If you’re looking for an easy way to add flavor into your life, then this jerk chicken pasta may be just what you need.
It’s simple enough that anyone can prepare it, but its complex flavors will have everyone coming back again and again.
What Jerk Chicken Pasta Recipe Do You Use?
The original jerk chicken was created by Jamaican chefs who wanted to recreate their favorite dishes using only ingredients they had access to in Jamaica.
As such, the original jerk chicken recipe uses allspice berries (which are dried pimentos), nutmeg, thyme, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
The result of this combination is a spicy, savory sauce with a deep, rich taste.
While the original version contains a lot more spices than most people would want to eat at one time, there are plenty of variations out there, including ones that cut down on the amount of heat.
You can find many different recipes online, but here we share our own.
How Do You Make Jerk Chicken Pasta?
This particular recipe uses a combination of fresh herbs as well as Jamaican Jerk seasoning to create a delicious meal with plenty of spices.
You’ll also find that the sauce has been reduced so that all of the ingredients get their chance to shine throughout the entire dish.
The key ingredient here is jerk seasoning.
The best kind comes from Jamaica, where it was developed by local chefs in order to give meat dishes a kick without adding too many extra calories or fat.
If you want to try making your own version of jerk chicken pasta, check out our tips on how to make homemade jerk seasoning.
It’s important to note that if you don’t have any jerk seasoning lying around, you can always buy some online instead.
Just keep in mind that they tend to come in large bottles rather than small jars, which makes them perfect for cooking.
They’re usually packed full of different types of peppers, onions, and other seasonings, which means you won’t need much at all to achieve the same effect.
You should also know about the difference between “Jamaican Jerk Seasoning” and “Jerk Sauce.” While both are used to impart heat into food, there is a slight difference between the two.
Jerk seasoning contains more salt, sugar, and vinegar than jerk sauce does, which gives it a bit of a sweeter taste.
As far as the rest of the ingredients go, they include carrots, celery, green bell pepper, onion, black-eyed peas, corn kernels, rice, and tomatoes.
These combine together to form a savory and satisfying dish that you’ll love.
When it comes time to cook the dish, start off by dicing up one carrot and one stalk of celery.
Then, chop up half a green bell pepper along with half an onion.
Finally, roughly dice three cloves of garlic and quarter a tomato before putting everything in a pot over medium heat.
Once these items have cooked down, stir in one cup of dried black eyed peas, one teaspoon each of kosher salt and ground coriander, and a tablespoon each of curry powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, and granulated white sugar.
After that, pour in 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
At this point, put your jerk chicken pieces inside with the remaining juice from the jar.
Make sure to cover them with foil first before placing them in the oven.
Bake them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius).
Once the timer goes off, remove the foil and continue baking another 15 minutes.
When the chicken is done, pull it out of the pan and set aside to cool completely.
What Are The Ingredients In Jerk Chicken Pasta?
This dish has all of the following basic ingredients:
- Pasta (any kind)
- Chicken breasts or thighs
- Green bell peppers
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Bay leaves
- Jamaican rum
While these ingredients are generally good staples for any meal, they become even more important when making jerk chicken pasta.
For starters, there are several spices used in the seasoning mix, which brings some complexity to the dish.
The other key ingredient is the jerk sauce.
While most recipes call for a combination of soy sauce and vinegar with seasonings like garlic, ginger, and onion, we think it’s best to use fresh herbs instead.
A few fresh herbs will bring out the natural flavors of the meat and veggies without overpowering them.
How Long Does It Take To Make Jerk Chicken Pasta?
The total time required to complete this dish depends on how many people you want to serve.
If you plan to feed yourself or a few close friends at home, I recommend preparing all of the ingredients before starting the actual cooking process.
You can easily prep most of the food items ahead of time, allowing you to get right into the saucepan with minimal interruption.
On the other hand, if you’d like to host a dinner party, then you should allow more than half an hour per person for each step of the preparation.
Keep in mind that some steps require longer periods of time such as marinating the meat, while others only take minutes.
1. Marinate the chicken
Marination is an essential part of any type of barbecue, so we started by making sure our chicken was well-seasoned and ready for the grill.
- Remove excess skin from the chicken thighs (you do not need to remove the entire skin).
- Rub the inside of each thigh with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a small bowl and mix until combined.
- Place both pieces of chicken in the mixing bowl containing the seasoned oil and toss them around to coat evenly.
- Cover the bowl tightly and let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Make the Jamaican hot sauce
We used a basic paste made up of habanero peppers, onion, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt.
We added these spices directly to the pot where we were going to cook the chicken because they would otherwise burn during the grilling process.
Once the mixture has cooled down, pour it into a jar and refrigerate until needed.
3. Cook the chicken
Next, we put two cast iron skillets over medium heat and placed one piece of chicken in each pan.
Once the pans are heated through, flip the chicken pieces over and use tongs to move the chicken to the cooler side of the skillet.
Cook each side of the chicken for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown throughout.
Remove the cooked chicken from the skillets and set aside to cool slightly.
While the chicken cooks, we moved onto the next step – making the pasta!
4. Boil water and cook the pasta
To start off, place 3 quarts of cold water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Then, once boiling, add the spaghetti noodles and stir gently to ensure that they don’t stick together.
As soon as the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid.
Let simmer for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender yet firm.
5. Add the veggies and seasonings
After the pasta simmers for 5 minutes, drain the noodles using a colander and return them to the same pot.
Next, add in the carrots, green beans, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
Then, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of kosher salt across the top of everything in the pot.
Stir thoroughly to combine and let simmer uncovered for another five minutes.
Finally, add the jerk seasoning paste, which contains a blend of herbs, spices, and aromatics including thyme, oregano, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, and cocoa powder.
Mix well to incorporate the flavors.
Let everything simmer for several additional minutes to further develop the flavors.
6. Serve the pasta
Serve the chicken with warm jerk chicken pasta by placing the pasta and vegetables in individual bowls and garnishing with fresh parsley sprigs.
To enjoy, simply spoon the pasta and vegetables into your mouth and finish eating with a big ol’ smile.
What Is Your Favorite Thing About Jerk Chicken Pasta?
Jerk chicken pasta is a flavorful twist on a classic pasta dish.
It combines two of our favorite things — chicken and pasta — in one delicious meal.
The sauce is made from a combination of tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, hot peppers, lime juice, coconut milk, cilantro, salt, sugar, and pepper.
If you don’t like any of these ingredients, feel free to substitute them with other options or leave them out entirely.
Just remember that if anything goes missing, there are still plenty of other things here to enjoy!
How Spicy Is Jerk Chicken Pasta?
The amount of heat in any given dish depends on how much chiles are used and the variety of peppers being utilized.
For instance, Habaneros tend to pack more heat than Jalapenos, which means that if you want to make the dish spicier, you should increase the number of habanero peppers or decrease the number of jalapeño peppers.
You can also experiment with different types of pepper, such as Thai bird chili pepper.
As always, start out small and work up from there.
What Kind Of Pasta Do You Use For Jerk Chicken Pasta?
This recipe uses linguine, which is made from semolina flour.
Semolina is ground durum wheat.
Durum wheat is used in making pasta because it has very high starch content.
When cooked, the starches break down and create a thick sauce with a smooth texture.
The flour also provides a good source of protein, iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients.
The pasta itself doesn’t really matter much here – there are many different types of pasta available at most grocery stores these days.
However, if you want something that isn’t too chewy or pasty, consider using spaghetti or fusilli instead of linguine.
You could even go as far as substituting angel hair pasta for linguine.
Angel hair pasta comes out thinner than regular pasta, so it cooks more quickly.
If you don’t mind some chewiness, you might like this option better.
Can You Make Jerk Chicken Pasta Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can prepare all of the ingredients for jerk chicken pasta up to three days in advance.
All you need to do is reheat them before serving.
You don’t even need to cook any of the other components until right before you eat.
- Remove the skin from the chicken thighs (the skin pulls off easily).
- Chop the meat finely and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic cloves, ginger root, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
- Mix well.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade mixture.
- Let sit for about 20 minutes or until ready to use.
- Prepare the noodles according to package directions.
The best thing about making jerk chicken pasta ahead of time is that you can freeze it! Just follow these tips when freezing jerk chicken pasta so that it stays as delicious as possible:
- Use only one pan at a time.
- If you use two pans at once, the sauce could start to boil over.
- Don’t let the dish cool completely.
- When you reheat it, bring it closer to room temperature instead of hot.
- That way, the sauce won’t separate.
- It also allows the flavors to meld together more effectively.
- When reheating, cover the pot tightly.
- Don’t open the lid because steam will escape and cause condensation which will ruin the texture of the sauce.
What Do You Serve With Jerk Chicken Pasta?
You can serve jerk chicken pasta as is or try one of these delicious ways to enjoy it:
- Serve it over spaghetti squash noodles.
- Make a salad out of the chicken pieces and toss them with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and more dressing.
- Bake some sweet potatoes in the oven until they get soft and mashable.
- Make sure to season them well before serving so they don’t turn brown.
- Add rice to the pan where the sauce was cooked and let it soak up all of the juices from the chicken.
- Serve with peas and carrots.
What Are Some Tips For Making Jerk Chicken Pasta?
The main components of this dish are all in one pot – so there aren’t many steps involved.
You simply combine everything together and let it simmer until it reaches a creamy consistency.
Once it does, you’ll want to stir occasionally as the sauce reduces down.
If you find yourself getting impatient waiting for things to cook, you could always use a slow cooker instead.
Once the sauce has reduced significantly, you can remove it from heat and start stirring in the noodles.
As they soak up the sauce, they become soft and delicious!
When it comes time to eat, make sure you get all of the juices out by draining any excess water from the pan before transferring it to individual plates or bowls.
This helps prevent soggy noodles when serving.
Jerk Chicken Pasta serves 4-6 people.
- 4 cups uncooked penne pasta (or other short tubular pasta)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 medium onion diced
- 5 green onions chopped fine
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 jalapeno sliced thin
- 1 bunch basil leaves torn
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
(Note: if using a pressure cooker, you don’t need to brown the chicken first.)
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 Pot
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sauteeing bell peppers
- 3 tablespoons seasoning
- 3 bell peppers preferably
- ½ cup onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- When cooking pasta according to the directions on the package, remove it when it is “al dente” because you will continue to cook it further.
- In this recipe, I’m using rotisserie chicken, but if you want to use raw chicken breast, cut it into cubes, season with jerk seasoning, and cook until it’s cooked through and golden. Then take out of the pot and reserve for subsequent addition.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot with vegetable oil, sauté bell peppers and green onions. When the garlic is fragrant, add it and continue cooking.
- To the saucepan, add jerk seasoning.
- Fill the saucepan with heavy cream, chicken, and vegetable stocks. Add the parmesan to the sauce, stir in the pasta, and simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Serve with chopped parsley, green onions, or chives as a garnish.