Spicy Chicken Penne alla Vodka

This spicy chicken penne alla vodka is a restaurant-style pasta dish that is also budget friendly. Most items will likely be in your pantry already, plus it takes very little time to put together. It’ll be on the table in about half an hour.


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 leaves basil, cut into very thin strips


  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in penne and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a deep cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set remaining seasoning aside.

  3. Add chicken to the skillet. Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remove chicken to a cutting board; keep warm.

  4. Cook and stir shallot and garlic in the same skillet until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir in tomato purée, remaining Italian seasoning, remaining salt, and red pepper flakes; bring to a simmer. Stir in whipping cream and vodka. Stir in Parmesan until cheese is melted.

  5. Slice chicken into thin strips; and add to the skillet. Drain pasta; reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

  6. Add the pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine. If sauce seems too thick, add in pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle penne with julienned basil. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 5
Calories 408
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 438mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 19mg 97%
Calcium 170mg 13%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 904mg 19%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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