How to Make Vegan Penne alla Vodka

Hiya Gorgeous!

Today I’m going to show you how to make vegan penne alla vodka (aka Dirty Penne): a rich, creamy gluten-free vegan pasta recipe with a splash of vodka! It’s super easy to make, and you can whip it up in a jiffy. I love keeping the ingredients on hand for when I don’t have a lot of time (or energy) to play in the kitchen. If you prefer to omit the vodka, that’s fine. The small amount of alcohol helps bring out the flavors. It also adds a bitter bite that goes well with the salty sweetness of the dish.

As always, I use recipes as guidelines – not hard-and-fast rules. So feel free to tinker, tweak and tickle ‘til your taste buds let out a genuine “Mmmm.” I hope you enjoy! And remember to serve the dish with a big ole salad. If you need some new inspiration, we have lots of delicious recipes (and dressings) in Crazy Sexy Kitchen.

Vegan Penne alla Vodka


  • Brown rice pasta (I like Tinkyada brand)
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I love Dave’s Gourmet & Crazy Sexy Kitchen’s Nana’s Marinara)
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup frozen organic peas
  • 2 heaping tablespoons capers
  • ¼ – ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • ½-1 cup water (to blend cashews)
  • Drizzle of olive oil (optional)
  • Splash of vodka (2-4 cap fulls or an ⅛ of a cup)
  • Salt & pepper to taste


1. Bring water to a boil and add a dash of salt to keep the pasta from sticking. Once the water is bubbling, add the pasta. Follow the directions on the package; it should take about 12 minutes or so.

2. To make the sauce, use your favorite jarred marinara as the base. Pour into a saucepan and add the garlic, peas, capers, plus a drizzle of olive oil and splash of vodka.

3. In a high-speed blender, blend the cashews and water until they are creamy. Add more or less water to suit your desires. Pour the cashew cream into the sauce and stir.

4. Cook on medium to low heat for about 15 minutes. Bathe the sauce all over the pasta and serve with a bright and tasty salad.

Now I’d love to hear from you, what’s your go-to meal choice when you don’t have much time in the kitchen?

I’m sure we’d all love to know. Our readers love the comments as much as the blog content. Bon appetit!

Peace & dirty pasta,

Kris Carr

P.S. Get more delicious & nutritious recipes!

Check out my cookbook, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, for 150+ nourishing, nosh-worthy recipes that will have you feeling fab again in no time! Get my cookbook here.