Healthy Recipes for Dinner

This Vegan Vodka Pasta Recipe Is The Perfect Easy Italian Dinner

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Photo: Getty Images/Ezumei Images
Whether you're cooking for yourself or a low-key family dinner this holiday season, Italian comfort food at your dinner table is always a great choice—especially when it's easy to throw together at a moment's notice. Added bonus if it's tweaked to work for loved ones with allergies or dietary restrictions, too.

Chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author Chloe Coscarelli has the perfect solution in the form of her vegan vodka pasta recipe. This crowd-pleasing Italian dish (which she created in partnership with Daiya Foods) is totally plant-based, ideal for folks who are dairy-free, vegan, or just looking to cut back on their animal products.

"This year I wanted to do something extra comforting so I created an Italian baked pasta dish, similar to a baked ziti but vegan-style," Coscarelli tells Well+Good. But you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen perfecting the sauce or assembling the dish—the cook time is 25 minutes total, making her recipe perfect even for a weeknight.

"We always need a little something that says "amore!" on our holiday table," Coscarelli says. "And a splash of vodka in the sauce makes it just a little more fun and adult!" We couldn't agree more.

Vegan baked vodka rigatoni

Makes 4-6 servings 

Ingredients: 

1 pound rigatoni
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28-ounce can regular crushed or fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or brown sugar
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil, plus extra for garnish
1 bag vegan mozzarella shreds (such as Daiya Cutting Board Shreds)
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an oven-safe baking dish or skillet.

2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, salt, maple syrup, and vodka. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and let cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Carefully transfer tomato mixture to the pot of pasta and add coconut cream and basil. Toss to coat pasta. Layer half of the pasta prepared baking dish. Layer half a bag of Daiya shreds on top. Then layer the remaining half of pasta. Top with remaining Daiya shreds.

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until top is melted and lightly browned. Remove from oven.

6. Serve into bowls and top with freshly ground black pepper and basil.

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