You’ll never believe how easy this delicious Penne alla Vodka is to make at home! Penne pasta tossed in a homemade creamy red sauce that has lots of flavor and is like dining in an expensive Italian restaurant right at home!
Pair this pasta dish with a tossed salad and breadsticks for an easy Italian meal.
This creamy penne alla vodka recipe is the perfect dish for anything from a fancy dinner night to a quick and easy meal on a busy day. And if you’re not a fan of alcohol, not to worry! The alcohol cook outs and really just enhances the flavor of the dish.
I like to cook a protein to serve with this dish too! Sometimes I’ll make air fryer chicken parmesan or air fryer chicken breast to serve on top of each bowl. And I tend to make some breadsticks or garlic bread too! No matter what you choose to serve with this pasta recipe, it is absolutely delicious.
Why You’ll Love Penne alla Vodka
- This easy pasta recipe is perfect for a quick dinner on busy evenings during the week.
- It’s a perfect comfort food dish on a cold evening or after a long day.
- This easy pasta recipe will only take you 17 minutes to complete from start to finish!
Ingredients for Penne alla Vodka
- Penne pasta – Use your favorite brand of penne pasta for this dish. You can also use any other type of pasta your prefer.
- Water – You’ll need 8 cups of water in order to boil your pasta.
- Oil – You can use any oil you would like. Avocado oil, canola, olive, or anything else.
- Tomato basil soup – This is the key to this super easy pasta recipe. Use tomato basil soup as the base for your pasta. I used Progresso brand, but any will do.
- Vodka – You will cook out the alcohol content, but I still suggest using a decent quality of vodka for best flavor.
- Heavy cream – The trick to making the tomato sauce so creamy and smooth.
- Grated parmesan cheese – I highly recommend shredding your own fresh parmesan cheesy for extra cheesy goodness.
How to make Easy Penne alla Vodka
In a large saucepan, bring the water, pasta, and oil to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow the pasta to boil for 10-12 minutes, or until its al dente.
Strain the noodles and set them aside.
In a separate saucepan, combine the vodka and soup. Heat until boiling and stir frequently.
Once boiling, reduce the temperature and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes. You will want the sauce to thicken and for the mixture to no longer smell of alcohol.
Then, stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese and cook for another 1-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Gently toss the cooked penne in the vodka sauce until combined.
Serve immediately, topped with extra parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
How long does Penne alla Vodka last?
You can store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
FRIDGE: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
FREEZER: To store it in the freezer, place leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for 1-2 months.
How to Reheat Leftovers
To reheat, add a little splash of water to each serving. Or, make a little bit of extra sauce to add to your leftovers if they’re really dry. You can reheat on the stove, in the oven, or in the microwave.
Is penne alla vodka safe for kids to eat?
As long as you cook your sauce long enough for the alcohol content to cook out, yes! Let your sauce simmer long enough to thicken and for the alcohol smell to go away. A good rule of thumb is if you can still smell the alcohol, it still needs to cook a bit longer.
Can I use different cheeses?
Sure! I prefer parmesan in this recipe, but you could swap it out for mozzarella or even cheddar. With any cheese, be sure to melt over medium-low heat and stir consistently to keep the sauce from burning.
Can I use tomato soup instead of tomato basil soup?
Sure! The tomato basil soup adds more flavor, but you can use regular tomato soup if you prefer. Whatever you choose, be sure you don’t use a soup that is too thick.
Pro Tips for the Best Easy Penne alla Vodka
- Pair your pasta with a fruity wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
- Top each serving of pasta with freshly grated parmesan and fresh herbs like basil or parsley.
- If your sauce is too thick, add a little heavy cream until it thins out. However, if it’s too thin, there are a few ways to thicken it up. Make a slurry out of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and one tablespoon of cold water. Slowly pour it into the sauce and then bring to a boil for one minute. It should thicken the sauce right up!
Pasta is always a good idea, don’t you agree? So, that means that penne alla vodka is always a good idea too!
More Easy Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
- This Beef Ragu will have you believing you flew to Italy for dinner…it’s just that good!
- Everyone needs a good Baked Rigatoni recipe, and this is it!
- If Chicken Alfredo is your go-to pasta dish, then you’re going to love this super easy recipe.
- Chicken Tetrazzini may sound like it’s too fancy to cook at home, but this recipe makes it really simple!
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 19 ounces tomato basil soup 1 jar
- 1 ¼ cups vodka
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Parmesan cheese optional garnish
- Fresh chopped basil, optional garnish
- Place the penne pasta, water, and oil in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Boil for 10-12 minutes or until al dente, not hard but still with a bite to it.
- Strain the noodles in a large strainer and set them to the side.
- While the noodles are cooking, combine the soup and vodka in a large saucepan.
- Heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring frequently.
- When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened and no longer smells of alcohol.
- Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese and cook for another 1-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and hot, stirring constantly.
- Gently toss together the cooked penne and sauce until combined, and serve hot with parmesan cheese and chopped basil, optional.