Chicken and Penne With Vodka Sauce (Weight Watchers Points Plus Friendly!)

by Mindi Cherry on January 4, 2011

Recipe: Chicken and Penne With Vodka Sauce

Summary: a pasta dish with heavy cream and vodka that can be worked in the the Weight Watchers program? You betcha! I made this the other night and my 7-year old and I actually fought over who got to eat the leftovers the next day!


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in to 3/4″ cubes
  • 3 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, fresh, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or other coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 12 oz uncooked penne
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 15-20 leaves basil, fresh, cut into strips


  1. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add butter, shallots, and chicken. Sauté until shallots are softened and chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
  2. Add the garlic and continue cooking until shallots start to caramelize, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add parsley, sea salt, tomato paste and pepper, and mix to form a paste. Lower the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add the vodka. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, transfer about 1 cup of the cooking water to a heat-proof measuring cup. Set aside. Drain the rest of the pasta.
  7. Add the cream to the tomato sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add pasta to the sauce and mix to coat.
  9. If the pasta sauce appears too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to “loosen it up” (I usually have to add about 1/2 cup)
  10. Top with basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Quick Notes

Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 11 points per serving


Omit the chicken and the Weight Watchers Points Plus Value is reduced to 9 points!

Cooking time (duration): 25

Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jacquelyn August 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I made this for a dinner party and everyone loved it!! It’s delicious!


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