Vegan Penne Ala Vodka (oil-free)

Hello, hello!

I am SO excited to share this new recipe with you guys for vegan penne ala vodka because it’s actually heaven in a bowl. It’s creamy, savory, 100% plant-based and gluten-free optional if you use gluten-free pasta.

Cashews give it the amazing creaminess and this is made with absolutely no oil!

The first step of this recipe is to make the cashew cream. It’s just cashews, garlic and water. You’ll then add it into marinara sauce and stir until it’s that perfect penne ala vodka pink color….YUM!

It’s getting creamy in here.


  1. Do I have to use cashews?! You can try using blanched almonds or tofu instead.
  2. Is there another pasta shape that would work with this instead of penne? You use shape of pasta you want. Rotini would be great, even a long pasta like linguini would be amazing.
  3. Can I use any kind of marinara sauce? YES! Any marinara sauce will do. I try to find marinara without added sugar.
  4. Can I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic? 100%. Just substitute 1 tsp garlic for the 4 fresh cloves.
  5. Does this store well in the fridge? Omg, yes. The leftovers are delicious. I made mine with whole wheat and it was even good cold right out of the fridge.

Serve the vegan penne ala vodka in a casserole dish or big bowl so it’s easy to serve family style. This is the perfect addition or even the main course that both kids and adults enjoy. Also, this is loved by non-vegans and vegans alike.

This is completely dairy-free but the cashews give the feeling of having a cheesy, rich pasta sauce.

Vegan Penne Ala Vodka Picture








Vegan Penne Ala Vodka picture

Bring this vegan penne ala vodka to a potluck, make it for meal prep and serve it with chickpeas and roasted veggies, make it for the holidays too!

This is a great dish to bring to Christmas or Hanukkah dinner. It’s festive, delicious, and so comforting + warm in this cold weather.

What are you waiting for? Get cooking!

Vegan Penne Ala Vodka picture

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Vegan Penne Ala Vodka Picture

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Vegan Penne Ala Vodka Picture

Vegan Penne Ala Vodka (oil-free)

Creamy, savory, delicious vegan penne ala vodka. If you're looking for a 100% plant-based dinner that takes less than 30 minutes, this is for you. 
serving 8 servings
cook time 20 minutes
total time 20 minutes

the ingredients

  • 16 oz penne pasta use gluten-free, whole wheat or regular
  • 1 25 oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 cup cashews soaked or boiled
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • fresh basil garnish


  • Cook pasta according to box instructions.
  • Boil cashews for 10 minutes until soft, then add into blender with 1 cup of water and garlic cloves. Blend until completely smooth.
  • Add marinara and vodka to a large pan. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Add in the cashew cream and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss the sauce with the pasta, garnish with basil, salt and pepper.
  • Eat fresh and enjoy!

Make this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe for Christmas dinner!

Vegan Shepherd's Pie (oil-free)

Need another plant-based dinner idea? Try my plant-based chili with cashew sour cream!

Three Bean 20-Minute Chili (vegan + oil-free)

Got your main courses covered but you need a vegan dessert? Make my amazing chocolate frosted chickpea brownies!

Chocolate Frosted Vegan Brownies

In good health,


Danielle Brown

Hi! I’m Danielle Brown, the face behind HealthyGirl Kitchen! I share easy, approachable plant-based recipes that are not only healthy but taste amazing. Follow me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for free vegan meal ideas, recipes and healthygirl tips.

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Recipe Rating

join the conversation

  1. Joe says:

    Is vodka even necessary?

    1. Danielle Keith says:

      You can omit it but otherwise it’s not vodka sauce 🙂

  2. Leanne says:

    SO AMAZING ! Going to be one of our staples. We had some spicy vegan sausage leftover so we pan grilled that and tossed it in. Absolutely in love with this recipe! Thank you ❤️5 stars

  3. Jean says:

    THANK YOU Danielle!!! I had been avoiding cashew recipes, but tried this one and it was incredibly delicious. I’ve already made it twice…it will be a regular! ♥️5 stars

    1. Danielle Keith says:

      Wow! So great to hear from you! Thank you for leaving a review. This recipe is one of my favorites as well!

  4. Linda says:

    This is absolutely the best vodka sauce ever!! Easy and delicious! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This will be a regular at our house.5 stars

  5. Eli says:

    Hello Danielle
    Love your recipes!!
    I have a nuts allergy.
    What can I use instead of cashew?
    Thank you!!5 stars

    1. Danielle Keith says:

      tofu or white beans!

  6. Missy says:

    Wow wow wow! This recipe right here is on another level. Made some fresh marinara to go with the cashew sauce and I just have no words for how good this is. Thank you so much Danielle!! Your recipes are AMAZING!!5 stars

  7. Steve R says:

    We used Organic
    Pasta Sauce from (365)Whole Foods with this recipe
    No oil

    It was amazing. I also like the comment about using vegan sausage.5 stars