Dairy-free Penne alla Vodka

Gluten-free and Dairy-free, this healthier take on the classic is comfort food at its best! Creamy and indulgent tasting without any cream or butter... can you guess the secret ingredient?

dairy free penne alla vodka gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com
Dairy-free Penne alla Vodka

Creamy, cozy and yummy! Plus it's quick & easy to whip up!

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This Dairy-Free Penna alla Vodka is a long time favorite!

Quick and easy to whip together, it is comfort food at its best!

You favorite gluten-free pasta tossed with a creamy and indulgent tasting sauce.  No one has to know it’s made without cream or butter…

dairy free penne alla vodka gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

So what gives it it’s creamy, silky texture? Would you believe silken tofu?

Yep, I said tofu.

But don’t get freaked out, no one would ever guess! The tofu is blended with the vodka, then mixed into a tomato sauce base, so it’s super rich and creamy.

Tastes indulgent and so yummy… My entire family loves it and trust me, unlike me, none of them are tofu fans.

And I would love to take credit of this idea but the recipe adapted by my family from a newspaper years ago. Before dairy-free cream sauces were popular.

So let’s make it!

Here’s what you’ll need: Olive oil, garlic, strained tomatoes (we use Pomi Strained Tomatoes – amazon affiliate link), tomato paste, crushed red pepper, dried basil, salt, silken tofu, gluten-free vodka and your favorite gluten-free pasta.

dairy free penne alla vodka gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Here we used Barilla gluten-free penne. You can read about all our favorite gluten-free pastas here.

And while I am not an expert in gluten-free alcohol, as best I understand it, distilled alcohol like vodka is gluten-free because of the distillation process. But to be extract safe, you can use a vodka like Tito’s Handmade Vodka which is made from corn and certified gluten-free.  If you want to read more about gluten-free alcohol, I’m linking a great blog post about gluten-free alcohol by GF Jules.

And it comes together quickly.

All you do is make a simple sauce by sauteing garlic and mixing in the tomato paste and stained tomatoes and season with crushed red pepper, basil and salt.

Pro tip: this sauce can be as spicy or not spicy as you like. My husband and I like it with a full 1/2 teaspoon or more of crushed red pepper. The boys prefer it with 1/4 teaspoon or less, so start with a little and you can always add more. Just note that the tofu vodka cream will reduce the kick of the red pepper as it all cooks up.

While that simmers, you mix the silken tofu and vodka in blender.  We used our Nutri-bullet Blender – amazon affiliate link, which you know we love!

dairy free penne alla vodka gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

It leave you with a super creamy and silky mix which you add into the tomato base.

dairy free penne alla vodka gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

You can add as much or as little of the tofu vodka cream to the sauce, depending on how pink and creamy you want the sauce. So I always recommend starting with half of it, stirring and adding more.

Let it cook up and prepare your favorite pasta. Then mix together.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

dairy free penne alla vodka gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com


For more easy pasta ideas, click here.

Scroll down to see the recipe.


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5 from 2 votes

Penne alla Vodka

A healthier twist on the classic, this sauce is super creamy and indulgent tasting but without heavy cream or butter. The creaminess comes from silken tofu which is blended with the vodka before being add to a tomato sauce base. Trust me, you will know... even non-tofu lovers, will love this dish! Pro tip: You can make this sauce last minute or early in the day and just cook pasta when ready to serve.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family


  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 box strained tomatoes we used Pomi 26.46oz
  • 1 6 oz tomato paste unseasoned
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more t to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 lb package silken/ soft tofu
  • 1/4 cup Gluten-free Vodka
  • 12-16 oz penne - we used 1 12oz box Barilla Gluten-free penne


  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
  • Add garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes until just starting to brown.
  • Add tomato paste and mix well.
  • Add strained tomatoes, crushed pepper, basil and salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer. (Can be as little as 5 minutes, but we prefer at least 30 minutes to allow flavor to come out).
  • Meanwhile, in a blender, blend tofu and vodka until smooth.
  • Add the tofu vodka mixture to the tomato sauce and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Prepare penne according to package instructions when ready to eat.
  • Place strained pasta back in the sauce pan and add large spoonfuls of the vodka sauce, stir to combine.
  • Top with basil and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!


5 thoughts on “Dairy-free Penne alla Vodka

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you!!! This went down a treat!!! My boyfriend finished it all off!!! I’d only made it for the both of us!!! The tofu worked amazingly, as did the vodka, of course .. Thank you for sharing .. x

  2. Any ideas for subbing out the tofu – we also have soy allergies besides the gluten and dairy in our house

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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