Rattlesnake Pasta with Shrimp

Rattlesnake Pasta is like Chicken Alfredo with a bite to it. A delicious combination of tomatoes, garlic, peppers and cheese, tossed with a cajun-spiced  shrimp and served over pasta. It takes only 30 minutes, uses simple ingredients, and is a popular dinner for busy weeknights. If you like your pasta with a kick, you’ll love this!

Closeup of pasta in white bowl with rosemary sprig.

We try to have seafood at least 3 times per week and I always seem to go back to pasta with shrimp for one of those meals. This recipe was inspired by the Rattlesnake Pasta that we order when we dine out at J. Alexanders. If you ever get the chance to visit one of their restaurants, when life gets back to normal, try their dish made with chicken instead of shrimp and a creamier, more caloric but delicious, sauce with a side of their Alexander salad. It’s divine!

Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp Pasta.

Since it’s spring, and I want to get into that summer swimsuit soon, I created a healthier version of  this Cajun shrimp pasta. There are really no complicated ingredients in this dish. All I did was replace the cream with wine and the regular pasta with a whole wheat or protein version.

Overhead of pasta in white dish with tomato jalapeno garlic and pasta beside it.

These changes do not take away from the original taste of the dish, which is flavorful heat, but, does eliminate the calories from the cream. Just a warning though, the original spicy bite of the sauce is still the same and definitely lives up to its namesake. However, if you’re not into spicy, you can vary the amount of heat by lessening the amount of cajun spice, red pepper flakes and jalapeno pepper you add to the dish.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is Rattlesnake Pasta?

It’s a pasta dish with a creamy sauce, similar to alfredo, but with some extra heat added from cajun spices, red pepper flakes and jalapeno peppers. It is usually made with chicken but is also great with shrimp. And, before you ask, no, there is no rattlesnake in it. lol

Can I use any other peppers beside jalapeno?

If you’d like less heat, try adding some chopped mild sweet peppers such as yellow bell peppers or mild cherry peppers. If you’re into heat, the hotter serrano chile or Carolina cayenne pepper would be a good addition. Be careful of the amount you add as you don’t want the heat to overtake the flavor of the dish.

Can I make this into a creamier version?

Certainly. Just replace the chicken broth or white wine with heavy cream. Add prior to adding the spaghetti and sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of flour, whisking until it thickens slightly, then add pasta and toss to coat.

Instructions

How to Cook Rattlesnake Pasta.

  1. Coat shrimp with Cajun seasoning. Add as little or as much as you want depending on the amount of heat you prefer. (photo 1)
  2. Heat oil in skillet and saute shrimp for about 1 minute per side. (photo 2)
  3. Add tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, rosemary and crushed red pepper. (photo 3)
  4. As mixture cooks, crush tomatoes slightly to create a juicier sauce. (photo 4)
  5. Add in spaghetti and broth or wine, season to taste, then toss to coat. (photo 5)
  6. Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese and toss again. (photo 6)

Serving of cajun pasta with shrimp in white bowl.

This is a light, stress-free recipe that takes only 30 minutes. It’s great for busy weeknights or delicious enough for company. It’s great served with a side Caesar salad and a few easy to make Parmesan Garlic Knots. If you like wine with your meal, opt for a low alcohol and a bit on the sweet wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc , Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Rose. These wines will help tame some of the spiciness of the meal and let you fully enjoy the heat of the dish. Enjoy!

More Pasta Recipes

Healthy Chicken and Pasta Alfredo

Zoodles Carbonara

Chicken Tortellini Skillet

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Recipe

Rattlesnake Pasta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Rattlesnake Pasta is a shrimp and pasta dish made with tomatoes, garlic and cheese with a spicy bite from jalapenos. If you like it hot you'll love this!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cajun Shrimp with Pasta, J Alexanders Rattlesnake Pasta, Rattlesnake Pasta, Rattlesnake Pasta with Shrimp
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 590 kcal
Author: Linda Warren
Ingredients
  • 1/3 pound whole wheat spaghetti, (use quinoa or edamame pasta for gluten-free version)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2-3/4 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, depending on your preferred level of hotness
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot with lid to keep warm.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. 
  3. Coat shrimp with Cajun seasoning and add to skillet, cooking approximately 1 minute per side. 

  4. Add tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, rosemary and crushed red pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, crushing tomatoes slightly to release juices. 

  5. Add spaghetti and broth or wine to skillet then season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

  6. Add Parmesan cheese to pan and mix well. 

  7. Cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally for 2-4 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. 

  8. Serve immediately on plates garnished with rosemary sprig.

Recipe Notes

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is Rattlesnake Pasta?

It's a pasta dish with a creamy sauce, similar to alfredo, but with some extra heat added from cajun spices, red pepper flakes and jalapeno peppers. It is usually made with chicken but is also great with shrimp. And, before you ask, no, there is no rattlesnake in it. lol

Can I use any other peppers beside jalapeno?

If you'd like less heat, try adding some chopped mild sweet peppers such as yellow bell peppers or mild cherry peppers. If you're into heat, the hotter serrano chile or Carolina cayenne pepper would be a good addition. Be careful of the amount you add as you don't want the heat to overtake the flavor of the dish.

Can I make this into a creamier version?

Certainly. Just replace the chicken broth or white wine with heavy cream. Add prior to adding the spaghetti and sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of flour, whisking until it thickens slightly, then add pasta and toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts
Rattlesnake Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 590 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 295mg98%
Sodium 1142mg48%
Potassium 599mg17%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 1689IU34%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 355mg36%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was one of my first posts on 2 Cookin Mamas published July 15, 2013. I’ve updated it for you with easier to follow instructions and brand new photos. 

 

Rattlesnake Pasta with Shrimp

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jessica
    03/22/2020 at 2:58 pm

    5 stars
    My whole family loved this recipe. We like it HOT and like to sweat so it was perfect. I did double the amount of shrimp, but only because the boys will eat a pound each and I’ll get none if I don’t.

  • Reply
    wilhelmina
    03/22/2020 at 1:09 pm

    5 stars
    This pasta is so good! I really enjoyed the kick of spice!

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