Gochujang Vodka Sauce

Gochujang Vodka Sauce

This spicy creamy pasta uses gochujang instead of tomato to create a fun twist on vodka sauce! Beautifully creamy pink vodka sauce is one of the best pasta coatings out there and this gochujang twist really amps up the flavor and adds a great heat! I love pairing spicy ingredients with creamy ingredients because it helps calm down the heat and you can really enjoy the flavor of the gochujang.

The inspiration for this recipe

I am always looking for ways to eat gochujang with pasta or noodles. A long time ago I made this gochujang noodle dish one night when I needed something to eat and just pulled together some random things I had around the house. I was hooked! I was trying to think of a new gochujang pasta dish and I kept thinking I wanted to add a lot of cream to it. Finally I realized I was basically making vodka sauce with gochujang so I leaned into it!

Start the gochujang vodka sauce

Add some sausage and onion to the pan with plenty of olive oil. I almost kept this vegetarian but in the end I added a little bit of sausage. Just a little! The sausage was so nice – the savory flavor helped balance everything. Just don’t add too much! It needs to be a background player

onion and gochujang paste in the pan

Let the sausage and onion brown a bit around the edges and then add the gochujang and some sliced garlic. After that you add in the vodka, then the cream. Look how beautiful it looks as the cream swirls into the deep red gochujang vodka sauce.

add the cream

Next add some basil and now it’s time for the pasta!

then the basil

Boil the pasta

Choose a fun noodle for this one! I was almost going to do mafalde but I did a quick poll of my instagram followers and they chose this super cute fusilli bucati. I think it was the right choice.

Stir the pasta into the gochujang vodka sauce

Make sure the pasta isn’t quite cooked all the way. Strain it from the water and add it directly to the gochujang vodka sauce. Add some of the pasta cooking liquid too, and parmesan cheese! Let it cook in the pan the rest of the way with the sauce. The sauce will also thicken up a little at this stage. So good!

gochujang vodka sauce

Serving the Gochujang Vodka Sauce

Pile up the gochujang vodka sauce pasta into a bowl and top with some basil and spicy thai chilis. This was incredible. For me, this is the very definition of comfort food.

gochujang vodka sauce

So creamy and spicy! Just look at how creamy it is below!

gochujang vodka sauce

Twists on this dish

I used a medium spicy gochujang for this vodka sauce. It was hot but in my opinion perfectly balanced with the cream. The sliced peppers on top took it just over the edge. You could get a more mild gochujang, and you could skip the garnish peppers if you want this to be a bit more approachable or if you have heat averse people in your house.

I mentioned I used a fusilli bucati corti. Any noodle that will hold sauce is great for this. I think a short cut of pasta would be better than a long noodle but honestly most pastas would work here.

If you are looking for a classic vodka sauce, check out this recipe.

For more great spicy Asian-Italian pasta mash-ups, check out my pepperoni kimchi pasta salad, this mapo tofu inspired Sichuan bolognese, and this lamb bulgo-gnese!

Gochujang Vodka Sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Gochujang Vodka Sauce

Inspired by penne with vodka sauce, this spicy luscious pink sauce is made with gochujang pepper paste instead of tomato.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Mash-Up, Spicy
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 1234kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound spicy italian sausage
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup gochujang chili paste
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 10 basil leaves torn – plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 red thai chilis sliced thin


  • Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add in the sausage and onion and cook about 10 minutes to brown on the edges and cook through. Smash the sausage as it cooks so that it breaks up into very small bits.
  • Add in the gochujang and garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes stirring often until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add in the vodka and stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cream until combined. Add the basil leaves.
  • Bring a heavily salted pot of water to a boil and add in the pasta. Cook about 3 minutes less than the package says until it still has the last bit of crunch in the center.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Strain the pasta and add it directly to the pan with the sauce. Add in the pasta water and the parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  • Turn heat to low and bring to a simmer. Cook about 3 minutes until it thickens slightly and the pasta becomes al dente
  • Serve and top with more basil and the sliced chilis


Calories: 1234kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1909IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 3mg

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