Vegan Vodka Sauce

Creamy dairy-free vodka sauce. An easy and delicious way to spice up regular tomato sauce.
vegan vodka sauce

Vegan Vodka Sauce

Creamy dairy-free vodka sauce. An easy and delicious way to spice up regular tomato sauce.
Course pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Sarah Sullivan


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 2-3 small shallots or 1 small white onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 4.5 oz tube tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 cup cashew cream recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan shreds see notes
  • 1 lb pasta of choice see notes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil to garnish

Cashew Cream

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked 4+ hours or boiled 10 minutes
  • 1 cup water


Prepare the Cashew Cream

  • Drain soaked cashews. Blend with 1 cup water until completely smooth. Set aside.

Vegan Vodka Sauce

  • Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. I usually prepare only 3/4 package of pasta because I like mine extra saucy, but you can prepare the whole 1 lb package and just add as much pasta to the sauce as you like. You can work on the sauce while the pasta cooks. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water when the pasta is done.
  • In the meantime, heat olive oil or vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes (if using) along with the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. We don’t want to brown them.
  • Add in the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions and garlic. Keep cooking this mixture, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. We want to cook off the raw flavor of the tomato paste and slightly caramelize it. You’ll know it’s ready when it goes from a bright red color to a darker orange-red color.
  • Deglaze the pan with the vodka. Stir to combine, and to scrape off any tomato paste that might have started to stick to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing liquid to cook off until it has reduced by about half.
  • Stir in the cashew cream and vegan parmesan. Reduce the heat to medium-low if the sauce is bubbling vigorously.
  • Add in the al dente pasta along with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and stir to coat. We will be finishing the cooking process for the pasta in the sauce, so keep cooking and stirring occasionally for another 2-3 minutes. The starch in the cooking water will thicken the sauce. If you feel it needs to be thinned out more, feel free to stir in additional pasta water a few tablespoons at a time, until you achieve the consistency you prefer.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the pasta alla vodka with fresh chopped basil and, if you like, sprinkle on some extra vegan parmesan. Enjoy.



No cashews: You can utilize blanched, slivered almonds to make an almond cream instead, but note it may not blend quite as smooth as the cashews and will have a slightly sweeter flavor. You can also try one of the following options, though please note it will impact the flavor of the sauce, so you will want to make sure you use a product whose flavor you enjoy on its own.
     -1 cup Silk Dairy Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative
     -1/2 cup coconut cream (scooped off the top of a refrigerated can of full-fat coconut milk) + 1/2 cup water
     -1/2 cup vegan sour cream + 1/2 cup water
Vegan parmesan: My favorite options available in the states are:
     -Follow Your Heart shreds, which come in a tub. It’s usually located with the tofu and other vegan specialty ingredients at grocery stores. I’m able to find it at my local Kroger, Whole Foods, and Sprouts.
     -Violife Parmesan, which comes in a wedge that you can grate yourself. Violife is easily found at Whole Foods and can also be found at some other grocery stores depending on location.
Recommended pasta shapes: Penne and rigatoni are two classic choices for this recipe. However, feel free to use any pasta you like. I tend to favor shapes such as radiatore, fusilli or rotini, because they have lots of grooves that hold onto the sauce.
Did you make this recipe?We’d love for you to leave a review on the website! You can also share a photo on IG and tag @SarahsVeganKitchen_ or #sarahsvegankitchen.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating