Rasta Pasta Recipe

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Creamy Rasta Pasta with delicious jerk chicken breasts will be your favorite new meal idea. It’s packed with flavor, so delicious, and is one of the best quick dinners to make!

Rasta Pasta

This Rasta Pasta has become a super popular dish in our house. The flavor is exactly what you would expect when you think of jerk chicken. It’s not too hot or spicy – just the perfect blend.

It smells like you walked past a jerk restaurant while they were cooking. It has an authentic flavor that pairs with the Italian fusion so well.

The sauce is the perfect consistency that it doesn’t get too thick where your pasta sticks all together. Basically, this recipe is just a winner, and I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as we do!

Rasta pasta in a dark skillet.

What Is Rasta Pasta?

Rasta Pasta is a Caribbean-Italian fusion pasta dish. It’s made with a creamy pasta sauce, bell peppers, Caribbean seasonings, and it usually has either Jamaican jerk chicken or jerk shrimp in it. This version of it is made with chicken, but feel free to swap it for shrimp if you prefer!

Ingredients

This recipe gets all of its delicious flavor from jerk seasoning, chicken, olive oil, penne pasta, butter, bell peppers, garlic, green onions, chicken broth, cream cheese, and parmesan.

A process collage showing the jerk chicken before and after cooking.

How To Make Rasta Pasta

Start by making the jerk seasoning blend, then use a portion of that blend mixed with olive oil to coat the chicken, and saute the chicken until it’s cooked through. Cook the pasta while you prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce, saute the vegetables in butter, add the remaining seasoning, then add in the chicken broth, cream cheese, and parmesan. Stir until the sauce is fully mixed, then let it thicken. Toss the sauce, pasta, and sliced chicken together and serve hot. See the recipe card below for the full instructions including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

A process collage showing how to saute the vegetables and then add the cheese and liquids to make the sauce.

Rasta Pasta Sauce

This is a cream cheese based sauce, mostly because I like to use ingredients that are affordable and keep well in the fridge. Cream cheese is a more affordable option where I live, so the recipe is written using that.

There are a couple of other ingredients you could use to make it creamy if you’d like. Heavy cream and coconut milk would both make this dish creamy without cream cheese, but you’d have to lower the amount of chicken broth.

Penne rasta pasta in a skillet.

What Is In Jerk Seasoning

Our jerk seasoning blend is packed full of tons of delicious jerk flavor from the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, fine sea salt, sugar, parsley, paprika, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and cumin.

Our blend was meant to be accessible for most people, so it omits a few of the spices that not all cooks tend to keep on hand (like allspice, nutmeg, and cloves).

Even though this recipe uses a homemade jerk seasoning blend, you can substitute it for a store bought spice blend if you prefer.

Jerk seasoning blend ingredients individually labeled.

What Type Of Chicken Should I Use?

Boneless skinless chicken breast is my favorite option for this recipe, but you could swap that for boneless skinless chicken thighs if you want. If you can, try to use air chilled chicken. It tends to absorb flavor better, be juicier, and has a better texture.

A close up picture of penne rasta pasta.

How To Make It Vegetarian

To make this recipe vegetarian, you’d have to either omit the chicken or replace it with a plant based meat. You’d also have to swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

An overhead image of rasta pasta with jerk chicken in a skillet.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Click here to pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image of rasta pasta with title text.

Pasta Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire pasta recipe section! Some chicken pasta reader favorites are:

Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings

Best Rasta Pasta Recipe

The best rasta pasta recipe.

Creamy and spicy Rasta Pasta with delicious jerk chicken breasts will be your favorite new meal idea. It’s packed with flavor, so delicious, and is one of the best quick dinners to make!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Jerk Seasoning:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 ground cumin

Chicken and Pasta Sauce:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (2 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups dry penne (300 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (stem and seeds removed, sliced into 1/4” thick strips)
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper (stem and seeds removed, sliced into 1/4” thick strips)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion (about 5 stalks, plus extra for garnish)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (half a brick)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Jerk Seasoning:

  1. Mix all the spice ingredients together, and measure out 1 1/2 Tablespoons for the chicken and 1 Tablespoon for the sauce.

Pasta Part 1:

  1. Start to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Jerk Chicken:

  1. Measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons of the Jerk seasoning into a medium bowl and combine the olive oil with the spice blend. 
  2. Using a sharp knife butterfly the chicken all the way through so you have 4 even pieces. Coat chicken with the oil and spice blend.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until charred, about 3 minutes per side or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer. When the chicken is done, remove from the pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium. Add butter to the pan.

Pasta Part 2:

  1. Add pasta to boiling water and cook to al dente, according to the instructions on the package.

Creamy Jerk Sauce:

  1. Add the sliced bell peppers to the buttered pan and cook for about 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Once peppers are softened, add in the minced garlic and the green onions and cook until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remainder of the Jerk seasoning, then add the chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil.
  4. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add in with the parmesan cheese and mix until fully melted. Turn down to low and simmer to allow sauce to thicken, around 7-8 minutes.
  5. Slice the cooked chicken.
  6. After the sauce has thickened, add in the penne pasta and chicken and combine.
  7. Garnish with the extra chopped green onion, and extra parmesan cheese if desired and serve.

Notes

If using premade jerk seasoning, you'll need 2 1/2 Tablespoons total.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 463Total Fat: 18.4gCarbohydrates: 46.6gNet Carbohydrates: 43.8gFiber: 2.8gSugar: 5.2gProtein: 28.7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. This recipe makes 4 large or 6 small servings. Nutrition was calculated for portions that make 6 servings.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

Rasta Pasta will be your new favorite dinner idea! It’s delicious and super quick to make.

The best rasta pasta recipe.

4 thoughts on “Rasta Pasta Recipe”

    • Hi Viola, So happy to hear you enjoyed the Rasta Pasta! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback – I really appreciate it! -Alexa

      Reply
  1. Made this for my parents tonight and they loved it. Dad said to put TWO stars on it… TWO (that’s a high compliment from Dad).

    Reply
    • Hi Tom, So happy to hear that the Rasta Pasta got rave reviews from your Dad! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback, I really appreciate it! -Alexa

      Reply

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