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overhead image of penne alla vodka pasta in a large stainless steal pan with a wooden spoon inside

Super Easy Penne Alla Vodka

This Penne Alla Vodka is creamy, cheesy, and sweetly flavored with tomatoes and vodka. It's also incredibly easy to prepare!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 407kcal
Author Dina


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 28 oz canned puréed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 basil leaves chopped (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Make the tomato vodka sauce

  • In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Bring the butter and oil to medium-high heat.
  • Then add 1/2 medium chopped yellow onion and 2 minced garlic cloves into the pan. Stir the garlic and onion until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Then bring the heat to high and pour in 1/4 cup of vodka and let it cook out for about 1-2 minutes while stirring.
  • Now add 28 oz of canned puréed San Marzano tomatoes and 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Let the sauce simmer over low heat for about 3-4 minutes.

Add parmesan and cooked penne

  • In the meantime, cook 1 pound of penne pasta in a pot of salted boiling water. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it, but don’t rinse.
  • Turn the heat off and remove the sauce from the cooktop. Then stir in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and add the cooked penne. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Then garnish with chopped basil and a little extra grated Parmesan cheese.


Add-ins and Substitutes
  • Add meat- Italian sausage, meatballs, and chopped bacon add a lot of flavor to this Penne Alla Vodka.
  • Add some fresh tomatoes- For more fresh notes and texture, add some diced fresh Roma tomatoes to this recipe.
  • Make it allergy-friendly- For a dairy-free or vegan alternative, substitute for plant-based butter and cheese, and coconut milk for heavy cream. To make it gluten-free, use your favorite penne pasta GF alternative.
  • Try different pasta- This tasty sauce can go with any type of pasta you have on hand, so enjoy it with rigatoni, ravioli, or linguine.


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1362IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1mg