If you're new to veganism, vodka sauce might be a big question mark. In this post, we'll answer one simple question: Is vodka sauce vegan or not?
We'll tell you what you need to know below along with vegan vodka sauce brands to try...
Is Vodka Sauce Vegan?
Unless it's specifically marked as a vegan version, vodka sauce is not vegan.
Vodka sauce is essentially marinara sauce with heavy cream, cheese, butter and vodka. Heavy cream, cheese and butter are dairy products, rendering vodka sauce un-vegan no matter where you might get it - whether in a restaurant or in the grocery store aisle.
To be sure, vegan vodka sauces are out there. We'll show you where to get them.
But first, let's get into the nitty-gritty of vodka sauce.
What is Vodka Sauce Made out of?
All classic vodka sauces contain cream. Many add butter and cheese. Restaurant chefs in particular are known to toss stick-sized hunks of butter into dairy sauces to enrich them.
Bella Famiglia Vodka Sauce is a good example of a jarred vodka sauce that follows a standard recipe. Here are its ingredients (non-vegan items in bold):
Ingredients: Imported Italian Plum Tomatoes, Heavy Whipping Cream (Milk), Imported Italian Olive Oil, Fresh Onions, Butter, Grated Parmesan Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Fresh Garlic, Salt And Spices, Vodka. Fresh Basil. All Natural Xanthan Gum.
You can see all the dairy products.
In case you avoid alcohol in any form, vodka is an essential component of vodka sauce, too.
But if the vodka isn't an issue, you can either make your own vegan vodka sauce with non-dairy creamer and vegan cheese or buy pre-made vegan vodka sauce.
We'll talk about that next.
Vegan Vodka Sauce Brands
Vegan vodka sauce is not so obscure that you can't find it in natural food stores, on Amazon or at Walmart.
Here are two brands you might pick up locally or order online.
Victoria Vegan Vodka Sauce
Victoria Vegan Vodka Sauce is a widely distributed vegan vodka sauce available at Whole Foods, Walmart, Amazon and many local health food grocery stores.
It contains the following ingredients:
Ingredients: Imported Italian Tomatoes, Soy Protein (Water, Soybeans, Isolated Soy Protein, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride), Olive Oil, Fresh Onions, Fresh Garlic, Fresh Basil, Pure Raw Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Vodka, Corn Starch, Spices.
Jar Goods Vegan Vodka-Style Tomato Sauce
Jar Goods uses coconut milk and red curry paste in this vegan take on vodka sauce:
Ingredients: Tomatoes, Coconut Milk (Coconut, Water, Xanthan Gum), Water, Olive Oil, Onions, Red Curry Paste (Jalapeño Peppers, Shallots, Spices, Ginger, Canola and Olive Oil Blend, Garlic, Water, Salt, Brown Sugar, Lemongrass, Lime Peel Powder, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum), Contains 1% or less of each of the following: Garlic, Salt, Citric Acid, Spice, Basil.
You can buy it right on Amazon (linked above).
If you're on the whole food vegan path, this one makes a good addition to the pantry.
Also, be sure to check out our printable vegan grocery list with tips for effortless, sustainable eating.