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vodka sauce without cream or milk

Vegan Vodka Sauce

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Vegan Vodka Sauce is a delicious sauce served over your favorite type of pasta or vegetables. This vegan version of a classic sauce is creamy, peppery, and slightly sweet. 


Units Scale
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 3/41 cup canned coconut milk


  1. In a large saute pan or deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, vodka, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add tomato mixture to a blender, or food processor, or use an immersion blender. Add basil and puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in coconut milk. Cook just until heated through. Taste for salt and add more if needed. The sauce should taste creamy, slightly sweet, and peppery. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately.


  • Vodka: If you prefer to make this sauce without any vodka, simply substitute vodka with equal parts of vegetable broth or water.
  • Balsamic vinegar: I do not recommend replacing balsamic vinegar with any other type of vinegar. It will not taste the same.
  • Basil: Use fresh basil for this recipe. Dried basil will not taste the same.
  • Coconut milk: Coconut milk will yield the creamiest sauce. Cashew milk is another great alternative. You can use other plant-based milk but it will not be as creamy.
  • Serving: This recipe makes enough sauce for 16 ounces of pasta. Use your favorite pasta and toss immediately after cooking. If needed add some reserved pasta water to help the sauce bind better with the pasta.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 sauce
  • Calories: 141
  • Sugar: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 190.4 mg
  • Fat: 11.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.7 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan, sauce, pasta