So many good things to share on this snowy Wednesday!
Thing one, this luscious Penne Alla Vodka. It’s creamy, cheesy, a little boozy flavored (but not alcoholy cause all of the vodka cooks out), SUPER EASY and DELICIOUS. The sauce is made in the crockpot, so it’s kind of perfect for those nights when all you can muster up the energy to do is boil some pasta and call it a day…aka TODAY.
I’m feeling like since it’s December, and we’re all still getting used to the cold, that nothing seems more perfect or cozier than a giant bowl of pasta, sauce and cheese. Just add some crusty bread, maybe a warm fire and call it a day…literally. I’m saying all this because it’s currently snowing like crazy out (lovin’ it) and I am currently huddled by my heater, staying all toasty warm but wishing I had a bowl of this pasta in front of me. <-truth. Anybody in the same boat or what? I hear you midwest people got some snow…are you loving it or hating it?
For me, the entire month of December should be filled with snowy days and nights. It’s just one more excuse to eat pasta, watch Christmas movies, and drink hot chocolate. Obviously.
Thing two, Monday night was spent watching my little sister, Asher perform in the town play of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child <–seriously. Not sure how my little ski town decided to put on a Harry Potter play, but they did, and it was awesome…or I mean, fun…or I mean, entertaining. Let’s just say it was hard to keep a straight face throughout the performance. None of the kids were older than ten or eleven, so as you can imagine, it’s was a little all over the place. Asher didn’t have many lines, but for one of them, she was standing in the wrong spot on stage (in the dark). The teacher literally picked her up and moved her into the spotlight all while she continued speaking…freaking hilarious. I almost wasn’t going to go because I’m slightly swamped with end of the year work, but when Asher called to ask me to come, I just could not say no. Glad I went too, because it was so fun to see Asher in the play. I’m clearly biased, but she was the best…and the cutest!
Plus, I finally got to see my younger brother, Red who’s been traveling for over a month. It was a short catch up, but I mean, at least I got to say hey to the kid, right?
This would have been the perfect dinner to have waiting for everyone at home, but the fam all decided they wanted to go out. I unfortunately had to get home to finish some things up, so I got to drive home solo in the snow storm. Luckily I’m used to the snow and have good tires. In all honesty, I have seen worse weather around here (I just don’t usually have to drive in it!), but I really enjoyed seeing all the Christmas lights in Breckenridge that seemed to highlight the falling snow. <–major dork alert.
Anyway, this penne alla vodka has been my go-to dish to make on Sunday nights and then serve the leftovers throughout the week. This dish makes a lot of sauce so it’s great the first night served over pasta, but then you could totally get creative with the leftovers. I’m talking pizza, pasta bakes, served with eggs, the options are kind of endless!
If you’re serving this to kids, don’t worry about the alcohol, it all gets burned off during cooking (first you boil the sauce, and then you cook it for a min of 4 hours!). All that you’re left with is a deliciously flavored tomato sauce.
A must do with this dish though? Top it with lots and lots of freshly grated parmesan and serve it with crusty bread for scooping up extra sauce.
Crockpot Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Alla Vodka.
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 582 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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- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes I like San Marzano
- 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes drained (see note)
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- Heat the olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, and dried oregano in a large skillet over medium low heat. Cook, stirring often until the onion is soft and the garlic fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the vodka, raise the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil, boil 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of your crockpot along with the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and large pinch of salt + pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the crockpot and stir in the the cream and the parmesan. Cook uncovered on high for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.
- Divide the pasta among plates and top with the sauce, fresh oregano and grated parmesan. Eat!
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*You can use the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar in place of the 1/4 cup olive oil.
ps. since you already have the vodka out, may I recommend these festive Pomegranate Moscow Mules?! Happy Wednesday!
Can I substitute coconut milk for the heavy cream?
Sure, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx
Could I substitute half & half for the heavy cream ?
Hey Jo Ann,
Sure, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT
Hi, a cup of vodka sounds like a lot. Is that because it’s cooking down for hours? Can I add less vodka? Also can I do one can of whole tomatoes and 1 can of regular tomato sauce? Thank you
You could use less vodka and chicken broth in its place. Sure, tomato sauce would be okay for you to use as well. Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it turns out well for you! xT
Hi Tieghan, I don’t have a large sized blender… would crushed tomatoes work instead of the canned whole tomatoes? Or would that be too watery?
Crushed tomatoes would work for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe!! xx
This is my first time making your sauce. Do you think Basil Vodka would bring out the flavors in this dish over plain vodka?
Sure, that sounds delicious! Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT
I know why this sauce is one of your top tier Fan Favorites! Amazing in every way—the right spicy kick, the creaminess and just the robust flavor. The heat is driving me to use my crockpot but I’ll be making double batches and freezing it this Fall and winter! The perfect red sauce. We added hot Italian chicken Sausage that we make in our smoker. We added a side salad with your Tahini Caesar and crusty bread—the best!
Happy Wednesday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xx
does the time of cooking sauce effect the way it’ll taste? can i just cook it for say, 20 mins?
The slow cooker really develops the flavor of the sauce. You could simmer on low for 30-60 minutes if you want a faster cook time. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx
LOVE this sauce, will never buy vodka sauce again and it freezes beautifully so make a double batch!
Happy Friday!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear this was enjoyed! xT
Made this recipe several times when having people over. Such an easy meal to have ready ahead of time for guests. Everyone always loves it, especially with some bread!
Awesome!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for making it! xTieghan
what about doing this in an instant pot?
Hi there! I haven’t tried this in an Instant Pot, so I’m not sure, I’m sorry! xTieghan
Can you freeze this sauce
Yes, totally! I hope you love the recipe, let me know if you have any other questions! xx
Excellent! I made it exactly as written (with 1/4 cayenne pepper as the substitute for red pepper flakes) and the flavours are great. Usually I find I need to adjust the blance of flavours in sauce recipes, but this was spot on!
Happy Thursday! So glad this recipe was enjoyed and thanks for making it! xTieghan
I’ve been meaning to comment about this recipe forever, but I keep forgetting. Oops!
I’ve made this several times over the years and it’s delicious every time. Lately what I’ve been doing (like I am this week) is make it and eat it straight up as soup? Has anybody else done that? And then I also make a grilled cheese sandwich too. It’s filling without weighing me down. Basically tomato soup on steroids with way less salt. Def recommend!
Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted that it was enjoyed:) I’ve never eaten this as soup, but glad you’ve been enjoying it! xTieghan
Hi Tieghan. The recipe is delicious. Thank you very much for sharing it! However, I’ve had some doubts when first making it because I found out about this recipe from your instagram (and therefore followed instructions from the specific instastory). i was shocked when I first saw the instructions of this recipe on the website. The recipe here says one should cook the sauce for 6 hours but the instastory recipe says one should cook it just for 15 minutes. I’ve done it the shorter way obviously and it was delicious but I was wondering and I am still wondering: why is 6 hours written here? And what are the consequences if I only cook it for 15 minutes instead of 6 hours?
I am so glad the recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! I think you are looking and two completely different recipes:) xTieghan
Is there an instant pot recipe for this guy? Mine gets here today!
Yes, you can cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan