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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 - 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

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.

I DO think you’re gonna love my ver­sion though! It’s a one-pot chick­en and pas­ta won­der, 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 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.
  11. 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 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.

You also can’t miss when you put Broc­coli Cau­li­flower Sal­ad or Ramen Coleslaw next to this tasty Ras­ta Pas­ta with Jerk 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.
  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

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