What to Serve With Vodka Sauce Pasta?

What to Serve With Vodka Sauce Pasta
Image from cook2eatwell.com

Vodka sauce pasta is a classic Italian dish with a creamy tomato base. This dish is flavorful and filling, so you may wonder what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta to create a complete meal.

Vodka sauce is usually enjoyed in dishes featuring penne or rigatoni, although it can also be served over chicken and seafood dishes.

Its creamy texture and zesty flavor make it an ideal accompaniment to many other foods.

From salads and green vegetables to proteins and carbs, there’s something for everyone when you serve vodka sauce pasta. Here are some ideas of what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta.

1. Orecchiette

Orecchiette is starting our list of what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta.  Vodka sauce pasta is an Italian classic that can make any meal feel like a special occasion.

But, to truly make it feel special, you’ll want to pair it with something equally as delicious and decadent. 

Orecchiette is the perfect side for vodka sauce pasta, as its fun shape compliments the creamy sauce perfectly! Orecchiette is an ear-shaped pasta with ridges around its edges. 

It originated in Italy’s southern Apulia region, but its appeal has spread far and wide around the globe.

Its unique shape makes it ideal for holding onto sauces, making it a great accompaniment for many dishes, especially ones featuring creamy sauces like vodka sauce pasta. 

The small size of the orecchiette also makes it what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta option for anyone wanting to get a large portion of their favorite meal without the added calories or fat of whole wheat pasta.

This gives those who want to stay healthy a great choice when deciding what side dish to serve alongside their vodka sauce pasta. 

Additionally, orecchiette pairs wonderfully with salads making this dish even more attractive as a side dish option!

Salads featuring vegetables like tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and olives help complement both flavors while adding color and texture to your plate.

Whatever ingredients you choose to include in your salad will surely bring out the full flavor of your vodka sauce pasta when paired with orecchiette! 

2. Rigatoni

Rigatoni is also on our list of what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta. If you’re looking for a unique, delicious side dish with vodka sauce pasta, look no further than rigatoni.

Rigatoni is a type of tubular pasta with a larger diameter than ziti or penne and holds sauces nicely. 

Rigatoni is made from durum wheat flour, eggs, and water and is slightly ribbed outside the tubes.

This helps carry flavors from the sauce throughout the pasta much better than other types of noodles.

The size of rigatoni also ensures that almost all pieces have balanced exposure to flavorings and saucing, making them perfect for dishes like lasagna or baked macaroni and cheese. 

And because the tubes have thick walls, they hold up well under various sauces, even heartier ones like vodka sauce, without getting limp or soggy.

This meal is What to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta can be served cooked either al dente or very soft, depending on your preference.

It should always be cooked until its tenderness is suitable for your taste buds and your desired texture preferences.

You can purchase premade rigatoni at most grocery stores if you don’t want to make it yourself.  

Due in part to its shape and textured outer layer, rigatoni makes an ideal partner with creamy sauces such as vodka sauce because it helps cling onto each piece of pasta, providing maximum flavor in every bite.

Its larger ridges also add visual interest when served in place settings, giving each dish a unique appearance rather than just looking like plain noodles. 

3. Penne pasta

Penne pasta is a popular Italian dish, made of tubular-shaped noodles which are cut diagonally at both ends.

Penne can also be served in other ways, such as alongside vodka sauce, which is a creamy tomato-based sauce with added herbs, butter, and onions. 

To make this Vodka Sauce Pasta meal come alive, boil 2 cups of dry penne pasta. Once it’s al dente, drain off the hot water and set aside until ready.

Meanwhile, prepare your homemade vodka sauce by melting some butter in a Deep Fry Pan over low heat and adding chopped onion and garlic cloves. 

Next, add diced tomatoes, canned tomato paste, Italian seasoning herbs, and salt & pepper for extra depth of flavor.

Lastly, add about half a cup of heavy cream for that luxurious creaminess that’s oh-so-necessary! 

Cook until all ingredients are combined and let simmer for 10 minutes on low heat for flavors to combine further together before serving with hot Penne Pasta – enjoy! 

Pairing Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce makes for an incredibly flavorful meal any time of day or night, not just dinner.

Whether you’re having guests or simply want something comforting to eat alone, it doesn’t get better than this hearty classic! 

Not only does Penne compliment Vodka Sauce beautifully, but it provides a palette on which the flavor notes can really pick up, guaranteeing mouthfuls full of flavor that don’t leave feelings wanting more but rather feeling completely satisfied every single time!

4. Sausage

When you think of delicious Italian fare, one ingredient likely to come to mind is sausage.

Not just any sausage, though; Italian sausage is essential for an authentic taste of Italy. Its unique blend of herbs and spices adds a unique flavor and dimension to any dish. 

Italian Sausage brings richness and depth of flavor to any dish. Its mild yet flavorful nature makes it a great addition to many dishes, from pizza and pasta to soups and stews.

What to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta, the smoky flavors of the sausage often add extra zing and warmth.

One classic combination when pairing Italian Sausage with vodka sauce pasta is cooked peppers and onions. 

These lightly browned what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta bring out the sweetness in the sausage while adding texture and flavor contrast to the creamy pasta.

Parmesan cheese adds an additional layer of nutty umami goodness which compliments both ingredients perfectly. 

To mix things up more, cubed squash accompanies Italian Sausage in this dish.

Yellow squash or zucchini are especially good choices here as they soak up all that wonderful tomato- y sweetness which contrasts nicely with the herby notes from the sausage itself.

An alternative spin would be some kind of leafy green like kale or spinach, which can provide a burst of vibrant color while adding even more layers of flavor complexity into each bite. 

5. Shrimp

Vodka sauce pasta is an Italian classic, full of delicious tomato and creamy vodka-based flavors. But what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta?

Shrimp is one of the most versatile shellfish that can be used in many different styles of cooking and preparations.

It is an ideal ingredient for adding flavor, texture, and color to any dish, especially a vodka sauce pasta. 

For the perfect pairing, it’s important to balance the depth of the heady tomato flavor with something light and delicate, like lightly cooked shrimp.

When making your vodka sauce pasta, add cooked shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking so it warms through without overcooking. 

Alternatively, you might consider grilling or pan-frying some extra jumbo shrimp and serving on your finished spaghetti dish.

The smoky flavors produced during grilling or pan frying compliment delightfully with the creamy texture of the vodka cream reduction.

You should also ensure that you season your grilled or fried shrimp with salt (pepper if desired) before serving it with your pasta dish so as not to overwhelm the subtle flavors from your finished vodka sauces. 

Additionally, adding a few pieces of pre-cooked bacon or chopped chorizo will give contrast and variety in flavor and texture, bringing out even more character in this popular Italian classic!

So why not liven up your mealtime repertoire by adding some delicious shrimp as what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta?

6. Chicken

Lastly, Vodka sauce pasta is a delicious dish easily made at home with the right ingredients. But what are the best sides to serve with it?

When thinking about what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta, one particular protein often comes to mind: chicken. 

Whether sliced or shredded, diced or deboned, chicken is an incredibly versatile ingredient and can be prepared in countless ways, making it ideal for pairing with vodka sauce pasta.

Chicken pairs so well with what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta because of its mild flavor and texture.

This allows it to blend in nicely while still having enough presence to complement the other elements of the recipe. 

When cooked properly, this juicy meat can also bring out the subtle flavors of the sauce, acting as a nice counterbalance to the spice brought by crushed pepper flakes and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Aside from adding great flavor and texture, serving chicken alongside your vodka sauce pasta dish adds additional health benefits, too, since it offers plenty of lean protein and calcium, which are essential for our bodies to function properly. 

Finally, whether fried or baked, grilled or sautéed, choosing to serve tender, delicious slices of chicken alongside your next batch of tangy vodka cream pasta will turn your family dinner into an Italian feast!


Vodka sauce pasta is a rich and flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of accompaniments.

Some classic what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta options for sides are a simple green salad, roasted vegetables like asparagus or cauliflower, garlic bread, and crusty Italian bread. 

If you’re looking for what to serve with Vodka Sauce Pasta to make your meal extra indulgent, pulling out all the stops by adding Italian meatballs or cheese-stuffed shells will surely satisfy any appetite!

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