This simple vegan vodka pasta recipe is so full of flavour and ridiculously easy to make. The sauce is super creamy, and just a little spicy making it the ultimate delicious dinner recipe. Plus it’s completely dairy-free and ready in under 30 minutes!
Here we go with another super easy pasta recipe for dinner that is not only quick, but made with everyday ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen.
This vegan vodka pasta sauce, also known as penne alla vodka, is much easier to make at home than you might think and is always a hit every time it’s served, whether that’s a weeknight meal or a dinner with friends.
It’s super creamy, cosy, and comforting and a little more special than your regular pasta sauce.
Whether or not you’re a vodka drinker is completely irrelevant here as everyone loves a creamy vodka tomato sauce. It’s just so much better than regular tomato sauce!
But the big question that always gets asked and debated is does the alcohol cook out? The answer to which I honestly have no concrete way of knowing, however from what I understand you do need to cook it for a lot longer than we are here to make sure the alcohol cooks out.
So, in saying that, I probably would keep this recipe as an adults only, date night, kind of dinner.
So why vodka? What does it actually taste like? The vodka balances the sweetness of the tomato with a subtle pepperiness. The specific flavour will depend on the vodka but it’s an almost spicy, delicious and creamy result that is so addicting.
Unlike a lot of vegan vodka pasta recipes you’ll see online, this one is completely cashew nut free! You should find most of the ingredients you’ll need in the pantry already, and of course in the liquor cabinet.
- Onion and garlic – chop these as fine as you can for the flavour base of the sauce. I usually do 3 good sized cloves of garlic and find that it gives a really good amount of flavour for my liking, but adjust based on your tastes.
- Tomato paste – this will be what gives the sauce that rich, tomato flavour and vibrant colour.
- Chilli flakes – add as much or as little as you like based on how spicy you want the sauce to be.
- Vodka – any brand works, just make sure it’s plain, not a flavoured option.
- Coconut milk – I like to stick the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and then just use the solid coconut milk that you can scoop out of the top of the can. The result is a much thicker and creamier pasta.
- Penne pasta – Penne is the classic, but rigatoni is also used often. Basically you just want a pasta shape that’s going to catch as much of that creamy sauce as possible so the tube style pastas work best.
To make this vodka pasta recipe, really all you’ll need is a large pot and a wooden spoon.
Start by boiling a large pot of salted water and cook the penne pasta to the package directions. Reserve about ½ a cup of the cooking water before draining and setting aside.
To the base of the pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent and soft, turning down the heat if they are browning too quickly.
To the onions, add in the tomato paste and chilli flakes and cook for another minute or two so the tomato paste darkens in colour slightly.
Add in the vodka and coconut milk and simmer gently so that the sauce thickens.
To the sauce, add in the cooked pasta and a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Add more water if needed and toss the pasta through the sauce until all of the pasta is completely coated and the sauce is silky smooth and creamy.
Technically you can and it will just be a creamy tomato sauce but with the limited amount of ingredients used in this recipe, you will be sacrificing flavour so if you don’t want the vodka I’d recommend using a traditional marinara sauce instead.
Yes you can make it ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. Simply heat up in a saucepan over medium heat and cook a fresh batch of pasta.
You can! Like all creamy sauces, it will lose a little of its creamy texture when being reheated, but it will still taste delicious. You can also add a tiny splash of water to the pasta to loosen up the sauce before reheating.
More easy vegan pasta recipes:
Vegan Vodka Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion finely diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
- 100 grams (¼ cup) tomato paste
- Pinch chilli flakes to taste
- ¼ cup vodka
- ½ cup coconut milk*
- 200 grams penne pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil to serve
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the penne pasta to the package directions. Reserve about ½ a cup of the cooking water before draining and setting aside.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent and soft, turning down the heat if they are browning too quickly.
- Add in the tomato paste and chilli flakes and cook for another minute or two so the tomato paste darkens in colour slightly before adding in the vodka and coconut milk. Simmer gently for 10 minutes so that the sauce thickens.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce with a little of the reserved pasta water and start to mix together. Add more water if needed until all of the pasta is completely coated and the sauce is silky smooth and creamy.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with fresh basil and extra chilli flakes.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.