Pasta is a beloved and versatile staple food that can be incorporated into many diets and recipes.
Whether you love hearty, meat-heavy dishes or love wholesome, vegan meals, there are hundreds of delicious pasta recipes out there to tickle your taste buds.
However, if you eat pasta regularly, it’s easy to start feeling like your favorite recipes have become bland despite your best efforts to spice things up.
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If you’ve begun to feel as though you’d like to pass up on your pasta, we have a secret ingredient that might help you fall in love with your favorite food again. That ingredient is vodka sauce!
Today, we’ll be exploring the 5 best vodka sauce brands on the culinary market and answering your most frequently asked questions about this delicious dressing!
What is Vodka Sauce?
Before we introduce you to our favorite brands of vodka sauce, we thought it would be helpful to first explain what exactly vodka sauce is.
Vodka sauce is an Italian-American culinary invention, consisting of tangy tomatoes, heavy cream, Italian herbs, and, of course, vodka.
If you’ve ever heard of Penne Alla Vodka, you now know where the dish gets its name from!
While the idea of introducing such a strong spirit as vodka into a creamy sauce might seem counterintuitive, anyone who’s tried it will know it works beautifully. The vodka brings out the sweetness and sharpness of the tomatoes while adding just a hint of its own spicy, grainy flavor.
Our 5 Best Vodka Sauce Brands
At the Kitchen Community, we wholeheartedly believe that everyone should be able to enjoy mouth-watering flavors regardless of dietary requirements, restrictions, or budget limitations.
After all, unifying people through delicious food is what we’re all about!
With this in mind, we’ve chosen 5 different vodka sauce brands that cater to all manner of diets and budgets.
Whether you’re dairy-free, gluten-free, on a tight budget, or a lover of gourmet cuisine, we’ve got a vodka sauce brand for you!
Our top recommendation if you want a truly delicious vodka sauce to enhance your cooking would be Rao’s Homemade Vodka Sauce.
Rao’s vodka sauce is made from all-natural ingredients, lovingly blended together to make an incredible-tasting product.
Rao’s is an excellent vodka sauce brand for health-conscious lovers of flavor. This is primarily because of its natural ingredient status and the fact that the formula doesn’t contain any added sugar, making it low-carb, unlike many pasta sauce brands out there.
In addition to being carb-conscious, this sauce contains plenty of Parmigiana Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheese, delivering high levels of dietary fat. This makes this vodka sauce brand suitable for keto diets as well as tangy and delicious.
Speaking of delicious, the sauce has been slow-cooked during preparation. The benefit of slow-cooking is that it’s highly effective when it comes to bringing out the flavors in food.
Therefore, the sharpness of the tomato and the strength of the black pepper, oregano, garlic, basil, and vodka intermingle beautifully in the foreground of the formula.
There is very little to complain about with this sauce overall. However, though it may go without saying, the cheese content in Rao’s vodka sauce, it’s not vegan-friendly.
- Natural ingredients - No additives
- Slow-cooked - Infused with delicious flavors
- No added sugar - Low carbohydrate
- Keto-friendly - High in fat
- Contains cheese - Not suitable for vegans or those who suffer from lactose-intolerance
If you’ve done any research into vodka sauce, you may have heard that it’s typically a little more expensive than regular, alcohol-free pasta sauce formulas.
This is true for the most part, and it makes sense considering the fact that vodka sauce is generally considered a gourmet food.
However, it’s entirely possible to find vodka sauce brands that won’t put you significantly out of pocket and that taste just as good as premium products. The key is to find the best value for your money. One example of great-value vodka sauce is Bertolli’s Vodka Sauce.
Part of what makes this sauce such good value for your money is that it can be bought in packs of 4, which is a great way to benefit from money-off deals. When the price of the pack is divided by 4, it becomes clear that each jar comes to a very affordable price.
More than that, however, much of the value of Bertolli’s Vodka Sauce is in the quality and flavor of the product.
This vodka sauce is made from a combination of tomato puree and real diced tomatoes. This combination of textures, mixed in with cream, creates a balanced consistency and flavor that’s sure to appeal to the senses.
Other flavors in the sauce come from onions, garlic, and a mouth-watering blend of spices that combine with the vodka to deliver a distinctive kick.
With all that being said, if you’re looking for a healthy vodka sauce brand, this may not be the ideal choice for you, since the formula contains added sugar.
Don’t worry, though - our best overall choice doesn’t have any added sugar, and we still have 3 delectable vodka sauce brands to share with you today!
- Pack of 4 - Optimizes your deal
- Mix of pureed and diced tomatoes - Well-balanced texture
- Thoroughly-seasoned - Very flavorsome
- Affordable - Excellent value
- Contains added sugar - Not the healthiest option
On the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of premium vodka sauce brands to choose from if you want to splash out on some restaurant-grade flavor!
This is a stunningly flavorful sauce that’s been sold at local farmers’ markets for many years.
The sauce consists of just a few deliciously fresh ingredients but arguably tastes even better than the sauce brands on the market that include dozens of additives for flavor.
Every jar contains plum tomatoes, fresh onion, garlic and basil, sea salt, black pepper, heavy cream, Parmesan, Romano cheese, butter, citric acid, and extra-virgin olive oil.
The Hoboken Farm Vodka Sauce is gluten-free and doesn’t contain any added sugar, so in addition to tasting fresh, it’s much better for you than some of the budget options out there.
Even better, when you purchase a jar of the Hoboken Farms Vodka Sauce, you get a packet of pasta with it, so you don’t need to make any additional purchases to enjoy a delicious, wholesome meal!
- Natural ingredients - Fresh vegetables and herbs
- Gluten-free - Safe for gluten-intolerant individuals
- No added sugar - Low carbohydrate
- Comes with pasta - No extra purchases required
- High cheese content - Not suitable for vegans
Because most vodka sauce brands contain dairy in the form of Parmesan and Romano cheese, the majority of vodka sauce formulas are, sadly, not suitable for food-lovers on a vegan diet.
However, Primal Kitchen’s Vodka Sauce is the exception to this rule. This sauce is dairy-free yet deceptively creamy!
Instead of dairy-based creams, cheeses, and milk products, this vodka sauce relies on cashew butter and avocado oil for its creamy consistency.
Moreover, the majority of the ingredients used in the sauce are natural, from the tomatoes to the cashew butter and herbs. Even the vodka is organic!
Many vegan or dairy-free versions of traditional foods use soy or canola to contribute richness of flavor in place of dairy products. However, this can be problematic since some vegans are allergic or intolerant to both of these products.
Luckily, the Primal Kitchen Vodka Sauce is free from both soy and canola, so the risk of allergic reactions is minimized. Plus, the formula is gluten-free, so it’s safe for people who are sensitive to gluten.
Unfortunately, this sauce is on the expensive side, even in the context of vodka sauce prices. However, you get what you pay for, and in this case, what you pay for is incredible flavor and wellness-promoting ingredients!
- Dairy-free - Suitable for vegans
- Made with organic ingredients - Organic vegetables, herbs, nut butter, and vodka
- No added sugar - Healthy option
- Gluten-free - Safe for consumers with gluten allergies
- Free from soy and canola - Minimal allergens
- Quite expensive - Not a budget-friendly product
We’ve already reviewed two gluten-free vodka sauce brands in today’s article, but if any of our gluten-free readers out there want to enjoy vodka sauce without the elevated price tag, Prego’s Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce is a great option!
The Prego Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce consists of a pretty traditional combination of ingredients, including tomato puree, garlic, Parmesan, Ricotta, Romano, heavy cream, vodka, and a few other ingredients.
Despite being gluten-free, which usually comes with a higher price tag, this sauce is affordable and comes in a pack of 6 for deal optimization.
In addition to its gluten-free status, the Prego Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce is low FODMAP, meaning it’s easy to digest even for those with more sensitive stomachs. Plus, it doesn’t contain any trans fats, so it won’t raise your cholesterol.
In terms of the sauce itself, there really isn’t anything to criticize other than its lack of suitability for dairy-free diets.
However, where shipping is concerned, there have been some reports of jars breaking on arrival, so be sure to keep Prego’s customer support details to hand should you need a replacement or refund.
- Gluten-free - Suitable for customers with gluten allergies
- Low FODMAP - Easy on the digestive system
- No trans fats - Good for heart health
- 6-pack - Good value for money
- Affordably priced - Budget-friendly purchase
- Insufficient shipping packages - Some reports of broken jars on arrival
What recipes can I make with vodka sauce?
Traditionally, vodka sauce is used as pasta topping. However, that doesn’t mean that pasta is the only meal you can make with vodka sauce!
Aside from use as a standard topping, you could incorporate vodka sauce into a lasagna for an interesting twist on the traditional recipe.
Vodka sauce also makes a great addition to ratatouille or a fun substitute for meatball marinara.
Can I make my own vodka sauce?
Yes! One of the great things about vodka sauce is that you can enjoy it pre-prepared if you want to save time and money, but you can also make your own version for that authentic, homemade flavor. And best of all, it’s actually really easy!
All you’ll need are about 28 oz worth of tomatoes (fresh or canned), tomato puree or paste, an onion, some garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, parmesan, half-and-half cream, and some spices. Of course, you will also need vodka. You’ll only need between 75 and 80 ml, and it doesn’t need to be expensive stuff.
You can amend this recipe to make it dairy-free, for example, by removing the parmesan and substituting the cream for a dairy-free alternative. If you have a suitable vegan cheese substitute, you could try using that instead, although you should be prepared for the fact that it may not dissolve as well.
Once you’ve got all your ingredients together, the process is simple.
Heat the oil in a pan and sautee the garlic until it softens. Then, add your spices. After a minute or so, add your tomatoes and vodka. Stir for 5 minutes before adding the pepper, salt, vinegar, and puree.
Blend the mixture in a blender or processor, adding the basil at this point. Pour back into the pan, heat up, and add as much cream and cheese as you like.
Is vodka sauce suitable for children?
Naturally, parents may initially feel concerned at the idea of serving a sauce containing alcohol at a family dinner. However, rest assured that vodka sauce, if cooked properly, should be safe for most children in moderation.
Because vodka sauce typically only contains a very small amount of alcohol, thorough heating should cook off the alcohol more or less entirely. Therefore, it’s extremely unlikely that any symptoms of intoxication would arise after consumption.
In order to make sure that the vodka sauce is cooked well enough to evaporate the alcohol, you should bring it to a simmer and keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
However, we still wouldn’t recommend serving vodka sauce to children on a regular basis or in large quantities to be on the safe side. When in doubt, always consult your child’s physician.