Vegan Vodka Sauce Pasta is probably something you already know and love from TikTok. It’s creamy, indulgent and rich with tomatoey goodness. We were cool before this went viral on social media, because we published this way back in 2018. For long time readers, it has just had a glow up – the recipe is still the same.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Easy – you need just one pot to make this dairy-free vodka sauce. There’s no dried herbs or anything to worry about. Just serve with fresh parsley, and maybe some garlic bread too!
- One-pot – cook the pasta in the same pan as the sauce and you’ve got a one-pot pasta dish too! Who doesn’t love fewer things to wash up?
- Simple ingredients – with just 9 ingredients, it couldn’t be simpler. Barely any chopping – just broccoli, onion and garlic (unless you buy them frozen or pre-cut!)
- Tiktok seal of approval - as mentioned above this is a vegan version of Gigi Hadid’s Vodka pasta. We originally published this recipe in 2018 though, so it stands the test of time, and now has all of TikTok’s approval too! If you love food trends, try this baked boursin pasta.
- Creamy without the cream – penne alla vodka always has cream in it. Of course, this is a vegan pasta alla vodka, so we use plants to create the creaminess. Half a cup of cashews, soaked in boiling water and blended will do it!
🍽 Equipment and Products Used
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Pasta – we have used rigatoni in this dish, as we thought it just looks so appetising. But to be real with you, we prefer wholewheat pasta. It would also work well with gluten free pasta. And if you're looking for more different pasta recipes, check out this Ajvar pasta.
- Vodka – it wouln't be vegan vodka sauce without vodka! The alcohol in the vodka in this recipe will actually cook off. It doesn’t take long to cook off, so don’t worry, you won’t get drunk from eating this! If you don’t want to use booze, you don’t have to - it will still be creamy and rich, even without vodka. Additionally, you can use any old vodka to make it, it doesn’t need to be great quality.
- Cashew cream – make sure to soak the cashews for a minimum of 1 hour in boiling hot water or overnight in water from the tap. Cashew cream not only adds creaminess, but thickness too. Alternatively, you can use coconut cream, but the flavour will be slightly different.
- Broccoli – usually, vegan vodka pasta doesn’t contain any vegetables. We like vegetables so have added broccoli. It also works well with red peppers.
- Vegan parmesan – we like the brand Green Vie, but you can also make your own using vegan parmesan.
- Parsley to serve – we didn’t want this recipe to be too heavy on the herbs so we added fresh parsley when serving. However, that is optional. You could alternatively top it with basil or omit herbs altogether.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
These instructions are an overview to go with the visual step-by-step process. Head to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for full instructions, ingredients and notes.
1. Soak the cashews in boiling water for an hour, the water should just cover the cashews. Once soaked, blend until smooth (with the water).
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Rinse with cold water to help prevent the pasta from sticking together.
3. In the same pan, fry the onion for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until soft. This can be with a splash of oil, oil spray or dry frying (optionally with a splash of water). Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
4. Pour in the tomatoes and vodka, stir well and then bring to a simmer.
5. Add the broccoli and simmer for 5 - 8 minutes.
6. Stir in the cashew cream, vegan parmesan and butter (optional), until you have a lovely pink sauce.
7. Next, add in the cooked pasta and stir until every piece of pasta is coated in the sauce. Make sure it’s piping hot and then serve.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Substitutions - you can use nutritional yeast instead of vegan parmesan or make your own (linked above). You could also swap broccoli for red peppers, or omit it completely. If you’d like to use a vegan cream alternative, it should be a thick cream alternative, such as Elmlea Plant double cream or even a vegan cream cheese.
- Storage instructions - vegan vodka sauce will keep in the fridge for three days whether it is mixed with the pasta or not.
- Freezing instructions – if you’d like to freeze this dish, we’d recommend only cooking the sauce and not adding the pasta or the broccoli. That way you have a delicious sauce ready and waiting in the freezer – just defrost and add pasta! If you freeze it once the pasta has been added, just make sure to defrost thoroughly and heat through gently on the stove or in the microwave. This does risk the pasta going soggy though.
- Spice it up – vegan pasta alla vodka is great served with chilli flakes if you like a spicy pasta dish. Alternatively add a chopped fresh red chilli in with the onions, to deepen the chilli flavour.
- Cooking with vodka – we found this cooking with vodka guide really helpful when learning about cooking with vodka – you might like it too.
Yes, vegan vodka sauce can be frozen. Freeze just the sauce, defrost and then add cooked pasta and broccoli for best results.
Yes – standard vodka is always vegan! In addition, almost all alcoholic spirits are vegan. If they’re flavoured, it’s best to check what flavourings have been used, but that wouldn’t be relevant for this recipe.
Generally not, that’s because it would usually contain dairy cream. However, our version is a dairy-free vodka sauce as we use cashew cream instead of dairy cream.
Yes – absolutely. You can make this dish without vodka, simply omit it. The sauce will still be delicious but will taste different, of course.
Yes, don’t worry about getting drunk by eating this! Almost all of the alcohol will cook off, and it doesn’t need a long simmer time for this to happen either.
🍛 What to serve with it
More pasta recipes to try
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Vegan Vodka sauce (TikTok Pasta)
- 300 g rigatoni pasta
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - crushed
- 800 g chopped tomatoes (2 cans)
- ½ cup vodka
- 150 g broccoli - cut into bite-size florets
- ½ cup cashews - soaked in boiling water, just enough to cover the cashews
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter optional
- ½ cup vegan parmesan - grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or oil spray
- Salt & pepper
- fresh parsley - chopped
- Soak the cashews in boiling water for an hour, the water should just cover the cashews. Once soaked, blend until smooth (with the water).½ cup cashews
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Rinse with cold water to help prevent the pasta from sticking together.300 g rigatoni pasta
- In the same pan, fry the onion for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until soft. This can be with a splash of oil, oil spray or dry frying (optionally with a splash of water).1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large onion
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute.4 cloves garlic
- Pour in the tomatoes and vodka, stir well and then bring to a simmer.800 g chopped tomatoes, ½ cup vodka
- Add the broccoli and simmer for 5 - 8 minutes.150 g broccoli
- Stir in the cashew cream, vegan parmesan and butter (optional), until you have a lovely pink sauce.½ cup cashews, 2 tablespoon vegan butter, ½ cup vegan parmesan
- Next, add in the cooked pasta and stir until every piece of pasta is coated in the sauce. Make sure it’s piping hot and then serve.Salt & pepper, fresh parsley
- You can add red peppers or switch broccoli for red pepper.
- Try serving with basil instead of parsley.
- Optionally, you can serve with chilli flakes or add a chopped fresh red chilli with the onion at the beginning of the recipe.
- Omit vodka if you don’t want to cook with alcohol. It will still taste delicious but slightly different.
- Storage instructions – keeps well in the fridge for 3 days.
- Freezing instructions – only cook the sauce, without the pasta or broccoli for best results. The sauce will freeze for three months. Defrost and heat thoroughly and then add cooked pasta and broccoli.
- Nutritional information includes the vegan butter.