All the flavors of Cajun in this cheesy pasta dish, along with juicy shrimp and chunks of andouille sausage! This is comfort food for any night of the week.
Comfort food is trending right now and so it should be. Once the chilly evenings begin to appear, it’s time to switch up the dinner choices and cheesy, rich recipes should be right at the top! Just like these stuffed pasta shells filled with Cajun shrimp, chunks of andouille sausage, peppers and onion.
It’s a little bit like a gumbo but with pasta and super cheesy and creamy. The cheese is the key ingredient and for this recipe I used Cabot Creamery Vermont Seriously Sharp Cheddar! As if the Cajun spices didn’t add enough flavor to this dish, this sharp cheddar cheese makes it the complete deal. Cabot has so many cheddar cheeses to choose from and to be honest you would probably be okay using any of them in this recipe, so take a look at the choices and see if you have a favorite. Remember Cabot Creamery is a cooperative with small family owned farms producing some award winning dairy products, so quality is always high.
How do I make stuffed pasta shells
This recipe has two main steps to the process. First the filling needs to be made which means quickly cooking the shrimp and then adding them to a bowl with the peppers, sausage and green onions. A little sour cream is added to help bind everything together. The other step is to make the cheese sauce that will be poured over the stuffed pasta shells as they bake. Whether I’m making Mac and cheese or any other recipe that requires a cheese sauce, I always use the béchamel sauce method. You can find my béchamel tutorial helpful for making this really easy but important sauce. Finally you’ll need to stuff the shells, add the sauce and bake in the oven until golden and bubbling!
FAQ’s about this stuffed pasta shells recipe
You could. Just mix the filling through the cooked pasta and then add the sauce, but then you don’t have stuffed pasta shells.
This recipe works best with uncooked shrimp. Once you season them and then sear the shrimp, the flavor is much stronger than it would be if you used cooked shrimp. Also cooked shrimp would be too dry at the end of cooking.
Yes you can so you’ll want to scoop one shell out of the water as a test. It should be slightly stiff and will finish cooking in the oven.
No, in fact they are much easier to handle when cool, You can let them sit on a paper towel on the counter while you focus on making the sauce.
ingredients needed for this recipe
- Jumbo pasta shells
- Bell peppers, red and green
- Large shrimp
- Andouille sausage
- Green onion
- Cabot Vermont Seriously Sharp Cheddar
- Whole milk
more cheesy recipes!
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Cajun Shrimp
For the filling
- 12 oz jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound raw peeled shrimp
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- ½ cup green onions
- 6 oz andouille sausage diced
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cup grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Cook the pasta shells as per the directions on the box, drain and let them rest on a paper towel.
- Cut the shrimp in half.
- Toss the shrimp in a bowl with the oil and seasoning and then transfer to a large pan over a medium heat to cook.
- Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
- In the same pan sauté the diced peppers, green onion and sausage for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to the same bowl as the shrimp.
- Mix in the sour cream and set aside.
- In a clean pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk until smooth.
- Begin adding the milk gradually making sure to whisk well after each addition to get rid of any lumps.
- Add the seasoning to the pan.
- Once all of the milk has been added, add the seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Add the 1 cup of cheese to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken and can coat the back of a spoon.
- Fill the shells generously with the filling and place in a 9×13 inch oven safe dish.
- Pour the sauce over the shells and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of grated cheddar over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes and the cheese is bubbling.