Cajun spice gives a new twist on more traditional spaghetti tomato sauce. Packed with bold, spicy flavor and fresh ingredients, this pasta dish is sure to be a favorite! Enjoy it vegetarian as is or include your favorite protein such as shrimp, chicken, ground beef or sausage for an all in one meal.
If you love the Cajun flavors found in this Shrimp and Rice Skillet, then this pasta sauce is for you!
Basically, if Jambalaya was a pasta dish, it would be this recipe.
An easy way to add plenty of vegetables to your dinner (as is this Yellow Thai Chicken Curry), this sauce comes together quickly and is delicious served over pasta, spiralized veggies and more.
Or try using it as the sauce in one of your favorite pasta casseroles for a spicy spin.
- Bell Peppers- I like to use a variety of colors. Any color of sweet bell pepper will work.
- Jalapeno- For some spice! If you're sensitive to spice, remove the seeds and membranes. We typically leave them in when we make this recipe though and it adds just the right amount of kick for us.
- Celery- A key flavor in Cajun recipes such as Jambalaya.
- Garlic- If you prefer, you can use garlic powder. You'll need 1 and ½ teaspoons.
- Crushed Tomatoes- If you are so lucky to have fresh tomatoes around, you can use them. Puree 6 cups of tomatoes in a food processor or blender and use them in place of the canned tomatoes.
- Cajun Seasoning- I love using my homemade Cajun seasoning blend and always have some on hand. If you would like to make just enough for this recipe, see the bottom of the post for a scaled down recipe. Or you can use a different Cajun seasoning instead but depending on the mix used, you may need to taste and add more salt to the sauce.
- Cayenne Pepper- Omit if sensitive to spice.
- Avocado Oil- Coconut oil or olive oil can also be used.
1. Sauté vegetables. Heat avocado oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring every couple of minutes until nearly softened.
2. Add seasonings and tomatoes. Stir in the seasonings and crushed tomatoes.
3. Simmer. Reduce to medium heat, cover and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes.
4. Serve. While the sauce cooks, boil spaghetti to al dente or prepare an alternative side for serving. See below for suggestions.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store leftover Cajun spaghetti sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Extras can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Add a little water (just a splash) and rewarm on the stove over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or in the microwave until heated through.
Make it Your Own
- Shrimp- Peel and devein shrimp and place it on top of the pot of sauce in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Cover and cook until pink and then stir the sauce to incorporate the shrimp.
- Andouille Sausage- For a sausage pasta, slice up Andouille sausage (it typically comes pre-cooked; if not, be sure to cook it first) and add it to the sauce for the last 15 minutes of simmering.
- Chicken- You have a couple of options; if you would like a Cajun chicken spaghetti sauce that resembles a riff on Bolognese, you can use ground chicken and add it to the vegetables before step 2- (follow the directions in this Turkey Meat Sauce); Or for Cajun chicken pasta using breasts or thighs, you can cook them on the side and then dice or shred them and add to the sauce in the last 15 minutes of simmering.
- Meat Balls- Prepare and cook meatballs on the side and then stir into the sauce.
- Beans- Add 1-2 cans of black, cannellini or kidney beans at the same time as the tomatoes.
Change the Level of Spice- If you are sensitive to spice, you can omit the jalapeno and cayenne pepper. If you would like if spicier, try adding another jalapeno and leaving the seeds and membranes in.
Add More Vegetables- If you want to up the veggies in the sauce, try adding some:
Enjoy it over:
- Spaghetti or another pasta of choice
- Spiralized Veggies
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sourdough Bread
- Chopped parsley
- Sliced green onions
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
And enjoy with a side of:
- Garlic bread
- Mixed Berry Spinach Salad
Make your own small batch mix by combining the following!
1 and ½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ tsp dried thyme
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And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like:
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 bell peppers diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 jalapeno diced
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- 12 oz brown rice spaghetti optional, for serving
- Heat avocado oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the peppers, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring every couple of minutes until nearly softened (about 10 minutes).
- Stir in the seasonings and crushed tomatoes.
- Reduce to medium heat, cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare pasta or another side for serving.
- Serve. Taste and add additional salt if needed.