The Best Vodka Sauce creamy vodka sauce for pasta 6-8


January 12, 2020 39 Comments

This really is the best vodka sauce I’ve ever had. It takes one hour to make but it’s so worth the wait.

From the recipe collection of Tara Ippolito.

The Best Vodka Sauce

Where I’m from in New Jersey we really do love our vodka sauce. It’s sold at practically every Italian deli, restaurant and pizza place around.

There truly is nothing better then sauce when its done right and this recipe is the BEST there is.

My mother got this recipe from a friend over 30 years ago.

This was before the internet or Pinterest to help with dinner inspiration so it was treated like gold in our house.

This is THE one. The best vodka sauce that I’ve ever had. It will be the best you’ve ever had, too.

I know that’s a really bold assumption but I feel like I can confidently say that and mean every word.

Ive shared this vodka sauce recipe with so many people across social media and in my personal life.

They all say the same thing. That this the best vodka sauce that they’ve ever had.

Other delicious pasta sauces:

If you like this recipe here are a few other really fast, simple and delicious pasta recipes you’ll love, too.


Can I get drunk from eating vodka sauce:

Whenever I post this recipe to social media, people always ask me the same question. Can I get drunk from eating this?

The answer in NO. Absolutely not.

Any alcohol is cooked out of the sauce so there’s no change in getting drunk eating this sauce.

That means, yes, its safe for kids to enjoy, too!

So eat up without worrying if it will cause a hangover the next day.

What Pasta should I choose?

Penne and vodka sauce go hand in hand. Its by far the most popular pasta to choose for this one.

That’s because those little ridges and grooves really help that sauce stick to it.

So any pasta that’s got some texture to hold onto that sauce will do.

If penne isn’t your thing, here are a couple of other pastas that work very well:

  • Rigatoni
  • Tortiglioni
  • Farfalle
  • Fussili
  • Ziti

Try it on ravioli, tortellini and even gnocchi, too. SO SO good!

The best vodka sauce Recipe Video:

How can I use vodka sauce?

There are so many uses of this sauce recipe! You’re really only limited to your imagination here.

Anything you use tomato sauce for can be easily swapped out of this.

Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

vodka sauce ingredients:

  • Chopped Garlic
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Chopped Onion
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Butter
  • Heavy Cream
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • Vodka
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning

extended youtube vodka sauce recipe video:


First, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until it’s soft (add hot pepper flakes here if you like it spicy).

Now add the vodka. Bring the heat up and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes then season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Now add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese.

Then simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Taste the sauce and re season if needed.

I usually need to add a little salt and some more Italian seasoning.

Lastly add a ladle of pasta water and serve over pasta.

Penne is what it’s usually served with but choose whatever you like.

You’re done! You’ve just made the best vodka sauce ever.

The Best Vodka Sauce

This vodka sauce recipe has been in my family for over 30 years. It’s the best one ever.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: vodka sauce recipe
Author: Al Dente Diva


  • Medium Size Pot


  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 4 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Vodka
  • 1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tbs Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes Optional
  • 1 ladle Pasta Water


  • Heat olive oil and 1 tbs of butter in a large sauté pan or pot.
  • Add onion and chopped garlic. Sauté until soft.
  • Add Italian Seasoning, pepper flakes (of desires) and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the vodka and the heat up and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and a little more Italian seasoning.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Season to taste and add 1 tbs of butter.
  • Add pasta water to save and serve over prepared penne pasta.


I don’t like to give measurement for salt and pepper because people have different sensitivities towards that.
Also, don’t rush the sauce. It will take a full hour to cook and be worth it!   
Tara Ippolito

About Al Dente Diva

Tara Ippolito is a self taught home cook from New Jersey and cookbook author of Fast, Simple, Delicious. Better known as “T” across social media, she makes easy to follow recipes using familiar ingredients. T uses her Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest channels to share recipes and cooking tips for everyday people. Her motivation to share with her followers is simple. To inspire people to cook and become more comfortable in the kitchen.

As a wife and busy mother of two little boys she she’s always cooking fast family friendly meals. Sharing her kitchen with others that want to learn is a true passion of hers. As her social media platforms continue to grow she is committed to delivering consistently delicious content to her followers.

Al Dente Diva

Hello there! My name is T & I’m a home cook from New Jersey. I love to share easy to make recipes, cooking tips & kitchen hacks with people who love to cook like I do. My recipes are all easy to follow & use ingredients most people are familiar with. Being a busy stay at home mother of two, I have to cook delicious budget friendly meals that are fast to make. I hope you find something helpful here. Thanks for coming by.

All posts


  • KnRsDad January 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    I ask for vodka sauce on any parm hero that I order. Definitely a game changer!!

    Also, do you send out notifications for your posts immediately? I see this was posted on January 12th, and I just got the email notification yesterday. Don’t wanna miss a thing!!!

    • Al Dente Diva January 22, 2020 at 1:45 am

      You are awesome. Thank you. I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out. Right now it goes my the date I started the draft not the release date so some may seem off. I’m working on that

  • Ken March 18, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    In the video you say 2 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes but the recipe says 1. Can you help clarify that please. Trying recipe tonight. Thank you

    • Al Dente Diva March 18, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      Hello! So sorry it’s one can! I hope you like it

  • Ken March 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you again can’t wait to try it !!!!!!

  • Jennifer April 6, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    When are you suppose to add the garlic powder?

  • kris May 8, 2020 at 12:54 am

    This sauce was so yummy and easy to make!

  • Anonymous October 10, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    How much pasta will this amount of sauce cover?

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    […] The best ever vodka sauce. This recipe has been in my family for over 30 years. Its so easy to make, too. #vodkasauce #saucerecipe #penneallavodka #easyrecipe, source : […]

  • Anonymous October 28, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Best vodka sauce recipe I have tried!

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  • Anonymous January 9, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    This is by far the best vodka sauce I have ever tried …made it today … doesn’t surprise me you are from Jersey … ThankYou Much!!! keep the recipes coming

    • Al Dente Diva January 10, 2022 at 12:02 am

      Thank you so so much for trying this recipe & the nice comment. So
      Glad you liked it 💜

  • Anonymous January 9, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    Best Vodka sauce I have ever had …. No surprise you are from Jersey … thanks keep the recipes coming

  • Cristina L Melanson January 31, 2022 at 1:08 am

    Made this tonight and it was amazing! Thank you for posting. I’ve always wanted to make a vodka sauce, but put off trying it until I saw your quick video.

    • Al Dente Diva January 31, 2022 at 1:27 am

      Hey Christina. Thank you so much for taking a leap of faith! I really appreciate you giving it a try. Thank you

  • Ange February 3, 2022 at 1:46 am

    How many cans of tomatoes? ..the video said 2 but the recipe said 1

    • Al Dente Diva February 3, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      Hi! Sorry for the confusion. It’s just one can

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  • Anonymous March 5, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    Do you have an easy recipe for lasagna? I tend not to make it because it seems time consuming.

    • Al Dente Diva March 5, 2022 at 8:07 pm

      Hi! Not one that I have posted but I can give you a tip to shave some time off. You don’t have to boil the noodles. Some are marketed as “no boil” noodles but the truth is that they all work. Just later them as you normally would but dry. The only thing you have to do is to make sure to add extra sauce to the lasagna. The dry noodles will absorb some sauce to cook

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  • Alyssa December 15, 2022 at 2:43 am

    Can you freeze the leftover sauce?

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