This Shrimp Pasta in Vodka Sauce cooks up quickly for a satisfying, utterly delicious 30 minute meal.
A creamy vodka sauce is tossed with orecchiette pasta and sautéed shrimp to create this flavorful dish. A meal worthy of a special menu but easy enough to make any night of the week!
So, the holidays are officially over. All the Christmas decorations have been packed away. Paul and the boys lugged our beautiful 12-foot tree out to the curb, and our house is back to normal. Why does it look so incredibly boring without Christmas lights in every room?
Boy #4 woke up in the wee morning hours, painfully dragged himself out of bed, and headed back to school and we are back to work.
There’s nothing like a cozy meal of tender pasta tossed with shrimp in a creamy vodka sauce to fill the void.
This is serious comfort food!
- Shrimp – Do yourself a favor and buy peeled and de-veined raw shrimp. If the tails are on, they are easy to pull off. Large (31 to 40 count) or extra large (26-30 count) shrimp will work well in this recipe. If the shrimp are larger than this, I like to cut them in half.
- Olive oil
- Diced yellow onion and minced garlic cloves
- Seasoning – Salt, freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick.
- Vodka – Use a good quality vodka for the best flavor. Most of the vodka cooks off but leaves it’s flavor essence behind for a really special tomato cream sauce.
- Canned crushed tomatoes
- Fresh parsley – A little fresh parsley goes a long way to brighten up a tomato-based pasta sauce.
- Heavy cream – Cream helps tone down the acid in the crushed tomatoes and soften them into a delicious creamy tomato vodka sauce.
- Parmesan cheese – I love to use shaved Parmesan for a big flavor impact. Use a light touch to run a vegetable or potato peeler down a block of Parmesan cheese to get nice shavings to garnish the pasta.
- Pasta – I’m very fond of orecchiette pasta, also known as “little ear” pasta, because the shape resembles small ears. These little domes work perfectly to hold on to the vodka sauce. You can substitute another short pasta like penne, if you’d like.
How to Make Shrimp Pasta in Vodka Sauce
- Coat a large pan with olive oil. Cut the shrimp in half and cook over medium heat, just till opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a dish and set it aside.
- Coat the same pan with some more olive oil and add your diced onion. After the onion has softened add in your garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for another minute or two.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the vodka.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the crushed tomatoes. Turn it up to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and add the cream and fresh parsley. Season to taste with salt ad pepper. Let the sauce simmer while you boil the pasta in a separate pot according to the package directions.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, add the cooked shrimp to the sauce.
- Finally, stir in the cooked and well drained pasta.
Top the Shrimp Pasta in Vodka Sauce with shaved Parmesan and dive in!
More Easy Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
- Shrimp and Spinach Pasta– An easy, one-pot pasta. Shrimp lovers rejoice!
- Skillet Sausage Pasta – A long-time reader favorite.
- Skillet Lasagna – Satisfy those lasagna cravings with FAR less work.
- Chicken Pesto Pasta – Looks fancy, tastes amazing, and it’s super easy.
- There are more delicious choices in my full collection of Pasta recipes!
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Shrimp Pasta in Vodka Sauce
- 1 pound large or extra large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined (see notes below)
- olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion,
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- ½ cup good quality vodka
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta, or another short pasta like penne
- Rinse the shrimp with cold water and drain well. Pull the tails off. If very large, cut them in half.
- Place a large pasta pot filled about ⅔ to the top with water over HIGH heat. Allow the water to come to a boil while you prepare the vodka sauce.
- Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and place over MEDIUM heat. Cook and stir shrimp for a couple of minutes, just until opaque. Remove from the heat, transfer the shrimp to a dish and set it aside.
- Coat the pan with a little more olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the vodka. Return the pan to the heat and add the crushed tomatoes. Increase the heat to HIGH and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to LOW and stir in the parsley, cream, salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer over LOW heat while preparing the pasta.
- Boil the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well.
- Add the shrimp and the well drained pasta to the vodka sauce and stir to combine. Remove from the heat. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
Made this last night!! it was fabulous!!! I just returned from Italy and brought some parmesan home and needed a recipe! Had all the ingredients in the house!! Made dinner for 2 friends. Asparagus and salad, nice bread and wine! Rivaled any meal in Italy!! You rock!!
How fabulous that you were able to bring back Parmesan from Italy. I love the sauce for this pasta and I’m so glad to hear that you loved it too! Huge compliments…thank you!
My my my, what an amazing looking vodka sauce! I’d love to try this, since I love pasta and shrimp in almost any version 🙂 Looks really wonderful!
I love vodka sauce. It must be so wonderful with shrimp in it!! Happy New Year!
Thanks Beth. Happy New Year to you too!
We likea the pepper too. This looks great and it’s a recipe my wife has wanted me to make.
Except for the shrimp (which I’m allergic to) that looks amazing! You’ve got the whole rest of the year to worry about resolutions!
You could easily omit the shrimp – the sauce is delicious on it’s own. Happy New Year Jen!
Wow, oh wow. That does look amazing. I admit to having vodka in my house, yes. But cooking with it is my favorite way of consuming it. Hard liquor and I don’t get along. 🙂 This little mouse hat pasta dish is fantastic. Thanks for passing it along!