Return shrimp and chicken and add cooked pasta plus reserved cooking liquid. Simmer another 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt to taste.
  • To serve, top with green onions.

More New Orleans-Style Recipes

Crawfish Jambalaya

Fried Crawfish Etouffee Balls

Bananas Fosters Cake

Cloes-up of Cajun Pastalaya in a white bowl.

20 thoughts on “Cajun Pastalaya

  1. This is not what every home cook, life long. born in the metro New Orleans area Pastalaya looks like. Our pastalaya is a dark, smoky dish, brown with seasonings. This is a cleaned up for television version that no life long Cajun would touch. Sorry y’all, but it just isn’t the real thing.

    1. It looks like it was all laid out in a bowl before cooking everything together.
      I agree with Judith, If you notice , there is no sauce in it. The ingredience calls for heavy cream and tomato paste, Thats to make a thick sauce .
      Anyhow , I just finished the recipe and the flavor is awesome !!! Very excellent dish , everybody loved it. Mine had a nice creamy sauce to it , very fine dish.
      Thanks 😋

  2. This dish looks amazing, Christin! I would definitely choose andouille also. I love Top Chef and am behind on my episodes this season. I need to get caught up ASAP!

  3. Oh my, this Cajun Pastalaya looks and sounds incredible! Sounds fantastic with pasta instead of rice and I love all the wonderful flavors in here! Pinning, thanks for sharing Christin 🙂

  4. I’ve enver watched Top Chef, but it’s because the Spanish version is otrageous 🙁 I think I’d love the New Orleans one, because it sounds like a wonderful city!
    Just like this dish, wow. I looove all the flavors in it. Cajun anything is my favorite!

  5. We don’t have cable so I had no idea that it was set in New Orleans! I totally want to watch now! My grandparents grew up in the french quarter, so that city has a very special place in my heart! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous pastalaya. Looks too good!

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