Low Fat Penne a la Vodka Sauce with Shrimp

Thanks to the folks from Dreamfields Pasta for collaborating on this post about low fat Penne a la Vodka Sauce with Shrimp. All the opinions expressed are 100% my own. #HealthyPastaMonth  #Dreamfields

My kids have grown accustomed to eating pasta at least once a week. If all the stars align and we are able to have a Sunday Pasta night, it is a great way to start the week together. Since I am Italian, I usually make a red sauce or gravy, but I like to get a little creative as well. The sauces I make are typically healthy and not full of fat. I usually avoid fatty creamy pasta sauces  but I decided to create a healthier Penne with Vodka Sauce with a shrimp. Since traditional pasta does not provide much nutrition,  I made this an even  healthier pasta dish by using Dreamfields Pasta. 


Dreamfields Pasta has 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving—that’s 2.5 times more than traditional pasta. Dreamfields Pasta also contains prebiotic fiber that helps promote healthy digestion. Most importantly, it tastes as good as traditional pastas and provides healthy carb living.

vodka sauce ingredients

To create this flavorful and healthy pasta dish, you need to start with the sauce. (If you plan on eating right away, you can have water on the stove heating up to boil the pasta.) 

Every good pasta dish begins with a generous amount of sautéed onions and garlic. My family usually comes running when they get a whiff of that familiar smell. The trick is to first cook down the onions and then add the garlic. Too often people add them at the same time and end up with burnt garlic… a great way to ruin a dish. 

When the onions are translucent, add the can of crushed tomatoes. Buy the best tomatoes you can afford. I usually buy Italian plum and buy in bulk when on sale. 

vodka sauce 1

Now for the transformation from a typical red sauce to a creamy yet healthy pasta dish: The cream. Well in this case, we are using 2% milk instead of heavy cream.

adding cream vodka

This is a good time to begin cooking your pasta if you plan on eating right away. Dreamfields pasta has several different varieties to choose from, but tonight, we went with the Penne. You don’t want to add your shrimp until you are just about ready to indulge! 

dreamfields pasta

Unlike some “healthier” pastas, Dreamfields’ shape and color resemble traditional varieties. My family would always prejudge the pasta dish if the noodles were dark brown in color. I guess I don’t blame them. 

dreamfields pasta-2

When your pasta is almost fully cooked, you can add your shrimp. With the addition of the shrimp you are adding more protein making this pasta dish low fat and full of protein. Be sure to cover the pot to steam the shrimp. Then add your pasta and mix it well.


penne a la vodka with shrimp

Serve with extra basil and grated cheese.

3:4 bowl vodka sauce recipe

Your family will be begging for more! 

dreamfields in background

GETTING HUNGRY? ONE CLOSE TO HOME READER WILL WIN a prize of a family pack of Dreamfields + a $25 gift card. Enter Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

A lower fat vodka sauce recipe with added shrimp for extra protein


  • 1 box Dreamfields Penne Rigate
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can, 14 ounces no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, about 21 to 25 count
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently (do not brown).
  2. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and pepper flakes to skillet. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste to skillet; stir to mix well. Stir in vodka; simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Stir milk into tomato sauce. Reduce heat; simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp to tomato sauce. Cover; cook 10 minutes or just until opaque, turning shrimp once.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta in large bowl; set aside.
  5. Toss shrimp-tomato sauce with pasta. Add 1/8 cup grated cheese; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with additional cheese and basil, as desired.


Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 400 calories; 25 g protein; 55 g carbohydrates; 7 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 130 mg cholesterol; 770 mg sodium; 7 g total dietary fiber.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 278Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 174mgSodium 1005mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 25g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on stayingclosetohome.com should only be used as a general guideline.

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  1. I would love to try the Angel Hair pasta.

  2. I want to try the Rotini.

  3. I want to try Penne Rigate.

  4. I would have to say the lasagna

  5. I like the elbows!

  6. I want to try the lasagna to make a nice big batch for a family dinner!

  7. I would love to try the rotini!

    Entered the Rafflecopter as “Wild Orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

  8. I would like to try the Rotini Pasta!

  9. I would like to try the Dreamfield’s Rotini.

  10. I want to try the elbows.

  11. I always love the rotini shape

  12. I would like to try their Lasagna noodles. It can be difficult to find large noodles that actually cook up tender, so I would love to try these out and see how they compare to homemade.

  13. i would like to try the angel hair

  14. I like rotini pasta in several dishes.

  15. I want to try the linguine.

  16. I’d like to try the Rotini – I love rotini pasta as if the shape makes a difference in the taste 😀
    i think it’s because it holds more sauce.
    must be it. 😀

  17. I’d like to try their angel hair pasta in my spaghetti!

  18. The Pene shape is one of our favorite pastas.

  19. I would try the Penne Rigate

  20. I Want To Try The Elbows.

  21. I like the penne. Your recipe sounds delicious.

  22. I would love to try their linguine!

  23. Oh my families favorite is the Penne Rigate!

  24. elbow macaroni

  25. I would love to try the elbow pasta because I love making pasta salads.

  26. I want to try the Penne Rigate

  27. Awe is that a trick question…lol
    We love pasta..all shapes.
    I want to try them all!
    But use linquini and elbows most
    Great giveaway for pasta alone..
    Dreaming of Dreamfield.

  28. The penne rigate.

  29. I would love to try the Dreamfields rotini pasta!

  30. we’ve enjoyed them all and I use thin spaghetti most often

  31. I like the Dreamfields Rotini pasta.

  32. I want to try the rotini shaped pasta.

  33. I would like to try the elbow pasta.

  34. I’d like to try the angel hair pasta

  35. I would like to try Dreamfield’s Angel Hair Pasta.

  36. I would like to try the penne rigate pasta.

  37. I’d like to try the elbows.

  38. The linguine.

  39. I would like to try the Penne shape.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. I want to try their Angel Hair pasta

  41. The Penne Rigate 🙂

  42. i wanna try Dreamfields Angel Hair

  43. I want to try penne rigate.

  44. I want to try the Dreamfields Angel Hair

  45. My family loves pasta and shrimp. This would be a great meal for us!

  46. I want to try the Lasagna pasta from Dreamfields.

  47. I would like to try Dream Fields Rotini pasta with this recipe. Shrimp is super delicious and this would make a great fulfilling meal.

  48. I love a good pasta and who can say no to cream (I must use cream not 2% *WINK) and vodka!! The shrimp is an added bonus!

  49. I would like to try penne rigate.

  50. This looks like such a great company meal. It appears to be really amazing, yet not to difficult to cook!

  51. This recipe sounds so yummy. We are a family who really loves shrimp and adding some vodka to the sauce sound really good. I will have to give it a try and look for the brand of pasta you are writing about.

  52. I want to try the Penne Rigate.

  53. This looks absolutely mouth-watering and easy to make too! I will be trying this soon!

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