Whether you call it vegan vodka sauce or penne alla vodka, this recipe is a creamy and delicious dinner. Plus, it’s ready in only 20 minutes!
As I’m writing this post, I’m getting ready for a trip to Greece!! I’m trying to fit 12 days of stuff plus wedding attire in one small carryon and it’s proving to be difficult, so I thought I would write about pasta instead! Pasta is better than packing anyway. Especially this vegan vodka sauce with penne. You guys are going to LOVE this one. It’s super easy to make, and I promise the sauce won’t get you drunk!
What does penne alla vodka taste like?
Penne alla vodka, even this vegan one (!) is a super creamy, tomatoey sauce that tastes similar to a tomato cream sauce, only with a deeper flavor thanks to the vodka. The sauce itself won’t taste anything like vodka because all of the alcohol cooks off. However, as the vodka simmers with the onion and garlic, it brings out rich, almost nutty undertones that you’re going to love.
How to make vegan vodka sauce
For this recipe, you’ll start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil and cooking your pasta according to package instructions. I like to use brown rice pasta to keep it gluten free. While the pasta is cooking, add the minced garlic and chopped onion to a saute pan with olive oil. Cook down until the garlic browns slightly and becomes very fragrant.
After a few minutes, pour in the vodka and let the flavors blend. The alcohol will cook off pretty quickly, so you only need to heat for a few minutes. Next, you’ll add the contents of the pan to a food processor or blender and process with all of the remaining ingredients aside from the basil. Process until completely smooth and then transfer the contents to a pan and simmer over low heat. Stir in the cooked pasta and basil and top with fresh black pepper if desired.
A few final thoughts on this vegan penne alla vodka
- Penne alla vodka will not get you drunk. That can be good or bad depending on the day 🙂
- You can use any neutral flavored vodka for this recipe. The vodka really helps to bring out the flavors of the sauce and tomatoes, so I don’t recommend leaving it out.
- This recipe calls for my vegan parmesan cheese, but you can substitute it for nutritional yeast or leave it out entirely if desired.
- Once prepared, this pasta dish will store in the fridge for about 5 days. Store in an air tight container for best results. You can heat it up on the stove with a splash of milk to make it nice and creamy.
- You can make this dish more protein rich by using chickpea pasta or having some grilled chicken on the side. YUM!
Try this other creamy dairy free pasta recipes next!
- White Wine Cream Sauce With Rigatoni
- The Best Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Creamy White Bean Pasta Sauce (Dairy Free)
Lastly, if you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how it turns out! As always, be sure to follow me on instagram for more recipes!Print
This penne alla vodka is the perfect date night dinner!
- 12 ounces pasta of choice
- ½ cup cashews, soaked
- ¼ cup vodka
- One 14 ounce can crushed/chopped/diced tomatoes
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 5 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup veggie broth or milk as needed
- ¾ cup chopped white or yellow onion
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ½ tsp sea salt or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (or more to deepen the flavor)
- Optional: 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water.
- Mince the garlic, chop the onion, and add to a saute pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil.
- Saute until lightly golden brown, about 5-10 minutes over medium/low heat.
- Reduce heat to low, pour in the vodka and let simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a high speed blender or food processor. Add in the drained and rinsed cashews, the rest of the olive oil, and all remaining ingredients except for the basil. (see notes)
- Process until completely smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Pour the sauce back into the saute pan. If using the vegan parmesan cheese, stir it in and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Combine with the cooked pasta and stir until well incorporated.
- Top with fresh basil and enjoy.
The vegan parmesan cheese can be subbed for nutritional yeast.
If the sauce is too thick, add in the vegetable broth or plant based milk to thin it out.
Keywords: vegan vodka sauce, penne alla vodka, vegan penne alla vodka, dairy free vodka sauce