Cheesy Pasta alla Vodka (super easy vodka sauce recipe)


Total Time:

40 minutes



Cheesy Pasta alla Vodka – the creamiest tomato based cream sauce slathered all over your favorite pasta with cheese on top… what more could you ask for?

Cheesy Pasta alla Vodka from (@whatsgabycookin)

I’m guessing everyone has their favorite Italian restaurant where you can order massive plates of food that are oozing with cheese and loaded various sauces and you walk out with enough leftovers for 3 days, right? Well this cheesy pasta alla vodka is restaurant quality in your own home! Al dente pasta tossed in a perfectly delicious tomato, vodka and cream sauce – we’re doing it!

If you’ve never had Vodka sauce before – YES there is vodka in it. And NO it will not get you drunk…. aka you’re safe to serve this to kids!! It’s really just an incredible addition to a creamy tomato sauce to give it a bit of zip. I’ve loaded mine up with extra cheese to make it the ultimate comfort food! Snuggle up with a bowl of this and call it a night!

Want some more comforting pasta recipes:

Cheesy Pasta alla Vodka

Cheesy Pasta alla Vodka, just like the one you'd order at your favorite local Italian restaurant but BETTER because you made it at home!
4.9 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 12 ounces favorite pasta shape
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste


  • Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 minute more. Add the entire can of crushed tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In 1 batches, transfer the sauce to a blender and add the cream and vodka. Remove the center knob on the lid (to allow steam to escape) and place a towel over the lid to prevent splattering. Slowly (starting on the lowest setting and increasing every few seconds), blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Return to the saucepan and bring just to a boil over high heat to cook off the vodka. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the sauce with the shredded mozzarella. Stir to combine, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, adding some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to thin it out. (you might not need any of the reserved pasta water if you don't need to thin the sauce FYI). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve immediately, topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano (to taste).

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Recipe Rating


    • Meaghan Janedis

      Perfect and so easy! The whole family LOVED it! THANK YOU!!

  1. sandi

    5 stars
    This is the best pasta recipe I’ve ever used. My husband, who is very picky, enjoyed it so much, he took the leftovers for lunch today. My daughter is lactose intolerant. Is there an alternative for the cream? Thank you Gaby!

  2. Lisalen

    4 stars
    I added the cream with the cheese although the recipe didn’t say when to add it.

    • Gaby

      it’s listed! it’s when you add the vodka into the blender 🙂 step 2!

  3. Steph

    Very good! I didn’t have time to go to grocery store so had to make do with a few subs (half and half instead of heavy cream, shallot instead of onion, and I used half farfalle and half buccatini). It turned out very good- classic and easy without being boring.

  4. Bronagh McAuliffe

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! full of flavour, easy to make but tastes impressive. I used passata instead of chopped tomato so didn’t have to blend but didn’t need the full 28 ounces so will definitely make again and adjust that

  5. Meredith Hamilton

    5 stars
    Great flavor! I added extra red pepper flakes for my S/O who loves a little spice!

  6. Maggie Engstrom

    5 stars
    This is easy and delicious! The perfect comfort meal I was craving. Came together quickly and made extra sauce to have throughout the week!

  7. Alex B

    5 stars
    Honestly, this is one of the best meals I have made in recent memory. Better than a restaurant….It’s a super impressive, yet easy pasta dish. Thank you Gaby!!!

  8. Blu

    5 stars
    If I don’t have crushed tomatoes should I just use tomato soup?

    • Gaby

      tomato soup will be too thin. Do you have something more along the lines of a tomato sauce?

  9. Katie

    5 stars
    So easy and delicious!!! It’s now my family’s favourite pasta recipe 🙂

  10. Dar

    If making ahead, do I stop after step 2 and refrigerate? How long ahead of serving is appropriate?

    • Gaby

      yes!! and I would say it keeps in the fridge for a week. Longer in the freezer

  11. Kristin

    I just made this tonight and it was excellent! I omitted the mozzarella cheese as I did not have it on hand and didn’t want to venture out, but it was still delicious. Will definitely be making this again soon!

  12. Dana P

    5 stars
    This recipe was an absolute hit tonight. I never post reviews and her I am. Thank you!!!

  13. Desiree

    Hi Gaby! I made this wonderful vodka sauce a few weeks ago ! Im dairy free though and was wondering if coconut milk or coconut cream would work instead of heavy cream?

    • Gaby

      I think that would affect the flavor a bit too much. I might be inclined to try an unsweetened unflavored almond milk creamer instead

  14. Rebecca

    I’m so excited to try this recipe this week. I don’t think my blender can hold hot liquids. Can I wait until this is room temp and then blend and add in the cream and vodka once I put it back on the stove?

  15. Rebecca

    5 stars
    This was my first attempt at a vodka sauce and it was so good. It actually came out looking exactly like the picture! Next up the chocolate chip cheesecake bars!

  16. Shannon

    this looks amazing! I have friends coming for Christmas and they are gluten and dairy free. I’m set on making my own past and I’m curious if you could recommend a dairy-free cream alternative. I’m stumped. Thanks!