Rasta Pasta! This creamy pasta is loaded with red, green, and yellow peppers. You can also add it to shrimp or chicken. It's generously seasoned with Jamaican jerk seasoning and finished with freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella. This easy meal cooks up in about half an hour, a perfect weekend dinner!

Rasta Pasta Recipe
Rasta Pasta Recipe

What is Rasta Pasta?

Chef Lorraine Washington invented the original version of "Rasta Pasta" in Jamaica in 1985. It has evolved somewhat, but the key to the name is the colors of the rasta: green, yellow, and red. Nowadays, Rasta Pasta has become a popular menu item in Jamaican restaurants. You'll find variations, but it always includes green, yellow, and red peppers and pasta in a creamy, cheese-spiced sauce. It often contains some protein, usually chicken or shrimp, although you can also make it meatless. Whichever way you go, it's one delicious dish!

How to make Rasta Pasta dairy-free

Replace the cream with coconut cream. Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator. Then, without shaking the can, please open it and remove the cream from the top. Use coconut cream instead of regular cream.

Can you use other meats in Rasta Pasta?

Surely! You can easily replace shrimp with chicken. We sometimes make them using leftover rotisserie chicken, but you can use raw. Just follow these steps before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. First, cut half a kilo of skinless chicken breasts or thighs into strips. Season it with the same jerk seasoning you would use for the shrimp. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips and fry for 5-6 minutes. Remove to a plate and follow the remaining steps as above.

Storing leftovers

Rasta pasta leftover cools nicely in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop or microwave with a few tablespoons of water. We do not recommend freezing it due to the cream.
Yield: 4 SERVINGS Prep time: 5 MINUTES Cook time: 20 MINUTES Total time: 25 MINUTES

Ingredients For Rasta Pasta

  • One red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 4-5 green onions
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • One green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 8oz pasta (we used penne)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • One yellow bell pepper, sliced

Ingredients For Shrimp

  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


  1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package.
  2. Toss shrimp in a mixture of 1 tablespoon seasoning, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and Old Bay. Soak while preparing the other ingredients.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
  4. In the same saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the paprika. Add the peppers and the white parts of the green onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream, spices, and thyme, and cook until the peppers have softened to your liking.
  5. Add Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese until they are melted into the sauce.
  6. Add pasta and shrimp. Garnish with the remaining green parts of the green onion. Serve immediately.

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