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March 30, 2021

Rasta Pasta With Shrimp & Cream Sauce

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Rasta Pasta is a tasty one-pot easy shrimp recipe everyone in your family will love.  Made with jerk seasoning, fresh shrimp, creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese – I can almost guarantee they’ll come running for seconds or thirds! 

Raise your hand if your family loves a good pasta dish?  Both hands raised here!  

We make a lot of pasta recipes in our house.  We particularly love ones with a creamy pasta sauce. 

This Rasta Pasta recipe has become a new favorite in our house.  It’s a quick and easy shrimp recipe that can be made on a busy weeknight or for entertaining guests.  

This pasta recipe will serve 4-6 people depending on your serving size which makes it a great dish for entertaining a small group.  

We chose to make this pasta recipe shrimp and our homemade jerk seasoning recipe and loads of other refresh ingredients.  But, what we love about this comfort food pasta is how versatile it is.  

Does your family prefer Rasta Pasta with sausage over shrimp?  Feel free to replace!  We love adding or replacing smoked sausage or Andouille sausage.  Or, maybe you’d like to serve chicken and shrimp?  Go for it!

Do you have an Instant Pot?  Of so, we are including directions below on how to make Instant Pot Rasta Pasta, too!  

If you love spicy pasta recipes, we recommend trying Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta | Delicious & Easy too.

As we mentioned above, we chose to make this Rasta Pasta recipe with homemade Jamaican jerk seasoning.  We prefer our homemade seasoning over pre-packaged seasoning as we find it has less sodium and artificial ingredients. 

However, feel free to use pre-packaged seasoning, if preferred. The benefit of choosing a homemade seasoning recipe is you can also adjust the ingredients to your family’s liking.  Our family loves a good spicy pasta recipe so this easy dish was right up our alley.

Regardless, this easy shrimp pasta recipe is almost guaranteed to turn out great!  I also find that the cream sauce, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese cool of some of the heat.  If you prefer this pasta dish with less cream, feel free to decrease the heavy whipping cream or cream cheese.  

WHAT TYPE OF PASTA SHOULD I USE?

What is great about this creamy pasta dish is you can use any pasta of your choosing.  However, with a creamy Rasta Pasta recipe such as this, we love to use pasta shells that hold on to the cream sauce.  Pasta shells such as penne pasta, fettuccini, rigatoni, and more are our favorites. 

When cooking pasta in your pressure cooker, be sure to follow the tip before for cooking time.  

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO MAKE RASTA PASTA

What we love most about this jerk shrimp pasta is the number of ways you make this easy dinner dish.  While we included thinly sliced bell peppers, homemade jerk seasoning, and delicious jumbo shrimp.  However, there are so many alternative ingredients you can add.  Here are just a few of our family loved favorites: 

  • Andouille sausage 
  • Smoked sausage 
  • Grilled jerk chicken 
  • Green onions 
  • Orange bell peppers

CAN I USE FROZEN SHRIMP?

You most certainly can!  However, I would recommend thawing the shrimp before cooking in this pasta dish.  To thaw, I typically place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.  

HOW SPICY IS RASTA PASTA?

This is by far one of the most frequently asked questions we receive.  As we mentioned above, what we love most about this easy Rasta Pasta is you can completely adjust the seasoning to meet your flavor profile. 

Similarly, the reason we love to use our homemade jerk seasoning is so we can make the seasoning as hot or mild as we might like. 

I would recommend slowly adding the seasoning until you can have reached your desired level of heat.  

HOW TO STORE RASTA PASTA

Store your pasta with jerk seasoning in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 

CAN I REHEAT RASTA PASTA?

You most certainly can!  In fact, we think this pasta recipe is just as good, if not better, the days following as leftovers.  

For individualized portions, place the desired amount on a plate or in a bowl and place it in the microwave for 1 minute.  After the 1 minute has expired, remove from the microwave, stir the contents and place back in for an additional 30 seconds or until you have reached your desired temperature. 

If for any reason you want to add more ‘sauce’, add a splash of water or chicken stock when heating. 

If you plan to reheat a larger portion, place the pasta in a large skillet over medium to low heat on the stove.  Again, you will want to add a splash of water of chicken stock stirring the pasta and shrimp regularly.  Heat on medium to low heat until you have reached your desired temperature.  

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INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY RASTA PASTA

  • SHRIMP – We used fresh jumbo shrimp, but you can also use jerk chicken or sausage if preferred.  
  • BELL PEPPERS – I am not typically a fan of bell peppers, but it’s a big winner in this pasta recipe.  We used a combination of thinly sliced colorful bell peppers including red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers.  
  • PASTA – As mentioned above, we typically use bow tie pasta in our Rasta Pasta recipe, but any pasta that will absorb the delicious creamy sauce will do.
  • HEAVY CREAM – Heavy cream really pulls this sauce together.  We have used half and half in the pasta, as well.  If you are looking to make this recipe dairy-free, replace the heavy cream with coconut milk.  
  • VEGETABLE OR CHICKEN STOCK – Either one will work perfectly.  
  • PARMESAN CHEESE – This Rasta Pasta calls for grated parmesan cheese for the sauce and some additional shredded parmesan cheese for toppings.  Similar to the above, if you are looking to make this recipe dairy-free, we recommend using Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese.  
  • HOMEMADE JERK SEASONING 

HOW TO MAKE RASTA PASTA

STOVE TOP: 

  1. In a large pan or skillet over medium heat add olive oil and allow the pan to warm. 
  2. Toss shrimp in 1 tablespoon Jerk seasoning until coated evenly.  Place shrimp into your pan and saute for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp is cooked and slightly pink in color.  
  3. Once the cooked shrimp are slightly pink in color, remove from heat with tongs and place aside in a large bowl.  
  4. Add bell peppers and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Then, add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
  5. Add heavy cream, cream cheese, 1/3 cup chicken broth, and remaining jerk spices.  Stir so all ingredients in the pan are well combined.  Saute until thickened, about 10 minutes. NOTE: do not clean out the pot.  You will want all the jerk seasoning goodness to cook into the sauce. 
  6. Once the sauce is close to reaching its desired thickness, add Parmesan cheese and continue to cook on low heat. Stir until well combined.   
  7. In a medium skillet over medium heat, bring salted water to a boil.
  8. Add pasta shells and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.  We like our pasta a bit more al dente. Drain and set aside.  
  9. Mix pasta shells, shrimp, and sauce together until well combined.  Add any remaining jerk seasoning or salt and pepper to taste.  
  10. Top with additional Parmesan cheese.  Serve hot and enjoy!

INSTANT POT: 

  1. Turn on your Instant Pot and select the Saute mode on high. Add olive oil.
  2. While your Instant Pot warms, toss shrimp in jerk seasoning until coated evenly.  Place shrimp into Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp are slightly pink in color.  
  3. Once shrimp are slightly pink in color, remove shrimp from Instant Pot with tongs and place them aside in a large bowl.
  4. Add all peppers.  Saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  
  5. Add garlic. Continue to saute for an additional 2 minutes. 
  6. Add heavy cream, cream cheese, 1/3 cup chicken broth, and remaining Jerk seasoning and stir so all ingredients in the Pot are mixed together well.  Saute until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Once the sauce is close to reaching its desired thickness, add Parmesan cheese and continue to cook on low heat. Stir until well combined. NOTE: do not clean out the pot.  You will want all the jerk goodness to cook into the sauce. 
  7. Once the sauce has reached your desired thickness, carefully add to a large bowl with shrimp and set aside.  
  8. Select the ‘cancel’ function to reset the Instant Pot cooking function.  Select ‘Pressure Cook’ on high.  
  9. Add pasta shells and 2.5 cups chicken broth.  Stir until mixed well.  Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.  NOTE: we like our pasta very slightly al dente.  If you like yours softer, you may want to cook for 4 minutes.  
  10. Once the timer beeps, quick-release all pressure.  Carefully remove the lid.  
  11. Add shrimp, peppers with sauce to the pasta and mix until all ingredients are well combined.  
  12. Serve hot and enjoy! 

LOOKING FOR OTHER PASTA RECIPES?  HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES:

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Rasta Pasta With Shrimp & Cream Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Rasta Pasta recipe made with fresh shrimp in a creamy jerk sauce.
SERVES/MAKES: 6 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pasta shells
  • 1.5 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (you can also use vegetable broth or water, if needed. Add an additional 2.5 cups if cooking pasta in the Instant Pot)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons homemade jerk seasoning, divided

Instructions:

STOVE TOP

  • In a large pan or skillet over medium heat add olive oil and allow the pan to warm. 
  • Toss shrimp in 1 tablespoon Jerk seasoning until coated evenly.  Place shrimp into your pan and saute for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp is cooked and slightly pink in color. 
  • Once the cooked shrimp are slightly pink in color, remove from heat with tongs and place aside in a large bowl.
  • Add bell peppers and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Then, add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
  • Add heavy cream, cream cheese, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and remaining jerk spices.  Stir so all ingredients in the pan are well combined.  Saute until thickened, about 10 minutes. NOTE: do not clean out the pot.  You will want all the jerk seasoning goodness to cook into the sauce. 
  • Once the sauce is close to reaching its desired thickness, add Parmesan cheese and continue to cook on low heat. Stir until well combined.
  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, bring salted water to boil.
  • Add pasta shells and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.  We like our pasta a bit more al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Mix pasta shells, shrimp and sauce together until well combined.  Add any remaining jerk seasoning or salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Top with additional Parmesan cheese.  Serve hot and enjoy!

INSTANT POT

  • Turn on your Instant Pot and select the 'Saute' mode on high. Add olive oil.
  • While your Instant Pot warms, toss shrimp in jerk seasoning until coated evenly.  Place shrimp into Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp are slightly pink in color.  
  • Once shrimp are slightly pink in color, remove shrimp from Instant Pot with tongs and place them aside in a large bowl.
  • Add all peppers.  Saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  
  • Add garlic. Continue to saute for an additional 2 minutes. 
  • Add heavy cream, cream cheese, 1/3 cup chicken broth, and remaining Jerk seasoning and stir so all ingredients in the Pot are mixed together well.  Saute until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Once the sauce is close to reaching its desired thickness, add Parmesan cheese and continue to cook on low heat. Stir until well combined. NOTE: do not clean out the pot.  You will want all the jerk goodness to cook into the sauce. 
  • Once the sauce has reached your desired thickness, carefully add to a large bowl with shrimp and set aside.  
  • Select the 'Cancel' function to reset the Instant Pot cooking function.  Select 'Pressure Cook' on high.  
  • Add pasta shells and chicken broth.  Stir until mixed well.  Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.  NOTE: we like our pasta very slighly al dente.  If you like yours more soft, you may want to cook for 4 minutes.  
  • Once the timer beeps, quick release all pressure.  Carefully remove the lid.  
  • Add shrimp, peppers and sauce to the pasta and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Serve hot and enjoy! 

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