The Calories in Penne Alla Vodka

Penne alla vodka consists of penne topped with Parmesan cheese and a tomato-based sauce containing crushed red pepper, cream and vodka. As with any pasta dish, a large part of controlling the number of calories you consume is watching your serving size. This dish will be easier to fit into a healthy diet if you replace the high-calorie vodka and cream with lower-calorie alternatives or use them in smaller amounts.

A close-up of penne with vodka sauce. Credit: EzumeImages/iStock/Getty Images

Calorie Comparisons

Homemade penne alla vodka made with a sauce that includes olive oil, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, vodka, crushed red pepper, tomatoes and garlic has about 590 calories for a serving with 1 1/3 cups of pasta. A similar dish that uses light cream instead of heavy cream and smaller amounts of cheese and oil allows you to eat a larger 2-cup serving of pasta for 645 calories. An easy recipe that is a bit lower in calories and fat uses whole-wheat penne and replaces the cream and vodka with 2 percent Greek yogurt for a 1-cup serving with about 320 calories.

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