Delicious and fun, this Vegan Rasta Pasta recipe is inspired by an original Jamaican dish and is an easy, quick meal to make on weeknights.
For the vegan chicken:
- 3 cups soy curls (see note 1 for substitutions)
- 2 1/2 cups vegan chicken broth (see note 2)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons jerk seasoning (see note 3)
For the vegan rasta pasta:
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped (separate white parts from green parts)
- 1 pound pasta of choice (use GF if needed) (see note 4)
- 3 - 3 1/2 cups vegan chicken broth (see note 2)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat) (see note 5 for substitutions)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons jerk seasoning (see note 3)
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese, grated, optional (see note 6)
- NOTE: This recipe goes really fast once you start, so I highly recommend preparing all the ingredients beforehand. You don’t want to burn anything while you’re prepping other ingredients! Also, you have to soak your soy curls (if using) for 8-10 minutes anyway, so you might as well chop all your veggies, mince your garlic, measure out your spices, etc. while they soak.
- Rehydrate soy curls if using: Start by rehydrating your soy curls in the vegan chicken broth. I usually do 6-10 minutes. The hotter the liquid the faster it soaks (but don’t use boiling water because it messes with the texture.
- Cook soy curls if using: Once the soy curls are rehydrated, squeeze the excess liquid from them with your hands (but save this liquid, you can use it as part of your pasta cooking liquid). Add squeezed rehydrated soy curls to a hot nonstick pot that’s been heated over medium high heat. I like to “dry fry” my soy curls for a few minutes first, stir frequently, and when they start to turn lightly golden brown, add a little bit of oil. If oil-free you can add back a little of the broth, then toss the soy curls with half of the jerk seasoning. Once the soy curls are well combined with half that seasoning, take them out of the pan and place on a plate or in a bowl--we’ll add them back at the end so they retain their texture and flavor.
- About the peppers: The next part is a bit of a personal preference: I really don’t like super soft cooked peppers, so I like to saute my peppers by themselves for a few minutes, remove them, and add them back after my pasta is cooked. However, you’re welcome to just saute the peppers and keep going with the recipe. The peppers will get cooked and soft and absorb the flavors of the dish. Your choice.
- Cook the peppers: But anyway, saute the peppers, still over medium high heat, for 3-4 minutes. You can do this in a little bit of oil, or if you’re oil-free use a splash of broth. If desired, remove your peppers and place in a bowl for later.
- Add garlic and the white parts of the green onion: Stir frequently for about a minute until fragrant.
- Now add the pasta and 3 cups of broth (you can add a splash more later if needed) to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer covered for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
- Troubleshoot: If the pasta is not soft enough and all the liquid is gone, you can add ¼ cup more broth or water at a time, let it cook and add more only if needed.
- Add coconut milk and more seasoning: When the pasta is fully cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed, you can add the coconut milk and remainder of the jerk seasoning and fully stir it.
- Add back in your cooked soy curls as well as the peppers if you removed them earlier. Then add the green parts of your green onion, along with the vegan parmesan (if using).
- Serve up your cooked vegan rasta pasta with an extra sprinkle of vegan parmesan and enjoy immediately!
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- Note 1: My favorite vegan chicken replacement for pasta dishes is soy curls. If using soy curls, try to avoid the small crumbles at the bottom of the bag for this dish. The small crumbles I save and use whenever I make soup, chili, or like a TVP vegan meat sauce. If you prefer not to use soy curls you could use chickpeas, baked or air fried crispy tofu, my seitan chicken, or a store-bought vegan chicken product like Gardein or Daring. Note that you may have to prepare these according to the package directions before you add them to the cooked vegan rasta pasta.
- Note 2: I like using flavorful broth like Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with hot water instead of just plain water for the pasta to give it more flavor. Feel free to use vegetable broth or a prepared vegetarian chicken broth like Imagine.
- Note 3: Make sure you like the jerk seasoning you have. I’m never fully satisfied with store bought jerk seasoning blends, so I like to make my own by customizing recipes I find online. Personally I like to use brown sugar, and use less hot pepper because I have a sensitive stomach. I also tend to add a little nutritional yeast for a savory flavor and a little smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. I also leave out any bouillon powder since there’s plenty of bouillon in my recipe already.
- Note 4: I used penne because that’s what I’ve seen most often, and because my husband and I really like penne. You can use any pasta you like. I feel that short pastas work better for one pot pasta dishes. Use gluten-free pasta if needed, but be wary that those are different from wheat pasta so their cooking times can vary, and they may need more liquid so pay a bit more attention if using that type of pasta.
- Note 5: Buy a good canned coconut milk like Nature’s Harvest or Thai Kitchen and you’ll love using it in savory recipes like my vegan cream of mushroom soup. It does not have a strong coconut flavor and it’s not sweet. It makes everything super lush and delicious. If you can’t have coconut, you can substitute thick cashew cream or sunflower seed cream, or a very thick non-dairy milk or creamer (make sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored!). This makes our vegan rasta pasta very creamy.
- Note 6: I really love the Violife vegan parmesan block, and I grate it with a microplane to get that grated parmesan cheese I used to love. For me it tastes exactly the same! But feel free to skip, or you can use my homemade vegan parmesan topping, which I’ve used with this recipe and also love!
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stove top, one pot
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Pasta, Vegan Rasta Pasta