Super Easy 15 Minute Vodka Pasta Recipe

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Vodka sauce doesn’t need to be difficult! This super easy 15 minute vodka pasta recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, romantic date nights, or even meal prep.

I’m such a huge fan of vodka sauce, and even a bigger fan of 15 minute meals, so this recipe is just a winner!

It’s tasty but not too overpowering, and can be paired super easily with wine and proteins.

Pasta in a skillet with a spoon

All About Vodka Sauce

I LOVE vodka sauce, but a lot of people don’t know what it is, so I’m here to the rescue! Here’s some facts about this delicious sauce:

What is vodka sauce?

Vodka sauce, also traditionally known as Penne alla Vodka, is a creamy Italian pasta sauce with vodka, tomatoes, garlic, and cheese. It’s a great sauce for pastas that have holes, like penne or rigatoni.

What does vodka do in vodka sauce?

Vodka adds depth to the sauce – it’s doesn’t add it’s own taste, but it does enhance the flavor of other ingredients. It’s a great addition to bring out flavors of garlic, cheese, and tomato in a sauce.

Can you get drunk off vodka sauce?

Nope! When you add vodka to the sauce, the alcohol cooks off, so you don’t have to worry about getting intoxicated from this dish.

Can you add protein to vodka sauce?

Yep! Grilled chicken is an excellent addition to penne alla vodka. Some other great options would also be braised short ribs or sautéed shrimp.

Pasta in creamy sauce

About the Recipe

This recipe is super easy. You’ll start by boiling a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta to package directions, and make sure you save a mug full of pasta water before you drain the pasta!

While the water is boiling, heat butter in a large skillet. I recommend one like this – you can get it on Amazon!

Sauté garlic for one minute, then add salt, pepper, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. You’ll let simmer for a few minutes, then add vodka, pasta water, and heavy cream, and let simmer again.

Finally, you’ll fold in the cheese, add the pasta, and stir to combine! The final result is a silky, cheesy, delicious pasta that you won’t be able to stop eating!

Pasta in large pan

Other Pasta Recipe Ideas

Pasta is my favorite! So if you’re like me, check out more delicious pasta recipes below:

Easy 15 Minute Garlic Lemon Pantry Pasta – This is one of my go-to recipes! I love a good pantry meal, and this one is GOOD.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta – This pasta recipe is basically fancy Mac and cheese. And who doesn’t love Mac and cheese?! It’s simple and delicious.

Easy Mushroom Pasta – I am a huge fan of this recipe – it’s just so easy and so dang good. This is a great meal prep option, or one to just eat from the pan. I don’t judge!

Pasta with a gold spoon
Super Easy 15 Minute Vodka Pasta Recipe Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lb pasta 
  • Grated parmesan, for serving
  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat. When water is boiling, cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add garlic. Sauté for one minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add vodka and stir. Add 1 cup of pasta water and heavy cream. Stir and let simmer for two minutes.
  5. Turn heat to low, and fold in parmesan cheese. Once melted, add pasta to the pan. If needed, add more pasta water to reach your desired consistency. Serve with more parmesan and enjoy!


  1. I love how quick this recipe is!

  2. A delicious recipe that our family love – great flavours, and so quick to prepare!

  3. This looks luscious! I love how simple your recipe is. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jessica Formicola

    You can’t beat a dinner that is ready in only 15 minutes! Looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it!

  5. What a delicious treat for a weeknight. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Such a quick and easy recipe that’s packed with flavor!

  7. Wow, you read my mind. Last month I kept going on and on about how I was going to make vodka pasta but never did. I can’t say no to a 15 minute recipe!

  8. It was so easy, and better than anything I’ve had in a restaurant.

  9. This pasta dish looks absolutely mouthwatering – will be our dinner today!

  10. Ooops I just licked my screen this looks phenomenal!

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