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Penne Alla Vodka Veggiekins Blog
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Penne alla Vodka (with Vegan Vodka Sauce)

Vegan penne alla vodka is a creamy dairy-free pasta sauce with cashew cream, tomato, sweet onion, and garlic: an easy plant-based dinner that takes just 30 minutes! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: main dishes, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30 minute meals, blender, cashew butter, dairy free, gluten free pasta, Italian, pasta, vodka sauce
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Author: Remy


  • 10 oz gluten free pasta of choice use Penne for an authentic "penne alla vodka"
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water

Vegan 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.


Expert Tips

  • To make our vegan vodka sauce, 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. 
  • If you'd prefer raw cashews, use roughly 1/2 cup raw soaked cashews in place, with pasta water added to achieve the desired texture.

Storage Tips

I highly recommend storing the sauce and pasta separately. 
To enjoy, reheat the sauce, thinning as needed with added filtered water, then toss the cooked pasta in the sauce to coat. It's normal for the sauce to thicken when stored, so reheat it before enjoying your leftovers. 
You can store this vegan vodka sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat according to the instructions above.