Get Drunk on Flavor with the 7 Best Jarred Vodka Sauces

Does a vodka sauce have to contain actual vodka in order to qualify as vodka sauce? Maybe not. The term “vodka sauce” is used pretty loosely and usually means blush sauce (that is, a combination of tomato sauce and cream). Hell, you can’t even taste the vodka in most “vodka sauces.” And that’s a shame, because vodka introduces a great bite to the flavor that pairs well with tomatoes, cream, and herbs. The best vodka sauce, in my opinion, contains at least enough vodka to give it that signature taste.

So, what do we want in a good jarred vodka sauce? Well, it should be a creamy tomato sauce, and it shouldn’t be too acidic. It should be bright and tangy, yes, but give us that creamy decadence. Using a decent amount of vodka is a plus. The addition of aromatics such as basil or oregano is also a selling point. Personally, I don’t think marinara is marinara without some basil. 

As a former pasta maker and an Italian-American restaurant veteran, this list really pleased me. It was super interesting to taste, and there’s a lot of fun vodka sauce variety out there. Check out our top seven.

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Best Vodka Sauce: cento vodka sauce

Best of the Best

Cento Vodka Pasta Sauce

I’m a big believer in Cento products, so it brings me great pleasure to report that this was the best vodka sauce we tasted. Cento’s vodka sauce takes the crown because it feels like homemade, jarred marinara made with cream and real vodka. It’s brightly acidic, bitey, and rich, exactly like a good vodka sauce should be. I love the rustic vibes; it’s got little chunks of garlic and onion in it, plus there’s some additional herbaceousness from basil and oregano. It’s also made with sea salt, Romano cheese (more bite!), and olive oil. Simply put, the taste here is complete. Go Cento and you won’t be disappointed. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Cento

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best Jarred Vodka Sauce: pirro's rustic vodka sauce

Best Like Homemade

Pirro’s Rustic Vodka Sauce

I don’t know why Pirro’s has a car on the label of their sauce, but vroom vroom, baby! This sauce really drives home the flavor. They use shallots (nice!) and cream (instead of milk and whey like a lot of other companies), so the creamy bite of this sauce is much better than the other sauces on this list. Pirro’s is decadent, chunky, and tart, with a subtle, welcome bit of spice on the back end. Plus, this actually tastes like it has vodka in it. I love the ingredients. This is homemade as hell, and I dig it. Support this company, I say.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Olive Oil Vodka Sauce: hoboken farms vodka sauce

Best Olive Oily

Hoboken Farms

Another vodka sauce with a vehicle on front, this time a truck. What’s going on here? Anyway, this vodka sauce is oily in the best way possible. The label tells you to shake it up, because the olive oil rises to the top. It may be less creamy than some of the other sauces, but the oil provides a delightful opulence that makes this far and away the richest product on this list. It’s got all the best ingredients a vodka sauce can have: heavy cream, Romano cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, fresh onion, extra virgin olive oil, vodka, sea salt, black pepper, and butter. Those are the exact ingredients I would use to make vodka sauce at home, gang.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Cheesy Vodka Sauce: signature reserve vodka sauce

Best Cheesy

Signature Reserve Mascarpone Vodka Sauce

This is a unicorn in the vodka sauce space and I love it. It’s unusually thick, probably due to the mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone has a spreadable, decadent, almost dessert-like quality to it, and adding it to vodka sauce is super smart. This is the cheesiest of the vodka sauces on this list. It’s sweet, aromatic, and downright pleasant. The bits of oregano are a nice addition, adding an earthy, grassy flavor that tames the cheesiness of the sauce. It’s kind of like ravioli filling made into a sauce. There’s a good chance that if you buy this, it will end up in your sauce rotation. I’d eat it on a cracker, dude.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Tangy Vodka Sauce: victoria vodka sauce

Best Tangy

Victoria Vodka Sauce

“This is outrageously good,” said managing editor Gwynedd Stuart. This one is tangy and creamy, probably a bit creamier than Cento. It’s got a real pinkish color to it that lets you know it’s going to be rich. In addition to that, Victoria uses outstanding ingredients: parmesan, Romano, vodka, fresh garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes. This sauce has a few chunks of tomatoes in it, too, which I always love. Victoria makes a great product.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Creamy Vodka Sauce: delallo vodka sauce

Best Creamy

DeLallo Pomodoro Fresco Creamy Vodka Sauce

This one is more cream than tomato, which really delighted staff writer Jordan Myrick. Personally, I’m looking for more balance in a vodka sauce (you should be able to taste the bright tomatoes), and this was a little too cream-forward. But it still brings a unique flavor: creamy, cheesy, with almost a citrus-y bite to it. This is cream sauce with a little bit of tomato, not a tomato sauce with a little bit of cream, if that makes sense. It’s the pinkest on the blush sauce spectrum.

Credit Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Best Vodka Sauce Brand: bertolli vodka sauce

Best Basic

Bertolli Vodka Sauce

Bertolli is the vodka sauce you’re going to see everywhere, and if you don’t want to think too hard about sauce (or make any purchases from Amazon), you should go Bertolli. It provides a classic, tangy, creamy flavor that’s a good baseline. It’s got less tomato taste than I prefer, but it’s still a good product. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Rao’s Vodka Sauce, Classico Vodka Sauce, Prego Creamy Vodka Sauce, Signature Select Vodka Sauce, O Organics Vodka Sauce, Cucina Antica La Vodka Sauce, Yo Mama’s Keto Vodka Sauce, Whole Foods 365 Organic Vodka Sauce, Lidia’s Vodka Sauce.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Rao’s is really good too, but has the downside that you have to add your own cream.

    Reply