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5 from 1 vote

Penne Alla Vodka

This easy Penne Alla Vodka Recipe is made with perfectly seared chicken, chunky tomatoes, and the best creamy marinara sauce!


  • 1 lb. Penne
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast, large in size
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, separated
  • 1 onion, diced (small/medium in size)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, drained
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • fresh parsley, to garnish


  • Prepare the penne according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.*
  • In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high heat.
  • Butterfly the chicken breast and cut the seam to create 2 thinner slices, each about an inch thick. Season the chicken with desired amounts of salt and pepper.
  • Carefully lower the chicken into the preheated skillet and leave it untouched for several minutes while it gets a nice, crisp sear. This takes about 5-7 minutes or so.
  • Once the chicken begins to release a bit from the bottom of the pan, it’s ready to flip. Rotate the oil around in the pan to help it loosen if needed. Make sure it has a nice golden-brown color prior to flipping. You may need to decrease the heat slightly while the other side sears.
  • Once done, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it up. Leave the oil and chicken remnants in the pan as it will give the sauce added flavor.
  • In the same pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and use a spatula to release some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the diced onions and cook until they have softened and begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the vodka to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the diced tomatoes and marinara sauce, then stir in the heavy cream.
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the pan and stir into the sauce.
  • Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and add the final Tablespoon of butter. Add in the pasta* (see notes) and use a silicone spatula to stir until the penne is evenly covered.
  • Top with Parmesan, chopped parsley and serve!


*If you plan on freezing leftovers, it's best to keep the sauce and pasta separated so that you can freeze the leftover sauce for a later meal, it reheats better than freezing the pasta and the sauce together. I like to make fresh pasta to go with the sauce that I froze. 
-To save time, I like to boil the pasta while the chicken sears.


Calories: 973kcal, Carbohydrates: 103g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 1191mg, Potassium: 1209mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 1915IU, Vitamin C: 24.8mg, Calcium: 274mg, Iron: 4.5mg