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Rasta Pasta, Easy Jerk Chicken Supper

Savory herbs and homey warming spices make this easy, creamy, one-pot Rasta Pasta casserole a winning chicken dinner!

Rasta Pasta - chicken casserole - on a wooden cutting board that is sitting on a concrete counter with a stack of plate and a blue print fabric napkin
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If you’re looking for a deliciously satisfying, quick and easy chicken casserole recipe, rasta pasta is exactly what you’re craving!

Al dente rigatoni pasta holding scrumptious creamy sauce in its every nook and cranny, co-stars with the succulent jerk chicken in this taste bud tantalizing rasta pasta recipe.

Throw in savory onions and garlic with a tender crisp veggie crunch from sweet bell peppers.

Now, wrap it all in a mildly spicy, herby and luscious cream sauce.

You have the winner of a starring roll in one of the best quick and easy chicken dinners you’ll ever make!

Rasta Pasta with Jerk-seasoned Chicken

Why Is It Called Rasta Pasta?

Rasta refers to a religious movement (the Rastafarians), originating in Jamaica. Traditional rasta colors are red, yellow and green.

It’s been said that a chef named the pasta after he had prepared it for a group of construction workers. Seeing the rasta colors represented in the dish, one of the carpenters said it should be called Rasta Pasta.

The name has stuck and now Rasta Pasta is eaten all around the world.

It should be noted that I have strayed from tradition with this specific rasta pasta recipe. Rastafarians do not eat meat, so my addition of Jerk Chicken would not be considered a classic representation of the pasta dish. But, that’s alright. It’s not a traditional Jerk Chicken, either. lol I always put my own spin on recipes.

I DO think you’re gonna love my version though! It’s a one-pot chicken and pasta wonder and easy to have on the table in less than 30 minutes.

The Ingredients

Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken ingredients - rigatoni, bell peppers, boneless skinless chicken breast, garlic and red onion, minced parsely, sliced green onions jerk seasoning, grated Parmesan cheese, bouillon in water and heavy cream
  • Rigatoni Pasta (or choose your favorite shape.) I like how the creamy sauce clings to the ridges on the outside of rigatoni.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Bell Peppers, any color of bell peppers are fine. I used rec bell peppers and yellow.
  • Red Onion, minced
  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Garlic, minced
  • Homemade Chicken Bouillon Powder in water
  • Homemade Jerk Seasoning (recipe in Notes section of recipe card), or your favorite commercial brand
  • optional: fresh parsley, minced (for garnish)

What is Jerk Seasoning?

homemade jerk seasoning in a plastic storage container

The term “jerk” actually refers to a method of cooking, common to the Caribbean, in which meat is rubbed or marinated in jerk seasoning and then slow-roasted over a fire. The fire is usually made with green pimento wood which adds a flavorful, smoky taste to the meat.

So, “jerk seasoning” refers to that spice blend that the rubs and marinades are made from. I use it on the jerk chicken in my one-pot Rasta Pasta chicken casserole.

While there can certainly be variations, there are some ingredients that are so integral to transporting us to Jamaican flavors, that most jerk seasoning recipes will be pretty similar. The variation will be in ratios. Plus, some are mildly spicy and some are VERY spicy. The one I use in this Rasta Pasta recipe falls somewhere in the mild to medium range.

Rasta Pasta - chicken casserole - on a wooden cutting board that is sitting on a concrete counter with a stack of plate and a blue print fabric napkin

With commercial blends, you may also have to contend with additives like MSG so they can get flavor, but cut costs on spices. Those store-bought blends will often contain fillers and anti-clumping agents, too.

I’ve include my recipe for Homemade Jerk Seasoning in the notes section of the recipe card for this Rasta Pasta recipe. I think you’ll find it’s a perfect balance of savory, herbaceous and spiciness. It contains, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle pepper powder, fine sea salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, allspice, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cumin.

How to Make Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken

Rasta Pasta - chicken casserole - on a wooden cutting board that is sitting on a concrete counter with a stack of plate and a blue print fabric napkin
  1. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta (to al dente) according to package directions.
  2. Dice the bell peppers and thinly slice green onions, while the pasta cooks.
  3. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Add the chicken chunks and jerk seasoning to a zip-top bag and shake to coat them or stir them together in a bowl.
  5. Cook the seasoned chicken breast in 2 Tablespoons of the avocado oil. Set aside.
  6. Add the last Tablespoon of avocado oil to the pot.  Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute. 
  7. Dissolve the chicken bouillon in the water.  Add it to the pot with the onions to deglaze the pan. 
  8. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to the Dutch oven. Stir until fully combined. Heat should still be at medium or medium low.
  9. Add the chicken, and then, the cooked pasta to the sauce in the pot.
  10. Stir in the green onions and thin bell pepper strips. Stir them in and they will cook from residual heat. (If you want your peppers soft, instead of tender-crisp, saute them with the onions in step 8.)
  11. Stir until everything is fully coated in the flavorful sauce.  The dish will be creamy, but there is not an excess of sauce.  There is just enough to coat all the pasta and chicken in a delicious creamy glaze.
  12. Serve your creamy pasta garnished with green onion slices and chopped parsley.

Rasta Pasta - chicken casserole - on a wooden cutting board that is sitting on a concrete counter with a stack of plate and a blue print fabric napkin

What to Serve with Rasta Pasta

This delicious Rasta Pasta chicken casserole goes with all your favorite veggie side dishes and salads. On busy weeknights, I love serving it with just a simple green salad, like my Kale Apple and Butternut Salad, Bell Pepper Salad or my Air Fryer Green Beans with Garlic Butter Sauce.

It’s also fantastic with sweet side dishes that balance it’s savory and spicy notes, like my Mandarin Orange Salad or Cranberry Apple Salad.

And it will always be a culinary win when you put Broccoli Cauliflower Salad or Ramen Coleslaw next to this tasty Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken.

Looking for another delish and easy chicken and pasta supper? Check out this Butter Chicken Pasta from Chichi over at Let’s Cook Chicken.

I hope you get a chance to make this delicious Rasta Pasta recipe, very soon. Family, friends and all assortment of guests will celebrate when they taste the delicious island flavors you create! Enjoy!

The Recipe

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Rasta Pasta - chicken casserole - on a wooden cutting board that is sitting on a concrete counter with a stack of plate and a blue print fabric napkin

Rasta Pasta, Easy One-Pot Supper


  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Description

If you’re looking for a deliciously satisfying, quick and easy chicken casserole recipe, rasta pasta is exactly what you’re craving! Al dente rigatoni pasta holding scrumptious creamy sauce in its every nook and cranny, co-stars with the succulent jerk chicken in this taste bud tantalizing rasta pasta.  Throw in savory onions and garlic with a tender crisp veggie crunch from sweet bell peppers. Now, wrap it all in a mildly spicy, herby and luscious cream sauce. An easy, winning chicken dinner.  Cook time and prep time together are 30 minutes or less!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) dry rigatoni pasta (or favorite pasta shape)
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, (2 to 3 breasts)
  • 3 Tablespoons jerk seasoning, divided (see my recipe in notes or buy your favorite store brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 2 large bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons homemade chicken bouillon (or favorite store brand)
  • 1 cup Parmesan, shredded (Grate your own for best flavor.)
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • optional: fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta (to al dente) according to package directions.
  2. Dice the bell peppers and thinly slice green onions, while the pasta cooks.
  3. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Toss the chicken chunks with the jerk seasoning and stir until all the chicken is coated.
  5. In Dutch oven or heavy bottomed stock pot, heat 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil over medium high heat.
  6. Add the seasoned chicken pieces to the hot oil in the pot.  Continue cooking until there is no pink in the center, juices run clear and an internal temp of 160° has been reached. Because the pieces are small, mine took 5 minutes or less.
  7. Remove chicken from the Dutch oven and set aside.
  8. Add the last Tablespoon of avocado oil to the pot.  Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute.  Stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn.  There will be browned bits on the bottom of the pan, but it should not be burned.  Keep the heat no higher than medium for this step.
  9. Now, dissolve the chicken bouillon in the water.  Add it to the pot with the onions to deglaze the pan.  When you add it the browned bits on the bottom will soften and loosen and you can stir all that flavor into your sauce. 
  10. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to the Dutch oven.  Stir until fully combined and thickened somewhat. Heat should still be at medium or medium low.
  11. Next add the chicken, and then, the cooked pasta to the sauce in the pot.
  12. Stir in the green onions and thin bell pepper strips.  Stir them in and they will cook from residual heat.  (If you want your peppers soft, instead of tender-crisp, saute them with the onions in step 8.)
  13. Stir until everything is fully coated in the flavorful sauce.  The dish will be creamy, but there is not an excess of sauce.  There is just enough to coat all the pasta and chicken in a delicious creamy glaze.
  14. Serve your creamy pasta garnished with more green onion slices and chopped parsley, if desired.

Notes

Jerk Seasoning Recipe – yield 1 cup

  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 Tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish, Entree, Chicken, Pasta, Casserole
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Jamaican-American
glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

12 thoughts on “Rasta Pasta, Easy Jerk Chicken Supper”

  1. What an easy and versatile recipe – my husband eats meat, and I don’t, and it was super easy to make this two ways without much hassle.

    Reply
  2. This pasta is amazing. My daughter made jerk seasoning, but she overdid it and made a pint of the seasoning which lead me to this recipe so I can use some of it. I do love the chicken you added and using the rigatoni makes this a nice hearty dish.

    Reply
  3. There’s crazy good flavor in this dish! It really hit the spot, and even the kids gobbled it all up!

    Reply
  4. This was great! The kids really enjoyed it (I don’t know if the name or the flavor was a bigger hit with them, they had a lot of fun saying it!) and I appreciate that it is a one pot, easy meal.

    Reply
  5. I found this on pinterest and as rasta pasta is my favourite I thought I would give it a go.
    It was such a hit with all 5 of the kids! And 2 of them took leftovers in a thermos for lunch!
    That is a winning recipe! Thank you for giving me something extra to add to our monthly meal plan!

    Reply

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