Vegan Vodka Sauce

vegan vodka sauce pasta on a black plate with a fork

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

A divinely creamy vegan vodka sauce! This recipe is easy, comforting, and super satisfying and made creamy from two secret ingredients!


  • 6 medium-large cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes
  • pepper
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-ounce whole, peeled canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sprig basil (plus more for topping)
  • 1 pound short pasta
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 2 cups pasta water*
  • vegan parmesan, for topping


  1. Place your cauliflower florets and cashews in a food processor and blitz until it resembles small pebbles. It should yield ~1 cup (a little more is okay). Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat your olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add your onion and a pinch or two of salt, and cook until the onion is translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add a splash of water if things are browning.
  4. Add your garlic, red pepper flakes, and a few cranks of black pepper, and cook for another minute.
  5. Add your tomato paste with a splash of water, and cook for another minute. You’re caramelizing the sugars and developing more flavors in this step. Look at you!
  6. Add your canned tomatoes, water, and your cauliflower/cashew mixture and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt.
  7. Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. 
  8. Meanwhile, cook your pasta 1 minute less than package instructions (we’ll finish it in the sauce). Reserve two cups pasta water. 
  9. Remove and discard your basil, and then carefully transfer your sauce mixture to a high-powered blender with a tablespoon of vegan butter, and blend until rich and creamy.
  10. Transfer your sauce back to your pan (wipe it out first to ensure a super smooth sauce!), and return to a simmer over medium heat. 
  11. Stir in your vodka and cook for 1 minute, then add your cooked pasta. 
  12. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the pasta is cooked to your liking. You can add your pasta water here to thin out the sauce if needed.
  13. Carefully taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with additional fresh basil and / or vegan parmesan!


* You probably won’t add all of this, but it’s better to have more than run out!

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This