We all know baked pasta is incredibly delicious and a family favorite for sure, this sheet pan pasta takes it to a new level with the creaminess of the vodka sauce and parmesan crust that forms as it bakes. If you’re looking for a new dinner your family will love, this is it.
Making the vodka sauce
You’ll need a pot, strainer, and a baking sheet to prepare this delicious vodka sauce pasta. Don’t let making this sauce from scratch intimidate you because it’s very simple. You’ll want to start by sautéing the chicken, pepper, onion, and garlic. Once these are cooked down you can deglaze the pan with vodka, add the tomatoes, and heavy cream.
Once added, you can add the red pepper flake and fresh spinach. Continue to cook until reduced and the spinach is wilted. Reducing the sauce will make it thicker. Feel free to add a little more parmesan if the sauce is not thickening enough. Now it’s ready for you to add the pasta. See? Pretty simple, right?
Adding extra nutrition
If you’re looking for a traditional vodka sauce, this isn’t quite it. This has more. When I was creating this recipe, I wanted to add a few more veggies to maximize the nutritional value of the dish. When you’re feeding your family, I know there’s nothing more important than making sure they get only the best food and that includes making sure they’re healthy. While this isn’t the most healthy meal, it can be made better by adding a few veggies.
The first added veggie is my favorite, it’s a red bell pepper. This packs a ton of flavor and includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I chose red bell pepper over the yellow and orange because they’re known to be the most nutritious compared to the others. They’re also sweeter and so so good.
This next veggie I decided to throw in is spinach because it adds color and packs a ton of nutrition. Spinach is great because once it’s wilted down you really can’t taste it but still reap all of the benefits it has. Much like red peppers, it adds a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also contains protein too!
Baking the cheesy pasta
So the vodka sauce would be good on its own with some parmesan stirred in, but why stop there if you can make it so much better? Baking this cheesy sheet pan pasta is what makes it so good. You can start by pouring the pasta mixture onto a rimmed sheet pan. I want to emphasize the rimmed sheet pan because if it’s not rimmed then your pasta could fall off as it’s being put in and brought out of the oven.
Before placing it into the oven you need to top it with 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan. As you bake it for 15 minutes you’ll notice the cheesy start to melt and bubble on the outside and stay creamy and delicious on the inside. This is what you’re looking for and that’s how you know it’s done.
Storing the pasta
This pasta is best serve the night it is cooked. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Leftovers for this sheet pan pasta are also good. Simply heat them up in the microwave and give it a good stir to distribute the cheese that’s melted over the top. The sooner you can eat this up the better.
When you go to serve this sheet pan vodka sauce pasta, it is best topped with sliced basil and parmesan. When you go to make this, I encourage you to add some veggies to this dish to give it some added nutrition. I can’t wait for you to share this with your family. Let’s get onto the recipe.
Cheesy Sheet Pan Penne Alla Vodka
- 16 oz penne
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bitesize pieces
- Seasoning salt and pepper to taste
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Red pepper flake (optional)
- Handful of fresh spinach (optional)
- Handful of fresh basil sliced
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
- Cook your penne according to the package instructions
- While the penne is cooking, add the oil and chicken and season with seasoning salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat
- Once your chicken begins to cook and is turning white on all sides add the red pepper, onion, and garlic and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through and the pepper and onion are soft
- Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of vodka
- Add the crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, red pepper flake, and handful of fresh spinach, continue to cook over a medium low heat until reduced and the spinach has wilted. Stir frequently
- Stir in the penne and fresh basil and mix until the noodles are coated. Once coated, spread the noodles and sauce onto a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted