30 minutes

Shrimp Rasta Pasta (Jerk Shrimp Alfredo)

Shrimp Rasta Pasta is a super delicious pasta recipe featuring colorful bell peppers, jerk shrimp and a spicy creamy sauce. This yummy dish comes together in just 30 minutes, and is perfect to spice up your weeknight meal routine.

I have a real treat for you today, friends. This shrimp rasta pasta dish is just so delicious. Those of you who know me well might call me a type A personality. I am aggressively organized, and it will surprise no one to know that I have a long list of recipes I want to make for you, planned out by season on a color-coded calendar. Usually, I start planning a recipe at least a month before I want to post it – recipe testing, taking photos, testing again. Rarely do I deviate from the planned order of posts. That is just too wildly spontaneous for me.

Well, for this recipe I am making an exception. When I first tested this recipe I was so excited about the delicious flavor and super simple ingredients that I just had to get it to you as quickly as possible. I have tested this recipe three times and photographed it all in the span of about a week and a half, which means I have been eating this pasta for about 7 days straight. I’m not mad about it.

This simple pasta dish is a Jamaican-Italian fusion recipe, somewhat like a Jamaican spin on classic Alfredo. It combines succulent shrimp with spicy jerk seasoning in a rich cream sauce. Full of colorful peppers and topped with green onions, this creamy rasta pasta recipe is as pretty as it is yummy. This is a great recipe to spice up your weeknight meal plan, and I’m willing to bet your whole family will love it.

A side view of shrimp rasta pasta, with the focus on the shrimp and peppers.

You Will Love This

  • A quick and simple dish, this easy shrimp rasta pasta recipe is a great option for a busy weeknight meal.
  • Full of yummy Caribbean seasonings, the creamy pasta sauce is a deliciously spicy spin on Alfredo.
  • The pretty bell peppers in this dish are a perfect way to add some veggies to your next pasta night.

Ingredients

Ingredients for shrimp rasta pasta on a marble background.

Gather up your ingredients. For this easy rasta pasta recipe you will need:

  • Salted butter or olive oil
  • Three bell peppers: A combination of colors is really pretty in this dish. I used orange, red and yellow bell peppers. Green bell peppers would also be great.
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves: You could use jarred minced garlic for a little shortcut, or substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and add it with the other spices.
  • Spices including kosher salt, black pepper and paprika
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mild jerk seasoning blend: I used mild Walkerswood traditional Jamaican jerk seasoning. Be careful when adding the jerk seasoning to your pasta. It is very spicy and a little bit goes a long way. One of the main components of jerk seasoning is scotch bonnet peppers, which can be about 40 times hotter than jalapenos. This recipe calls for one tablespoon of jerk seasoning. If this is your first time making it, I recommend starting with half of the recommended amount and increasing to taste from there.
  • Jumbo shrimp, deveined with tails off: I used frozen cooked shrimp to make this recipe even faster. You could also use raw shrimp, just increase the cook time a few minutes to make sure your shrimp get fully cooked. This recipe would also be delicious with jerk chicken.
  • Penne pasta: I used whole wheat pasta for a little extra fiber. You could substitute another type of pasta if you prefer. I like hollow short pasta varieties like penne, ziti or rigatoni for this dish to catch all that yummy cheesy sauce.
  • Green onion

Instructions

Step One: Cook the pasta. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Step Two: Slice the onion and bell peppers into thin slices. Mince the garlic. If you are using frozen shrimp, put the shrimp out to thaw under cool running water.

Step Three: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil or butter to the skillet. Add the onion slices and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and pepper slices, and cook until the pepper is tender crisp, about 4-5 minutes more. Add the salt and paprika to the peppers and onions. Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet to a small bowl.

A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains raw onions and peppers.
A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains sautéed onions and peppers.

Step Four: Let the skillet cool down a bit, and reduce the burner to medium low heat. Add the heavy cream to the skillet and use a whisk to gently de-glaze the pan. Once the cream is warm, add the jerk seasoning and stir to combine. Then add the Parmesan cheese and whisk constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy. Do not let the cream sauce get hotter than a low simmer – if it reaches a boil it could scald. Add the cooked onions and peppers back to the cream sauce and stir to combine.

A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains cream with shredded cheese on top, not yet melted in.
A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains jerk alfredo sauce, with peppers and onions mixed in.

Step Five: Remove the tails from the thawed shrimp, if necessary. Dry the shrimp with a paper towel or a clean dish towel. Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper before stirring them in. The shrimp will only need 2-3 minutes to warm up, since they are already fully cooked.

A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains jerk Alfredo sauce, peppers, onions and cooked shrimp.

Step Six: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, and stir until all the pasta is well coated in sauce. Sprinkle the top of the pasta with green onions, and some additional Parmesan or mozzarella cheese and serve!

A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains rasta pasta with shrimp, dotted with green onions.

Storage

This pasta dish stores quite well. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat slowly in the microwave and stir a couple times while it reheats to avoid overheating the shrimp. The flavors are even better the next day.

A wooden spoon holding a scoop of shrimp, peppers and penne pasta. A pan of shrimp rasta pasta is in the background.

A white skillet on a marble background. The skillet contains shrimp rasta pasta, dotted with green onions. More green onions, salt and pepper, and a stack of plates and forks sit to the side.

Shrimp Rasta Pasta (Jerk Shrimp Alfredo)

Shrimp Rasta Pasta is a super delicious pasta recipe featuring colorful bell peppers, jerk shrimp and a spicy creamy sauce. This yummy dish comes together in just 30 minutes, and is perfect to spice up your weeknight meal routine.
 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian, Jamaican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 417 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 3 bell peppers sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon mild Jerk seasoning
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 16 ounce box whole wheat Penne pasta
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 bunch of green onions

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Slice the onion and bell peppers into thin slices. Mince the garlic. If you are using frozen shrimp, put the shrimp out to thaw under cool running water.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil or butter to the skillet. Add the onion slices and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and pepper slices, and cook until the pepper is tender crisp, about 4-5 minutes more. Add the salt and paprika to the peppers and onions. Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet to a small bowl.
  • Let the skillet cool down a bit, and reduce the burner to medium low heat. Add the heavy cream to the skillet and use a whisk to gently de-glaze the pan. Once the cream is warm, add the jerk seasoning and stir to combine. Then add the Parmesan cheese and whisk constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy. Do not let the cream sauce get hotter than a low simmer - if it reaches a boil it could scald. Add the cooked onions and peppers back to the cream sauce and stir to combine.
  • Remove the tails from the thawed shrimp, if necessary. Dry the shrimp with a paper towel or a clean dish towel. Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper before stirring them in. The shrimp will only need 2-3 minutes to warm up, since they are already fully cooked.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, and stir until all the pasta is well coated in sauce. Sprinkle the top of the pasta with green onions, and some additional Parmesan or mozzarella cheese and serve!

Notes

Jerk seasoning blend: Jerk seasoning is super spicy, and I recommend a mild blend. I love Walkerswood traditional Jamaican jerk seasoning. If you have never had jerk seasoning or like your food milder, I recommend starting with half the amount of seasoning called for in the recipe (so start with 1/2 a tablespoon) and then adding more to taste. 
Top Tip: Make sure the pasta is still hot when you add it to the sauce. If the pasta is cool it may cause the cheesy sauce to clump up. 

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 20gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 723mgPotassium: 255mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2447IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 172mgIron: 1mg
Keyword jerk shrimp pasta, rasta pasta
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This had a great kick. I made it a little less spicy for the kids and they loved it. The full amount of jerk seasoning and it was perfect for the adults.

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