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Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe

This creamy and easy rasta pasta recipe is a fusion of flavors from Jamaica and Italy! Seasoned jerk chicken, sautéed vegetables and tender pasta are smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce that makes this dish rich and flavorful.

Pot of rasta pasta

Have you ever tried rasta pasta? It’s a classic Jamaican dish that combines heavy cream and a parmesan cheese sauce with jerk chicken and bell peppers. Think of it as a jerk chicken pasta recipe that’s easy to follow and ready in 35 minutes!

Why this Rasta Pasta Recipe Works

Similar to our creamy chicken pasta skillet, this simple meal can come together on a busy weeknight. And with flavor loaded into every bite, it’s also a pasta recipe that works for a special occasion.

Penne pasta, jerk chicken, bell peppers and lots of green onions sprinkled on top infuse this dish with so much goodness!

Our rasta pasta recipe is:

  • Browning the chicken adds depth of flavor (but you can start with leftover chicken if you want).
  • The recipe is easily adaptable to shrimp or scallops.
  • Jamaican jerk seasoning gives the dish a sweet and spicy island flavor.
  • Creamy, delicious, and easy to make.
  • Hearty, cozy comfort food that everyone will love!

Ingredients for Rasta Pasta

For this rasta pasta recipe, you will need:

  • boneless skinless chicken breast
  • olive oil
  • Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • penne rigate
  • yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • bell peppers (a mix of red, green and yellow)
  • minced garlic cloves
  • chicken broth (or chicken stock)
  • heavy cream
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • green onions, sliced on the diagonal
A serving of Rasta Pasta in a dish with fork

How to Make this Easy Rasta Pasta Recipe

Our rasta pasta dish is essentially done in two steps: make the jerk chicken and create the pasta. You can split this up and make the chicken in advance, which is great if you do weekly meal prep and want to save some time during the week.

For the full printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of the page. Here’s a quick look at the process:

  1. Season the chicken: Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, brush on the olive oil, and sprinkle the jerk seasoning on the chicken.
  2. Cook the chicken: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it’s glistening, add the seasoned chicken. Cook until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and let it cool, then slice into 1-inch strips.
  3. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente (check package instructions).
  4. Combine the ingredients: Sauté the onion and bell peppers. Add the garlic, then mix in the jerk seasoning. Stir in the chicken broth, heavy cream, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Bring to a simmer. Add in the Parmesan cheese, cooked pasta, and chicken.
  5. Serve and enjoy: Serve the rasta pasta topped with sliced green onions.

Chicken breasts seasoned with Jamaican Jerk seasoing
Jerk chicken breasts on a cutting board

Recipe Tips for the Best Results

  • We like to use lean chicken breasts for this recipe but you can also substitute chicken thighs.
  • Feel free to substitute coconut cream for the heavy cream (the thick part at the top of a can of coconut milk).
  • Chicken broth adds even more chicken flavor, but feel free to substitute the broth with vegetable broth or vegetable stock.
  • For a seafood rasta pasta recipe, substitute shrimp, scallops or small portions of firm fish for the chicken.
  • If you’d like a more intense flavor, increase the amount of Jamaican Jerk seasoning in the dish. For extra heat, you can garnish the dish with red pepper flakes.
  • Store leftovers of this jerk chicken rasta pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

With a rich and creamy sauce, tender colorful bell peppers, and bold Caribbean seasonings, this Jamaican rasta pasta recipe is a great option on a hectic weeknight or for a special occasion meal.

We know you’ll love this delicious pasta recipe as much as we do!

close up view of a dish of rasta pasta

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the seasoning called Jamaican jerk seasoning?

The seasoning is called jerk seasoning because it is a popular seasoning used in jerk cooking, which is a type of cuisine from Jamaica.

What can I substitute for heavy cream?

You can use coconut milk or coconut cream in place of the heavy cream.

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Creamy Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta: This creamy, simple pasta recipe hits all the right notes! Succulent shrimp, thick strands of fettuccine and a creamy, garlic-y sauce comes together in this delicious and flavor-packed meal.

Creamy Bacon and Leek Pasta: This delicious and easy weeknight meal makes great use of seasonal leeks and comes together with just a few simple ingredients. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’ll become a family fave!

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Pot of rasta pasta

Rasta Pasta

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Rasta Pasta is a fusion of flavors from Jamaica and Italy. A creamy sauce is stirred into jerk seasoned chicken, sauteed vegetables, pasta and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk seasoning

For the Pasta:

  • 8 oz. penne rigate
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 bell peppers, red, green, yellow, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 green onions, sliced on diagonal

Instructions

For the Chicken:

  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel then brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with jerk seasoning.
  2. In a skillet set over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the chicken to a golden brown, about 5-8 minutes per side. They should reach an internal temperature of 157°F to 160°F.  Transfer the chicken to a plate. When they cool, slice into 1-inch strips.  Reserve until needed.

For the Pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook per the package directions.
  2. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water and reserve.  Drain the pasta, return to the empty pot, toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and keep warm until needed.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and sauté the onion and bell peppers until slightly softened about 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Sprinkle the vegetables with the jerk seasoning, tossing to combine.  
  4. Stir in the chicken broth, heavy cream and 1/4 cup of the pasta water then bring to a simmer. 
  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, cooked pasta and the chicken.  Toss well to coat the pasta and chicken.  Add additional pasta water if needed.   Serve immediately garnished with the sliced green onions.

Notes

  • Chicken thighs can be substituted for the chicken breasts.
  • Coconut cream can be substituted for the heavy cream
  • Make this a seafood dish by using shrimp, scallops or small portions of firm fish.
  • For a more intense flavor, Increase the Jamaican Jerk seasoning 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 697mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 22g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Friday 10th of June 2022

I am sure I would love this too as I adore jerk chicken and creamy cheesy sauce! angiesrecipes http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.com

Pat Nyswonger

Saturday 11th of June 2022

Thanks, Angie

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