Pasta is one of my favorite dishes. It is filling, comforting, and so quick and easy to make. But it can get boring to serve basic pasta and red sauce every week, so I’m sharing a really fun way to freshen up your pasta night. This rasta pasta recipe is creamy, fresh, and bright, but can still be prepared in under 30 minutes!
This recipe uses a Jamaican jerk seasoning in the sauce. Of course Jamaican food is spicy, and as a parent, I know that can turn an otherwise perfect meal into a no-go for my kids. So consider this a 2-in-1 recipe, as I have included the measurements for the Jamaican seasoning we will use. This way, you can adjust the spiciness to your liking! Plus, you will have some extra seasoning leftover, which you can save to season chicken, tofu, or grilled veggies on another day! But of course store bought is also an option.
Why You'll Love This Rasta Pasta
- Perfectly Plant Based – This dish is completely vegan, so if you are catering to a crowd with dietary restrictions, this one is definitely a win!
- Healthy and Hearty – Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. It keeps you full, and it just feels good to eat! But this pasta dish is also packed with healthy, immune-boosting ingredients, which makes it the perfect dish for when you are feeling a bit under the weather. This recipe calls for coconut milk instead of heavy cream which has less saturated fat.
Ingredients For Rasta Pasta
- Penne Pasta – Prepare a box of your favorite pasta. You can use regular, whole wheat, veggie based, gluten free, or – whatever you prefer!
- Green Onions – On top of being absolutely delicious, green onions pack a healthy amount of vitamins C and K!
• Minced Garlic – Using fresh minced garlic will not only bring a beautiful flavor to the dish, but an extra dose of nutrients as well.
- Olive Oil – We will just need a bit of oil for sautéing the green onions.
- Flour – This small amount of flour will help to thicken our sauce in the finished product.
- Vegetable Broth – Boxed or homemade veggie broth is full of nutrients and helps to form the base of our sauce.
- Lime Juice – I recommend purchasing limes and fresh squeezing the juice. The flavor is better, plus you can set aside some lime wedges for serving.
- Jamaican Seasoning – If you don’t have a Jamaican seasoning on hand, I have included the recipe for it below.
- Coconut Milk – If you are new to the world of coconut milk, there are two important things to keep in mind when shopping. First, canned coconut milk cannot be replaced with the kind in the refrigerated section. The coconut milk that you will find next to the almond milk is far too thin and has a different taste to it. Second, make sure that you opt for a can of full fat, and not ‘lite’ coconut milk.
- Bell Peppers – We will need red, orange, and yellow peppers for this recipe. Bell peppers are immune boosting and rich in antioxidants. Enjoy the leftover halved peppers in another meal, or freeze them to make your own homemade veggie broth next time! You can add some scotch bonnet peppers if you like it extra spicy.
How to Make Rasta Pasta
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside until needed. I like to cook it al dente.
2. Over medium heat, sauté the green onions and garlic in olive oil. Sprinkle the flour onto the green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Whisk in the vegetable broth, making sure to dissolve all of the flour bits. A loose paste should form.
4. Add the coconut milk, 1 ½ tsp of Jamaican seasoning and lime juice. Lower heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
5. Fold in the bell pepper and pasta, then simmer for another 3 minutes. Serve warm with fresh lime and extra green onions.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you begin, get all of your prep work done. First you will want to prepare your pasta according to the directions on the box. I like to add some salt to my pasta water. While it is cooking, you can go ahead and mix your Jamaican seasoning, if you are making it yourself. Also cut your red, yellow, and orange bell peppers into strips and your chop your scallions. Remember that you will be using half of each, so please feel free to store the rest for another use. Drain your pasta and set it aside.
Now lets get cooking! Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sautee your ¼ cup of green onions, plus your garlic.
Next, sprinkle your flour over the green onions and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Next, you'll want to slowly whisk in your vegetable broth. A whisk will be the best way to ensure that your flour dissolves completely. The consistency should resemble a loose paste.
To finish the sauce, add the canned coconut milk, 1 ½ tsp of your Jamaican seasoning, and your lime juice. Give your ingredients a stir, and then lower the heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Finally, add pasta and bell peppers and more green onions if you wish. Simmer for 3 more minutes.
Serve warm with fresh lime wedges and more green onions. Salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Full fat coconut milk tends to separate in the can. Give it a shake before opening. If you open it and find a thick, putty- like top layer, and a watery layer underneath, don’t worry. This is normal, and will mix together easily when you dump it into the pot. Just use a spoon or butter knife to loosen the fatty layer.
- Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- If you'd like to add protein to the dish, you can add some cooked chicken breasts, but of course it will no longer be vegan!
Rasta Pasta consists of penne noodles, bell peppers, creamy sauce and Jamaican seasoning.
Prepare pasta according to box. Separately, create a roux with garlic and green onions, then whisk in vegetable broth. Add coconut milk, seasonings, pasta, and bell peppers, and simmer.
While this dish has been credited to many different chefs, Jamaican chef Lorraine Washington appears to have been the first to create this dish.
It can be reheated on the stovetop, or in the microwave until warm.
Looking for more plant based meals? Try these vegan recipes:
Rasta Pasta Recipe
- 10 oz Penne Pasta cooked according to box directions
- ¼ cup Green Onions chopped + extra for garnish
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 ½ tbs Olive Oil
- 2 tbs Flour
- 1 cup Vegetable Broth
- 1 tbs Lime Juice
- 1 ½ tsp Jamaican Seasoning
- 1 14 oz Can Coconut Milk, full fat
- ½ Red Bell Pepper cut into strips
- ½ Yellow Bell Pepper cut into strips
- ½ Orange Bell Pepper cut into strips
For the Jamaican Seasoning
- 1 ½ tsp Smoked Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Thyme
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- ¼ tsp Red Chili Flakes optional to make kid friendly
- Cook pasta according to box directions, drain and set aside until needed.
- Over medium heat sautee the green onions and garlic in olive oil.
- Sprinkle the flour onto the green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk in the vegetable broth, making sure to dissolve all of the flour bits. A loose paste should form.
- Add the coconut milk, 1 ½ tsp of Jamaican seasoning and lime juice. Lower heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Fold in the bell pepper and pasta, then simmer for another 3 minutes. Serve warm with fresh lime and extra green onions.
Reheat in from fridge in microwave or stove stop.
Can be frozen for up to 3 months.