Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Make Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta at home with our easy recipe. Enjoy the perfect blend of shrimp, creamy sauce, and parmesan. Try it today!

Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta is perfect for when you want a fancy dinner in a hurry. The shrimp, pasta, and vodka sauce combination is impressive enough for your next dinner party, but it only takes a few minutes to make on the stovetop! This pasta dish is one of the best comfort food recipes. It takes our Vodka Sauce Recipe and combines it with an incredible shrimp pasta dish for the ultimate Italian Dish. If you like how shrimp and pasta come together in this recipe, be sure to give our Shrimp Scampi Pasta recipe a try.

Sabrina’s Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta

This Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta recipe is a delightful Italian-inspired dish featuring a fun fusion of flavors. This pasta dish combines spaghetti with succulent shrimp and a creamy vodka sauce. The key steps involve cooking the pasta until al dente, sauteing shrimp in butter for a delectable seafood touch, then combining them with Parmesan cheese and the rich homemade vodka sauce.

The vodka sauce makes this hearty pasta dish irresistible. As soon as you take your first bite of comforting pasta, juicy shrimp, and delicious sauce, you won’t be able to get enough of the unbelievable flavor combo! You can also enjoy shrimp and noodles in other cuisines, like Shrimp Chow Mein.

What is Vodka Sauce?

Vodka sauce is a rich, creamy tomato sauce made with red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, and vodka. You can follow our recipe to make your own vodka sauce fresh, or if you’re in too much of a hurry, pick up a jar at the grocery store.


portioned ingredients for Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta
  • 1 pound Spaghetti: Spaghetti serves as the base of this dish, providing the comforting and familiar texture of pasta. You can substitute it with other pasta varieties like fettuccine or linguine if preferred.
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter: Butter adds a rich and creamy flavor to the shrimp while also preventing them from sticking to the skillet. You can use salted butter if unsalted is not available, adjusting the overall salt content accordingly.
  • 1 pound Shrimp: The fresh shrimp flavor is the perfect pairing for vodka sauce, and it’s an excellent protein to go with the pasta dish. You can use different types and sizes of shrimp, but ensure they are peeled and deveined for convenience. Bonus points if it’s wild-caught shrimp!
  • ½ cup Shaved Parmesan Cheese: Sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese into the sauce, shrimp, and pasta mixture. It’ll melt a little while you simmer the dish and adds a sharp but comforting flavor to Creamy Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta. You can use grated or shredded parmesan if shaved is unavailable.
  • 4 cups Vodka Sauce: Vodka sauce is the heart of this recipe. It is a rich sauce offering a unique creamy tomato flavor with a hint of vodka’s warmth. You can make homemade Vodka Sauce (takes about an hour) or use store-bought varieties for convenience.
  • Parsley (optional garnish): Parsley adds a fresh, herbaceous note as a garnish, brightening up the dish’s flavors. It’s optional but recommended for a touch of color and freshness.

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

  • Large Pot: A large pot is essential for boiling the spaghetti. Ensure it’s spacious enough to comfortably cook the pasta without sticking. Add salt to the boiling water for flavor.
  • Skillet: A skillet or frying pan is used to cook the shrimp in butter. Opt for a non-stick skillet for easy flipping and to prevent the shrimp from sticking.
  • Colander: You’ll need a colander to drain the cooked pasta effectively. Make sure it’s sturdy and large enough to hold the spaghetti without spilling.
  • Grater (Optional): If your parmesan cheese isn’t pre-shaved, a grater can be used to grate it fresh. It adds a delightful texture to the dish.
  • Pasta Tongs: These are useful for mixing cooked spaghetti with the vodka sauce and shrimp efficiently. They help in evenly coating the pasta.

How to Make

Time needed: 35 minutes.

  1. Cook the Pasta

    Boil a large pot of water (salted) and add the spaghetti once it starts to boil. Cook until al dente (not fully softened), then drain the pasta water in a colander. Do not dente noodles in a colander

  2. Saute the Shrimp

    In a skillet, melt unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add the peeled and deveined raw shrimp, cooking for 1-2 minutes on each side until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet. Feel free to sauté in a couple of cloves garlic (minced) for an extra garlicky taste. cooked shrimp in butter in a pan

  3. Combine Ingredients

    Return the cooked spaghetti to the pot. Add the sautéed shrimp and shaved parmesan cheese.adding boiled spaghetti and parmesan to vodka sauce

  4. Add the Vodka Sauce

    Pour the vodka sauce over the pasta and shrimp in the pot. Stir well until the sauce starts bubbling and everything is heated through.adding boiled mixed spaghetti and parmesan vodka sauce with shrimp

  5. Garnish and Serve

    If desired, season with salt (very little) and black pepper, and garnish the dish with fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness. Serve it hot and enjoy your delicious pasta with vodka sauce!Shrimp vodka sauce pasta garnished with fresh parsley

Can I Make This In Advance?

Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta can be made ahead of time, but it’s best served fresh for the best flavor and texture. If needed, you can prepare the components separately (pasta, shrimp, and sauce), store them in airtight containers for a day or two, and assemble and reheat when ready to serve.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 719 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 314mg105%
Sodium 1869mg81%
Potassium 236mg7%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 180IU4%
Vitamin C 3.1mg4%
Calcium 224mg22%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Store


After cooking, don’t leave this creamy pasta recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Let the Creamy Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta cool completely, and transfer it to an airtight container. Then it will stay good in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat at a gentle simmer before serving leftovers.

Reheating Tips

To reheat Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta, gently warm it in a skillet over low to medium heat. Add a splash of water or broth to prevent the pasta from drying out, and stir occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave in short intervals, stirring in between to ensure even heating.


You can also freeze this dinner recipe for up to 3 months. For best results, freeze the shrimp, pasta sauce, and noodles separately. But, if you’ve already combined them, then you can freeze them all in one container.

Frequent Questions

Can I freeze Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce?

You can freeze this recipe for later. Make sure only to cook the pasta until al dente. Otherwise, it will become mushy when frozen. As long as it’s al dente, you can keep this shrimp pasta in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw on the countertop or in the fridge before reheating. 

Is it safe for children and pregnant women?

Most of the alcohol cooks out of the vodka sauce during the cooking time. However, trace amounts remain. It’s not so much that it should be harmful to anyone, but if you want to be careful, you can always substitute vodka for chicken or vegetable broth. 

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can substitute spaghetti with other pasta varieties like fettuccine or linguine!

Does this taste like alcohol?

If you haven’t used vodka in cooking before, don’t worry. Your pasta won’t end up tasting like vodka! During the cooking process, most of the sharp alcohol flavor cooks out. Instead, the vodka enhances the other flavors in the creamy sauce. It also helps the heavy cream and tomato sauce to combine smoothly into the perfect blend of flavors. 

Can I make this dish without shrimp for a vegetarian option?

Certainly! You can omit the shrimp and still enjoy a delicious vodka sauce pasta. Replace with tofu if you’d like. Consider adding veggies like mushrooms or spinach for added flavor.

How can I make homemade vodka sauce?

Homemade Vodka Sauce can be made by combining tomato sauce, heavy cream, vodka, and seasonings. The homemade version takes about an hour but is so worth it for the fresh flavors!

Recipe Card

Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta

Make Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta at home with our easy recipe. Enjoy the perfect blend of shrimp, creamy sauce, and parmesan. Try it today!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound shrimp , peeled and deveined (appx. 21 regular shrimp)
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups vodka sauce
  • parsley , optional garnish


  • Cook the pasta and drain it, but do not rinse it.
  • Add the butter to a large skillet on medium high heat and cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Add the shrimp, parmesan and vodka sauce to the pot of pasta and cook until the sauce starts bubbling.
  • Garnish with parsley if desired.


  • Click on the “yield” amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
  • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  • To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card.


Calories: 719kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 314mg | Sodium: 1869mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 2.7mg

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  • Pasta: You can substitute spaghetti noodles for other kinds of pasta. Linguine, fettuccine, or penne pasta would all work well for Creamy Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta.
  • Cheese: Another easy way to experiment with this pasta dish is by adding other kinds of cheese. Along with the fresh parmesan cheese, you can sprinkle in shredded cheddar, mozzarella, Pepper Jack, Gouda, or Monterey Jack. I like adding the extra cheese to the top right before serving. 
  • Creamy vodka-lime shrimp: For a boost of flavor to this recipe, you can make it with fresh lime. Add a healthy splash of lime juice to the shrimp while you’re cooking them. You can also add a little lime zest to the shrimp and sauce mixture.
  • Seasonings: Try adding your favorite Italian seasonings like fresh basil leaves, oregano, rosemary, or garlic powder to this recipe. Depending on your heat tolerance, you can also add a little extra red pepper flakes to the sauce mixture. 

More Yummy Shrimp Dinner Recipes

Shrimp Vodka Sauce Pasta Pin

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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