Vegan Penne alla Vodka



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Vegan Penne alla Vodka

This is a 100% vegan, dairy free take on classic pasta dish–Vegan Penne alla Vodka! It features a creamy and easy to make, cashew butter based dairy-free vodka sauce that pairs beautifully with pasta. Vodka sauce is typically made with tomato, vodka and heavy cream with a vibrant orange colour. The vodka is added to the sauce to enhance flavours and contributes to the smooth texture of the sauce. As the name would suggest, the pasta variety used is typically penne!

Penne Alla Vodka Veggiekins Blog

How to Make Vegan Vodka Sauce

To make vodka sauce vegan, we’re going to replace heavy cream with cashew butter, which provides a rich, creamy consistency! You can also opt to garnish the dish with extra vegan parmesan or grated macadamia nuts and of course, fresh basil. To make the dish gluten free, simply use a gluten free penne pasta.

  1. The sauce begins with onions and garlic, which are sautéed until fragrant.
  2. Vodka, if using, is added and cooked down on high heat.
  3. Next, tomatoes and tomato paste are added to the pan and then the entire mixture is transferred to a blender.
  4. To the blender, add cashew butter, reserved pasta water and blend until completely smooth.
  5. Transfer your dairy-free vodka sauce back into the pan and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.
  6. Finally, add cooked pasta to the sauce along with a pasta cooking water as needed and enjoy. Garnish your vegan vodka pasta with fresh basil and vegan parmesan if desired.

Using Cashew Butter Instead of Raw Cashews

To make our vegan penne alla vodka, we will be using cashew butter instead of raw cashews. I find this easier to blend completely, and a time saver as no soaking time is required. For this dairy-free vodka sauce, I highly recommend using an unsweetened cashew butter. If you’d prefer to use raw cashews, you can use roughly 1/2 cup raw soaked cashews in place, with pasta water added to achieve desired texture.

Vegan Pasta for Meal Prep

If you’d like to meal prep this pasta, I highly recommend storing the sauce and pasta separately. To enjoy, reheat the sauce, thinning as needed with added filtered water, then toss cooked pasta in the sauce to coat. It’s normal for the sauce to thicken when stored, so be sure to re-heat before enjoying! You can store sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or store in the freezer.

Penne Alla Vodka Veggiekins Blog

More Vegan Pasta Dinner Recipes

Vegan Penne alla Vodka

5 from 3 votes
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Vegan penne alla vodka is a creamy dairy-free pasta sauce with cashew cream, tomato, sweet onion and garlic: an easy plant-based dinner.


  • 10 oz gluten free pasta of choice
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • dairy free vodka sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup vodka optional
  • 15 oz peeled tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp creamy unsweetened cashew butter
  • pinch red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • to garnish
  • fresh basil
  • vegan parmesan or grated macadamia nut


  • Prepare your pasta according to package directions, al dente. Reserve pasta water for later.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your sauce. Add olive oil to a pan, and sauté onions until translucent and fragrant. Don't brown! Next add garlic, and sauté again for 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn heat to high, add vodka and cook down until almost fully evaporated.
  • Next, add tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer pan contents to a blender, add cashew butter, 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and blend until completely smooth.
  • Transfer your dairy-free vodka sauce back into the pan and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. Add additional pasta water as needed to thin.
  • Finally, add cooked pasta to the sauce along with additional pasta cooking water as needed and enjoy. Garnish your vegan vodka pasta with fresh basil and vegan parmesan if desired.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I have tried multiple recipes from the Veggiekins blog and once again, I have not been disappointed! I tried out this penne alla vodka with cashew butter last night and it turned out wonderful! So simple and you only need a few ingredients. The cashew butter made the sauce very creamy and added a unique but lovely flavor. Served with garlic bread and a salad. I would make this again. Thank you, Remy!

    5 stars

  2. Hi Remy! I stubbled upon your blog and am interested in trying many of your recipes. I am not vegan but would love to incorporate more vegan recipes into my daily life. Would almond butter be an okay substitute for the cashew butter?
    1. I don't recommend any nut butter subs in this recipe, you can substitute with using soaked cashews to blend, or cashew cream, however! :)
  3. Absolutely loveddddd this pasta. Made it with some angel hair pasta, steamed broccoli and spinach and it was AMAZING. Didn’t take too long to make and tastes like it’s straight from a gourmet Italian restaurant. Highly recommend!

    5 stars

  4. Any thoughts on using coconut cream or any other subs for the cashew butter? I am unfortunately allergic to cashews :(
    1. Oat cream could work but otherwise you may have better luck with a nut free recipe :) I have seen a bunch of vegan vodka sauce pastas out there!