How To Make Chicken Penne Alla Vodka

How To Make Chicken Penne Alla Vodka

Are you looking for a delicious and satisfying pasta dish with a twist? Look no further! In this article, we will be exploring the mouthwatering recipe of Chicken Penne Alla Vodka, a perfect combination of classic Italian flavors with the unique addition of vodka. Impress your friends and tantalize your taste buds by learning how to make this incredible dish with our easy-to-follow guide from Vodka Doctors.

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What is Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

Chicken Penne Alla Vodka is a hearty and flavorful pasta dish that combines tender chicken and al dente penne pasta with a rich and creamy tomato vodka sauce. The addition of vodka in the sauce enhances the flavors and adds an extra depth to the dish, making it perfect for a special occasion or a dinner party with friends.


To make Chicken Penne Alla Vodka, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to create a delicious Chicken Penne Alla Vodka for your next meal:

1. Cook the pasta

Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare the chicken

Season the cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

3. Cook the onion and garlic

In the same skillet, add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

4. Add the vodka

Carefully pour the vodka into the skillet with the onion and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes, allowing the alcohol to evaporate and the flavors to meld.

5. Make the sauce

Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine with the onion, garlic, and vodka mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop.

6. Add the cream and cheese

Stir in the heavy cream and grated Parmesan cheese, mixing until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

7. Combine the pasta, chicken, and sauce

Add the cooked chicken and penne pasta to the skillet, tossing to fully coat in the sauce. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to heat everything through.

8. Garnish and serve

Sprinkle the chopped fresh basil over the top of the Chicken Penne Alla Vodka and serve immediately.

How To Make Chicken Penne Alla Vodka Example:

Check out this gorgeous example of Chicken Penne Alla Vodka to see how it should look when you're done. Enjoy your culinary masterpiece!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Penne Alla Vodka?

Penne Alla Vodka is a classic Italian pasta dish made with penne pasta in a creamy tomato sauce flavored with vodka. The sauce typically includes ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, cream, and of course, vodka, which helps to enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.

Can I make Chicken Penne Alla Vodka without alcohol?

Yes, you can prepare the dish without alcohol by omitting the vodka. The sauce won't have the same depth of flavor, but it will still be delicious. You can also substitute the vodka with a non-alcoholic ingredient that adds a similar sharp, clear note.

Does the alcohol in vodka cook off during preparation?

Most of the alcohol in vodka evaporates during cooking due to the heat, although not all of it might cook off. If you have concerns about alcohol content for dietary reasons, you can omit it or let the sauce simmer for a longer period to ensure more alcohol evaporates.

Can I use a different type of pasta instead of penne?

Yes, while penne is traditional for Alla Vodka sauce, you can substitute it with any pasta of your preference, such as rigatoni, fusilli, or spaghetti. Just be mindful to adjust the cooking time based on the pasta you choose.

Is there a specific type of vodka that works best for this dish?

For cooking purposes, you don't need to use a high-end vodka. A mid-range, unflavored vodka is sufficient, as the subtle nuances of an expensive vodka will be lost once it's mixed with the other sauce ingredients.

What type of chicken is best to use in the Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces work best for this dish, as they cook quickly and evenly in the sauce. Make sure to cook the chicken thoroughly before combining it with the pasta and sauce.

Is Chicken Penne Alla Vodka spicy?

The spice level in Chicken Penne Alla Vodka can be adjusted according to your preference. Traditionally, red pepper flakes are used to give the dish a mild kick. You can increase or decrease the amount to achieve the desired level of heat.

What can I substitute for heavy cream in the recipe?

If you're looking for a lighter alternative to heavy cream, you can use half-and-half or a full-fat coconut milk for a non-dairy option. Keep in mind that coconut milk will add a different flavor to the sauce.

How can I thicken the Alla Vodka sauce if it's too runny?

To thicken a runny Alla Vodka sauce, you can simmer it for a longer period to reduce the liquid, or add a bit more grated Parmesan cheese, which will help to thicken the sauce naturally.

What can I use if I don't have fresh tomatoes for the sauce?

If fresh tomatoes are not available, you can substitute with high-quality canned crushed tomatoes or tomato passata. They are convenient and can still yield a delicious sauce.

Can I make Chicken Penne Alla Vodka ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dish ahead of time. Just keep the pasta and sauce separate until you're ready to serve to prevent the pasta from absorbing too much sauce and becoming mushy. Reheat the sauce, tossing it with the pasta when ready to serve.

How do I reheat Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

To reheat, gently warm the sauce over medium heat, adding a splash of water, broth, or cream to loosen it if necessary. Then, mix in the cooked pasta until hot throughout. You can also microwave the dish, but do so in short intervals to prevent the sauce from splitting.

Can Chicken Penne Alla Vodka be frozen?

It's best to consume Chicken Penne Alla Vodka fresh, as the creamy sauce may separate during freezing and thawing. If you do need to freeze it, store it in an airtight container and be prepared to add a bit more cream or sauce when you reheat to rejuvenate the creaminess of the sauce.

What other proteins can be used in place of chicken?

You can substitute the chicken with other proteins such as shrimp, sausage, or tofu if you want to have a vegetarian option. Make sure to adjust the cooking times for whatever protein you use.

Can I add vegetables to my Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

Yes, vegetables like peas, spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers make excellent additions to Chicken Penne Alla Vodka. Add them in the final stages of cooking to ensure they are not overcooked.

Is Chicken Penne Alla Vodka healthy?

Chicken Penne Alla Vodka is a more indulgent dish due to the cream and cheese. However, you can make it healthier by using whole wheat pasta, cooking with less oil, adding extra vegetables, and using lighter cream options.

What should I serve with Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

This dish pairs well with a simple green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables. For a heartier meal, you could add a side of meatballs or grilled chicken breasts.

How can I make a gluten-free version of Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

To make this dish gluten-free, simply substitute the regular penne pasta with your choice of gluten-free pasta. Make sure to also check that all other ingredients, including the vodka, are certified gluten-free.

Can I make this dish dairy-free?

To make a dairy-free version of Chicken Penne Alla Vodka, you can use coconut cream or a non-dairy cream alternative in place of heavy cream, and omit the cheese or use a dairy-free cheese substitute.

What sides compliment Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

Alongside a light salad, consider crusty bread to soak up any extra sauce. For a fuller meal, roasted vegetables or a tangy antipasto can provide a complementary contrast to the rich and creamy sauce of the dish.

How can I store leftovers of Chicken Penne Alla Vodka?

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 3-4 days for the best quality. Remember to gently reheat on the stove or in the microwave, as previously mentioned.

And there you have it – a flavorful and satisfying Chicken Penne Alla Vodka that is sure to impress. We hope you enjoy making and eating this scrumptious dish as much as we do. If you loved this recipe, why not share it with your friends and family? And don't forget to explore more vodka-related guides and recipes here at Vodka Doctors – your one-stop-shop for everything vodka. Cheers!

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Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

About Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

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