Homemade Vodka Sauce

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Delicious and luxurious, this homemade vodka sauce is a must-have for any pasta dish. The cream makes it velvety and rich, and the tomato adds a bit of tartness. Cooking the sauce at a low temperature allows the tomatoes to caramelize and turn jam-like, blending seamlessly with the vodka to form a decadent sauce everyone will love.

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

A FRESH AND VIBRANT HOMEMADE SAUCE

While vodka sauce can be made in various ways, the three main ingredients remain consistent: tomatoes, cream, and vodka. If you are concerned about using vodka in this sauce, don’t worry because it’s only there to enhance the flavor, and happily you won’t taste the alcohol at all. If you prefer to not use vodka for other reasons, I’ll offer some alternatives you can use instead.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Making this dish is a breeze, only taking about 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • The ingredients are pantry staples that you probably already have on hand.
  • It is perfect for any occasion, from a simple weeknight meal to a fancy dinner party.
  • The texture and flavors are divine, tasting better than any store-bought sauce you’ll find.
  • This sauce is easy to prepare ahead of time if needed, making dinnertime simple and stress-free.

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE HOMEMADE VODKA SAUCE

EQUIPMENT

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large stock pot
  • Spoon

INGREDIENTS

  • Avocado oil spray: I like to use avocado oil spray for its high smoke point, but you can use any cooking spray you have on hand.
  • Onion: While I typically use a white onion in this sauce, any type of onion will do!
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic will lend the most robust flavor for this dish, but jarred minced garlic or even garlic powder are excellent substitutes if needed.
  • Whole peeled tomatoes: Whole peeled tomatoes will provide you with the most options when it comes to your desired consistency at the end if you prefer a more chunky sauce. You can also used crushed or diced tomatoes if you wish.
  • Vodka: Any type of vodka will do! If you don’t have vodka or prefer not to use it, you can substitute white wine or a mixture of water and lemon juice instead.
  • Tomato paste: Tomato paste adds a nice additional depth of flavor, and it also provides a bit of thickness to the sauce.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is going to be the “secret ingredient” that gives people pause. They will notice something different about your sauce that they enjoy, but they likely won’t be able to pinpoint what it is. Will you share your secret with them? 😉 
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes: This will give a hint of heat without being overly spicy. If you prefer no spice at all, you can omit.
  • Fresh basil: While I prefer to use fresh basil whenever possible, dried basil is a wonderful choice as well.
  • Half and half: Most recipes for vodka sauce will call for heavy whipping cream. Choosing a slightly lighter option reduces the calories and fat, and you really can’t notice a difference at all.
  • Parmesan cheese: The hint of parmesan cheese will lend a subtle nutty and salty flavor that is simply divine.

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE VODKA SAUCE

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the avocado oil spray for about 3-4 minutes until soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and vodka and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  • Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally.
  • Add the basil, half and half, and parmesan cheese and let it combine for about 2-3 minutes.
  • When done, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth if you prefer a smoother sauce. If you like your sauce to have chunks of tomatoes, serve as is.

VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE

For this recipe, you have plenty of options for versatility. If you’d like to try something different, you can…

  • Add your favorite vegetables such as spinach or pureed carrots, squash, zucchini, or cauliflower.
  • Substitute vodka with white wine or a mixture of water and lemon juice. 
  • Add a protein of your choice like chicken or shrimp.

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • If the sauce seems a bit thin in consistency, you can cook it a little longer to help thicken it. You can also thicken the sauce by adding a little more cream, parmesan cheese, or a tablespoon of corn starch.
  • If you can taste the vodka in the sauce, you’ve likely added too much, or perhaps you added it too late. The good news is that this is a simple fix. Just keep simmering the sauce to reduce the alcohol content. The more time you spend simmering the sauce, the less potent the vodka flavor will be.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN CHILDREN HAVE VODKA SAUCE?

Properly cooked vodka sauce is safe for children. Because the amount of alcohol used in vodka sauce is so minimal, it evaporates out during the cooking process and thus does not affect the taste. If you don’t feel comfortable using vodka, you can substitute a mixture of water and lemon juice instead.

WHAT CAN YOU SERVE WITH VODKA SAUCE?

The most common way to serve vodka sauce is with pasta. Other dishes that you can serve vodka sauce with include roasted meat, roasted vegetables, salad, and many more. You can get as creative as you want with this sauce!

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH LEFTOVER VODKA SAUCE?

Leftover vodka sauce can be used in numerous ways. It’s great on pasta, in casseroles, on pizza, in soups, and even as a dip with naan, crackers, or pita chips.

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

STORAGE, REHEATING, AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE LEFTOVER SAUCE?

Cream-based sauces should not be left at room temperature for more than four hours because they can spoil quickly at temperatures above 40°F. It is best to keep leftover vodka sauce in the refrigerator rather than on your kitchen counter or stove. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days if stored in an airtight container.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT VODKA SAUCE?

You can easily reheat vodka sauce in a saucepan. If the sauce is frozen, simply remove it from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Once the vodka sauce has been defrosted, it can be heated in a saucepan.

CAN YOU FREEZE VODKA SAUCE?

Vodka sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Once you are ready to use your frozen vodka sauce, just follow the defrosting and reheating instructions mentioned above.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

This Homemade Vodka Sauce makes 10 servings at 1/2 cup each. Each serving comes out to 105 calories.

Go here to calculate your own WW PersonalPoints™ for this recipe.

MORE PASTA AND HOMEMADE SAUCE RECIPES

If you’re looking for more recipes for pasta and homemade sauce, be sure to check these out…

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or post a picture and tag me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter with @cookingwithfudge or #cookingwithfudge.

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

Homemade Vodka Sauce - Cooking With Fudge

Homemade Vodka Sauce

Delicious and luxurious, this homemade vodka sauce is a must-have for any pasta dish. The cream makes it velvety and rich, and the tomato adds a bit of tartness.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Basil, Garlic, Half And Half, Onion, Parmesan Cheese, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Vodka, Vodka Sauce, Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 105kcal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 39 votes
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Adjustable Servings: 10 servings

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large stock pot
  • Spoon

Ingredients

  • Avocado oil spray or any cooking spray of your choice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the avocado oil spray for about 3-4 minutes until soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and vodka and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  • Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally.
  • Add the basil, half and half, and parmesan cheese and let it combine for about 2-3 minutes.
  • When done, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth if you prefer a smoother sauce. If you like your sauce to have chunks of tomatoes, serve as is.

Notes

This Homemade Vodka Sauce makes 10 servings at 1/2 cup each. Each serving comes out to 105 calories.
Recipe URL: https://cookingwithfudge.com/homemade-vodka-sauce/
Go here to calculate your own WW PersonalPoints™ for this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookingWithFudge or tag #CookingWithFudge!

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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve wanted to try pasta alla vodka for years and this was the perfect recipe to try! The vodka adds a subtle flavour that is delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a great flavoursome sauce recipe; my family loved it; we hand ours with pasta for a midweek meal, and it was lush 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is by far my favorite version of vodka sauce that I’ve tried! Can’t wait to make it again.

    1. I’m so happy you loved it, Lindsay! Be sure to double the recipe to have some to freeze next time you make it!

  4. 5 stars
    I loved this sauce! I served it with 3-cheese ravioli and grilled steak sliced between 4 plates and garnished with some ribbons of fresh basil. It was so well received, the plates were wiped clean with bread. Everyone raved! Thank you!

      1. 5 stars
        Yup. I did it again. In response to requests (read DEMANDS), I made it again with tortellini and Italian sausage meatballs. Again, plates wiped clean.

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