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Creamy and spicy Chicken Rasta Pasta. Made with Penne pasta, fresh peppers, juicy jerk chicken all tossed in the most delicious, cream sauce. Pasta packed with so much flavor. The perfect meal to make when you’re craving a delicious pasta. If you love creamy, spicy pasta, you’re going to LOVE this rasta pasta.
Rasta Pasta is a Jamaican inspired pasta dish made with penne noodles, jerk chicken and crunchy peppers tossed in a spicy cream sauce. The colors of the dish are said to represent to Rastafarian culture, hence, the name “Rasta Pasta”. When I tell you this chicken Rasta pasta is a flavor bomb!! It’s cream, it’s spicy and soooo delicious!
The first time I had Rasta Pasta, I was living in New York. One of my friends brought it to a potluck and when I tell you, I instantly fell in love… The tender penne noodles and peppers soaked in the spicy cream sauce. And the chicken… you can’t forget the juicy pieces of jerk chicken. It’s truly a treat!
I hadn’t had it in YEARS sooo when I was deciding on dinner for the week I had to make it.
How to make Rasta Pasta
This pasta is super easy to make! The recipe starts with marinading chicken or your protein of choice, in a jerk marinade and a few additional spices. While the chicken marinates, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the penne pasta, al dente.
Next, prep the veggies. Thinly slice bell peppers, dice green onions, and mince 1/2 shallot and 3 cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet, over medium high heat grill the chicken until cooked. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan. To the same pan, add in bell peppers and sauté for a few minutes before adding in shallots, green onions and garlic.
Sautè until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat, stir in heavy cream. Cook and let the sauce thicken. Season with onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of jerk marinade. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Next, stir in shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan. Mix until the sauce smooth. Add in the cooked pasta and mix until the noodles are mixed into the delicious sauce. Add pasta water to help everything mix together. Chop the jerk chicken into pieces and add back into the pasta. Stir until everything is well combined. Top with parsley and green onions and wallah, you have Rasta Pasta. Serve warm with more parmesan cheese if desired.
This pasta is even better the next day! Reheats great as leftovers. Make extra if you can!
Rasta Pasta Ingredients
Chicken– I used chicken thighs. Feel free to use whatever protein you’d like.
Heavy cream-if you want dairy-free alternative use a dairy free cream or full fat coconut milk
Noodles– traditionally the dish uses penne pasta. However, feel free to use your favorite noodle.
Olive oil-you can use grapeseed or avocado oil if preferred.
Jerk seasoning- I love using Walkerwood’s Hot & Spicy Jerk Marinade. They also have a mild version. or you can make yours from scratch.
Cheese – I used shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan.
Bell peppers– red, yellow, green bell peppers, thinly sliced.
Shallot – minced
garlic– fresh is best. You can also use frozen garlic cubes or granulated garlic.
Green onion– I added some to my sauce and to garnish.
Spices– the jerk marinade has a lot of flavor, but I like to add additional seasonings to help bring out more flavor.
More pasta recipes to try
If you try this Chicken Rasta Pasta, please be sure to leave a comment, and or tag me on Instagram @cookwithci. I would love to see your recreations and hear your thoughts.
Chicken Rasta Pasta
- 4 chicken thighs
- Penne pasta or Rigatoni
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 red bell pepper sliced
- 1/3 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 1/3 green bell pepper sliced
- 1/2 shallot minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 scallion/green onion diced
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1/3 cup mozzarella
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- 1 tsp jerk seasoning optional
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Kinder's no salt garlic and herb
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp Walkerwood jerk seasoning
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp all purpose seasoning
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, pour in penne noodles and cook al dente about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl clean chicken with vinegar, water and lime juice. Rinse the chicken until the water runs clear. Season cleaned chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, all purpose seasoning, 1 tbsp of jerk marinade and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Mix until the chicken is fully coated.
- While the chicken marinates, prep your veggies. Thinly slice bell peppers, dice a green onion and mince 1/2 shallot and 3 cloves of garlic.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large skillet and cook chicken thighs over medium high heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan. Allow to cool before cutting it into pieces.
- To the same pan- reduce heat to medium, and add in peppers. Sautè for about 4 minutes, before adding in minced garlic, shallots and green onions. Sautè until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. stirring frequently. Stir in heavy cream, and pasta water. Cook until it begins to thicken. Season pasta sauce with onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, black pepper and salt to taste. (I also add a teaspoon of jerk marinade for additional flavor and spice).
- Reduce the heat to medium low and let sauce simmer, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan and mix until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Add in cooked pasta and mix until everything is well combined.
- Add in chopped jerk chicken and toss everything together. Top with fresh parsley, green onion and parmesan if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!
Did you make it?
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