Vegan Vodka Sauce with Penne

  • Author: Claire Cary
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


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 dairy free cashew parmesan


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. 
  2. Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water. 
  3. Mince the garlic, chop the onion, and add to a saute pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. 
  4. Saute until lightly golden brown, about 5-10 minutes over medium/low heat.
  5. Reduce heat to low, pour in the vodka and let simmer for about 3 minutes. 
  6. 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)
  7. Process until completely smooth. 
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  9. 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. 
  10. Combine with the cooked pasta and stir until well incorporated. 
  11. 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