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Bucatini Alla Vodka with Chicken

Rustic Chicken Bucatini Alla Vodka

Bucatini Alla Vodka with Chicken

Any time a healthy pasta recipe pops up on the Internet, I am pretty sure an angel sings. 🙂

We’ve been making a modified version of this using any pasta shape we have around, for years. Originally it came off of All Recipes I think, but we’ve changed it so much I’m pretty confident calling it ours.

This is a rustic version of an alla vodka sauce. It’s chunky and thick. I’m working on a silkier, smoother version to serve with crab for Spring – but for now, enjoy our more rustic chicken version!

As is named, I used Bucatini pasta -which is a thick spaghetti that’s hollow. Because it’s not super well known, it’s a huge hit with the kiddos. New Seasons has it fresh that only requires 2-3 minute boil time, but I’ve seen organic dried versions as well. This is good for any pasta shape that holds thick chunky sauces though: Penne would also be lovely, or Rigatoni!

Bucatini Alla Vodka with Chicken

Given the state of the Factory Farmed Chicken industry (a la Tyson, Perdue, Sanderson & Foster Farms), we buy pastured birds as much as possible. A few local farms offer really healthy pastured chicken meat, and if you can’t get that, at least get organic. This particular recipe used Smart Chicken, but we get NW-based Draper Valley (Roxy or Ranger) whenever we can.

This is a fairly simple weeknight meal that comes together in about 30-40 minutes, depending on how well you multi-task. 🙂 It yields 8 solid servings, making it great for large families, hungry appetites, or meal prep. It reheats beautifully and keeps in the fridge 5-6 days.

It’s also SUPER kid friendly (even if you need to utilize an immersion blender to take some chunks out for your littlest picky eaters).


Bucatini Alla Vodka with Chicken


1 tsp pastured butter, such as Kerrygold or Vital Farms

1 medium organic onion

4 cloves organic garlic

1/2 cup vodka

28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes, with basil if available

1/4 cup organic half & half

4 oz organic cream cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano, Romano, or blend

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp tsp garlic powder

12 oz organic bucatini noodles

1.5 lb organic skinless/boneless chicken breast



Prep the veggies: Peel & chop the onion and garlic. Add to small food processor and pulse until minced.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.


Heat butter in large deep skillet over medium heat. When melted, saute onion and garlic until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.


Increase heat to high while you measure out the vodka. Pour vodka into the skillet to deglaze it. There should be a loud sizzling sound which indicates much of the alcohol evaporating off (ethanol is very sensitive to heat). Reduce heat back to medium and let simmer until reduced, about a minute.


Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir well and simmer a few minutes while you prep chicken.


Sprinkle both sides of chicken breast generously with garlic salt and smoked paprika. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and put in the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.


Place a large stockpot half-full of water over high heat to boil for the pasta. Cover with lid to heat faster, and add salt once boiling. Cook pasta 1 minute less than al dente instructions call for (set separate timer).


Back to sauce: Add dairy ingredients to sauce (half & half, cream cheese & parmigiano/romano cheese). Stir well to combine and reduce heat to medium low so just barely simmering. Let sauce simmer very gently while the pasta & chicken cook. Add water or broth if the sauce gets too thick.


When 10 minutes is up on the chicken, flip them over and set timer for 8 minutes. When they are done, remove them from the oven.


When pasta is done, reserve a bit of pasta water then drain and add to vodka sauce skillet. Add pasta water 1T at a time if needed, to loosen the sauce.


Taste seasoning and adjust salt/pepper as needed. Turn off heat and cover with a lid while you slice the chicken breast into thin, rotisserie-style slices.


Using tongs, portion the pasta into 8 individual servings (for dinner or storage as appropriate). Top each with 2-3 oz of chicken breast and garnish with fresh parsley, red chili flakes, or add’l cheese.

Nutrition Per Serving







Dinner In Provence
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