This recipe is the Best Vodka Sauce out there! This recipe is made in the Instant Pot, so it takes only a few minutes and zero effort to throw together. And it is 100% delicious. You can make this recipe with Pappardelle Noodles or penne!
In my family, we LOVED a quick and easy pasta recipe (like this Easy Beef Stroganoff!). I always grew up eating Palomino Sauce, but I had never had (or even heard of) Vodka Sauce.
As it turns out, the two sauces are almost identical, save for the fact that vodka sauce has a small addition of vodka (surprise, surprise)! Readers have left my palomino sauce recipe rave reviews. So I tested a few minor edits and modifications to bring you its cousin, the best Vodka Sauce!
It’s creamy, cheesy, and so dang easy to throw together. I think you’re really going to love it!
Why Make this Recipe
- Dump and Start: The best Instant Pot recipes are the ones that don’t require any work… Just dump them all in the pot, put the lid on, and cook. In under 20 minutes you will have a fantastic dinner!
- Made with Ingredients with a Long Shelf Life: My favorite part about this recipe is that I can keep marinara sauce, pasta, and parmesan in my fridge/pantry for quite some time. This means that I always have some on hand and, if I ever don’t feel like making dinner, have the perfect recipe on hand that I can make any time! It’s great for when you don’t feel like going to the grocery store.
What Ingredients are in this Recipe?
- Heavy Cream: Heavy whipping cream. The fat content is high enough in heavy whipping cream that it can be cooked under pressure without curdling.
- Marinara Sauce: You can use a homemade marinara sauce or your favorite store bought brand! I tend to lean in the store bought direction just for ease.
- Vodka: You can use whatever brand of vodka you’d like though just MAKE SURE it’s unflavored!
- Noodles: I love pappardelle noodles, but you can also use many other kinds of noodles in this recipe too. Another great option is penne (penne alla vodka ring a bell?).
- Parmesan Cheese: The key here is to make sure that, if it’s accessible to you, you’re buying fresh parmesan cheese. It makes all the difference in terms of flavor and texture! Make sure that your parmesan cheese is grated on the finest setting so that it looks like snow.
- Others: Chicken broth, minced garlic, salt, pepper
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1: Prep the Dish
In your Instant Pot, add the chicken broth, heavy cream, marinara sauce, vodka, garlic, salt, pepper, and noodles. Do not mix the sauce, but make sure that your noodles are as covered as possible by the liquid ingredients.
Step 2: Cook
Set your Instant Pot to manual HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the pressure has built and the Instant Pot has cooked for 6 minutes, allow 6 minutes of a natural pressure release. Then quick release the rest of the pressure.
Step 3: Add Grated Cheese
Open the lid of the instant pot and allow the steam to clear. Then, add the grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup at a time. Mix until the cheese melts and makes the sauce thicker. Enjoy!
- If you use a different pasta shape, make sure to follow the rule of thumb for figuring out how long to pressure cook it: The time on the box divided by 2 minus 1. For example, pasta with a 12 minute cook time on the box would be 12/2 = 6. 6-1 = 5. You would cook those noodles for 5 minutes!
- If the pasta isn’t done when you open the lid, you can always cook it for longer. Add an extra splash of heavy cream and marinara sauce (maybe ¼ cup each), put the lid back on, and cook for another minute or two depending on desired doneness.
- If you want to add meat to this recipe, ground sausage is a great way to do so! Turn the pot to SAUTE and add the sausage and cook until browned. Then, simply add the rest of the ingredients and cook as normal.
- You can also add pre-sliced, frozen chicken breasts! If you want to add shrimp, cook them separately from the pasta, as 6 minutes under pressure will be too long for shrimp.
Can I Make the Vodka Sauce on the Stovetop?
Yes! The palomino sauce in the Instant Pot is a little interesting because the chicken broth is added in order to cook the noodles.
If you just made the sauce on the stove as written without noodles, it would end up pretty watery.
So, if you’re just making the sauce without noodles added, I would recommend omitting the chicken broth, or just adding about ¼ cup for some flavor
Does Vodka Sauce Taste Like Vodka?
If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know that I’m not really a drinker. I have a few drink recipes that I like, but for the most part, I tend to stay away from the taste of alcohol.
This Vodka Sauce doesn’t taste like vodka, whatsoever! It is a delicious blend between heavy cream and marinara sauce, making a creamy tomato with an extra pop of flavor from the Vodka Sauce.
Can Vodka Sauce Get You Drunk?
When I was researching commonly asked questions centered around Vodka Sauce, I came across this question quite often.
Just like cooking with wine (like this Cheese Fondue Recipe) or Rum (like this Rum Soaked Pork Loin), you won’t get drunk from the alcohol in this recipe.
The heat in the Instant Pot burns the alcohol out of the vodka, and just leaves behind the flavor of a vodka sauce (that, no, does not taste like vodka!).
If you make a recipe with alcohol that is NOT heated, it (theoretically) is possible to get drunk. You’d probably have to eat like 12 pans of this tiramisu recipe in order to start feeling the effects of the alcohol.
Even if you could get drunk from this recipe, the same reigns true here. Due to the small amount of alcohol in this recipe, you’d have to eat an inhuman amount of pasta in order to get drunk.
What Pasta Goes with this Recipe?
I love twirly noodles, so when I make this recipe, I tend to make it with pappardelle noodles, as you can see in my recipe below!
I love that the pappardelle noodles are thick and hearty, and that they can hold so much sauce!
Admittedly, however, pappardelle noodles are not the typical type of pasta served with vodka sauce. If you’ve ever heard of Penne alla Vodka, you’ll know that, usually, Penne noodles are eaten with vodka sauce.
If you’d like to make this recipe with penne noodles instead of pappardelle noodles, you can definitely do that! Take caution, though, because Penne noodles have a different cook time than Pappardelle noodles in the Instant Pot!
The Pappardelle noodles take a 6 minute high cook time with a 6 minute natural pressure release to cook through.
You can taste the pasta at the end. If you think it needs a longer cook time, you can throw it back in the pot for another minute or two.
The sauce will turn out the same regardless of a differing cook time.
Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought of this recipe.
If you liked The Best Vodka Sauce Recipe, let me know in the comments below!! I’d love to hear what you thought. If you took a picture, share it on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag #TheForeignFork or tag @TheForeignFork.
If you liked this recipe, you may also like these other recipes I picked out just for you:
- Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
- Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo
- Homemade Creamed Corn in the Instant Pot
- Thai Peanut Noodles in the Instant Pot
- Creamy Beef and Shells in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Vodka Sauce
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- ¼ cup vodka
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ lb dry pappardelle noodles I used HemisFares Reginelle, linked in Notes, but you can use any brand of hearty pasta
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In your Instant Pot, add the chicken broth, heavy cream, marinara sauce, vodka, garlic, salt, pepper, and noodles. Do not mix the sauce, but make sure that your noodles are as covered as possible by the liquid ingredients.
- Set your Instant Pot to manual HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the pressure has built and the Instant Pot has cooked for 6 minutes, allow 6 minutes of a natural pressure release. Then quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Open the lid of the instant pot and allow the steam to clear. Then, add the grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup at a time. Mix until the cheese melts and makes the sauce thicker. Enjoy!
- Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought of this recipe.
Add cream after cooking to avoid The Burn notice!
Mike B says
Why do you say to not mix the ingredients in the Instant Pot? I didn’t and the marinara sauce burnt somewhat in a few spots. I didn’t get a burn notice. I think it would have been better if it was mixed up first. I could tell the sauce would have had a good flavor but the burnt taste was strongly noticeable. My wife wouldn’t eat much of it. I’m going to try adding more marinara sauce see if I can make it taste better.
The Foreign Fork says
Sometimes if you mix the ingredients, the pasta will touch the bottom of the pot and burn. If you had trouble, you can add all of the ingredients except for the pasta, then mix the sauce, then add the pasta 🙂
Lee Schwartzberg says
Just from reading the recipe, I had a feeling I’d get a “burn” notice on my pot. I added in my thin liquids (broth and vodka) then the pasta (I used tagliatelle). On top of that I put some bite-size pieces of raw chicken breast, then the sauce, then the cream. I did not mix it up. Pot came to pressure, but I got the burn before it started to count down. I released the pressure to open the pot, and it was done! Noodles and chicken were perfectly cooked. I think if it had gone the 6 minutes then another 6 minutes NR, the tagliatelle would have been mush.
So, faulty recipe as I had suspected, but it really was delicious in the end.
The Foreign Fork says
Glad you got it to work out in the end. Enjoy!
Katie Jo says
The recipe states to add all the sauce ingredients – marinara included – before the pasta, then gently pressing pasta into the sauce so it’s covered. Doing that next time might help! We’ve never had an issue when making it doing it as-written. 🙂 This is one of our all-time favorite pastas to make!