Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken Recipe

More Great Pasta Recipes

Creamy Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the tomato puree into the pan.
  • Add the vodka to the pan. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes over medium low heat.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese and simmer for another 5 minutes or until thickened. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes , then serve.

Tips For Penne Alla Vodka

  • Make sure you let the sauce simmer for long enough so that the alcohol will cook off. If you dont cook the sauce for long enough, you may end up with a harsh aftertaste from the alcohol.
  • You can make this sauce a day before you plan to use it. Simply reheat it on the stove while your pasta cooks, then toss everything together and serve.
  • I use canned San Marzano tomatoes in this recipe. Theyre a type of Italian plum tomato and they have the best flavor of any type of canned tomato. If you cant find a can of San Marzano tomatoes, use Italian style whole canned tomatoes instead. Its definitely worth the extra money for the San Marzano variety.
  • Do not use the green can of parmesan cheese for this dish. Look for a high quality grated or shaved parmesan, or buy a block of it and grate it yourself.

Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken Recipe

This Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken Recipe is a delicious, creamy, hearty pasta dinner that the whole family will love! This is one restaurant classic that is easy to make at home.

This is a great pasta dish for special occasions or for a dinner party with guests. Serve with a big family-style pot luck salad and some oven baked garlic bread for a fantastic and delicious meal.

When I want something a little extra fancy for dinner penne alla vodka with chicken gets top billing! Its tasty, satisfying, and SO yummy served with garlic bread.

You can make your own crispy chicken using the recipe below, or use pre-made cutlets that you fry up and enjoy. Either way, this is one majorly tempting dish that is great for a busy weeknight or for having friends or family over on the weekend.

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How To Make Chicken Alla Vodka With Penne

Add some oil to a skillet, add the onions, and cook them for a few minutes. Add the garlic and keep cooking until the onions are translucent. Then, add the dried herbs and mix well.

Next, add the canned crushed tomatoes and bay leaves. The bay leaves add a subtle peppery flavour to the sauce and shouldnt be left out. But if you are lucky to grab some of your Nonnas tomatoes she likely stores them with basil in the jar. If this is the case you can leave the basil out of the sauce in this step and also remove the basil from the jar or sauce before pouring it into the pan.

The basil that has been stored in the homemade jarred crushed tomatoes gets limp and has had its day once the jar is opened so just toss it. The flavour has already been shared with the tomatoes inside the jar.

Once you have mixed the with the onions and herb mixture, turn the heat up to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves and discard them. You may need to hunt for them a bit but you dont want them in the finished sauce.

Next, add the fresh chopped basil along with the heavy cream and vodka. Mix well until the cream is evenly mixed into the tomatoes sauce.

Simmer another 2 minutes over medium heat.

Add the cooked chicken and cooked pasta and mix well. Heat through, then serve topped with some Parmesan cheese.

What Can You Substitute For Vodka In Penne Alla Vodka

Healthy Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken

This article from The Manual explains vodka sauce nicely. They suggest a simple replacement of some fresh water and a squeeze of lemon will have a similar effect on the sauce. Not only is this an easy replacement, but its also cost effective if you are looking to save money.

Whos ready to eat!??? Both hands and feet up over hurrr!!

Heres how it all comes together

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What To Serve With Penne Alla Vodka

Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken And Chorizo

Penne alla vodka is a classic Italian American recipe and one of my favorite simple tomato sauces. The combination of the deeply flavored marinara sauce, the richness of the cream, a little bite from the vodka, and some spice all tossed with pasta makes it great Italian comfort food. Add in seared chicken breast and chorizo and you have a easy weeknight meal!

Actually, while I think its Italian American, the origins of the dish are rather fuzzy for one which only came into being something like 40 years ago. However, whether it was first made in Italy or in American , there is no doubt that Americans have embraced the dish and made it their own.

Anyway, whats not to love?

Deep, intense tomato flavor. A glug of cream. And there are very few recipes which arent improved by a shot or two of appropriate alcohol. All but a teeny bit cooked off of course!

Oh, and its quick to make. Isnt that the best? Awesome layered flavors to make your taste buds happy and you can get it on the table in 30 minutes.

And it all comes down to the marinara sauce.

Penne alla vodka with chopped tomatoes or whole canned tomatoes? Takes longer and it is not nearly as good! Trust me on this marinara is the way to go. I mean who is going to argue with better flavor and less work when youre making dinner?

Not me!

Though, really, you should make the marinara sauce. You wont be sorry.

Happy Eating, Annemarie

  • 4tbspsliced fresh basil

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Chicken Penne Pasta With Vodka Sauce

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Chicken Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce a delicious rich and creamy tomato sauce folded together with penne pasta and topped off with either sauteed or grilled chicken breasts. This pasta recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner with the family, or when you want an impressive meal to serve for company.

This yummy pasta recipe is a restaurant-quality meal you can make at home. The sauce has a creamy and rich tomato base that hugs those penne noodles like theyre best friends.

And you know me gotta get some protein in there, so I added chicken breasts. You can grill them or saute them in a pan on the stovetop. Ive made this dish both ways and its always very hearty and tasty.

You might be wondering if there truly is vodka in this recipe?

And yes, just like the name suggests, there is.

Prep Storage And Substitutions

Penne Vodka with Chicken Recipe – Laura Vitale – Laura in the Kitchen Episode 862

Make ahead! The cooked pasta will keep for up to 2 days in a refrigerator in an airtight container.

Freeze! Pasta sauces with cream tend not to freeze quite as well, so we prefer this dish fresh. However, yes, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to cool completely to room temperature, then store in an airtight freezer-safe container. To thaw, defrost overnight in a refrigerator.

To make gluten-free: Feel free to substitute with your favorite gluten-free pasta!

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Comfort Food Pasta Recipes For The Win

This Penne & Chicken Alla Vodka is the tastiest, coziest dinner meal. Its perfect for a hearty meal for the family, and also great to make for company if you are having guests for dinner. It makes a great holiday meal as well. The stove does most of the work, so you can enjoy hands-off time while you prep sides or a salad!

Ways To Use Vodka Sauce

  • With Shrimp toss in 1 pound cooked or grilled shrimp to your penne alla vodka.
  • With Sausage add cooked or grilled chunks of Italian sausage. I recommend 4-5 links.
  • With Pancetta add 8 ounces of crispy diced pancetta to your pasta!
  • With Prosciutto add a few slices of prosciutto to a nonstick skillet over medium heat and let prosciutto heat until crispy, flipping every few minutes for 5-9 minutes.
  • With Bacon add about 12 ounces of crispy, smoky bacon to your pasta.
  • With Spinach spinach is a great vegetarian option for penne alla vodka. Toss a few large handful into your pasta with sauce. The spinach will wilt as you toss it!
  • With Peas add about 1 cup of cooked peas to your sauce right before serving!
  • Classic Chicken Parmesan or Grilled Chicken Parmesan instead of plain marinara sauce, substitute vodka sauce on your chicken parm!
  • Lasagna give the people what they want! Use vodka sauce instead of marinara for lasagna.
  • On pizza or calzones instead of regular red pizza sauce, use vodka sauce for a beautiful creamy blush finish on pizza or for a homemade calzone dipping sauce.
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    Penne Alla Vodka Recipe

    *Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.


    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Chopped fresh parsley or basil

    You can make this recipe with just about any protein. I used chicken thighs that are full of flavor and inexpensive to purchase.


    The first step in making Penne Alla Vodka is to cook the penne pasta. Because there are many brands of penne pasta you must read the instructions and cook the pasta for al dente consistency, minus 1 minute.

    This will help the pasta to remain firm enough when it is tossed and cooked briefly with the sauce. Once the pasta is done boiling, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the remaining water and let the pasta sit in the colander.

    While the pasta is boiling, heat a large saute pan or electric skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot add the butter and let it melt.

    Place the cut chicken pieces to the pan and let it brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Then flip the chicken over and let it brown on the other side.

    Be sure to cook the Penne Pasta based on the package directions for al dente consistency, minus 1 minute.

    Next add the onion, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to the pan with the chicken. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through and onion is translucent and soft.

    How To Make Chicken Penne Pasta With Vodka Sauce

    Creamy Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your chicken breasts . Saute for 8 minutes per side, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees when temped with a digital food thermometer.

    Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

    You can also grill your chicken breasts for a bit of a smoky flavor. I do it both ways with this dish. You do you!

    Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan . Add the onion and garlic then saute for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.

    Stir the vodka into the pan and simmer for 2 minutes.

    Now add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, sugar , salt and pepper.

    Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

    While the sauce simmers, cook your penne noodles in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente. You can also use other varieties of pasta if you prefer rigatoni is also a good option for this dish.

    Turn down the heat on your sauce and slowly stir or whisk the cream into the tomato mixture, saute for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

    Fold the cooked pasta into the sauce.

    Slice up your chicken breasts and serve them over the pasta with more grated Parmesan, fresh chopped parsley and basil.

    As you can tell this is one delicious and hearty meal!

    Chicken Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce sure to become one of your familys favorite dinner recipes!

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    Chicken Penne Alla Vodka

    Chicken Penne alla Vodka is a 30 minute, restaurant quality pasta entree with lean chicken breast and penne pasta in a creamy tomato vodka sauce. Make chicken alla vodka for date night OR any weeknight and win hearts.

    Chicken vodka sauce pasta is so delicious, it tastes like dinner from your favorite Italian restaurant. The creamy, lustrous vodka sauce loves to be sopped up with this Homemade French Bread. Chicken alla vodka is so easy and versatile, it’s perfect for date night OR busy weeknights, just like this Baked Feta Pasta.

    Recipe amounts are listed below.

    • penne pasta – use classic or whole grain variety
    • boneless skinless chicken breast – or boneless chicken thighs
    • olive oil – or preferred cooking oil
    • onion – white, yellow, or red
    • garlic – fresh garlic cloves recommended
    • vodka – any economical brand
    • canned crushed tomatoes – or any type of canned tomatoes
    • heavy cream – you can sub half and half, if needed
    • oregano – fresh or dried, also sub Italian seasoning
    • crushed red pepper – adds a tiny bit of heat and can be adjusted up or down
    • Parmesan cheese – or grated Romano

    How Do You Make Penne Alla Vodka

    The first step is to put your pasta up to boil, and while the pasta is cooking its time to make the sauce. The vodka sauce starts with sauteed garlic, butter and tomato puree. Place those ingredients in a pan, then add in the vodka. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, then stir in heavy cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce. Garnish with more parmesan cheese, red chili flakes and parsley, then serve and enjoy.

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    Can You Taste Vodka In Penne Alla Vodka

    If youre wondering if you can taste the vodka in the sauce the answer is yes and, well, no. You cant actually taste the boozy flavor of the alcohol but it will add a pleasing flavor when sauteed with the tomato and cream.

    Im literally drooling as I write this. Its sooo good!

    If you are opposed to using alcohol when youre cooking , but still want to make this recipe, you can swap it out.

    Can Kids Eat Chicken Penne Alla Vodka

    Chicken Penne Alla Vodka

    If youre worried about the alcohol content of this chicken pasta recipe, never fear! First, theres very little vodka in the recipe, and when you divide it by the number of servings, its hardly any at all.

    Second, the alcohol content cooks out of the vodka reasonably quickly. When the sauce reduces, the alcohol cooks off, just leaving the flavour behind. So, if youre wondering if you can get drunk on this penne alla vodka with chicken recipe, the answer is no!

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    Why Youll Love This Dish:

    But in all seriousness, Ben and I love Italian food. Italy has been on our dream travel bucket list for years and hopefully we will make it there one day. In the meantime, Im SO happy to have found Victoria Pasta Sauce!

    Like I said above, Victoria Pasta Sauce has been 100% committed to high quality ingredients since 1929. Almost 100 years, yall!

    I mean, why travel all the way to Italy when I can eat a delicious sauce that uses legit Italian tomatoes?!

    The ultra luscious vodka sauce coats the perfectly cooked penne noodles. Seriously, the noodles are bursting with sauce every single bite.

    Im using VictoriasVodka Sauce in this recipe because its minimal ingredients results in an amazing flavor. You have your classic ingredients like: 100% Italian tomatoes, imported olive oil, fresh basil, high quality vodka, garlic and onions! Sound good? They also have NO added preservatives or sugar and salt! And its rich, creamy, and flavorful with Romano and Parmesan cheeses! Yes please!

    The chicken is diced into bite size pieces which adds an incredible protein and texture to the dish making it a wonderfully balanced meal.

    The main reason I am obsessed with this dish, though?! Its SO simple. Truly, it takes less than 30 minutes to make this. Most of it is made in ONE skillet. Yes, you do have to use a small pot to boil the noodles but thats a quick dish to clean!

    So lets get into what you need to make it!

    Equipment And Ingredient Notes

    • A large pot: Even though were not making a ton of sauce, use a large pot instead of a skillet because it will help contain splatters while making the sauce and give you plenty of room to mix in the pasta at the end.
    • A spider skimmer: If you have one, a spider skimmer/strainer is really helpful for scooping up the pasta out of the pasta water.
    • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You can also substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs here if you prefer.
    • Tomato paste: Check out my post What to Do With Leftover Tomato Paste for storage tips and recipe ideas for the rest of the can.
    • Heavy cream: And if you have leftover heavy cream, go check out What to Do With Leftover Whipping Cream.

    Measuring tip: If you have a kitchen scale, skip the measuring cup for your tomato paste, and measure it by weight. ¼ cup of tomato paste is about 66 grams. Its way quicker and less messy to scoop the paste onto a small plate or bowl on your scale than to pack it into a measuring cup and scrape it out again later.

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