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Pasta With Vodka Sauce For One

Quick and easy Pasta with Vodka Sauce recipe for one - A rich, creamy sauce made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, a splash of vodka and a touch of cream served over pasta. An incredibly delicious single serving meal!

A bowl of pasta with vodka sauce plated on a metal tray with a small glass of ice water

Recreating my family's favorite Pasta with Vodka Sauce recipe into a single serving recipe has been on my to-do radar for months.

Pasta with vodka sauce is of my family's most requested recipes. In fact, my son who lives in Austin, Texas has been begging me to create a single serving version of it for such a long time.

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Vodka Sauce

Vodka sauce is such a simple sauce recipe to make. Many people think the vodka sauce is a challenge but you might be surprised at just how easy it is.

The key ingredients in vodka sauce are olive oil, onions, tomatoes, a few spices, cream and of course, vodka. All the ingredients cook together in one pan and within minutes, you've got a rich and creamy sauce worthy of your favorite pasta.

How To Make Vodka Sauce

Follow these easy steps to make the best vodka sauce:

  1. Cook the onions and garlic in a little olive oil in a pan until they're soft.
  2. Add the vodka to the onions and garlic and let everything cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add in a cup of canned diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes, then add in a touch of cream.

As the vodka sauce gently cooks, the cream begins to thicken the sauce. The vodka sauce doesn't take long to make. In the time it takes you to boil your water for the pasta, you can make the sauce.

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A fork in a bowl of pasta with vodka sauce plated on a metal tray with a small glass of ice water

What Pasta Should I Use With Vodka Sauce?

I love using larger noodles such as pappardelle to mix with my vodka sauce but I also love using penne pasta too.

  • When cooking for one, 3/4 of a cup of uncooked penne or other similar shaped pasta is a good amount. When cooked, you should have about 1 1/2 cups of pasta.
  • If you're using a pappardelle pasta (shown in the pictures), plan on using 2-3 nests. When you purchase a package of pappardelle at the grocery, the dried pasta is already in little circles inside the package. I call these circles, nests and I think 3 is a good amount for one person.
  • If you're looking for a low carb pasta substitute, consider making a serving of spaghetti squash.

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A fork in a bowl of pasta with vodka sauce plated on a metal tray with a small glass of ice water

Pro Tip: Instead of buying a large bottle of vodka, I buy the smaller 50 ml "mini" bottles. With these, you'll have just a little bit of vodka leftover to use again in this recipe or to add to a cocktail to enjoy while you are cooking.

What To Do With Leftover Vodka

  • The obvious answer would be to make a vodka cocktail. You might like to try this Vodka Mimosa recipe:

You will need:

  • 3 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • Champagne

To make: Pour orange juice into a champagne flute. Add the vodka, top off with champagne and enjoy!

Other ideas include:

  • Use leftover vodka to remove unwanted odors - Mix together 4 ounces of water, 4 ounces of vodka, and 12-15 drops of essential oils together and pour into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle and spray on any area that needs to be cleaned, then wipe off.
  • Infuse with candy - Pour vodka into a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, fill the jar about two-thirds of the way. Add a handful of either peppermints, candy corn, red hot candies, or skittles. Cover the jar and let it sit on the counter overnight. The next day strain out the candy and enjoy! Don't let the candy infuse for longer than 24 hours. If you do, you'll be left with a sludgy, unappetizing mess.

Other Single Serving and Small Batch Pasta Sauce Recipes


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Pasta with Vodka Sauce For One | Onedishkitchen.com

Pasta With Vodka Sauce For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: pasta
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 865kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 3/4 cup dried penne pasta (or 3 nests of Pappardelle pasta)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes , with the juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan on medium heat.
  • Add the onions and sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
  • Add the vodka and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the cream and stir. Continue to heat for 5 minutes without bringing sauce to a boil.
  • Stir in 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat.
  • Transfer pasta to a plate or a bowl and top with additional parmesan cheese.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 865kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 2069mg | Potassium: 698mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2395IU | Vitamin C: 29.2mg | Calcium: 540mg | Iron: 3.4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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