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top down view of a skillet filled with the completed rasta pasta with a wooden serving spoon inside

Rasta Pasta

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine jamaican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 594kcal


  • 12 ounces (350g) boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning divided
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces (340g) penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 red bell pepper with the stem and seeds removed and cut into slices
  • 1 yellow bell pepper with the stem and seeds removed and cut into slices
  • 1 green bell pepper with the stem and seeds removed and cut into slices
  • ½ Vidalia onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 cup (232g) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (90g) parmesan cheese freshly grated


  • Combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of jerk seasoning, ginger powder, cayenne powder and salt in a large bowl. Toss to coat, then cover and let it marinate for 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours) in the fridge.
  • While the chicken marinates, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat then cook the pasta for 9 minutes to el dente.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and set it aside for later. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat then add the chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165F / 74C on a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the chicken and set it aside on a plate. Add butter, red, yellow, and green bell peppers, onion, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the peppers start to soften a bit.
  • Pour in the remaining Jerk seasoning, reserved pasta water, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. Cook until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked chicken back in, then the cooked pasta. Stir to combine.
  • Garnish with freshly sliced green onions or parsley, serve, and enjoy.



  • Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours (or overnight).
  • Cook pasta to al dente. This means the pasta has a little bit of resistance when you bite into it.
  • Traditionally, Rasta Pasta includes 3 colors of bell peppers, but you can use what you have on hand. 
  • For those who like a lot of heat, add more Jerk seasoning and cayenne pepper to really kick things up. And use less, or even omit the Cayenne altogether, if you prefer a milder dish. 
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of chicken should be 165F / 74C.
  • You can also make this using already-cooked chicken or chicken leftovers if you prefer. Just add all of the Jerk seasoning to the skillet when cooking the vegetables.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in a covered container inside the fridge for 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2455IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 2mg