Penne Alla Vodka – The Cookie Rookie®

Rich, tomatoey and made from scratch, this penne alla vodka is a favorite classic and for good reason. Ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, this simple Italian dish is always popular.

a bowl of penne alla vodka

Easy Penne Alla Vodka Pasta

One of my favorite cuisines is Italian, and whenever we eat out, penne alla vodka is one of my go to dishes. Recently I started making this at home and the results, if I do say so myself, are fantastic!

A rich creamy and tomato sauce is flavored with vodka and parmesan for one delicious dinner.

Be sure to try my Baked Feta Pasta and Pasta Pomodoro too!

Why you’ll love this Penne with Vodka Sauce recipe:

  • Quick: Made from scratch, this delicious penne recipe is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.
  • Date Night Dinner: Penne alla vodka is simple, but it packs a punch in the flavor department. It’s perfect for those special nights in!
  • Easy: There are no complicated techniques needed for this recipe, and the vodka sauce is all made in one skillet so even the clean up is a breeze!
large serving bowl full of penne alla vodka pasta
side view of a bowl of penne

How to make Penne Alla Vodka in Under 30 Minutes

You can jump to the recipe card for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Cook the garlic in the melted butter.
  2. Add the tomato paste and seasonings.
  3. Pour in the vodka and pasta water.
  4. Add in the cream.
  5. Stir in the parmesan.
  6. Stir in the cooked pasta and serve.
how to make penne alla vodka step by step photo instructions

What’s the best pasta to use?

Penne is the traditional pasta served with this vodka sauce, though most short to medium pastas, like farfelle or fusilli will work well. Hey, if you want to, spaghetti will do the job too! If you are sensitive to gluten, you can easily make this recipe with your favorite GF pasta.

Why do you use pasta water in the sauce?

When you cook your pasta, be sure to keep some of the water to add to the sauce. It is more flavorful than plain water, and the starch from the pasta helps to thicken the sauce and it will coat the pasta more evenly.

What do you serve it with?

You can totally serve this penne alla vodka by itself, or with your favorite bread, salad or veggie side dish. Try it with:

overhead view of a skillet of penne alla vodka
fork digging into a bowl of penne alla vodka


  • Store leftover penne alla vodka in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Take care not to overcook your pasta. It should be al-dente when you drain it, as it will start to cook again when you mix it in with the sauce.
  • Remember to keep some of your pasta water for an extra silky sauce!
  • For the best flavor and texture use a freshly grated parmesan.
bowls of pasta on a countertop next to a skillet of pasta

Penne alla vodka is so deceptively easy to make, I promise that you will impress with this recipe! Rich, creamy and flavorful, this ticks all the right boxes!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy! You can also jump to recipe.

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