Rasta Pasta takes a traditional Italian dish and gives it a Jamaican twist. Using Caribbean spices and peppers, it is a colorful and yummy meal that can be made in a variety of ways. Whether you’re a carnivore, vegan, or vegetarian, there are many ways to incorporate Jamaican seasonings into your pasta. If you’re a fan of jerk chicken/fish but can’t decide whether to eat Caribbean or Italian food, these yummy fusion pastas will make for a delicious compromise.
1. Rasta Pasta with Shrimp
It should come as no surprise that combining jerk shrimp (a Caribbean classic) with spaghetti (an Italian staple) makes for one delightful dish. Grana Padano cheese is similar to parmesan, but softer and milder, so it helps create a creamier sauce that adheres nicely to the noodles. You can use small or large shrimp, or even substitute with prawns for a meatier, more satisfying meal. You don’t have to limit yourself here, you can add mussels, scallops, or any seafood you prefer. This will even work well with chicken or whitefish.
Get the full recipe and directions here
2. Rasta Pasta with Caribbean Jerk Chicken
For many people, jerk chicken is the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Jamaican cuisine. This jerk chicken pasta is very customizable and is sure to be a hit at any dinner party or event. You can use raw chicken or rotisserie chicken – whichever you prefer. You’ll be hitting it with a generous portion of jerk seasoning, which you can buy premade or make on your own if you have the right spices.
Once your chicken is done, you’ll sauté peppers, onions, and garlic in some more jerk seasoning, and then add heavy cream and chicken stock to make a thick, creamy sauce that gets finished with parmesan.
The recipe calls for penne, but you can toss this with any pasta you prefer. We think that shorter noodles work best here, so something like rigatoni, fusilli, or even farfalle should get the job done.
Get the full recipe and directions at Little Sunny Kitchen
3. Creamy Rasta Pasta
This pasta takes a step away from the red sauce in favor of a white cream sauce that manages to be pretty light. With the option to use heavy cream or coconut milk, you can really play with the flavor profiles here. We like the coconut milk to give it a bit more of a tropical vibe, but you can’t go wrong either way. You can use chicken breasts or thighs, but thighs will be more flavorful and are less likely to end up dry and overcooked.
The white sauce is pretty easy to make and comes together quickly, so this is a fantastic option for a weeknight meal. If you have leftover chicken from another dish, you can definitely use that in this pasta.
Again, penne is the popular choice, but this will work with pretty much any noodle. Even longer kinds of pasta like fettuccine or linguine will accompany the rest of the ingredients quite nicely. If you want to make this vegetarian, you could easily substitute tofu or vegan sausage for the chicken.
Get the full recipe and directions at Recipe Vibes
4. Vegetarian Rasta Pasta
Jerk seasoning doesn’t have to be used on meat or fish. It blends nicely into any vegetarian dish, and this recipe makes great use of it. The creamy, cheesy sauce balances out the heat of the spices and helps hold all the ingredients together.
As with the last recipe, you can substitute the cream for coconut milk if you’re looking for a bit of a different flavor. There are a lot of ways you can tailor this to your taste, using different vegetables or adding meatless proteins like chickpeas, jackfruit, or tofu.
Or, if you don’t want to go the vegetarian route, you could always throw in chicken or sausage.
Get the full recipe and directions at Savory Thoughts.
5. Instant Pot Rasta Pasta
The Instant Pot may be more known for its ability to quickly make soups, stews, and braised meats, but it’s actually quite a great tool for pasta as well. This is a pretty straightforward recipe using jerk seasoning, chicken stock (or water), shrimp, and a mix of veggies including bell peppers, garlic, and onions.
Paprika adds a nice touch of sweetness that balances out the savory, creamy sauce. You can use pretty much any kind of noodle that you like, and you’ll have this satisfying dish done in less than a half-hour! This is another one that is great for a weeknight meal and can be made with any vegetables you have on hand.
Get the full recipe and directions at Cooked by Julie.
6. Ramen Noodle Rasta Pasta
You may not picture ramen noodles when you think of Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a great addition to this popular recipe. Using coconut milk, paprika, thyme, and parmesan cheese, you’ll build a tasty and bright sauce that acts a nice base for your ramen noodles.
You can cook the noodles based on the package directions, but you may want to take them out a minute early, as you are going to continue to cook them in the sauce with the peppers and onions. There is no protein included in the recipe, but you could always throw in some shrimp, chicken, or tofu.
Get the full recipe and directions at Lotus Foods.
7. Vegan Rasta Pasta
While many of the previous dishes can be made vegetarian, the cream sauce means they aren’t necessarily vegan-friendly. Here, you’ll use coconut milk instead of cream and you’ll leave out the parmesan. If you have nutritional yeast, it can provide a cheesy flavor and texture, and is a popular option for vegan pastas.
Vegetable broth adds some flavor to the sauce, while flour helps to thicken it up. This is a very satisfying and creamy sauce that doesn’t need to use animal products to give you the full experience of a delicious Rasta pasta.
Get the full recipe and directions at From the Comfort of My Bowl.
Pasta is really such a versatile ingredients and we love recipes that provide flavor fusions from different cuisines. I really love spicy, flavorful foods, so was excited to give Rasta pasta a try. Which recipe caught your eye, and what other fusions would you like to see?
If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Spicy Miso Pasta recipe post.