Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken

mains recipes Feb 17, 2022

When you’re craving a cozy meal that seems like you slaved all day (but really takes no time at all), this one if for YOU. My husband, Sam, is a pasta fiend, and has been begging for penne alla vodka, and thus this recipe was born.

While this seems like a dish you could only find at your favorite Italian restaurant, it’s actually so incredibly simple to whip up in your own kitchen. You’d truly never know this version is actually gluten and dairy free as well!

Jovial Foods makes some of my favorite gluten free pastas, and the Brown Rice Penne made the perfect option for this dish. But you can use whatever variety you love best or have sitting in your pantry.

As for the sauce, you’ll only need a few staples to make it extra tasty. Diced tomatoes, onion and spices like garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper are key (and ingredients you likely already have on hand).

For additional flavor, vodka is a staple, obviously. But don’t worry – the alcohol ends up burning off, so this is great for the whole family.

And don’t forget the creaminess! Cream cheese really takes this sauce to the next level, and you can always use a dairy free version like I did to make this a great option for those avoiding dairy. Kite Hill makes my favorite version that you can find at Whole Foods.

For added protein, I included chicken in this recipe, but you’re always welcome to exclude this if you’re vegan or vegetarian. Up to you!

Serve it up with fresh basil and a glass of wine! I promise this will be a new must for date night meals or whenever the craving strikes  .


 Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta of choice (I love the Jovial Foods brown rice penne for a gluten-free option)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts (boneless & skinless), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • ⅔ cup vodka
  • ¾ container of Kite Hill or Good Culture cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan (can sub for nutritional yeast if dairy-free)
  • ½ cup fresh basil, sliced (more for topping)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper (more if you like spice)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
Directions
1. To a large sauce pan or dutch oven, add olive oil, onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until onions begin to soften.

Meanwhile begin to cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Add cubed chicken, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add in garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
4. Pour in tomatoes and vodka, and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add in nutritional yeast and cream cheese, and stir until dissolved.
6. Add fresh basil, and stir to incorporate.
7. When pasta is cooked, add it into your sauce and stir to coat.
8. Serve with additional fresh basil, and enjoy!

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