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This One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta is for nights when you’re craving a really great pizza from your favorite pizzeria, but can’t decide if you’d rather just make pasta at home. Enter this pizza pasta. Pasta baked in a spicy tomato pesto vodka sauce that’s creamy, herby, and so delicious! The key to this pasta is a house style “pizza seasoning” with pepperonis on top. This is a great easy pasta dish to serve any night of the week. It’s delicious and looks pretty on any table…not to mention everyone LOVES a GOOD pizza and baked pasta. It’s is the best of both worlds!

overhead photo of One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta

Happy Christmas week everyone! I’m hearing one of two things from you guys right now. Either a totally chill week with less work and fun holiday prep, or complete craziness with kids home, last-minute gift buying, present wrapping, and holiday dinner prep too.

Can you guys guess what we’ve got over here?

Complete craziness? Yes, 100%. But It’s OK! It just wouldn’t be the holidays without a little craziness. Craziness is a Gerard Family Christmas.

Which brings me right to this pizza pasta. It’s a mix of so many delicious flavors, and yet, it’s so easy to make.

prep photo of pasta before baking

(I do half with sausage and half without!)

The idea.

All weekend long I was scratching my head on just what to share today. I knew many of you might be looking for a delicious dinner to serve this week and I knew that time might be tight.

It’s the same for me here and with my brothers and cousins home for Christmas, that means family-style dinners.

Originally, I was going to share something else, but after a quick phone call with my mom, she inspired me to switch gears after her mention of pepperoni. We love pepperonis and while we love them on pizza, I think we love them even more on pasta. Pepperoni on a pasta bake is my dad’s signature. If you’ve never done it, I am excited to introduce you!

This is everything we love about a pepperoni pizza, but minus the pizza dough and plus an alla vodka style red sauce and pasta.

pasta before baking

The details…hint, they’re quick.

Start off by making the sauce. It’s very important with this recipe to use a large pot, bigger than you’d think you might need. Because we’re making the sauce and cooking the pasta together, you’ll need extra room. So be sure to use your largest pot available.

Next, the sauce. It’s made with lots of garlic and herbs, aka my “pizza seasoning” blend, marinara sauce, vodka (for best flavor), and pesto. The herbs and vodka are key here, but I do want to say, if vodka’s not your thing, I totally understand. In this case, just swap the vodka for chicken broth or even just water. Either one will work totally fine and your sauce will still be great.

But, if you’re ok with using alcohol for cooking, you must add vodka to your sauce. The vodka adds a sharp bite that helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. When used in small amounts, the vodka will boost and intensify the aroma of the sauce. The key is to slow simmer the sauce, which will release the flavors and cook out the alcohol. So yes, this is safe to serve to kids!

overhead photo of One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta

Moving along…

Since I wanted to keep it quick and simple, I set out to make this a one-pot pasta. What does this mean? Well, it’s simple, everything from making the sauce, to boiling the pasta is all done in just one pot, on the stove-top, before being transferred to the oven to finish baking. If you have oven-safe pots, you don’t even need to transfer the pasta to a baking dish.

Love this!

Once the base red sauce has been made, simply add the water and dry pasta right into the red sauce. May seem odd, but trust me, it works.

Just top with cheese, lots of pepperoni, and fresh basil, then bake! It’s the simplest.

side angle photo of cheese being pulled out of pan

As this bakes away you’ll smell all those herbs, the sauce will be bubbling, and the cheese will melt into golden deliciousness.

Pull it out of the oven and the top looks like an extra cheesy pizza, but underneath you have saucy pasta.

DELICIOUS.

overhead close up photo of One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta

I have no idea what I’m cooking up this week, still trying to finish up Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, but they’ll be lots of cooking…and I’m sure cocktail making involved. Since my brothers have yet to try this pizza pasta dish, I’m making it again tonight.

With everyone here, pasta bakes are essential. Fingers crossed they’ll love this one as much as I do…but I have a very good feeling about it!

That’s all from me today! Enjoy some pizza pasta this week!

One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta on serving plate with fork

Looking for other easy family dinners? Here are my favorites: 

One Pot Lemon Rosemary Dijon Chicken and Butter Toasted Rice Pilaf

Instant Pot Spicy Pineapple Chicken Tacos

Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli

Lastly, if you make this One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 525 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken sausage (if using) and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, thyme, fennel, and chili flakes, cook another 3-5 minutes, until very fragrant. Add the marinara sauce, vodka, pesto, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Then add 2 1/2 cups water and the pasta. Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir frequently until the pasta is al dente, about 8-10 minutes. 
    3. If needed, transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Top with the cheeses, then pepperoni. Sprinkle the basil over top.
    4. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned on top. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh rosemary. Enjoy!
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is EVERYTHING you need for a cold winter night! I couldn’t find ground Italian chicken sausage so used ground hot Italian pork sausage. I also prefer whole wheat pasta, so used whole wheat penne and 3 cups of water instead of 2.5 and that was perfect. Since it made so much, I put half of it in the freezer for another day, but would say that if you’re doing something like that (dividing it in half, dishing it into two different pans), don’t stir the mozzarella into the pasta like the video shows, but just slice it and lay it on top before baking, along with the Asiago and the fontina. I found that after stirring in the mozzarella, when trying to spoon it out into two different dishes (one for baking and eating, one for freezing), the mozzarella got so stringy and made a bit of a mess. I will absolutely make this again and it is definitely a new delicious favorite!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for my sisters birthday and boy was it a HIT! Everyone was shocked I made it myself (lol) just found out about HBH and I’ve made so many of her recipes already. I appreciate SO much how easy they are to follow and for this one I was even able to go to her IG story highlights and follow along with her video. She’s the best. Make this right now. Everything I’ve made is so delish!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this was delicious! I made it according to the directions except for adding a teaspoon of Turkish red pepper flakes (and probably could have added more). Definitely something I’ll be making again.

  4. 5 stars
    Another amazing recipe! Easy to make and a definite crowd pleaser! Everyone had seconds! Love the pepperoni on top…tastes like pizza! Thanks Tieghan!!

  5. 5 stars
    Chalk up another winner! Delicious. Subbed in my own parsley pesto made with homemade spiced bar nuts (😏) and a variety of cheddar cheeses with the parm instead of mozzarella and fontina. Mild Italian pork sausage too. My husband says “Wow!” Thanks Tieghan ❤

    1. Hey Cindy,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe. That is so great the recipe was enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  6. I really want to make this! Do you have any recommendations for a substitute for the basil pesto? My son is allergic to pesto…

    1. Hey Jessica,
      You can skip the pesto:) I hope you love the recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I made this tonight for my family and it was a huge hit! I didn’t use the sausage but did everything else and it was fantastic! And very easy. I had some marinara that I had made last week and loved how the seasoning and pesto really transformed it! So so good!

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      I am so thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and already excited to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow. This was perfectly spicy and cheesy – fontina is underrated! Not at all difficult to do and turned out perfectly. Thanks for another amazing recipe Tieghan!

    1. Hey Erika,
      I am so thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  9. This looks delicious! Do you think this would be able to prepped ahead of time and frozen? If so, what are your recommendations? Thanks!

    1. Hey Ana,
      Sure, I would just make the sauce and freeze that. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    I’m often intimidated by recipes because I’m not the greatest in the kitchen. I have been following you on IG for some time now so I finally decided to try a recipe. No regrets!! Made this meal for NYE!! It was so yummy and comforting plus super easy!!

    1. Hey Arlina,
      Thank you so very much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it worked out for you! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    This was so good! Tieghan, where do you get your Italian chicken sausage? I checked at both of the stores I regularly shop at, and neither carried it. I substituted Italian pork sausage, but of course it was a lot more greasy (but still very good)!

    1. Hey Mary,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe, I am thrilled that it worked out for you! Happy New Year! xTieghan

    1. Hey Katelyn,
      Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Made this tonight–delicious!! I didn’t have fontina, so I just added extra mozzarella. It will be added to the rotation!! Happy New Year!