Instant Pot Rasta Pasta

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Instant Pot Rasta Pasta is bursting with bold flavor and color! An easy-to-make twist on the popular dish, This Caribbean Instant Pot recipe is perfect for quick dinners or as part of your weekly meal prep. 

top down view of the completed Instant Pot Rasta Pasta recipe divided into servings

Spice up your pasta night with this delicious Instant Pot Rasta Pasta! Creamy, comforting, and totally satisfying, you’ll love how easy this Instant Pot twist on the original Rasta Pasta is to make.

Instant Pot Caribbean recipes are not only simple to make, they are zesty and full of bold flavors. Like my regular Jamaican Rasta Pasta, and delicious creamy Instant Pot Cornmeal Porridge, this flavorful pressure cooker Rasta Pasta is ready to serve quickly, making it an awesome choice for busy weeknight dinners or to include in your beginning of the week meal prep.

What Is Rasta Pasta?

Rasta Pasta is a Caribbean recipe that was first made in Jamaica by Chef Lorraine Washington in 1986. An international favorite, this simple pasta dish is loaded with colorful peppers, jerk spiced chicken, and a creamy sauce. Three colors of peppers mimic the Rastafarian flag and inspire the name “Rasta Pasta”. 

close up view of the completed Instant Pot Rasta Pasta

Why Make This Recipe

  • Use Leftovers – This recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken breasts you have not cooked with. 
  • Fast – This Instant Pot Caribbean recipe only requires a few minutes of prep work and the chicken and the pasta are cooked together in the pressure cooker. 
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Adaptable – With a few simple swaps it’s easy to make a vegetarian or vegan version of this pressure cooker rasta pasta.
a fork removing one bite of Instant Pot Rasta Pasta from a white serving bowl

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips.
  • Olive Oil – Or any light, neutral-flavored oil. 
  • Jerk seasoning – A deliciously spicy seasoning blend of Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and salt.
  • Garlic Powder – Adds a nice earthy flavor. 
  • Ginger Powder – For a warm and sweet spiciness to the dish.
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder – For added heat. If your jerk seasoning is quite spicy, you can omit. 
  • Salt – Salt brings out the natural flavors of all the other ingredients.
  • Penne Pasta – Penne holds up to the heavy sauce. Feel free to use another pasta shape if you prefer.
  • Bell Peppers – Red, yellow, and green bell peppers, seeds removed and sliced.
  • Heavy Cream – Can swap for coconut milk instead.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
the ingredients needed for making Instant Pot Rasta Pasta

Ready to make Instant Pot Caribbean Recipes? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Instant Pot Rasta Pasta

Get full ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of jerk seasoning, garlic powder, ginger powder, cayenne powder and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat well.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the Instant Pot insert, using the sauté function. When the oil is hot add the chicken and cook for 1 minute stirring to brown all surfaces. Cancel the saute function.
  3. Deglaze the bottom of the insert with a few tablespoons of chicken stock and scrape with a wooden spoon to be sure no food is stuck on.
  4. Add pasta on top of the chicken, followed by the chicken stock. Use a spoon to gently press the pasta down, making sure the pasta is fully submerged. 
  5. Seal and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes, followed by a quick pressure release.
  6. Open the pot and check the amount of liquid. If there is too much liquid in the bottom of the pot, discard some before continuing.
  7. Stir in the remaining jerk seasoning, bell peppers, cream and parmesan cheese. Close the lid and let it sit for about 7 minutes so the peppers soften and the cheese melts.  
  8. Garnish and serve.
image collage showing some of the steps for making Instant Pot Rasta Pasta

Note: Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach at least 165F / 74C for the chicken to be considered done and safe to serve.

Expert Tips

  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours (or overnight). 
  • Use a wooden spoon to gently press down the pasta to make sure it is completely submerged under the cooking liquid.
  • We used three colors of bell peppers, but you can use whatever you happen to have on hand. 
  • Like even more heat? Add more Jerk seasoning and cayenne pepper to make this spicier.
  • If you prefer a milder pasta, skip the cayenne and use less of the Jerk seasoning. 
  • Always check chicken for doneness. The internal temperature should read at least 165F / 74C on a meat thermometer.
  • Cooking times do not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.
  • You can use already-cooked chicken if you prefer. Add it after the pasta is cooked when you add the remaining ingredients. 
one serving of Instant Pot Rasta Pasta in a white bowl

Delicious Variations

  • Swap The Pasta – Tube pasta works great for this recipe, and we’ve selected penne. Fusilli is another popular option, as is tagliatelle.
  • Add Shrimp – Make shrimp Rasta Pasta by swapping out some or all of the chicken for Jerk seasoned shrimp. To use shrimp, sauté it for 1 minute then set aside while the pasta cooks. Stir the shrimp back into the dish when you add the cream and cheese.
  • Make It Vegetarian – Leave out the meat and use vegetable stock and coconut milk for a vegetarian Rasta Pasta. For Vegan Rasta Pasta, swap butter for oil and omit the parmesan cheese.
close up view of the finished Instant Pot Rasta Pasta inside the Instant Pot insert

Prep Ahead And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – Use precooked or leftover chicken. See instructions in the FAQs below.
  • Store – keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freeze – Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. 
the completed instant pot rasta pasta ready to be served

FAQs

How Do I Make Shrimp Rasta Pasta?

Turn your dish into Shrimp Rasta Pasta by swapping out some or all of the chicken for jerk seasoned shrimp. Season the shrimp and saute with the chicken. Remove the shrimp to a plate and add it back in when you add the cream and cheese. Cover and allow everything to warm through.

Is Rasta Pasta Spicy?

Jerk seasoning has some heat to it, but it’s typically not overwhelmingly spicy. If you prefer less spicy dishes, we recommend you keep the jerk seasoning but omit the cayenne pepper to soften the spiciness of this Jamaican Rasta Pasta.

Can I Make Pressure Cooker Rasta Pasta With Precooked Chicken?

Yes, you can use precooked chicken. Skip steps 1-3 in the recipe instructions and begin with step 4. Add the chicken when you add the remaining ingredients during step 7. 

top down view of the pressure cooker rasta pasta inside the Instant Pot

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top down view of the completed Instant Pot Rasta Pasta recipe divided into servings
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Rasta Pasta

Flavorful jerk chicken and pasta in a creamy sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time11 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, jamaican
Servings: 6
Calories: 534kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless and cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons Jerk seasoning divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups (400g) penne pasta
  • 2 cups (202g) chicken stock low sodium, if preferred
  • 3 bell peppers (1 each red, yellow, green) stem and seeds removed and cut into slices
  • ½ cup (120g) heavy cream or coconut milk, if preferred
  • ¾ cup (67g) parmesan cheese freshly grated

Instructions

  • Combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of jerk seasoning, garlic powder, ginger powder, cayenne powder and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat well.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the Instant Pot insert using the sauté function. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook for 1 minute, stirring to brown all surfaces.
  • Cancel the sauté function and deglaze the bottom of the insert with a few tablespoons of chicken stock, scraping with a wooden spoon to make sure nothing is stuck.
  • Add pasta on top of the chicken, then pour in the chicken stock. Use a spoon to gently press the pasta down, making sure it is fully submerged.
  • Place the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and set for manual pressure/high pressure for 4 minutes. When done perform a quick pressure release.
  • Open the lid and check the amount of liquid remaining. If there is too much liquid in the bottom of the pot, remove some before continuing.
  • Stir in the remaining Jerk seasoning, bell peppers, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. Close the lid and let it sit for about 7 minutes so the peppers soften and the cheese melts.
  • Garnish, serve, and enjoy.
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Notes

  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours (or overnight). 
  • Use a wooden spoon to gently press down the pasta to make sure it is completely submerged under the cooking liquid.
  • We used three colors of bell peppers, but you can use whatever you happen to have on hand. 
  • Like even more heat? Add more Jerk seasoning and cayenne pepper to make this spicier.
  • If you prefer milder pasta, skip the cayenne and use less of the Jerk seasoning. 
  • Always check chicken for doneness. The internal temperature should read at least 165F / 74C on a meat thermometer.
  • Cooking times do not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.
  • You can use already-cooked chicken if you prefer. Add it after the pasta is cooked when you add the remaining ingredients. 
  • Storage – keep in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1997IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Loved this meal! I had been wanting it for weeks and it turned out great!

    I made my own jerk seasoning.

    I also added more noodles (just so I could get rid of the full box) so I ended up needing to add more chicken broth (about 6 cups) and pressure cooking for 11 minutes.

    I live in WI so I also doubled the amount of cheese.

    So delicious

  2. 5 stars
    I love Rasta Pasta! I also love that the Instant Pot is so versatile. This looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try this version.

  3. 5 stars
    I love the idea of combining jerk chicken and pasta – genius! Can’t wait to make this!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh wow! I love the idea of adding shrimp to this dish. Super yummy. And how much easier can it get by cooking it in the Instant Pot! Perfect for those busy nights of taking my kids to all their things!

  5. 5 stars
    This Instant Pot Rasta Pasta was off-the-chain delicious! It had great flavor, and the texture was on point. I will be making this again.