Simple, tangy pasta sauce with a bit of creaminess that’s ready in less than 30 minutes. This Easy Vodka Sauce is easy to make and better than many restaurant versions. A secret ingredient puts it over the top!

Capellini pasta with vodka sauce on a white square plate.

Homemade Vodka Sauce

I’m not a fan of red sauce. I don’t know why, maybe it’s too acidic for me but I would rather have a heaping pile of pasta tossed with butter, olive oil and cheese than pasta swimming in a pool of marinara.

Unless it’s my marinara because it’s fabulous but even then I go light on the sauce making more of a blush sauce because I still add butter, olive oil and cheese.

I do love my bolognese sauce….but again, butter, olive oil and cheese….the rest of the family thinks I’m crazy. I am starting to agree with them as I write this post. But you know what…I LOVE Vodka Sauce. Without butter, olive oil and cheese. I think it’s the fact that it’s a bit creamy so it cuts the acidity and it has a flavor like no other…it’s not a simple marinara.

What is Vodka Sauce?

Creamy and light, Vodka Sauce is a popular Italian-American sauce recipe that’s the main ingredient in Penne alla Vodka.

It’s made with tomato sauce, vodka, Italian seasonings and cream. Its smooth, velvety texture clings to every pasta making each bite decadent and comforting.

Homemade Vodka Sauce made from scratch is quick and simple to make, too.

alla vodka sauce with pasta on a square white plate.

How To Make Vodka Sauce

This Vodka Spaghetti Sauce is quick and easy to make with minimal ingredients. You can make a spicy Vodka Sauce by stirring in a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over med-high heat.
  2. Add the onions to the oil and cook until softened.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the oregano and the vodka. Cook until reduced by half.
  5. Stir in the sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and crushed tomatoes stirring until the mixture until well combined.
  6. Add the half and half.
  7. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

If you’re trying to cut back on dairy, you can make a Vegan Vodka Sauce by substituting the half and half with unsweetened Coconut Milk! It’s still ultra creamy and doesn’t taste like coconut at all. Or use your favorite dairy alternative. Oat Milk works well, too. 

pasta with vodka sauce on a white plate with a fork in it.

What to Serve With Vodka Sauce

While we love tossing our sauce with linguine or angel hair, it’s perfect for making Penne ala Vodka! A classic Italian dish. But we love it also in this Rigatoni with Chicken or to top our favorite pizza crust.

This Easy Vodka Sauce is the perfect balance of tangy, sweet, creamy and slightly salty. It’s made in less than 30 minutes so it’s great for easy weeknight dinners when you’re craving a slow cooked comfort food…without having to slow cook for hours on end.

It’s simply fabulous and perfect in every way. And don’t worry, this version is light on the cream…since I used Half and Half to keep the calories in check.

Sliced, cooked chicken breast sits on top of a skillet of spicy rigatoni.

More Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes

If you like this Vodka Sauce recipe, be sure to give this Basil Pesto a try! It’s our favorite way to serve up a pile of pasta and a great way to use up that bumper crop of basil in the summer.

Or try this simple Spaghetti Sauce…..simple and classic. We also love this hearty Bolognese, it’s great for feeding a crowd or stocking your freezer for easy weeknight dinners.

Pasta Bolognese with a gold fork with pasta twirled on it.

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pasta with vodka sauce on a white plate with a fork in it.

Get the Recipe: Easy Vodka Sauce Recipe

Slow simmered flavor in just 30 minutes, Homemade Vodka Sauce is as simple as it gets.
5 from 1 vote


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup vodka
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 28 ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 saucepan


  • Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over med-high heat.
  • Add the onions to the oil and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the oregano and then add the vodka. Cook until reduced by half and then add the sugar, worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and crushed tomatoes.
  • Stir the mixture until well combined, then slowly stir in the half and half. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.


YouTube video
Serving: 0g, Calories: 187kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 213mg, Potassium: 858mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 786IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 4mg