Instant Pot Penne alla Vodka

Instant Pot Penne alla Vodka with Sausage – inspired by our favorite Italian restaurant. SUPER easy to make with only a 4 minute cooking time. This pasta tastes just as good (if not better) than any restaurant! Italian sausage, garlic, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, penne pasta, and heavy cream. All you need is a salad and some garlic bread for a restaurant-quality meal any night of the week. Give this delicious penne alla vodka recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

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Instant Pot Penne Alla Vodka Recipe

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my favorite restaurant is Gianmarco’s in Homewood, AL. We eat dinner there in the bar at least once a week. One of my favorite dishes to get is their Penne a la Vodka with Italian Sausage. It is to-die-for! Since we haven’t been eating out lately, I tried my hand at making a version of my favorite dish at home. Al dente pasta in a creamy tomato sauce. Y’all this stuff is SOOO good! I dare say it is as good as Gianmarco’s. PLUS it is ridiculously easy to make in the Instant Pot! The pasta sauce has a rich flavor. No one would ever know this takes 4 minutes to make. If you are looking for an easy dinner recipe give this one a try!

What is an Instant Pot?

Instant Pot is a name brand of an electric pressure cooker. Depending on the model, the Instant Pot can also be used as a slow-cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker.

What is a pressure cooker? A pressure cooker is a sealed pot with a lot of steam inside that builds up high pressure and helps food cook in a fraction of the time of the oven or stovetop.

  • The high pressure helps force liquid and moisture into the food quickly.
  • Food cooks faster under high pressure.
  • The extra liquid and moisture that the pressure adds help tough cuts of meat get very tender very quickly.
pot of penne a la vodka

How to Make Penne a la Vodka in the Instant Pot

Making pasta in the Instant Pot is fabulous! No precooking the pasta. Just dump it in the pot and let it work its magic. To make this pasta, start with browning some Italian sausage. As the sausage cooks, break it into bite size pieces with a wooden spoon. Add fresh garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot. Cook 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Turn off the pressure cooker. Add some chicken broth while the pot is still hot and scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the instant pot.

Next, add crushed tomatoes, remaining chicken broth, and penne pasta. Cover the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure. Do a quick release of pressure. Stir in a little heavy cream. Let the pasta stand for a couple of minutes for the sauce to thicken. Give the pasta a good stir and transfer to pasta bowls. Garnish the pasta with parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • I used Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage.
  • Can substitute chicken breast, ground turkey, or ground beef for sausage.
  • Omit all meat for a vegetarian dish.
  • It is important to scrape up any browned bits from the insert. That will help prevent you from getting the BURN notice.
  • Can substitute water for the chicken broth.
  • You can use any type of pasta you have on hand. Penne, elbow, rigatoni, campanelle, bowtie pasta all work great.
  • Feel free to stir in some fresh spinach when adding the heavy cream.
  • Can substitute a jar of marinara sauce for canned tomatoes. I prefer Rao’s sauce.
  • Adjust the red pepper flakes to your personal preference.
  • Can add more heavy cream for a creamier/pinker pasta.
  • Gianmarco’s serves their Penne a la Vodka with mushrooms and green peas. If you want to add those to the pasta, sauté the mushrooms with the sausage and add the green peas in with the heavy cream.
bowl of penne a la vodka

What to Serve with Pasta in Vodka Sauce

This pasta and creamy sauce has been on repeat at our house. We just can’t get enough of it. I absolutely LOVE how easy it is to make in the Instant Pot! We serve the pasta topped with some parmesan cheese with a salad and crusty garlic bread. I wasn’t kidding when I said this is every bit as good (if not better) than my favorite restaurant. Give this a try for a super quick and easy restaurant-quality meal!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this classic Italian pasta dish:

Creamy Italiano Salad

Creamy Italiano Salad with Homemade Dressing Recipe – our favorite salad!!! Romaine, tomatoes, thinly sliced seedless cucumbers, sliced banana peppers,…

Carbone’s Garlic Bread

Carbone’s Garlic Bread – the recipe for the garlic bread from the famous NYC and Las Vegas restaurant. This is…

Green Jacket Salad

Green Jacket Salad – original recipe from the Green Jacket restaurant in Augusta. SO simple and it tastes great! Lettuce,…

Garlic Roll Cupcakes

Garlic Roll Cupcakes – great with pasta! Super easy to make with only 4 ingredients! Refrigerated bread sticks, garlic seasoning,…

bowl of penne alla vodka with text overlay

Instant Pot Penne a la Vodka with Italian Sausage

Yield: 6 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Instant Pot Penne alla Vodka with Sausage – inspired by our favorite Italian restaurant. SUPER easy to make with only a 4 minute cooking time. This pasta tastes just as good (if not better) than any restaurant! Italian sausage, garlic, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, penne pasta, and heavy cream. All you need is a salad and some garlic bread for a restaurant-quality meal any night of the week. Give this delicious penne alla vodka recipe a try. You won't be disappointed!

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 (16-oz) box dried penne pasta
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Set the pressure cooker on Sauté. Cook Italian sausage until no longer pink. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds and turn off Instant Pot.
  • Add some chicken broth to the hot insert and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Add in the remaining chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, onion, vodka, penne, salt. Stir to coat the pasta. Press the pasta down into the liquid.
  • Cover, lock the lid into place and seal. Set the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook High for 4 minutes.
  • Once it is finished cooking, Quick Release the steam and turn off the pressure cooker.
  • Unlock the lid and stir heavy cream into the pasta. Add more cream if you want a creamier/pinker sauce.

Notes:

  • I used Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage. Can substitute regular breakfast sausage and add some Italian seasoning to the sauce.
  • It is important to scrape up any browned bits from the insert. That will help prevent you from getting the BURN notice.
  • Can substitute chicken for Italian sausage.
  • Can substitute water for the chicken broth.
  • Adjust the red pepper flakes to your personal preference.
  • Can add more heavy cream for a creamier/pinker pasta.
  • Gianmarco’s serves their Penne a la Vodka with mushrooms and green peas. If you want to add those to the pasta, sauté the mushrooms with the sausage and add the green peas in with the heavy cream.

Steph

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Comments

  1. I really want to try recipe, but don’t have Instant Pot.
    Do you have a slow cooker version?
    If so, can you post it?

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