It was my birthday recently and to celebrate, we had some friends over for appetizers, cocktails, and drinking games (Cards against Humanity because we are terrible people). My friends were awesome enough to bring some great snacks (see this yummy recipe for Jalapeno Poppers our friend Alex brought) as well as booze. We had a fantastic time, but afterwards I had copious amounts of leftover vodka that I really wanted to get rid of. I know, I know, what 20-something complains about having TOO MUCH vodka? Unfortunately, I think I consumed too much cheap vodka in college, because now I’ve developed a relatively strong aversion to most vodka drinks (I prefer my whiskey and wine on wine on wine). Then a brilliant idea came to mind: why not make homemade vodka sauce? The whole recipe takes about 1.5 hours, which isn’t bad at all considering the end result. This one is for the books. It is the absolute best pasta sauce I have ever had- either in a bottle, at a restaurant, you name it. I’m excited to hear what you think of it, please share your thoughts in the comments section!

Also, please note that this would be incredible with pancetta (added in during the first step), but we are only presenting the vegetarian version for a base.                                   


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup vodka (I use Ketel One)
  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes (I use Hunts)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar (light is okay too)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup light cream (trying to make this a little healthier!)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted and bubbly, saute onion and garlic until golden brown and soft.


Pour in vodka alongside with crushed red pepper flakes and let cook for 10 minutes.








Mix in crushed tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley,  brown sugar and chili powder. Cook for 30 minutes- be  careful to stir occasionally so mixture does not burn on  the bottom (or adjust heat).


Pour in heavy and light cream as well as grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well and let cook an additional 30 minutes.IMG_2076

Adjust taste with salt and pepper and either bottle for later use (waiting for sauce to cool- I use Mason Jars), or serve immediately over pasta and enjoy with some red wine (obviously).

Bottled Vodka SauceNutrition Facts:

Servings: 10; Calories: 283; Fat: 21 g; Sodium: 251 mg; Cholesterol: 65 mg; Carb: 5 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 6 g

**Note: nutrition facts for sauce only; does not include pasta**

Amanda’s Rating: 10/10

Nevin’s Rating: 10/10