Slow Cooker Vodka Sauce with Penne

If you prefer not to use vodka in this recipe, you can skip Step 1 and use 1/2 cup tomato sauce instead. Serve this Creamy Vodka Sauce over cooked penne pasta or fried eggplant. Top with freshly grated cheese if desired.

Serves: 14Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 12 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 14


  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cans (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes in purée
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 lb. cooked penne pasta


  • Add the vodka to a small pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add to a 4 quart slow cooker.
  • Add the olive oil and minced shallots to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute. Uncover and stir in the garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 10–12 hours.
  • Shortly before serving, stir the evaporated milk into the sauce. Cook uncovered on low until heated through. Serve with penne.
  • Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.