This flavorful Vegan Rasta Pasta Salad is made with simple ingredients, creamy vegan and gluten-free penne pasta full of bold Jamaican herbs and spices and colorful bell peppers.
For this recipe, I’m preparing a vegan, gluten-free version of Rasta pasta, it is another dish with its roots with the Rastari people of Jamaica, like my Ital Stew recipe.
The last time I had this recipe was on a visit to Jamaica in 2007 and we stayed at FDR Pebbles in Trelawny.
The kind chef prepared all our dishes vegan and one of the delicious dishes that he prepared for us was Rasta Pasta.
Unfortunately, the hotel has since closed but this recipe remains vivid in my memory.
As I looked online I was shocked to see Rasta Pasta recipes prepared with shrimp and chicken.
As a Jamaican, I don’t believe Rastafari is happy with their name being associated with shrimp or chicken because a true Rasta doesn’t eat shrimp nor chicken.
Facts About The Rastafari diet
The Rastafari religion and lifestyle originated in Jamaica in the 1930s, they have since spread throughout the Caribbean and worldwide.
They believe in getting their food directly from the land without it containing chemical fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives, or any additives.
Their way of eating is called Ital, meaning vitality or eating foods that give strength to one’s body.
They do not eat red meat because they believe it rots inside the body.
However, some do eat fish with scales because they believe it is supported by the bible.
Some refuse to eat fish, and others will remove dairy and become vegans.
Most Rastafari people are strict vegetarians, vegans, and the very strict ones do not eat salt.
They cook their foods in clay pots because they believe metal pots damage the kidney and liver.
Coconut milk is used in place of dairy and butter.
They use fresh herbs and spices, such as thyme, lemongrass, allspice, nutmeg plus Scotch bonnet pepper to flavor their dishes instead of salt and processed flavor additives.
My recipe strictly speaking is not Ital but it comes pretty close, however, I will include some optional ingredients though, like vegan cheese, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, etc.
How To Make Rasta Pasta Salad?
To prepare the meatless Rasta Pasta recipe, I boil my pasta according to the package directions. I used Trader Joes Brown Rice Penne Pasta.
I added nutmeg and cinnamon, which I don’t normally cook with but I included only a pinch each for that authentic jerk sauce flavor.
Green bell peppers strips were added, which I rarely eat since I got an entire bag as a gift, I went ahead and include them.
You can serve this dish warm or cold.
Other delicious Pasta dishes to try,
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- 8 ounces pasta
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 3 green onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 4 sprigs fresh
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small Scotch Bonnet pepper for flavor, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup non-dairy cheese shreds
- fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to the package directions, drain and aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, green onions and cook for a minute. Stir in tomatoes, curry powder, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Add bell peppers, coconut milk, Bragg's liquid aminos, salt, Scotch bonnet pepper or cayenne pepper.
- Bring sauce to boil, reduce to simmer for about 5-7 minutes until sauce is thickened. Add vegan cheese and stir until melted, then stir in pasta and serve.