Creamy Vegan Gigi Hadid Pasta

by Chelsea
4 people
30 min

This Vegan Gigi Hadid Pasta is my vegan twist on Gigi Hadid's infamous spicy vodka pasta sauce recipe. It's rich, creamy, and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser! All you need is 30 minutes and 12 pantry staple ingredients.

When model Gigi Hadid first shared her spicy vodka sauce recipe on Instagram, I knew I had to try making a vegan version at home. There's nothing I love more than an easy and delicious pasta recipe. Pasta is just so comforting, satisfying, and one of my favorite easy vegan dinners to make.

Not only was making this pasta recipe vegan incredibly easy, it's also unbelievably flavorful. This is a must try recipe!

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • Dairy free vodka sauce: This recipe uses coconut cream instead of heavy cream as well as vegan butter and vegan parmesan cheese, making it is a dairy free and vegan penne alla vodka sauce!
  • 30 minutes: Just like my Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Sage Pasta and Flavorful Vegan Parsley Pesto Tofu (with pasta), this pasta is ready in just 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights when you want something quick, easy, and comforting.
  • No appliances necessary: A lot of vegan cream substitutes are made from cashews, which requires a blender and additional steps. This recipe uses coconut cream instead, making it as easy as possible!
  • Alcohol free: Although vodka sauce is typically made with a small amount of vodka, I find it's equally good without, making it suitable for people who don't drink alcohol or if you don't have any on hand in the kitchen!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Ingredients for Vegan Gigi Hadid Pasta
  • tomato paste - Tomato paste is the base of the Gigi Hadid sauce and is an essential ingredient! It cannot be substituted for tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes because tomato paste is much thicker and deeper in flavor.
  • coconut cream - Gigi Hadid uses heavy cream in her vodka sauce, but to make this version dairy free, opt for coconut cream. It doesn't have a strong coconut flavor and it's equally thick and creamy. Make sure to use the thick white part of the cream on the top of the can for the best creamy flavor. If you have any leftover coconut cream, be sure to try my Easy Gluten Free Tomato Soup!
  • reserved pasta water - Adding a bit of pasta water into the sauce is going to help thicken the sauce from the pasta starches and it will also help your vodka sauce stick to your pasta better.
  • crushed red pepper - Gigi makes her vodka sauce spicy with the addition of crushed red pepper. I add ½ tablespoon to my sauce, but adjust the amount based on your own spice preference. Remember that you can always add more, but it is difficult to make it less spicy!
  • olive oil - Gigi uses both olive oil and butter in her original vodka sauce recipe, but if you're out of olive oil, you can substitute ¼ cup vegan butter in it's place.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta: Cook your penne according to package instructions and set aside, reserving one half cup of the pasta water. Next, prepare the vegan penne alla vodka sauce!
  2. Saute the garlic: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot, then add in the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
  3. Add the tomato paste: Once the garlic is fragrant, whisk in the tomato paste. Then saute the tomato paste and garlic together for an additional 4 minutes or so, until the tomato paste has darkened in color.
  1. Add the coconut cream: Whisk in the coconut cream until completely incorporated with the tomato paste and garlic. The vodka sauce should be quite smooth and turn an orange color.
  1. Whisk in the vegan butter and parmesan: Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the vegan parmesan and vegan butter. Allow it to melt into the vodka sauce, about 1-2 minutes.
  1. Add reserved pasta water: First stir in ⅓ cup of pasta water and taste. If you find the sauce thick and creamy enough, stop there. If you prefer a thicker, creamier vodka sauce, add the remaining water (I usually do).
  2. Stir in basil: Once your sauce is thick enough to your liking, whisk in the fresh basil and allow the sauce to simmer for 3 minutes.
  1. Serve! Enjoy your vegan Gigi Hadid pasta hot and garnished with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.


Can you freeze vodka sauce?

Yes, vodka sauce is freezer friendly! I do not recommend freezing the vodka sauce on top of the pasta. Always freeze the vodka sauce separately (without pasta water, if needed). Once cool, transfer the vodka sauce to a freezer safe, airtight container or jar and freeze for up to 6 months in the freezer. Then thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until defrosted.

What pasta does Gigi Hadid use?

In Gigi Hadid's pasta recipe on Instagram stories, she uses pasta shells but any pasta will do! I like using penne for a classic penne alla vodka pasta dish, but any tube-shaped pasta like rigatoni or ziti will work.

How is vodka sauce different from marinara sauce?

Vodka sauce is different from marinara sauce because it includes a heavy cream (or coconut cream if dairy free) that changes its color from red to orange and makes it richer and creamier than marinara.

Can you replace vodka in vodka sauce?

Yes, this vodka sauce doesn't include any vodka sauce at all, making it alcohol free. If you are out of vodka, no problem! Simply omit it in vodka sauce like I do in my Gigi Hadid pasta.

Expert Tips

  • Don't forget to reserve the pasta water! It's important to help thicken your vodka sauce and make it as creamy as possible. It also helps the sauce stick to the penne.
  • Use coconut cream, not coconut milk. Coconut cream has a higher coconut to water ratio, making it significantly more rich and creamy than coconut milk. Make sure to use coconut cream here - it makes a difference.
  • If you are sensitive to spice, start with less crushed red pepper. You can always add more if you feel it needs more, but it is hard to subtract it once it's added!
More Vegan Pasta Recipes to Try

Cozy Vegan Hamburger Helper

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Flavorful Vegan Parsley Pesto Tofu (with pasta)

Easy Vegan Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Creamy Vegan Gigi Hadid Pasta
Recipe details
  • 4  people
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • ▢ 8 oz penne gluten free (optional)
  • ▢ 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ▢ 2 tbsp garlic, minced approx 4 cloves
  • ▢ 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • ▢ 1 cup full fat coconut cream
  • ▢ 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • ▢ 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • ▢ 1/4 tbsp salt
  • ▢ 1/4 tbsp black pepper
  • ▢ 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • ▢ 1/4 cup fresh basil, diced
  • ▢ 1/3 to 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water

Cook the penne according to the package. When the penne is done cooking, do not forget to reserve ½ of the starchy pasta water for your sauce.
While the penne is cooking, begin making your sauce. Using a large skillet over meduim heat, add the oil and garlic.
Once the garlic begins fragrant (approx 1-2 minutes), add the tomato paste and whisk. It will be thick and not the easiest to whisk, but try your best, as it will help cook the paste and integrate the garlic. Continue to whisk while it cooks.
Once the tomato paste turns a brick in color (it will appear a deeper red) or, after 4 minutes, add in the hard portion of the coconut cream, Whisk the coconut cream to fully mix it with the tomato paste. It will turn an orange color.
When the mixture is combined, reduce to a low temperature and add in the butter and parmesan cheese. Mix until combined and cook for 2 minutes.
Add in the pasta water, starting with ⅓ cup. Mix the pasta water into the sauce to add creaminess. If this is enough creaminess for you, do not add any more pasta water. If you prefer a little more creaminess (I do), add the additional water that you reserved.
Stir in basil and allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
Pour the cooked penne directly into the sauce and mix until the penne is coated.
Add salt and pepper for taste. Enjoy!
  • Important Tips:
  • You must use full-fat unsweetened coconut cream from a can. You will use the hard solidified cream on the top of the can, not the milky liquid.
  • You can find full-fat coconut cream at your local grocery store. It is usually in the canned veggies section or it may be with the Asian or Mexican products.
  • Please note, coconut cream and coconut milk are NOT the same.
  • Substitutions:
  • You may use any type of pasta for this recipe.
  • You can replace the olive oil with butter at 1-1 ratio.
  • You may omit crushed red pepper should it be too spicy for you.
  • Storage + Reheating:
  • Refrigerator: This pasta is best served immediately. However, if you do need to make it ahead of time, make the sauce (without the pasta water) and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days prior.
  • Then, when you are ready to eat it, cook your pasta and reserve the pasta water. Gently reheat the sauce in a skillet on low, then add in the pasta water, mixing it together.
  • Freezer: I do not recommend freezing the pasta with the sauce on it. If you do need to freeze it, only freeze the sauce portion of the recipe (without the reserved pasta water) in an air-tight container. Allow defrosting for 24-48 hours.
  • Then, when you are ready to eat it, cook your pasta and reserve the pasta water. Gently reheat the sauce in a skillet on low, then add in the pasta water, mixing it together.
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