Vegan Coconut Curry Vodka Sauce

Vegan Vodka Sauce.jpg

When I was at NYU, one of my favorite things to do freshman year was order late-night food for delivery. My friends and I were obsessed with this Italian place called Francescos Pizzeria, especially since they delivered through 4am — it was college, what can I say?! It was there that I discovered the glory that is Penne Vodka. I can’t even count the number of nights we would come home from a night out and order Penne Vodka at 3am, devouring it as a group.

My love for vodka sauce hasn’t died, but it’s obvious now that I’m not a huge fan of meals that come loaded with heavy cream. Thankfully, there are ways to indulge in vodka sauce without making your stomach hurt! Cue the vegan vodka sauce, this one with a twist. This recipe is cooked with coconut milk instead of heavy cream, and the addition of red curry paste gives it a little kick. It’s surprisingly good!

I have to admit I did not come up with the concept of this sauce myself. My boyfriend bought himself a jar at a grocery store in Nashville, and when I heard he was eating it, I decided I had to recreate it myself. I actually made this vodka sauce before even trying the one he purchased, and I think I nailed it pretty well.

This sauce can obviously be paired with pasta, but I also like to cook my Shakshouka in it too. In this dish pictured here, I used the Trader Joe’s gnocchi, and they paired great together! I’ve also made this with zoodles.

Ingredients (Makes 3-4 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 3/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 small/medium onion)

  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk from can (stirred first)

  • 3 tablespoons vodka

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large pan on medium-low heat. Add onions, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until onions are soft and translucent.

2. Add in crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, vodka, red curry paste, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix together and turn to medium heat, stirring frequently.

3. Bring the sauce to a light boil, and then reduce back to medium-low heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Serve warm with pasta or gnocchi. Top with fresh parsley, if desired.