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Healthy Penne alla Vodka

Healthy Penne alla Vodka

  • Author: Kathleen Higashiyama
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


Healthy Penne alla Vodka is a low-fat spin on traditional vodka sauce. It is creamy, flavorful, and takes less than an hour to make. A hot batch of penne with creamy tomato sauce is the perfect meal for a weeknight or date night at home. Top each bowl with fresh basil ribbons and grated cheese and pair with a glass of wine for an impressive home cooked meal. 


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 (28 oz) can of tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Handful of fresh basil cut into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving


In a medium pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook uncovered for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Stir in dried oregano, dried basil, and red chili flakes and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Stir in vodka and simmer for about 7 minutes until the alcohol cooks off. While the vodka cooks, add tomatoes to a blender with salt and pepper, then puree for 1-2 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes to the pot and stir. Cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes. 

While the sauce is cooking, bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the penne to the water and stir occasionally. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside. 

Once the sauce is cooked, stir in 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Greek yogurt until it becomes creamy and pink. Add salt and pepper to taste and half of the basil. Add the pasta to the sauce and gently stir to combine. 

Serve in bowls and sprinkle additional basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano on each serving. 


If you want to make Healthy Penne alla Vodka even healthier, you can swap out the traditional penne for a whole wheat pasta, gluten-free penne, eggplant, or even zoodles!

Keywords: healthy penne alla vodka, vodka sauce, healthy vodka sauce, vegetarian pasta, easy pasta, weeknight pasta, weeknight recipes, easy weeknight recipes, greek yogurt vodka sauce