How To Make Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken

How To Make Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken

If you're looking for the perfect savory treat, look no further than this mouthwatering, pasta dish—Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken. It is an indulgent Italian culinary delight that blends creamy, vodka-infused tomato sauce, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked penne pasta. Ready to serve for dinner or at your next get-together, this recipe is sure to impress everyone.

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To kick things off, you'll need the following ingredients for Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken:

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips or bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup vodka (high-quality preferred, like those listed on Vodka Doctors)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)


Follow these simple steps to make this delicious Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken:

  1. Boil water and cook pasta: In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the chicken: In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the cooked chicken and set aside.
  3. Sauté onions and garlic: In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and cook until softened and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  4. Make vodka sauce: Pour the vodka into the skillet with onions and garlic, and allow it to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits from the bottom. Let the vodka simmer for 5-7 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Mix in the tomato sauce and heavy cream and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes if you desire some heat.
  5. Combine all ingredients: Add the cooked chicken into the vodka sauce and let it simmer until heated through, around 3 minutes. Add the cooked penne pasta and toss to coat with the sauce. Finally, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve and enjoy: Plate the penne alla vodka with additional Parmesan, a sprinkle of parsley for garnish, and a fresh green salad or crusty bread for the perfect meal. Don't forget to open one of the great vodkas recommended by Vodka Doctors to accompany your meal.

How To Make Penne Alla Vodka With Chicken Example:

This scrumptious Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken is the perfect dish to share with family and friends. The rich, creamy vodka sauce is delectable and filling, while the tender chicken adds protein and depth to the dish. With plenty of flavor and delicious ingredients, it leaves a lasting impression on anyone who tries it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken?

Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken is a rich and creamy pasta dish that combines penne pasta, a tomato-vodka sauce, and tender pieces of chicken. The sauce usually includes tomatoes, onions, garlic, vodka, cream, and various seasoning and herbs. It's a twist on the classic Penne Alla Vodka, adding protein to make it a more satisfying meal.

Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?

Yes, you can use other types of pasta such as rigatoni, fusilli, or farfalle. The key is to use a pasta type that will hold onto the creamy sauce well.

Is it safe to cook with vodka? Will the alcohol cook off?

Yes, it's safe to cook with vodka as the alcohol content burns off during the cooking process, leaving behind the vodka's unique flavor without the alcohol content. Make sure to cook the sauce for a sufficient time after adding the vodka to ensure the alcohol evaporates.

Can I make this dish without the vodka?

Yes, you can make the dish without vodka, though it won't have the same depth of flavor. You can substitute an equal amount of broth or water with a squeeze of lemon for a non-alcoholic version.

What type of cream should I use for the sauce?

Heavy cream is most commonly used in Penne Alla Vodka to create a rich and velvety sauce. However, you can use light or half-and-half cream for a lighter version, but the sauce may not be as thick or rich.

Can I use pre-cooked chicken in this dish?

While freshly cooked chicken is preferred for its flavor and tenderness, pre-cooked chicken can be used in a pinch. Make sure to add it towards the end of cooking the sauce to prevent it from drying out.

How can I make a vegetarian version of this dish?

To make a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and consider adding more vegetables, such as spinach or mushrooms, to the sauce. You can also use a vegetarian protein alternative if desired.

Is Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken spicy?

The dish can range from mild to spicy depending on the amount of red pepper flakes used. Adjust the quantity to suit your taste preference. Start with a pinch and add more if needed.

What sides go well with Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken?

Simple sides like a green salad, roasted vegetables, or garlic bread complement the richness of Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken quite well.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of cream or water if the sauce has thickened.

Can this dish be frozen?

It's not recommended to freeze dishes with cream-based sauces as they may separate or become grainy when thawed. However, if you choose to freeze it, use within a month for best quality and fully thaw before reheating.

What type of chicken is best for this recipe?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work well for this dish. Chicken thighs can offer more flavor and tenderness, while chicken breasts are leaner.

Can I use low-fat alternatives for a healthier version?

Yes, low-fat alternatives like light cream or milk can be used for a healthier version, but keep in mind that the sauce will be less rich and creamy than with full-fat cream.

How can I thicken my sauce?

To thicken the sauce, you can simmer it for a longer period to reduce and concentrate the flavors. Alternatively, a small slurry of cornstarch and water added to the sauce can help thicken it.

What can I substitute for heavy cream in Penne Alla Vodka?

Besides light or half-and-half cream, you can use a blend of milk and butter or a non-dairy alternative such as coconut cream or cashew cream for a similar richness.

Is Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken suitable for children?

Since the alcohol in the vodka cooks off, the dish should be suitable for children. However, if you're concerned about using alcohol, you can substitute it with broth or a squeeze of lemon juice and water.

How can I add more flavor to my Penne Alla Vodka?

Adding more seasoning such as Italian herb blend, fresh basil, or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can elevate the flavor of this dish. Sautéing the onions and garlic until caramelized also builds a deeper flavor profile for the sauce.

Can I prepare part of this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can cook the chicken and the sauce separately in advance. Store them in the refrigerator, and when you're ready to serve, cook the pasta fresh and combine all ingredients together, heating through.

What's the best way to cook the chicken for this dish?

The chicken can be diced and sautéed until fully cooked, grilled and then sliced, or even roasted and shredded. The key is to cook it until it's no longer pink inside and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

How long does it take for the alcohol to cook out of the sauce?

The alcohol in vodka usually cooks out after approximately 10 minutes of simmering, but this can vary depending on the amount used and the specific heat settings. Always cook the sauce uncovered and at a simmer to ensure the alcohol evaporates effectively.

What should the consistency of the sauce be?

The sauce should be creamy and thick enough to coat the pasta but not too thick or clumpy. If the sauce is too thin, continue simmering until it reaches the desired consistency. If it's too thick, thin it out with a little pasta water or additional cream.

Now that you've learned how to make this incredible Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken, get ready to dazzle your guests with this delicious and satisfying dish. Don't forget to check out other guides and recipes on Vodka Doctors to elevate your vodka game. If you enjoyed this article, make sure to share it with your friends and fellow vodka enthusiasts.

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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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