Learn how to make this easy Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce. It comes together in about 10-minutes with marinara sauce, cream, and chili flakes!

Love spicy food? Try our sweet and spicy meatballs.

spicy tomato cream sauce

This quick and easy tomato cream sauce is inspired by Vodka Sauce recipe but made simpler with fewer ingredients and a little more heat.

It’s made with just a handful of ingredients such as marinara sauce, cream, red chili flakes, and Parmesan cheese. Cream makes the sauce extra special or for a white creamy version, check out our cream cheese pasta sauce recipe.. It adds richness and sweetness which pairs so well with the spiciness of the red chili flakes.

For a quick and easy meal, toss your favorite cooked pasta with this tomato cream sauce or use it as a base in other recipes.

tomato cream sauce

What is Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce Made Of?

  • Olive oil – my go-to is extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Garlic – only use freshly minced for the best flavor.
  • Red chili flakes – I like to add 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes. It gives the sauce a subtle spicy kick without being overly spicy (plus I can serve it to kids). If you prefer more spiciness (or if serving sauce only to adults), feel free to add up to 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes.
  • Dried oregano – Italian seasoning or dried basil are good substitutes.
  • Marinara sauce – use good-quality marinara sauce such as Rao’s.
  • Heavy cream – I haven’t tested the recipe with a lower-fat substitute so I wouldn’t recommend same.
  • Parmesan cheese – for the best flavor, buy a chunk of Parmesan cheese and finely grate it yourself. Avoid using pre-bagged stuff.
ingredients for spicy tomato cream sauce

Optional Add-Ins

  • Add more spices, such as dried basil or Italian seasoning.
  • For delicious sweet Italian flavor, add fresh chopped basil at the end.
  • For a velvety texture, stir in a tablespoon of unsalted butter at the very end.
  • Love creamy and spicy combo? Try our cajun cream sauce recipe!

How to Make Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce

Making this tomato cream sauce is as easy as 1-2-3. It comes together in just three easy steps!

  • Step 1: Heat oil in a deep skillet and add garlic, chili flakes, and oregano. Cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
garlic with spices in a skillet
  • Step 2: Stir in marinara sauce and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
tomato sauce with cream in a pan
  • Step 3: Stir in parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or keep stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, after that, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

This Sauce is Great On…

Spicy tomato cream sauce is not only made for pasta. It can serve as a base in so many other dishes. Here are some ways to use it:

spicy tomato cream sauce recipe

Love pasta sauce recipes? Try Penne Vodka Sauce, Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce, Garlic Cream Sauce, Sausage Bolognese Sauce (or this crockpot version).

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tomato cream sauce

Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Italian


Learn how to make this easy spicy tomato cream sauce. It comes together in about 10-minutes with marinara sauce, cream, and chili flakes!


Units Scale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/41/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cups good-quality marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add garlic, chili flakes, and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in marinara sauce and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, slightly reduce heat so it is at a gently simmer, and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Keep the pan partially covered.
  3. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and pepper before serving. Makes about 2 cups.


  • Spiciness: I made the sauce with 1/4 tsp. chili flakes and was able to serve it to my kids. It’s not overly spicy, especially when tossed with pasta or used as a base in other recipes. Feel free to add as much as 1/2 tsp. chili flakes for more spiciness or if serving sauce only to adults.
  • Cream: I only tested the recipe with heavy whipping cream/heavy cream. I haven’t tried half and half or any lower-fat substitutes. If you do try any substitutes for heavy cream, please let me know in the comments below. 
  • Parmesan: For best taste and texture, use only freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Avoid pre-bagged stuff as it won’t melt into the sauce well.
  • Storing Sauce: Sauce will keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Keep stored in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 160
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 267.5 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 19.4 mg