5 Ingredient Vegan Vodka Pasta Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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5 Ingredient Vegan Vodka Pasta

55 reviews / 4.6 average

A creamy, tangy, luscious, and SUPER easy take on vodka pasta – and vegan! Made with just a handful of pantry ingredients in 15 minutes.

Q: What’s creamy without cream, garlicky, rich, savory, and satisfies every carb dream in your life?


Pasta in a colander.

This is too simple. Chewy, dense pasta tossed and coated with a silky, garlicky sauce that sticks to every pasta curve in all the right ways. Finished off with the basics – olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes – because sometimes (always) simple is best.

And that’s it! Thank you and goodnight.

The sauce looks like this:

  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato Paste
  • Vodka
  • And the surprise ingredient: Coconut milk

I made so many versions of vodka pasta in January (I was on a real kick) – some with tomato paste, some with diced tomatoes, some with onion, some with garlic… but ALL WITH HEAVY CREAM.

All that heavy cream started to get a little intense and regrettable, even for me. I wanted a way to make vodka pasta that didn’t feel like something so rich that I should only it eat once a year.

Enter: coconut milk.

Vegan vodka pasta sauce in pan.

Guys, I know it’s a little bizarre. Coconut milk? In pasta? And I hear you – if you don’t like coconut, go ahead and sit this one out. Or use something else besides the coconut milk. Like cashew cream or something. Or regular cream if you don’t care about the vegan thing. Because some of the flavor from the coconut milk does come through. And I know it sounds a little weird, but the unusual-ness all just really worked for me.

I found that by playing up other flavors (looking at you, garlic) and finishing with lots of salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, or even nutritional yeast if you’re the sort of legit person who keeps nutritional yeast around (I am not), I could actually even appreciate the way the mild sweetness from the coconut milk kind of laced its way into every bite.

Vegan vodka pasta in a pan.

Chewy spiral pasta coated in sauce with just the right amount of cling, dusted with salt and pepper, steaming hot off the stove and piled high in your bowl?

Hard yes. I love it. I am bringing my best sweatshirt and Netflix and ultimate lounge mode self to this vegan vodka pasta party, and I. love. it.

Okay, your turn. Tell me what you think. Am I crazy?

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Vegan Vodka Pasta:

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Rotini noodles with vegan vodka sauce in a pan with a wooden spoon.

5 Ingredient Vegan Vodka Pasta

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-ish servings 1x


A creamy, tangy, luscious, and SUPER easy take on vodka pasta – and vegan!


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 pound rotini (or any pasta, but rotini is fun)
  • a little bit of reserved pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • season to taste with more salt, black pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic salt, etc.


  1. Heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato paste and stir until the tomato paste is a deep red color.
  3. Add the vodka – let it sizzle out. Add the coconut milk and salt. Let the mixture simmer a bit.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce (and a little reserved pasta water to achieve desired consistency).
  5. Curl up with a bowl of this goodness and enjoy.


Garlic: Stir your garlic constantly, and keep the heat low! You don’t want browned garlic – it’s bitter. If you happen to step away for a minute and your garlic browns (happens to me all the time), I recommend starting over! Normally I wouldn’t be so particular, but in a recipe where there’s only five ingredients and the garlic carries so much of the flavor, you want it to be just right.

Pasta: I used whole wheat because this recipe is happening during Sugar Free January and I’m trying to limit refined grains!

Vodka: Add more if you want! I found this post really interesting when researching vodka pasta flavors, amounts, etc.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: vegan pasta, vegan vodka pasta, easy vegan pasta

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of easy pasta recipes. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was once Vegan in my teenage years back in Brooklyn after my former best friend turned me onto the vegetarian life. I didn’t go entirely meatless because I ate seafood. But I did indulge in lots of pasta noodles, drank soy milk by West soy, tofu, and enjoyed a partial vegan life.

    From time to time back in the day in Brooklyn, my former best friend and I used to take a trip to downtown Brooklyn to a health food store called “Perelandra natural foods,” located on Remsen Street near the Brooklyn Supreme Court. We would take the 2 IRT or 5 train IRT Bronx bound from Flatbush Avenue to downtown Brooklyn and get off at the Borough Hall Street station.

    After he turned me on to the vegan life, I would not only purchase West soy Soy Milk and tofu, but I would also catch good “clearance sales on Solgar multivitamins,” and occasionally see vegan pasta packaged up.

    In my weight loss journey this year, I plan on cutting down on beef and pork, increasing vegetable juice consumption, increasing cardio, and revisiting my partially former vegan life as I look to consume or seafood, vegan foods, and less meat, and increased consumption of diatomaceous earth to clean up my system.

    Long story short… It feels good to do transformation work all over again fresh from scratch out of inspiration or desperation and strive harder this year to stay on track with eating right! 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I’m genuinely interested in what made you start eating all the meat – like beef and pork again. I understand you weren’t totally vegan, but I’m just wondering what it was that caused you to eat more meat.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I’m bemused that she doesn’t think that eating fish is eating meat. It is flesh therefore meat. No ifs. No buts.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          @Paul how are you bemused when she said she didn’t go entirely meatless? And depending on different religious practices seafood isn’t considered meat. This recipe was amazing and it is great for people who are vegans or trying to become vegan or people who want to eat less meat.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m so excited about this. My husband makes a delicious vegetarian skillet lasagna with coconut milk in his sauce so this recipe caught my eye! Can’t wait to try!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am not sure why your versions with heavy cream seem “intense & regrettable” but the full fat coconut milk version does not? After all coconut milk is very high in saturated fat even if it is vegan, I think saturated is saturated is it not?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      yeah I totally get that too. I think a lot of faux healthy stuff is like that. Not that I’m against coconut milk…but the idea that maple syrup and honey are somehow different than crystalline sugar (for example) is a gross misunderstanding of basic science.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Your body processes this completely differently than it does heavy cream. Before I was vegan, eating dairy was always a regrettable experience. Eating cleaner, less processed food (LIKE maple syrup instead of sugar) is much healthier scientifically. All saturated fats aren’t the same, which science has proven. Love this recipe! Thanks!

    3. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Saturated fat is saturated fat… but they are not all the same. Some saturated fats containing trace elements which negates some, or in “some” cases, all of the bad elements.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks absolutely delicious! I haven’t had a creamy vodka pasta sauce for years but I remember it tasted amazingly good (what a crazy-sounding combination). I do try to eat mainly vegan, so I’m loving the coconut cream addition and can’t WAIT to try this (I’m thinking Valentine’s day….)

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My mum has always wanted me to make vodka pasta sauce (you can’t get it here in Australia) but she was very sceptical about the coconut milk in this one.
    Well, it didn’t take long for her to become a convert and she has now requested this be on permanent rotation in our dinner menu.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Uhm… a quick search shows that Vodka pasta sauce CAN be purchased in Australia. Woolworths Australia has it as do other supermarkets.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just made this after an extra exhausting day and it did not disappoint! Super comforting and delicious!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Three cheers for coconut milk! I’m not vegan, but do need to eat gluten free/dairy free most days. Also! You should give nutritional yeast just a small corner of your pantry. It’s so versatile! Can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looking forward to try this! My husband does not love coconut. Could I use cashews instead? I’ve never done it, but maybe make a cashew cream and add water to thin it? What do you think? Thank you!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Made this last night – delish! Perfect cozy comfort food for Minnesnowta right now (OMG… will it ever warm up). Definitely will try the creamy tomato shells next time – the cashew sauce sounds fantastic, too!

      2. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I made this for the first time time with Banza chickpea pasta. It was great! I originally wanted to make it in my pressure cooker, but this was so easy! There is a restaurant named Barone’s that has the best gnocchi in vodka sauce. They use chicken & Italian sausage with onions. It is amazing! But I am trying to limit dairy, so I was very excited to try this. I loved the coconut flavor! The boyfriend might not like it so I will try the cashew sauce for the shells recipe as recommended in the other comments when I make it for him. I paired it with a grapefruit & fennel salad with a lemon dressing from the mealthy website. Super awesome! Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m curious as to why you used coconut milk instead of a less flavorful milk for the creaminess? Would soy milk or cashew milk have been a better option for a more traditional vodka cream? I ask because I need to change my diet and this is the first recipe I find myself desperate to try.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this tonight! Added peas because I wanted more veggies and used Trader Joe’s red lentil pasta. It was so good! The coconut is subtle but makes it really unique. Another great recipe.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Added a pound of shrimp to my noodles at the end of their boiling to satisfy the meat eaters in my house. Nice comfort meal.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This recipe was terrible. I followed it to a t and it tasted like I was just eating thinned out and warmed up tomato paste. Not sure what went wrong in mine in comparison to everyone else’s but I would not recommend this as a vegan substitute to vodka sauce.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      sounds like you used the wrong coconut milk.. you need to get the canned coconut milk, not the refrigerated milk alternative

      it will say something along the lines of “thai coconut milk”.. with a regular and lite version (both are good in sauces)

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So yummy! The recipe as is plus a bit of oregano and red pepper flakes was great. Definitely will make this again.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I counteracted the bitterness by adding 1 Tbsp, of sugar and the juice of one lemon.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m increasingly lactose intolerant and was so happy to see this cream-free vodka sauce! Made it tonight and it was perfect! Warm, creamy, delicious, and subtly unique.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am so excited to make this recipe because of my brother loves it, and can’t wait to make it because before this day i never try any vegan pasta. It’s looking mouthwatering to me.. surely i will try this recipe.
    Thank you so much