Penne alla Vodka

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Who doesn’t love Vodka Sauce!! It is said that the vodka is used to release the acids and flavor in the sauce and enhance the sweetness of the cream. To lower the points I use half and half in place of heavy cream. Eat this with a low carb or high fiber pasta like Ronzoni Smart Taste to keep the points low and top with fresh grated cheese.

Penne alla Vodka

5 from 3 votes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup pasta, 7.25 fl oz sauce


  • 2 tsp butter
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 shallots minced
  • 3 oz prosciutto chopped
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 12 oz uncooked 6 cups cooked whole wheat or high fiber penne


  • In a large sauté pan heat butter on a low flame.
  • Add garlic and shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add prosciutto and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
  • Add tomatoes, vodka, salt and pepper and cook on low, covered about 20 minutes.
  • Add basil and half and half, mix well and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Serve this over pasta and top with grated cheese.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 cup pasta, 7.25 fl oz sauce, Calories: 356 kcal


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59 comments on “Penne alla Vodka”

  1. This was disappointing, it didn’t taste like vodka sauce at all. I even tried cooking it for 40 minutes as someone else suggested. It wasn’t creamy, more like a tomato sauce.

  2. What makes this recipe go from okay to EXCELLENT (and the issue that I think some other people had) is that you need to simmer the tomato mixture step for about 30-40 minutes UNCOVERED, not 20 minutes covered as the recipe states. This allows the water to evaporate and cook out, thus reducing the sauce into restaurant-quality perfection. Otherwise, perfection as written! Thank you Gina!

    1. Also wanted to add I used center-cut bacon instead of prosciutto because its what I had on hand, and it worked great for anyone who was wondering if this is an okay substitute.

  3. I made this again tonight after not making it for over a year! Why did I wait so long?! Scrumptious. P.S. Menage a Trois California Rosé pairs excellently with this dish.

  4. Any tips for chopping the prosciutto? It gets stuck together so easily. Thanks for all the great recipes! 

  5. Avatar photo
    New to point system

    I’m in love with this recipe. I’d like to try it in a stove top lasagna. With pasta or zucchini. If you by any chance make a recipe that uses those please e-mail me. I may just play along in the kitchen, I love to cook I just forget to write out recipe. I need one of those gadgets I can dictate to make lists for me. I’ve never made vodka sauce and I’m thoroughly excited. Thanks

  6. At Pint Defiance, containers of Orval will be accessible for clients to drink on premises straight wheat whiskey, and the initial forty-eight to do as such get the chance to take home a credible Trappist glass.

  7. Delicious! I used zoodles instead of pasta and it was delicious. Do you know the nutrition of just the sauce without the pasta?

  8. I put this into the tracker and got 11P+. It seems like most people are getting closer to 9 or 10. Should I be accounting for all the vodka since part of it will burn off?

  9. This sauce was delish! If you're worried about the 1/4 cup of half-and-half, I did taste the sauce before adding, and it was delish then as well. I did cheat and use panchetta, though, so I don't know what that would've done to the calorie count. One cup of it was more than enough. I filled the rest of my plate with a yummy spinach salad.

    Gina, you are so far 4 for 4. We have loved all I have cooked from this site and we are going for 5 for 5 tonight. I've also now served 2 of your recipes to dinner guests and both this and your chicken enchiladas got good reviews. Recipe Rehab fell down on recipe number 2!! Love love LOVE your site! Thanks!! 🙂

  10. I am so surprised at the number of negative and so-so reviews of this recipe! I followed the recipe as written (except that I added a tad more red pepper flakes because we like a little more heat) and it came out perfectly! The sauce wasn't a creamy, rich sauce like you get at a restaurant, but how could it be for this few calories? The lack of creaminess from heavy cream was fully compensated for by the flavor of the sauce. I think my husband said it best – restaurant quality but guilt free!

  11. Was wondering if there is a substitute (another alcohol) for Vodka in a Vodka sauce in general. Don't have any Vodka on hand but do have a plethora of other clear alcohols (gin, rum, white wine…). I know it is a Vodka sauce so the question sounds silly but figured I'd ask before heading out and buying some Vodka! Thanks!

  12. I looked up the ingredients in my tracker and scaled them to one serving, and came up with a value of 9 points plus. I think I need to make this tonight. I am in a cooking rut.

  13. Thanks so much for this recipe. I order this all the time anywhere I can get it. I used fat free half and half and mixed in some broc. The kids loved it so much that on top of asking for seconds, I had to grab plates because they were trying to lick them clean lol. Off to make your black bean soup.