Chef Lorraine Washington invented the original Rasta Pasta recipe in Jamaica in 1985, and since then the recipe has undergone a bit of an evolution. This vegan rasta pasta recipe doesn’t stray too far from the contemporary standard, and is a fun dinner dish that doesn’t take long to make.
What’s essential is a trio of bell pepper colors signifying the colors of rastafarianism — red, green, and gold — and a creamy, jerk-spiced coconut sauce. Plant-based chick’n and hot chili peppers are optional, though highly recommended.
Ms. Washington first came up with the recipe for a crew of construction workers at her Paradise Yard Restaurant, and the concept took hold and became a contemporary classic. You can read more about the history of rasta pasta.
Vegan Rasta Pasta Ingredients
- Short chunky pasta (penne regate is customary)
- Yellow or red onion
- Bell peppers (3: green, yellow, and red)
- Chili peppers (1 to 2 — Scotch bonnet, habanero, or jalapeño)
- Lite coconut milk, 13.5-ounce cans
- Lime juice (from 1 fresh or bottled juice)
- Fresh parsley or cilantro (1 small bunch)
- Jerk seasoning
- Curry powder
- Dried thyme
- Plant-based chick’n (optional)
From the pantry
- Olive oil
- Unbleached all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
What to serve with Vegan Jamaican Rasta Pasta
- To add more vegetables to the plate, a great companion is Stir-Fried Collard Greens and Cabbage.
- If you’re skipping the plant-based chick’n, add protein and color to the plate with Simple Lentil and Tomato Salad.
- Or, you can keep things simple by serving with a colorful salad of lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumbers, and red cabbage.
More Jamaican-inspired recipes you may enjoy:
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 10 to 12 ounces short chunky pasta (penne regate is customary)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow or red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 each green, yellow, and red bell peppers, cut into long narrow strips
- 3 to 4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced and divided
- 1 to 2 chili peppers (Scotch bonnet, habanero, or jalapeño), seeded and finely chopped, optional
- 1 rounded tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 13.5-ounce can lite coconut milk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice, to taste
- 2 to 3 teaspoons jerk seasoning, to taste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, or more, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 to 10 ounces plant-based chick’n, optional
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent.
- Add the garlic, bell peppers, white parts of the scallions, and optional chili peppers. Continue to sauté until the bell peppers and onions are limp and beginning to turn golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables and stir quickly to coat.
- Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, jerk seasoning, curry powder, and thyme. Heat gently.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
- If using the plant-based chick’n, heat according to package directions separately (pan, air-fryer, etc.) Cut into bite-sized chunks or strips and stir into the pasta mixture. Serve at once.
If you like the pasta and peppers combination, you might also enjoy …