How to Make Rasta Pasta

August 23, 2014
A creamy jerk pasta dish with just enough spice and cheesiness to keep you coming for more.

close up of a plate of rasta pasta

Have you ever seen my first Rasta Pasta recipe?

I probably should not be sending you over there.

The pics are embarrassing. But I guess it shows my growth with my picture taking and blogging on the whole.

rasta pasta in pot just as it has finished cooking
Old Rasta Pasta Pic

This recipe continues to be the most searched recipe on the blog.

I remember randomly posting this recipe a few years back just making a note of something I made.

Now I'm here providing recipes to other people.

I never then thought that I would eventually be sharing recipes continuously and to an audience.

side view of rasta pasta in a white plate

This dish has become quite a staple in my family's rotation. I can probably make this now with my eyes closed.

As a result, I have been able to make some adjustments that I think I should share.

It continues to be heavily searched and it's only fair I throw in a few tidbits for you.

You can also switch this out with any meat you want. You can substitute chicken or shrimp (and lobster would be another great option).

The method has not changed at all. It is still an easy recipe for a very tasty dish.

Creamy rasta pasta about to be eaten

I first had rasta pasta at a Caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn called Footprints. Footprints rasta pasta was ridiculously yummy!!

I decided then I had to figure out this dish since I won't be in Brooklyn all the time. I had to be able to make this over and over again.

What is Rasta Pasta?

A few people have seen the "Rasta" in the title (short for Rastafarian) and mentioned that this should have no meat.

The premise of the dish is not for the contents of the dish but for the colors (red, green, and gold).

The addition of jerk also plays into the rasta idea, since in general, most people also link Rastafarianism to Jamaica.

What I love about this recipe is that you can make it with or without meat.

You can easily do options with this meal:

  • With chicken, 
  • No chicken 
  • Chicken on the side 
  • With shrimp (or any other seafood) 
  • Oxtail rasta pasta is also a thing

Plate of pasta and grater for extra cheese

Tips for cooking:

Sometimes I slightly bake my peppers for a bit before adding to the dish, But, sometimes I don't.

I bake it for a little so that it gives the peppers a little form before I throw it into the pot. This trick allows it to have a fresh, crisp feel.

I prefer that than it being cooked down and soft. But that is not mandatory.

This is a pretty simple list of ingredients:

  • Chicken, 
  • pasta, 
  • cheese, 
  • bell peppers, 
  • jerk seasoning, 
  • garlic, 
  • knorr parma rosa (Target now carries this regularly)
  • green onions

It's one of my easier one-pot dishes. Not as tricky as my pelau recipe but just as tasty and easy as my Cuban yellow rice or saffron rice

And things come together pretty quickly. Suggestions - get all your ingredients measured out and waiting prior to starting to cook.

Ingredients to make rasta pasta

In general, that is the best practice. It's not something I always follow through with personally. Most times I'm scampering trying to find things at the last minute.

Make rasta pasta without Knorr Parma Rosa Sauce Mix

I'm so thankful for people leaving comments on the post with the adjustments they have made.

Yes, you can make this without parma rosa. You can substitute using a creamy tomato sauce or even an Alfredo sauce and add tomatoes.

If you want some more directions on making this rasta pasta without the knorr parma rosa, I can send it to you.

Just let me know here.

rasta pasta plated and ready to serve

Just getting these things mixed together excites me.

Once you start mixing, things come together quickly.

Voila.. your rasta pasta is complete.

And is sooo yummy!

Check out some other Caribbean influenced recipes I love

Rasta Pasta, Jerk, Parma Rosa Sauce, Footprints
Pasta, Dinner, Entree, Rasta Pasta
Yield: Serves 4Pin it
Close up of a plate of rasta pasta

Rasta Pasta

An easy recipe for making the delicious rasta pasta dish of a creamy jerk sauce smothering penne pasta, bell peppers and your choice of meat.
prep time: 15 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 45 mins


For Chicken
For Pasta
  • 2 cups penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 pack Knorr Parma Rosa Sauce Mix
  • 2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella or sharp cheddar)
  • 2 bell peppers (red and green)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning


For Chicken
  1. Season chicken with green seasoning or as you usually would.
  2. Add jerk seasoning
  3. Let sit. (can sit overnight)
  4. Heat oven to 350 c
  5. Place breasts in a greased baking dish and cover with foil
  6. Bake for 35 minutes
  7. Remove foil, throw off any excess water and replace in oven to bake for another 25 minutes
  8. Remove, strip chicken breasts up and set aside
For Pasta
  1. Boil pasta as instructed on the box and strain (no more than 10 minutes)
  2. In a medium pot heat oil on medium heat.
  3. Add green onions and garlic and stir.
  4. Add jerk seasoning and stir for about 2 mins ensuring that onions are coated
  5. Add milk and mix. Pay close attention that it does not burn (At this time you can also place the bell peppers (coated in olive oil, salt & Black pepper) in the oven for about 15 minutes)
  6. Add half of the pasta to pot with milk mix
  7. Add the half pack of Parma Rosa powder to pasta
  8. Add half of the cheese and stir well
  9. Add rest of Parma Rosa and cheese and mix well, making sure that all clumps are dissolved.
  10. If you are using a meat (chicken or shrimp) add to dish now. 
  11. Add bell peppers, remaining pasta and a little more milk if all liquid has disappeared
  12. Take off heat and serve


A few PRE cooking activities:

- Bake chicken before you start to cook pasta

- Cut up bell peppers and prepare them so that it can be easily put in the oven after the chicken is done
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin Me for Later:

Image for pinning of a plate of rasta pasta

Want to make this recipe WITHOUT the Knorr Parma Rosa mix? Get the recipe for "Easy Rasta Pasta" that is a newsletter only gift and also get a free recipe e-book when you sign up here.

Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.


  1. What is the garlic clove for? When is it used?

    1. Hi Sorry Taqueena,

      You use the garlic after heating the oil with the onions to cook.

  2. Hello, I was wondering could I use almond milk instead of regular milk?

    1. Hi Quita,

      You can try. The only reason I would doubt using almond milk is because almond milk does have a bit of a taste and it may over power the flavors

    2. You can definitely go for coconut milk instead.

  3. Hello.

    How much jerk seasoning do I add to pasta?

    1. Hi Karen

      1 tsp worked fine for me. I am not much of a pepper fan though. I think at most you can do 1 1/2 teaspoons because you also don't want the jerk to be ALL that you are tasting.

  4. I made it for my bf today OMG he loved it . it was just a but to spicey lol may hold back next time lol..

    1. That spice!! Did you use the hot jerk or mild? I always use the mild one. I am not trying to die from that heat.. hahaha. So glad he loved it though. Thanks KeKe

  5. Hi what jerk seasoning do you use?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hey,

      I usually have Grace brand stocked in my fridge. That's my go to brand. But I occasionally use JC's Boston Jerk too. Any jerk would work really. Just make sure you take a little taste of it to see how salty and hot it may be. I always use mild though... lol

      Let me know which one you got!

  6. Hey
    Do i have to use the knorr parma thing? I have all the ingredients except that one

    1. Hey hey,

      I have had one friend not use it and she said it tasted good. But I think it would be missing that flavor. You are giving me ideas though. I would see if I can come up with the substitute to be used for it. Let me know how it goes for you without!!

    2. Parmarosa sause is nothing but a creamy tomato sause and they have recipes for it online. I couldn't it in my supermarkets (went to 3) so I just made the sauce itself and added a couple of teaspoons. It was good!

  7. What exactly is Knorr Pasta Rosa and jerk seasoning? Do either of these have peppers in it? My dad is allergic to peppers. Thank you.

  8. Raeanne, Knorr Parma Rosa mix is a pink sauce made with tomatoes. THe jerk seasoning is all pepper. You would have to leave that out totally for your Dad's sake. My friend makes this without Jerk and she likes it

  9. I actually used Alfredo from the jar and added curry power, jerk seasoning and old bay. The sauce was VERY close to footprints. Hope this helps!

  10. Ahh.. I'll have to try that version Taqueena.

    Thanks for mentioning it

  11. Hello! Looks delish. How many does this serve? I'm trying to expand the recipe for additional guests, and I'd like to know how much the current recipe will feed.

  12. Hi Unknown,

    This would serve 3 people with this being the main dish.

    It can be stretched to about 4 if it's accompanied with other things.

  13. Trying this recipe today fingers crossed couldn't find the knorr sauce so I look up the pink tomato recipe

  14. Let me know Brittnay. I'm actually testing so that I can eliminate the Knorr for people who cannot find it. Shoot me an email about how it turned out for you

  15. Hi, have you tried it with coconut milk

  16. No I haven't. If you do decide to you may have to dilute the milk a bit with water. Coconut milk has heavy flavor. I think even light coconut milk can adjust the taste of things. If you do try it with it let me know how it worked out

  17. This is the second time that I am making this "rasta pasta" and decided to write a review as I am here eating it. This is sooo delicious. I just moved to Ga from ny anf although there is a footprints out here I heard it is not the same as the one on clarendon road in bk. Every time I make this it finished sooo quick. GREAT JOB on the recipe! And THANK YOU!!!

  18. Hi. I'm confused here.

    Add half pack of Parma Rosa powder to pastaAdd half of cheese and stir well.
    Add rest of Parma Rosa and cheese and mix well, making sure that all clumps are dissolved.
    Add half of pasta and stir. ??

    1. Yes.. don't add everything at once it would become clumpy.. SO add half the parma rosa, mix, add cheese, mix, add parma rosa again, and rest of cheese. It's just to ensure there are no clumps of the powder there. Then add the rest of pasta to sauce.

  19. Wow! Never thought of putting jerk spice with cheese, but I'll bet it's amazing!!

  20. Made this receipe today for the first time with shrimp. I added 1/2 a pack of coconut milk powder mix and butter to the pasta. Since I used the mild jerk sauce, I added a little crushed red pepper flakes. It came out GREAT!

    1. Ohh that's a great idea to use the powder. That flavor is not as strong as some of these tin ones. Thanks for commenting JMC

  21. Four cheese Rosa to replace knorrs parm rosa

  22. I'm wanting to make just the rasta sauce, no meat or pasta. I'm wondering if using the Parma Rosa made into it's sauce form and adding the jerk seasoning is what makes the "rasta sauce"? Thanks! Jay

    1. Hey Jay for sure you can make the sauce without the pasta and meat

      Add green onions and garlic and stir.
      Add jerk seasoning and stir for about 2 mins ensuring that onions are coated
      Add milk and mix.
      Add half pack of Parma Rosa powder
      Add half of cheese and stir well
      Add rest of Parma Rosa and cheese and mix well, making sure that all clumps are dissolved.
      Add bell peppers, and a little more milk if all liquid has disappeared
      Take off heat and serve

  23. What should I do if i want seconds and the sauce has dried up?

    1. Put it back on the stove and add a little more milk and mix it up. You can add more cheese also if the sauce is thin. Add a little milk at a time though you don't want it to get too saucy lol

  24. Wow, this is a gorgeous dish! I am so glad you and your sister are having such a great time in the kitchen!

  25. Can you use pre made Alfredo sauce instead of the milk and knorr pack

  26. I will try and make some for the first time in my life

  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. I just showed this to my son and he asked if we could make it. Looks wonderful!


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