The easiest, best penne alla vodka recipe. You can use fresh or canned tomatoes. 

The Best Penne alla Vodka

This easy penne alla vodka recipe can be made using canned or fresh tomatoes depending on what's in season. The perfect quick and delicious weeknight dinner!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword best penne alla vodka recipe, easy penne alla vodka recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Salt & Lavender


  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/2 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 4 medium tomatoes chopped finely (the riper the better)
  • 1 dash Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • Handful of fresh basil chopped finely
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste


  1. Boil a generously salted pot of water for the penne and it cook al dente according to package directions. 
  2. Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion for 5-7 minutes or until softened (ok if it lightly browns).
  3. Stir in the garlic.
  4. Add the vodka and let the sauce bubble for a minute or so.
  5. Add in the tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Continue cooking the sauce for another 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the half-and-half. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Stir in the basil and season as needed with salt & pepper. Toss with the drained pasta and serve with the grated parmesan. 

Recipe Notes