vegan vodka sauce

Vegan Vodka Sauce with Penne

  • Author: Kate Kasbee
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Vegan Vodka Sauce with Penne is our take on tangy, sweet, dairy-free vodka sauce! It comes together quickly so you can get dinner on the table ASAP.



  • 1 pound of penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound of tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • Few twists of black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup 
  • ½ cup raw cashews


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until soft and fragrant, 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, vodka, water, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and maple syrup. Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vodka cooks off, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Carefully transfer the vegan vodka sauce to your blender and add the cashews. Blend until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. This may take longer if you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. Taste the sauce and adjust the flavors to your liking (I added a pinch more salt).
  5. Pour the vegan vodka sauce over the cooked penne and toss to coat. Enjoy warm.