Penne Alla Vodka – Instant Pot

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Penne Alla Vodka – A classic Italian pasta dish with smooth and creamy tomato-based sauce is a favorite comfort food of mine!

I love to cook food that I have enjoyed in restaurants and this recipe is my attempt to recreate one of those delicious dishes. I have made this pasta on stovetop for a long time and couldn’t wait to try it in my Instant Pot.

I like the tomato sauce made with pureeing a can of peeled plum tomatoes, with a spoonful of minced fresh garlic.

penne alla vodka

Cooking the pasta in the Instant Pot gives it a more creamy texture as the process does not require draining any extra water from separately boiling the pasta. If you have enjoyed my Pasta Caprese recipe in Instant Pot, I would love to know which one you like better!

I recently discovered Trader Joe’s gluten free pasta varieties and I love them all! I use the brown rice pasta in this recipe and the pasta cooks al dente in 4 mins followed by quick release. Definitely helps take away the guilt of eating a ton of carbs while you enjoy this dish.

In the past, I have used diced ripe plum tomatoes, jar of pasta sauce or at times  canned tomato puree. Depending on the consistency of the sauce, I simply use an immersion blender to smoothen out the sauce as it is simmering. You may decide to leave the sauce chunky but I have some picky eaters in the house that would pick out all the tomato pieces!

This dish can be made wholesome by adding some sautéed chicken, shrimp, peas or mushrooms. I would sauté the meat or veggies in the Instant Pot as the first step in some oil with salt and pepper. Keep them aside and follow the rest of the recipe. Simply add the toppings on the pasta before serving and enjoy a yummy meal! Sometimes I stir in few handful of baby spinach in the end just before serving.

4.41 from 5 votes
Penne Alla Vodka
Penne Alla Vodka - Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Italian classic pasta dish made in a creamy tomato, garlic, vodka sauce.
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Archana Mundhe
  • 1 LB pasta I used Trader Joe’s organic brown rice penne pasta
  • 1, 28 oz can of tomato puree I like to puree a can of san marzano peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • Handful Parsley chopped
  1. Turn IP on to Saute mode. Once the ‘hot’ sign displays add oil.
  2. Add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Mix well and cook for 2 mins with a glass lid on.
  3. Add vodka, mix well and cook for another 2 mins to reduce down the vodka.
  4. Add tomato puree, pasta, salt and 2 cups of water. Put IP lid on. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 4 mins (Note, the cook time on Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta is 7-10 mins) followed by QR.
  5. Add cream, parsley and grated cheese. Mix well. Serve hot.
  6. Note: For any other type or brand of pasta, set Instant Pot to Manual(HI) for half the time that is specified as cooking time on the pasta box.


12 thoughts on “Penne Alla Vodka – Instant Pot

  1. You certainly are on your instant pot kick eh? It looks delicious. How does that differ from a pressure cooker? I have neither and don’t have the room either, but was just curious?

    1. Thank you Loretta! It is an electric pressure cooker that cooks food much faster without having to baby sit the food while it is cooking. It also has an sauté option, so you can sauté your onions and garlic before making some dishes so there is more flavor. And lastly makes great homemade yogurt!!

  2. Just wanted to stop by and thank you for this fabulous recipe. I made it last night, but substituted gin for the vodka (don’t judge – it’s a real thing!). I took your suggestion and used my immersion blender on whole Marzano canned tomatoes, and tossed in some baby spinach leaves when it was done. Yum! Will be trying your other recipes as well. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Miki, Thank you so much for taking time to give me your feedback. So judgements – Vodka, Gin, all good!! Love adding Spinach to the pasta too. Hope you enjoy rest of my recipes too.

  3. This looks SO good, cant wait to try this in my Instant Pot. I hope you continue posting more IP recipes that are vegetarian friendly. My mom and sister love your site too 🙂

    1. Hi Sujana! Pasta comes out so creamy in the Instant Pot and this recipe is better than any restaurant penne all vodka I have had. So happy to hear that your sister and mom also love my recipes. Thank you for your feedback, they make my day 🙂

  4. This sounds wonderful and looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing this! You have so many great recipes that i have never tried that I would love to. kelly tupick

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