Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe with Jerk Chicken

This Rasta Pasta Recipe is creamy and hearty with marinated chicken and bell peppers. The jerk seasoning gives it a solid kick to it! A great recipe for a special weekend meal or served on rotation any day of the week.

You can easily substitute jerk shrimp for chicken and use any type of pasta you have hanging out in your pantry. I recommend taking the time to find a good-quality jerk marinade or order some online. It’s the marinade that’s the star of the show.

How to Make this Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 1 box penne pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lbs chicken tenders
  • 7 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 cup and 2-3 tablespoons jerk marinade or jerk seasoning
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place a cup of jerk marinade In a quart-sized plastic bag and marinate your chicken tenders for at least 1 hour. You can also use chicken breasts and slice them into long thin strips.
  1. rep your vegetables. Wash and slice your bell peppers into long thin strips. Mince your garlic and dice the green onions.
  1. Salt your pasta water and cook your pasta al dente. You can use penne, rotini, or any type of pasta will work.
  1. On medium-high heat in a large skillet or heavy bottom pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the chicken tenders for three minutes on one side. Flip and cook for two more minutes on the other.
  1. When chicken is cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
  1. Sauté your bell peppers and green onion until soft, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and add garlic, sautéing until fragrant and soft. Then add 2 tablespoons of jerk marinade.
  1. Add your butter, chicken stock, and half and half, and cook on low heat until your butter is melted.
  1. Add the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese and stir until incorporated. If you like your food extra spicy, this is where you can add another tablespoon of jerk marinade. Completely optional.
  1. When your pasta is ready and mixed in with the sauce, slice your chicken tenders and then add the chicken pieces into the cooked pasta and toss.

Serve with additional cheese as an option. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

If you’re not a meat eater or not in the mood for chicken, cook shrimp up for your Rasta Pasta. Since shrimp cooks much faster than chicken, this would shorten your overall cooking time.

close-up-of-rasta-pasta
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Rasta Pasta Recipe

The creaminess of this pasta helps mellow out the spiciness of the jerk seasoning. It's an all-around game changer!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: creamy rasta pasta, jerk chicken pasta, rasta pasta recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 883kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs penne pasta or pasta of choice
  • 2 bell peppers
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup jerk marinade and 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 lbs chicken tenders
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place a cup of jerk marinade In a quart-sized plastic bag and marinate your chicken tenders for at least 1 hour. You can also use chicken breasts and slice them into thin long strips.
  • Prep your vegetables. Wash and slice your bell peppers into long thin strips. Mince your garlic and dice the green onions.
  • Salt your pasta water and cook your pasta al dente. You can use penne, rotini, or any type of pasta will work.
  • On medium-high heat in a large skillet or heavy bottom pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the chicken tenders for three minutes on one side. Flip and cook for two more minutes on the other.
  • When chicken is cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Sauté your bell peppers and green onion until soft, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and add garlic, sautéing until fragrant and soft. Then add 2 tablespoons of jerk marinade.
  • Add your butter, chicken stock, and half and half, and cook on low heat until your butter is melted.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese and stir until incorporated. If you like your food extra spicy, this is where you can add another tablespoon of jerk marinade. Completely optional.
  • When your pasta is ready and mixed in with the sauce, slice your chicken tenders and then add the chicken pieces into the cooked pasta and toss.

Notes

If you’re not a meat eater or not in the mood for chicken, cook shrimp up for your Rasta Pasta. Since shrimp cooks much faster than chicken, this would shorten your overall cooking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 883kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 948mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2560IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 3mg

Why is Rasta Pasta called Rasta Pasta?

Rasta pasta is the best of both worlds. It’s as if jerk chicken and a creamy pasta dish met and fell in love and their love child was Rasta Pasta.

But where did the name come from? Rasta Pasta was invented in Jamaica by local chef Lorraine Washington in 1985. Though the original pasta dish was a bit different, the green, yellow, and red colors reminded people of rasta colors, which represent the Rastafarian culture. This jerk chicken pasta dish has become popular among locals and tourists in Jamaica.

What to Substitute for Heavy Cream In Rasta Pasta

Whenever something calls for heavy cream, I typically substitute in half and half. I usually have half and half in my fridge, but not heavy cream. I don’t think you can taste a ton of difference. At least in a recipe like this.

Check out our list of recipes for using up extra half and half. But for this recipe, go ahead and use half and half in your jerk chicken rasta pasta. You’ll never tell the difference.

The Best Jerk Marinade on the Market

Walkerswood Jerk Marinade is always my go-to for any jerk seasoning needs. It’s easily found in the Brooklyn neighborhood where my wife and I live.

It’s made from traditional jerk seasoning by Walkerswood Caribbean Foods. The company was founded in Jamaica in 1978 and now sells worldwide. You can purchase Walkerswood marinade on Amazon.

If you can’t find my go-to marinade, however, there are many other options. Below are a few of the top-rated Jerk marinades on the market.

Dry Jerk Seasonings

Badia Jerk Seasoning

Island Spice Jerk Seasoning

Happy Belly Jerk Seasoning

Jerk Marinades

Aplenty Caribbean Jerk Sauce and Marinade

Drunken Jamaican Jerk Sauce

KC Masterpiece Caribbean Jerk Marinade Sauce

Making Rasta Pasta Without Jerk Seasoning

So you might be asking what you’re supposed to do if you’re in a pinch and can’t find jerk marinade. You can still make this recipe, but you’ll just need to take a few extra steps.

First, you’ll need to make a jerk seasoning from scratch. Before you get overwhelmed, this is doable! But you’ll need to do the following.

Make Your Own Jerk Seasoning

  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sweet paprika
  • Ground allspice
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

You can find full instructions and amounts for jerk seasoning in this recipe.

Rub and Marinate Your Chicken

Once your jerk seasoning is finished, rub your chicken tenders down with your seasoning and let sit for at least an hour.

You can also add your seasoning to a few tablespoons of olive oil and marinate your chicken that way. When you go to cook your chicken in the skillet, just use a tad less oil.

Add Jerk Seasoning Slowly

Since the original recipe calls for additional jerk marinade, you can substitute your homemade seasoning instead. But since straight seasoning, as opposed to marinade, will carry more of a kick, add your seasoning slowly, stopping to taste along the way.

Storing Leftover Rasta Pasta

Let your pasta cool. Then place it in an airtight container. Stored in the refrigerator like this, it should last 4-5 days. But with all it’s packed in flavor, I doubt it will!

Other Spicy Recipes

Peanut Chili Spicy Noodles

Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Chicken

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Sweet and Spicy Strawberry Jalapeno Crisps

Sweet and Spicy Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

rasta-pasta-pinterest-pin

Enjoy this creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe! Have questions or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. Until next time: Stay salty, and sweet 😉

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