Creamy Rasta Pasta With Jerk Chicken Recipe


Have you ever heard of rasta pasta? If not, you’re in for a treat!

This rasta pasta recipe article discusses this delicious, Caribbean-inspired pasta dish that sports the Rasta colors of red, green, and yellow from the bell peppers and sauce of Jamaican ackee fruit.

Rasta pasta with jerk chicken is perfect for those who enjoy flavorful dishes filled with various spices and seasonings such as hot peppers, bell peppers, garlic, onions, and more.

We’ll explain this pasta, why it’s so delicious, and how to make it. You’ll be able to enjoy this fantastic dish in the comfort of your own home and share it with friends and family.

What Is Rasta Pasta?

Rasta pasta is a popular, flavorful dish that originates from the Caribbean island of Jamaica. It gets its name and colors from the Rastafarian alternative religion, which uses colors to represent different concepts.

rasta pasta


People usually make this creamy dish with jerk chicken, which is a traditional Jamaican chicken dish that is spice-heavy, as it’s covered with jerk seasoning. Allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper are ingredients in typical jerk seasoning.

The seasoning comes in mild and spicy varieties, but we recommend trying the hot and spicy ones for the most punchy final result.

Another aspect of rasta pasta is “green seasoning”. As opposed to buying it, like jerk seasoning, it’s best to make the green seasoning yourself, as it mainly involves onion, garlic, and hot peppers.

You can also incorporate parmesan cheese into this dish, which gives it a nice, sharp flavor and compliments the creamy consistency of the pasta.

Why It Works

Rasta pasta is so delicious because of all of the different spices and flavors in the dish. The jerk chicken provides a nice, spicy flavor, while the bell peppers add a nice crunch and color, and the green seasoning ties it all together.

rasta pasta

Rasta Pasta With Jerk Chicken Recipe

Rasta pasta is a popular, flavorful dish that originates from the Caribbean island of Jamaica. It gets its name and colors from the Rastafarian alternative religion, which uses colors to represent different concepts.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 600 kcal


Green Seasoning

  • 10 peeled cloves
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 roughly chopped onion
  • 6 stems of thyme (remove the leaves)
  • 3 tbsp of water

Jerk Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless tenderloin chicken (cut into 2-inch slices)
  • 2 tbsp of green seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of hot jerk seasoning
  • 2 tsp cooking oil (canola oil or avocado oil preferred)
  • 1 lime
  • ½ tsp of browning sauce (optional)


  • 8 ounces of penne
  • 4 tsp cooking oil for meat and veggies
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ green pepper (sliced thin)
  • ½ yellow pepper (sliced thin)
  • ½ red pepper (sliced thin)
  • ½ onion (sliced thin)
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (remove the leaves)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese


Prepare the Chicken

  • You'll first want to prep the chicken by putting it in a bowl, squeezing lime juice from the fresh lime onto the chicken, covering it in clean water, and covering it with plastic wrap for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then, rinse the chicken twice in cold water to remove all the lime juice and any slime or residue.

Marinate the Chicken

  • Make the green seasoning. Blend the seasoning ingredients in a food processor or blender until it turns into a paste.
  • After that, take your chicken and coat it in the green seasoning, making sure to massage it into the meat. Then, coat the chicken in hot jerk seasoning. You can do this by either using a store-bought blender or by mixing your own spices.
  • You can mix the seasonings in with tongs or with your hands, but we prefer using hands as it allows you to get the seasonings into all the crevices of the chicken.
  • Cover the seasoned chicken with plastic wrap, then let it marinate for at least 30 minutes and at most overnight (up to 24 hours) in the fridge.

Boil the Water

  • Once you're ready to start cooking, begin by boiling a large pot of water. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt to the water to help flavor the pasta you'll eventually put in the pot.

Cook the Pasta

  • Throw in the penne pasta, stirring it occasionally as it cooks for the next 7-8 minutes. Drain the penne, add it back to the pot, and drizzle oil on it to prevent sticking as you continue the recipe.

Cook the Chicken

  • Add oil to a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Take the chicken out of the fridge and use tongs to place each piece of chicken on the skillet.
  • Turn the chicken occasionally over the next 10 minutes. You'll know it's done when the juices are running clear, or the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Cook the Vegetables

  • Chop the garlic and cut the onion and peppers into thin slices if you haven't already prepared them. Add these vegetables to the same pan you used to cook the chicken (no need to wash it out and put a little more oil on the pan before adding the vegetables).
  • Sauté the veggies until they are tender and crisp, about 5-6 minutes, over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and stir to combine the flavors.

Make the Sauce

  • Next, add the remaining pasta ingredients (cream, black pepper, salt, paprika) to the pan until the cream simmers for 5 minutes. Then add the parmesan cheese and cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Add the Pasta

  • Finally, you're ready to add the pasta! Combine all of the parts into one pot and stir. Let the pasta rest off the heat for a couple of minutes so the flavors can stick. Then you're ready to serve it!


Nutrition Information

Calories: 600 kcal
Fat: 40 g
Carbs: 28 g
Protein: 35 g

Tips for Making Rasta Pasta With Jerk Chicken

Here are a few tips for making rasta pasta with jerk chicken go from good to excellent.

  • Use parmesan cheese that’s aged for at least 12 months for the best flavor.
  • You can use any type of hot pepper you like in this dish, but we prefer habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers.
  • If you want a bit more of a kick, add more hot pepper sauce to the dish.
  • We also like to garnish our rasta pasta with green onions.

rasta pasta

Final Words for Rasta Pasta

Rasta pasta with jerk chicken is a delicious and easy way to enjoy so many intricate and punchy flavors without having to be a professional chef.

It’s a great dish to whip up for guests or a simple weeknight meal. Just make sure to give yourself enough time to marinate the chicken so that the flavors have a chance to develop. Otherwise, this dish is pretty straight forward to follow. Enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. Kachelle R. says:

    I thought it was really good.

  2. I am actually between liked & loved on this one.

  3. This is a fantastic recipe. I come back to it time and time again.

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