This simple vegan vodka sauce is rich and creamy, making it the perfect sauce to toss with your favorite pasta! This plant-based recipe is delicious and satisfying.

vegan vodka sauce
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The first time I had vodka sauce, I was shocked at how deliciously creamy it was. The pink hue was an indicator of the amount of cream that went into the dish but after the first taste, I was hooked. Naturally, I started thinking about how I could make this recipe a little healthier and I decided to try to make a completely plant-based vodka sauce. I was thrilled with how this recipe turned out!

Although it’s vodka sauce, I want to let you know that the vodka is optional. This isn’t traditional vodka sauce either way (since it doesn’t have cream), but flavor-wise I didn’t notice a huge difference between adding vodka or not. I’d skip it unless you want to make this as close to vodka sauce as possible.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pasta– I used whole wheat pasta, but you can use any kind you like. You’ll get the best results with a wheat-based pasta as the starchy water is used in the sauce. But if you use chickpea pasta or another gluten-free pasta, it’ll still work. The sauce will just be slightly thinner.
  • Cashews– This is what you’ll use to make cashew cream which creates the creamy consistency and replaces the dairy in traditional vodka sauce. I don’t recommend substituting cashews for any other nut. Raw cashews are ideal, but roasted cashews work just fine.
  • Olive oil– I like to use a little olive oil to sauté the garlic but if you wanted to keep this recipe oil free, you can substitute the garlic for garlic powder and skip the sauté step.
  • Garlic– I used fresh garlic but as I mentioned, you could use garlic powder instead.
  • Tomatoes– I like the flavor of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, but you can use any diced tomatoes. You could also substitute with your favorite marinara sauce if you’re short on time.
  • Vodka– Obviously vodka sauce is made with vodka but if you want to leave it out, that’s totally fine. You could also use non-alcoholic vodka like the spirits from Seedlip.
  • Nutritional yeast– This adds a savory, slightly cheesy flavor. Although vodka sauce doesn’t typically contain cheese, I think this adds a nice umami flavor to the sauce.
  • Balsamic vinegar– A splash of balsamic vinegar helps balance out the flavors with a little acid.

How to Make Vegan Vodka Sauce