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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.


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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  • 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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  1. This dish is deliscious!! I often make it for dinner after a long day of cross country skiing and it is perfect!

    1. Hey Rachel,
      I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Have a great Tuesday! xxTieghan

  2. HI! Looking to make this ahead and freeze it for a vacation. I was wondering if it would work to follow the recipe up until step 3 and freeze it until we’re ready to bake. I would save the basil and sprinkle on when it’s thawed and right before baking, so that the basil is fresh. If you could let me know if you think that would work okay I would SO appreciate it! .

    1. Hey Lea,
      Yes, that would work just fine! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. Made this for dinner tonight instead of making a pizza. We loved it!!! Froze half because there was so much..Diana

  4. I would love to make this for friends that just had a baby. Think I can do steps 1-3 and then give it to them
    Ready to bake when they’re ready?

    1. Hey Julianna,
      Thanks a lot for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that the recipe was enjoyed! Have a fantastic weekend! xTieghan

  5. This was excellent! I did change is ever so slightly. Used banza pasta so needed a little extra sauce & water. I omitted the garlic because the sausage, marinara & pesto all have a ton if garlic. And we like spicy so added several sliced pepperoncinis… And it was a hit. The blend of spices, pesto and mix of cheeses made this a very tasty dish. Thank you!

    1. Hey Denise,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    My husband couldn’t stop saying how good this was as we ate! Plus the whole meal was so easy!! I cooked it at 40 weeks pregnant and hope to have it as leftovers for the next few days, so it’s also super easy to make!

  7. Hi there,
    I’m loving many of your recipies but my son can’t have pesto – he has a nut allergy to certain nuts. Is there anything that I could substitute?

    1. Hey Renee,
      You can skip the pesto, or make a homemade pesto without the nuts. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    This was so decadent and amazing, the ultimate in comfort food! I want to comment that I made this with gluten free pasta and it came out perfect! I did add a little more water to cook the past but it came out perfect. I use Jovial GF pasta which does not get soggy even as leftovers like some other GF pastas do. Don’t be scared to make this if you are celiac.

  9. 5 stars
    Omg this meal was so good. I used grilled chicken because I don’t like sausage and just removed the chicken from the pot before adding the sauce. It was so delicious. Definitely making again!

    1. Hey Danielle,
      I am so glad that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    This is delicious!! Looking forward to leftovers. I meant to add sautéed mushrooms but I forgot, but that’s okay because I’ll definitely be making it again.

    1. Hey Bethany,
      I am so glad that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    This turned out great with gluten free corn pasta. I substituted sautéed mushrooms and green pepper for sausage and halved the recipe (makes a lot for two people). Even though I halved the recipe I ended up needing all of the water. Will make again!

    1. Hey May,
      I am thrilled that you liked the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a go! Have an awesome week:) xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Just made this and it is SO good! I used ground chicken instead of an Italian sausage chicken and just seasoned it to my liking. Really hit the spot 🙂

  13. Hi – this looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it! Do you think I could reduce the water by 1/2 cup and stir in 1/2 cup cream to mimic more of a classic vodka sauce?

    1. Hey Colleen,
      Sure that would work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week:) xTieghan