Rasta pasta is creamy pasta tossed with Caribbean style jerk chicken and sauteed bell peppers. This dish is so full of flavor, and makes a great weeknight dinner that can be made in just half an hour! It’s creamy, rich, spicy, and cheesy.
What is Rasta Pasta?
I used to think that Rasta pasta came from the Rastafari culture in Jamaica but my readers told me that it’s not the case. This dish is Jamaican inspired with the 3 colored bell peppers and the jerk seasoning, it’s a very comforting pasta dish that has all the cream and cheese that you need to feel good. It also has a strong flavor, and a lovely spicy kick that will make you want to have this pasta all the time!
The bell peppers are either sauteed or roasted, and they’re just tossed along with the cooked pasta and grilled chicken in a creamy and cheesy sauce. This rasta pasta recipe makes the perfect summertime dinner dish that you will love!
While this recipe is easy to make, it always helps to watch a quick video. Give it a watch below!
How to Make Pasta Rasta
Making this dish is really quick and easy to make, so if you’re looking for an easy comforting dinner that you can quickly whip up then this recipe is for you!
- Chicken – either cooked or raw. Whatever you have on hand works. I usually use leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Bell peppers – I like to use red, yellow, and green bell peppers but it depends on what I have available.
- Pasta – use any type of small pasta. I like to use penne, fusilli, or bow-tie pasta.
- Green onions – or scallions. Optional but they give a lovely flavor to the dish.
- Jerk seasoning – homemade or store-bought, just make sure that it’s a really good one. Low-quality jerk seasoning will result in bland tasting sauce and pasta.
- Heavy cream and parmesan cheese – These 2 ingredients will make your pasta sauce super creamy and delicious!
- Garlic, oil and vegetable stock.
I also posted an Instant Pot Rasta Pasta version, so make sure to check it out!
- Cook pasta in salted water according to the package instructions, take it out at “al dente” as you will cook it more in the next steps. Tip: I’m using rotisserie chicken in this recipe, but if you would like to use a raw chicken breast then cube it, toss in jerk seasoning and cook until it’s golden and cooked through. Then remove from the pot, and set aside to use later.
- Prep the veggies: Slice the bell peppers (you can use different colors of peppers), green onions, and garlic.
- Add vegetable oil to a heavy-bottomed pot, and saute bell peppers with green onions. Add the minced garlic and cook until it’s fragrant.
- Add jerk seasoning to the pot.
- Add the heavy cream, and chicken or vegetable stock to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Add parmesan cheese to the pot, and stir until it melts in the sauce. Then finally add the chicken pieces and pasta and give everything a good mix so the ingredients are well coated in the sauce.
- Garnish with chopped chives or parsley and serve.
Also, feel free to either use shrimp instead of chicken or add both chicken and shrimp to this Rasta Pasta recipe.
What Kind of Chicken Shall I Use?
I usually use air fryer rotisserie chicken leftovers in Rasta Pasta and other recipes. It’s very convenient and the chicken tastes amazing. If I don’t have any rotisserie chicken, then I just use a raw chicken breast that I cut into strips and shallow fry with
Make It Dairy-Free
To make this rasta pasta recipe dairy-free, can omit the heavy cream, and use full-fat coconut milk or crushed tomatoes instead.
There are many different variations of rasta pasta out there, and here are a few:
- With chicken
- Without chicken
- A vegan version
- Chicken on the side (not tossed with the pasta)
- With grilled or fried shrimp
What Kind of Pasta Shall I Use?
I recommend using penne, rigatoni, or bucatini in this rasta pasta recipe, but you could also use pasta shapes like fusilli or macaroni.
- 16 ounces (450 g) dried pasta
- 2 large chicken breasts or 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tbsp for frying chicken and 1 tbsp for sauteeing bell peppers
- 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning 1.5 tbsp with the chicken, and 1.5 tbsp goes in the sauce
- 3 bell peppers in different colors – sliced
- ½ cup green onions sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable stock or chicken stock
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream or half and half
- ½ cup (80 g) parmesan cheese grated
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions, take it out at “al dente” as you will cook it more in the next steps.
- I'm using rotisserie chicken in this recipe, but if you are using raw chicken breast then cube it, toss in jerk seasoning and cook until it's golden and cooked through. Then remove from the pot, and set aside to add later.
- Add vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pot, and saute bell peppers with green onions. Add the minced garlic and cook until it’s fragrant.
- Add jerk seasoning to the pot.
- Add heavy cream, cooked chicken and vegetable stock to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens, mix in the parmesan in the sauce and then mix in the pasta.
- Garnish with chopped chives, green onions or parsley and serve.
- I recommend using penne for this recipe, but you can also use rigatoni, bucatini, fusilli, macaroni or farfalle (bow tie).
- This pasta is spicy with the amount of jerk seasoning added, so if you don’t like much spice then consider adding just half of the amount.
- Use leftover shredded or rotisserie chicken for this dish, if you don’t have any, then use raw chicken and just saute it with jerk seasoning and vegetable oil before you start cooking the bell peppers.
- Yo make this rasta pasta dairy-free, you can omit the heavy cream and use full-fat coconut milk or crushed tomatoes instead.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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