This Instant Pot Penne Alla Vodka is a perfect creamy pasta recipe, best for a quick & easy dinner. Sprinkle some fresh parmesan cheese and serve a restaurant-quality meal right from your kitchen.

Creamy Penne Pasta topped with basil, parmesan and chili flakes
Creamy Penne in Vodka Sauce

I love this penne alla vodka pasta, the creamy tomato sauce and shredded parmesan makes it a delicious treat. Also, the pasta has an extra dose of flavor with the vodka added. But, you don’t need to worry about the alcohol because as we simmer, the alcohol burns off. So, it makes this recipe kid-friendly too and it is completely vegetarian.

Easy 30-minute Pasta Dinner

If you are looking to have a delicious yet easy 30-minute pasta dinner, look no further. And oh, did I mention, you can make this pasta in the Instant pot. You don’t need to drain the water and go through multiple pots and pans.

I love making pasta in the instant pot such as this 20-minute Tortellini, Fajita Pasta and Creamy Mushroom Pasta, as it saves so much time with the one-pot method, and less pots to clean is a big plus.

You can enjoy this instant pot penne in vodka sauce with some air-fryer crispy broccoli.

What is special about Penne Alla Vodka?

Penne Alla vodka is your day-to-day pasta recipe. But, it is upgraded with the extra flavor of vodka. It is a simple and cheesy pasta that has been tossed in a spicy tomato sauce and vodka.

How to make Instant Pot Penne Alla Vodka?

Like every recipe, start by gathering the ingredients.

Vodka – You can use any vodka you have, I have used gray goose as that is what I had that at home.

Pasta – Usually, this recipe calls for penne pasta, but you can also use rigatoni, rotini, or any other kind of pasta.

Crushed tomatoes – You can use canned San Marzano tomatoes as they have a rich flavor. If you can’t find them, you can use other varieties of canned crushed tomatoes. In a pinch, you can also use marinara sauce.

Cream – I have used heavy cream as it gives the right amount of creaminess to the dish. For a vegan variation, use coconut milk. It works perfectly in this pasta.

Parmesan cheese – I used freshly grated parmesan from a block. I love to grate parmesan when serving too. It just makes the family feel special when we grate it fresh on the served pasta bowl.

ingredients for penne alla vodka

Now that all the items are ready, it is time to get started on this delicious Penne Alla Vodka

  • Sauté the diced onions along with the minced garlic and seasoning. If you like it spicy, you can add some crushed red pepper.
  • Then add vodka to the sautéed onions and garlic and let it reduce. Stand back while pouring the vodka in the instant pot as it will steam up immediately.
  • Then add the penne and water to the pot. Give it a stir.
  • Then add the crushed tomatoes on the top. Do not stir. Just press down to make sure that all of the penne is under the crushed tomatoes.
steps to make penne pasta in the instant pot
  • Then close the instant pot with the vent in a sealing position. Change the setting to pressure cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Usually, the time to cook al dente pasta in the instant pot is – Half the time as suggested on the pasta box minus 1 minute.
  • Quick-release the pressure manually as soon as the instant pot beeps.
  • Then add the heavy cream (or coconut milk) and stir it well.
instant pot penne topped with heavy cream
  • Garnish with chopped basil leaves and top it with freshly grated parmesan.
Penne Alla Vodka topped with basil in the instant pot
  • If you want it spicier, add some crushed red pepper on top of the pasta.
Penne alla vodka in a white bowl garnished with basil
Penne Alla Vodka

Stovetop Method

You can also cook the penne alla vodka on the stovetop. Follow the steps below:

Cook Pasta: Cook pasta based on package directions in a large stockpot. Drain and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Prepare Sauce: Heat a large wok or dutch oven on medium heat. Add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions soften. Then add the Italian seasoning and mix.

Now turn off the heat and add the vodka. Saute for a couple of minutes till it reduces, then stir in the crushed tomatoes. Let it saute for a couple of minutes.

Combine Pasta: Add the cooked pasta and stir. Add reserved pasta water as needed if the pasta looks dry. You might not need all of it. Add the heavy cream (or coconut milk) and stir it well. Adjust seasoning by adding salt if needed.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and freshly grated parmesan. Sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes to make it spicy.

Tips for Perfect Pasta

  • Do not mix the pasta and other ingredients after adding crushed tomatoes to the instant pot. This is to make sure you don’t get a burn.
  • Always pressure cook the pasta for half the time minus 1 minute of the time mentioned on the package.
  • After cooking is completed, remove the steel insert from the instant pot, so the bottom does not continue cooking from the heat. 
  • You can store this pasta in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, add the pasta to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • You can also add chicken or shrimp to this pasta and make it protein-rich.
Creamy homemade penne pasta in a white bowl garnished with basil and parmesan
Can Penne Alla Vodka be served to kids?

Yes, it is a kid-friendly recipe. Even though there is vodka in it, it will cook off the alcohol and just leave a wonderful taste. So, you don’t have to worry about the alcohol part of the vodka.

How to store penne alla vodka?

You can store it in an air-tight container and refrigerate up to 3-4 days. To reheat, add the pasta to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to a minute.

Can I make this without vodka?

Yes, it won’t be penne alla vodka anymore. You can also try my Creamy Penne Pasta recipe.

Hope you enjoy this easy Penne in vodka sauce recipe. Don’t forget to share your recipe with hashtag #pipingpotcury when you make it.

Check out 10+ vegetarian instant pot pasta recipes for more inspiration.

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4.77 from 21 votes

Instant Pot Penne Alla Vodka

This Instant Pot Penne Alla Vodka is a perfect creamy pasta recipe, best for a quick & easy dinner. Sprinkle some fresh parmesan cheese and serve a restaurant-quality meal right from your kitchen.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Garnishes

Instructions 

  • Start the instant pot in sauté mode and let it heat. Then add the butter and let it melt.
  • Add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes until they are soft. Then add the garlic and sauté for another 1 minute.
  • Add the italian seasoning. If you like it spicy, you can add crushed red pepper too.
  • Add vodka and cook to reduce it down for about 2 minutes. Stand away a little, as the vodka steams up instantly.
  • Now add the penne, water and give a stir. Than add the curshed tomatoes on the top. Do not mix after adding tomatoes. Just make sure that all the penne is under the liquid.
  • Close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. Change the setting to pressure cook mode at high pressure for 4 minutes. The time to cook is usually 1 minute less than half of the suggest time on the pasta box. This will result in al dente pasta.
  • When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually.
  • Stir in the heavy cream (or coconut milk), so it is mixed well with the sauce. Garnish with chopped basil leaves.
  • Penne Alla Vodka is ready to serve. Top with some freshly grated parmesan and some crushed red pepper if you like it spicy.

Video

Notes

Tips for perfect pasta in instant pot:
  • Do not mix the pasta and other ingredients after adding crushed tomatoes to the instant pot. This is to make sure you don’t get a burn.
  • Always pressure cook the pasta for half the time minus 1 minute of the time mentioned on the package.
  • Remove the steel insert from the instant pot, so the bottom does not continue cooking from the heat. 
Stovetop Method: See the details in the post for stovetop method. 

Nutrition

Calories: 579kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 17gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 177mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 566IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Nut-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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2 Comments

  1. On a whim, I made this for lunch and it turned out great. I used my 3Q Instantpot and Barilla mini penne noodles. The sauce was a little thinner than my preference, but that could be attributed to either my using buttermilk instead of cream, or using a stick blender on my diced (not crushed) fire-roasted tomatoes and not draining off any liquid. Regardless, it made a very satisfying and quick meal. The noodles were perfectly al dente with 4 minutes at pressure. Next time I may cut back the water by a tablespoon or two.