Feb 12, 2014
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When you want a dinner that everyone in the family will devour, this Cajun Alfredo Pasta with Sausage recipe is the thing to make!
This ultra-satisfying meal is both filling and delicious with a creamy cajun alfredo sauce you’ll want to make on repeat. Get ready, it’s going to be good!
How Do You Spice Up Alfredo Sauce
While traditional alfredo sauce is always a winner, sometimes you want something-something more, am I right? I mean, it’s good… but add a little seasoning, and it can be great!
There are two ways to spice up alfredo sauce; the first, with the Cajun seasoning, and the other by using a spicy sausage like cajun sausage, andouille sausage, or hot smoked sausage.
No matter which one you choose, there’s a level of spice that’s great for every taste bud.
Ingredients for Alfredo with Sausage
A heavenly mix of textures and flavors makes this spectacular Alfredo with sausage a hearty meal you’ll want to cook on repeat.
Here’s what you need to make this quick dinner:
- Pasta: I’m using rotini in this recipe, but penne or your favorite pasta shape will work great. You can also use gluten-free pasta.
- Onion: finely diced as the base for seasoning this meal.
- Butter: a delicious, creamy base for this recipe.
- Sausage: pork, beef, chicken, or turkey sausage -whichever fits your eating style- will work. For a milder flavor, use smoked sausage, for spicier, use Cajun sausage or Andouille sausage.
- Red bell pepper: make this pasta flavorful and colorful!
- Cream: use heavy cream or half and half for that creamy texture we all love.
- Parmesan: what is pasta without cheese? Use Parmesan, Romano, or your favorite aged cheese.
- Creole seasoning: all New Orleans vibes in a teaspoon! Most have salt, so that is why the recipe has no added salt.
You’ll find the ingredient measurements and directions in the printable recipe card below.
The Best Sausage for Spicy Alfredo
Two things to consider when purchasing sausage to make this spicy Alfredo sauce: the meat source and the type of curing (seasoned or smoked). For the spiciest Alfredo pasta, use Cajun sausage.
You can use beef, pork, turkey, or chicken sausage for this recipe or a sausage that is a blend of meats (usually beef and pork). Note that while the chicken sausage is often leaner, it is also dryer and not always as flavorful.
The other thing to consider is smoked vs. seasoned. Smoked sausage is milder in spice -unless the packaging says hot smoked sausage. Cajun and Andouille sausages have seasoning mixed with the meat and will add extra spice. Cajun tends to be spicier than Andouille.
How to Make Cajun Alfredo with Sausage
This cajun Alfredo with sausage is a perfect weeknight meal you can put together in 30 minutes or less and enjoy as if you were in a restaurant!
- Cook the pasta and reserve the water
No matter what pasta shape you choose, make sure that once it’s done cooking, you reserve the pasta water. You’ll need it for the recipe.
- Cook the sausage
Sausage comes pre-cooked or raw. Raw sausage will need to be cooked and will take about 3 minutes longer than the pre-cooked which simply needs to be warmed up.
- Cook the veggies
To give the Alfredo sauce and pasta some body and flavor, you’re going to add chopped onions and bell pepper. These need to be cooked until softened. And by cooking them with the butter, you’re adding flavor to the base of the sauce.
- Make the spicy Alfredo sauce
Once the veggies have softened, add the seasoning and heavy cream or half and half, and stir to combine with the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer to thicken up for about 5 minutes.
- Combine everything
Add the Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir to combine. Then the cooked sausage and the cooked pasta. Stir to combine everything. The sauce will be very thick.
- Add the reserved pasta water
The initial sauce is very thick, so here is where you slowly add the reserved pasta water to thin it out to the consistency you like. If you need more liquid, add milk or additional cream.
Serve the Cajun Alfredo pasta topped with additional Parmesan cheese.
How to Thicken Cajun Alfredo Sauce
This cajun alfredo sauce is nice and thick but should you add too much liquid to the pan and want to make it thicker, I recommend adding about ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese to the pasta mixture, combine, and wait a couple of minutes for it to absorb.
Alternatively, you can make a bit of slurry by mixing 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Once mixed, add it to the skillet and simmer for a few minutes to allow it to thicken into the sauce.
Side note: you should not need to thicken this sauce if you follow the recipe below.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Dishes will be empty after your family taste this cajun Alfredo sauce! But, if there are leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and up to 2 months in the freezer.
To reheat leftovers, add a tablespoon or two of liquid (such as water) and microwave for one minute. Stir and then heat for some extra minutes until it’s warm enough for you.
Easy Cajun Alfredo Pasta with Sausage
- 12 ounces pasta rotini, penne, or your favorite
- ¼-1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 16 ounces sausage smoked, Andouille or Cajun
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 1 small onion diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
- 1 ¼ cups half & half
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese more for topping
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Once the pasta is ready, reserve ½ cup of pasta water before draining. Set pasta aside.
- Slice the sausage horizontally into ½-inch slices or remove it from the casing (your choice) and add it back into the pasta pot or a large skillet.
- Cook the sausage if it’s uncooked or warm it up if it’s pre-cooked, over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove from the skillet or pot with a slotted spoon onto a plate but leave the drippings.
- Add the butter and melt it over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and onion, and stir, cooking them down until they’ve softened for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the seasoning and heavy cream or half and half, and stir to combine with the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer to thicken up for about 5 minutes.
- Add the Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir to combine. Then the cooked sausage and the cooked pasta. Stir to combine everything. The sauce will be very thick. Now, slowly add the reserved pasta water until you achieve the sauce consistency you like. I usually start with ¼ cup and then slowly add the rest. Turn off the heat.
- Serve the Cajun Alfredo pasta topped with additional Parmesan cheese.
This was sooo good, but my older daughter didn’t like it! What a brat! =P
more for you! LOL – glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Made this tonight. It was delish! I would have loved to have had the peppers in it, but sadly I’m the only one that likes peppers. I used orecchiette pasta instead of rotini since that’s what I had. The other substitution I made was I used mild Italian chicken sausage . It was yummy and I will definitely be making it again.
your combination sounds delish! I am the only one who eats the peppers so I typically my fair share in my plate. Glad you loved it!
This sounds so tasty!
I made it for dinner last night. It was delicious, although I didn’t take the time to make my own portion low carb, so I did feel the weight of it as I ate it! Of course, the kids devoured it! I added julienned zucchini, and used bison instead of sausage. I followed your recommendation and made Emeril’s Essence with slightly less cayenne. I thought it was a wonderfully hearty meal, perfect for this late winter season. Thank you so much!
Any chance you have a homemade creole seasoning mix to substitute when the recommended brand is unavailable? I don’t want to order as I’d like to cook right away. There must be some blend that would sub ok, no? Thank you
Naomi, when I don’t use that brand, I make my own. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Emeril’s recipe. I’ve found that it’s a bit spicy for my family so reduce the cayenne by half and still tastes great. You can get the recipe here.