Vodka Sauce

Vodka sauce is a smooth, creamy tomato sauce that is cooked with a hefty addition of vodka to enhance the flavors and aroma. 

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword creamy sauce, sauce, tomato sauce, vodka sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 (Makes 5.5-6 cups)
Calories 182 kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots (can substitute 1 Vidalia onion)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less according to the taste)
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
US Customary - Metric


  1. Heat up a Dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil. Add diced shallots and saute until it starts to brown.

  2. Smash and mince garlic, add it to the pot, and saute until garlic is fragrant.

  3. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, stir well, and simmer until heated through. Pour in vodka, stir, and let it come to simmer.

  4. Simmer for a 5-7 minutes but make sure to keep the lid on with a small opening for the steam to escape. (Tomatoes will splatter while simmering so the lid will help a lot.)

  5. Stir in heavy whipping cream and add shaved Parmesan cheese, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir everything together and simmer until the cheese is all melted and smooth.

  6. Stir in minced fresh basil and let it cook for just a minute or so.

  7. Take off heat and it’s ready to be mixed with pasta.

  8. TIP: the sauce can be left chunky or blended smooth. If you want to blend the sauce, use an immersion blender or transfer it into a food processor. Be careful if transferring the sauce to blend because it will be scalding hot.

  9. TIP: cook pasta at the same time as the sauce because both will take about the same amount of time.

Recipe Notes

All images and text ©Lyubov Brooke for ©Will Cook For Smiles. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as most ingredients and brands have a slight variation.

Nutrition Facts
Vodka Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 182 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 331mg14%
Potassium 459mg13%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 820IU16%
Vitamin C 12.4mg15%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.