Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dairy Free Penne alla Vodka Recipe (Tomato Free/Gluten Free)

Penne alla vodka (or penne a la vodka if you prefer) is the trifecta of food intolerances for me: it's main ingredients are gluten, dairy, and tomato. I had tried making it years ago (when I was just gluten and dairy free) but I used soy milk. Soy milk has a very distinct flavor that is difficult to hide in any dish and my dairy free penne alla vodka was no exception.

Dairy free Penne alla Vodka (gluten free and tomato free)
I recently saw a coconut milk creamer in my local supermarket and decided to try again. Now plain coconut milk creamer (sold in a 16oz carton with the other coffee creamers) has a very slight coconut flavor to it, but that flavor (unlike the soy) was completely undetectable in the final dish.


2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup of vodka
1 cup plain coconut milk creamer*
1 pound gluten free penne
1 cup tomato free sauce**
1 small bunch fresh chopped basil***
Vegan Parmesan topping

* can also use soy milk creamer but coconut has a less noticeable flavor (both are found with the dairy coffee creamers; be sure they are unflavored/plain)
** substitute 1 cup tomato puree if not tomato free
*** omit if using tomato free sauce that has already been seasoned.

How to make dairy free penne alla vodka:

Saute two chopped cloves of garlic in olive oil in a large saute pan until starting to brown (about 5 minutes)

Measure 1/4 cup of vodka away from the stove. [WARNING: do not pour directly from vodka bottle into the pan as the bottle could catch fire and explode.] Add to the pan bring to a low boil. Boil for about 5 minutes.

Add the cup of coconut milk creamer, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes (sauce should reduce by about half).

While the sauce is simmering prepare the penne according to directions.

After the simmer, add 1 cup of tomato free sauce and the chopped basil. [Note, you can use the un-herbed sauce prior to step 7 or the finished sauce after step 8. If using the finished sauce, there is no need to add more basil here, but you can if you like.]

Cook until heated through (about 5 minutes) being careful to not overcook (the beets in the sauce will brown if you do).

Toss the cooked and drained pasta in the sauce and serve! Garnish with Vegan Parmesan topping if desired.

Other dairy free sauces (gluten and tomato free as well) you may be interested in:

Dairy Free Swedish Meatball Recipe

Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Or check my full list of recipes and the allergens they are free of.


  1. This sounds awesome, Jason! What brand of creamer was it? I have yet to find a plain brand but that is smart. I imagine I could sub regular coconut milk or canned coconut cream but I am curious.

  2. It was So Delicious in the red carton.


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