Gigi Hadid Pasta Recipe (with and without vodka)

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In 2020, this Gigi Hadid Pasta Recipe went viral, and blew up Instagram and TikTok! Does it live up to the hype?! Absolutely! This creamy, spicy vodka sauce is restaurant-quality and such a cinch to make! I’ll give you Gigi’s exact recipe from Instagram and show you how to make this spicy pasta with and without vodka!

A large pan with Gigi Hadid Spicy Vodka pasta with a wooden spoon.

This is the exact recipe Gigi Hadid used in her spicy vodka pasta recipe that went viral on her Instagram story back in 2020! I just doubled it so I could use a whole box of pasta 🙂

I believe Gigi was pregnant at the time she made this viral video, so she left the vodka out of hers, but noted where to add it in her instructions.

When this recipe went viral, my teenage daughter hopped right aboard the bandwagon and she STILL makes this dish at least once a month for us! In fact, she is the one who taught me how to make it!

In this recipe, I will show you how to make Gigi’s spicy vodka pasta recipe with and without vodka! Both are DELISH!

Not all viral recipes live up to the hype, but Gigi’s pasta sure does, along with Emily Mariko’s Salmon and Rice Bowl, Hailey Bieber’s Pizza Toast, this amazing Italian Grinder Sandwich, and this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad! If you haven’t tried those yet, whatcha waiting for?!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Restaurant-quality vodka pasta that’s super easy to make!
  • Creamy, rich, spicy bowl of amazingness!
  • A viral recipe trend that actually lives up to the hype!
  • Uses simple ingredients to create a dish that is truly special!

WHAT IS GIGI HADID PASTA?

Gigi Hadid is a supermodel who happened to share a video from her kitchen that went viral in early 2020 (see her original Instagram Story here). Since then, it’s been on repeat in homes across the country and inspiring all sorts of non-cooking types to get in the kitchen!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this amazing spicy vodka pasta recipe:

Ingredients needed to make Gigi Hadid pasta recipe.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Pasta: I personally think Gigi’s choice of shells for this pasta was spot on! They capture the sauce sooo nicely! But you can easily make this into “penne alla vodka” and use penne pasta. ANY pasta works, to be perfectly honest–the sauce is SO GOOD!

Vodka: Any brand of vodka will work just fine. If you don’t have vodka on hand, you can use one of the substitutes I list below or omit it all together. The sauce is wonderful without it, too.

In fact, Gigi’s original pasta on her Instagram story did not contain vodka (she left it out because she was secretly preggo!).

Onion: Gigi used red onion in her pasta, but mentions you can also use a shallot. White or yellow onion is just fine, too!

HOW TO MAKE GIGI HADID SPICY PASTA: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

Step 1: Cook your pasta according to package instructions. ((Reserve about one cup of the pasta water before draining)). While pasta is cooking, sauté your onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.

Onions and garlic cooking in olive oil in a large pan.

Step 2: Add tomato paste and cook a few minutes until tomato paste darkens a bit in color.

Onions, garlic and tomato paste cooking in a pan with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Add vodka and cook for a minute or so until alcohol has a chance to burn off. Then, add in heavy cream and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

Spicy vodka pasta sauce sprinkled with red pepper flakes.

Step 4: Add pasta, reserved pasta water and butter. Stir until all the pasta is nicely coated.

Vodka pasta with butter and sauce in a large pan.

Step 5: Add Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

The last step in making Gigi Hadid Spicy Vodka Pasta. The pasta is sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • Be sure to reserve about a cup of your pasta cooking liquid for this dish. It’s easy to forget! (been there, done that)
  • If the sauce seems too thick after you add the pasta, add a bit more pasta water. This is why I always like to have at least one cup on hand, even if the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup.

STORAGE & REHEATING

  • Storage: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers in a pan over medium-low heat with a splash of cream or milk, just to loosen up the sauce a bit. Stir until heated through.
A pan of Gigi Hadid Vodka Pasta with a wooden spoon.

SUBSTITUTIONS FOR VODKA IN VODKA PASTA

There are two easy options to substitute vodka in “vodka” pasta:

  1. Omit the vodka completely. Vodka gives the dish a slight acidic note that is delish, but to be honest, if you leave it out, the dish is just as amazing!
  2. Equal Parts lime or lemon juice + apple or grape juice: Vodka just adds a bit of acid to this dish that is subtle but delish! You can recreate that “acid” with equal parts of lemon or lime juice mixed with apple or grape juice.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Gigi Hadid’s vodka pasta worth the hype?

100%!! This pasta is restaurant-quality and can be made so easily! It’s creamy, rich and uses easy to find, basic ingredients.

Can you make this vodka sauce with milk?

The heavy cream really works to thicken the sauce and make it rich and delicious. Milk dilutes the sauce a little too much. Half and half is a better option if you don’t want to use heavy cream.

What type of pasta does Gigi Hadid use in her recipe?

Gigi’s recipe on her Instagram uses regular shell pasta….which I think it PERFECT because the sauce fills up those shells and makes such an amazing bite! (I can literally taste it RIGHT NOW)

Penne alla Vodka is pretty much the exact same method and recipe, just using penne pasta. But ANY pasta works –orecchiette, spaghetti, bow ties, rotini…they all work great!

To be honest, you could put this sauce over a piece of wood and I’d eat it.

How can you make Gigi Hadid’s pasta recipe a little more healthy?

No sugarcoating it, here. This pasta dish isn’t the healthiest meal on the planet. However, there are a few easy ways you can make it a bit healthier:

1) Reduce the olive oil to 1-2 tablespoons.
2) Omit the butter.
3) Replace the heavy cream with half and half.
4) Use whole wheat pasta (not my choice, but do as you wish!)

What can I add to Gigi Hadid’s pasta recipe?

Adding grilled chicken or shrimp would be excellent to add some protein to this dish!

What do you serve with this spicy vodka pasta?

Since this pasta dish is on the heavier side, I love serving this light, crisp arugula salad or a classic Caesar salad on the side. This classic tossed salad is great, too! And don’t forget the garlic bread! 🙂

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Close up of the pasta shells from Gigi Hadid Pasta recipe.

OTHER VIRAL RECIPES THAT YOU’LL LOVE

Gigi Hadid Pasta Recipe

When Gigi Hadid's Pasta Recipe went viral, it blew up Instagram and Tik Tok! Does it live up to the hype?! Absolutely! This creamy, spicy vodka sauce is restaurant-quality and such a cinch to make! This is Gigi's exact recipe from Instagram (I just doubled it) and you can make this recipe with or without vodka!
4.66 from 228 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 820 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb shell pasta + 1 cup starchy cooking liquid
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup) 1 shallot, white or yellow onion work, too!
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced the best garlic chopper!
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp vodka See Note 1 for substitutions
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese + more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste! make sure you TASTE, you may need to add more salt!
  • chopped basil, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining (you may not need all of this, but I always reserve 1 cup).
  • While pasta is cooking, over medium heat, add olive oil to a large pan. When oil is hot, add onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir often so garlic doesn't burn.
  • Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Tomato paste will turn a slightly darker color.
  • Add vodka (if using) and cook for 1 minute. To make this dish without vodka simply omit this step OR use one of the substitutions listed in Note 1.
  • Add heavy cream and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often until sauce thickens (it will thicken up quickly!).
  • Add in your pasta, 1/2 cup of pasta water and butter. Stir, stir, stir until butter is "melted and saucy" according to Gigi! 🙂 Make sure the pasta is completely coated in the sauce. Add a little more pasta water if sauce seems too thick.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese. Make sure you TASTE and season with salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

Notes

Note 1: Substitutions for vodka in this sauce:
  • Omit the vodka completely. Vodka gives the dish a slight acidic note that is delish, but to be honest, if you leave it out, the dish is just as amazing!
  • Equal Parts Lime/Lemon Juice + Apple/Grape Juice: Vodka just adds a bit of acid to this dish that is subtle but delish! You can recreate that “acid” with equal parts of lemon or lime juice mixed with apple or grape juice.
 
Nutrition information is only an estimate. Info is based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 820kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 28gFat: 55gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 606mgPotassium: 528mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7.4gVitamin D: 20µgCalcium: 544mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




54 Comments

  1. This was delicious. The only change I made was to use 1/4 cup of oil instead of 1/2 cup. Great idea to keep the extra pasta water, I ended up using the whole 1 cup of pasta water as the sauce thickened up quite a bit once the completed dish sat out on the stove for 10 minutes. The whole family loved it!

  2. i’m underage so i couldn’t get my hands on any vodka, but this recipe was perfect to make in my small dorm kitchen!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow… this recipe has become one of my main comfort foods. Everything about it is wonderful, and I often do substitutions/additions based on my mood! Love adding chicken or ground sausage, substituting HWC with blended cottage cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes… list goes on! At the core this recipe is amazing…

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe
    Easy to make
    Ingredients are usually already at home so it is a great quick last minute dish
    Instructions are super clear and easy to follow.

    I have never tried the other versions of this recipe because this recipe is already a 5/5.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I am sure you are a great cook, but this recipe… is not it at all.
    I made this recipe (from a different website) in the summer of 2022.
    It was delicious, although I lacked almost half the ingredients it called for, it was very tasty. My relative claimed it was ‘one of the best pastas’ she has ever had.

    Now, onto this recipe.
    I did everything as followed, except I didn’t have vodka so I used Sauvignon blanc…
    I was shocked when I read that the recipe wanted two tablespoons red pepper flakes, but I trusted the recipe and added them.
    It ruined the entire dish, all you could taste was spice.
    I don’t know what went wrong, and this recipe is probably not a reflection of your cooking skills, but seriously… it didn’t taste good at all.
    Also important to note, I have a high spice tolerance…
    Please improve the recipe, Gigi’s original recipe is delicious, it’s creamy, a hint of spicy, and it’s acidic..

    1. Hi Skyer, So sorry it didn’t work out. A few things…the recipe calls for two TEASPOONS (tsp) of red pepper flakes OR TO TASTE, so that might have been an issue if you added two TABLESPOONS. Also, Sav Blanc is not a recommend substitute for Vodka. I recco omitting it if you don’t have vodka or adding a bit of lemon juice for that bit of acidity. XO ~ Casey

  6. 1 star
    This pasta is mine and my husbands favorite!!! We omit the vodka and it’s perfection! Bow tie pasta is our favorite “style” of pasta. Such a great recipe. Thanks for sharing

    1. Try it with and without. I love it both ways. WITH vodka gives it a slightly more deep, acidic taste. Hard to, describe but I can tell you it works both ways just fine! XO ~ Casey

  7. Absolutely delicious and so simple to make! I added a tad bit more garlic and dried basil while cooking the sauce. I omitted the vodka and red pepper flakes since I was feeding my toddler. It was a hit! Will definitely be making this sauce regularly. Thanks!

  8. 1 star
    This comment is not a reflection of you or your recipes since this is a repost of someone else’s. I’m surprised this went viral because it’s virtually flavorless. I had high hopes for it but it was very underwhelming. I had to add more garlic, more salt and some dried basil in addition to fresh for it to even taste like anything. With that said, we ate it but definitely won’t be making it again.

    1. 3 stars
      It was good! I have a ton left over too.
      I do think it was too much olive oil, so I’ll add less next time.

  9. Hi! I want to make this for a party how much in advance can I make it so the sauce doesn’t get thick before serving especially if I need to warm it in the oven before serving

    1. Hey Michelle, I wouldn’t make it toooo far in advance–a few hours is fine! When you reheat it, just add a bit more heavy cream and a little more tomato pasta to thin it out and keep the flavor in tact. Shouldn’t be a problem! Enjoy! xo

  10. Rather silly question, but would this recipe work with some chicken added? Or do you think beef would be better?

    Also, do you think it would alter the taste significantly? Hope you see this and thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Hi Amber! Honestly, EITHER would be delish!! I would tend to be on the side of chicken only because this is a fairly heavy dish and chicken would be a better complement to the sauce, but really, you can’t go wrong!! Great idea 🙂 XO ~ Casey

    2. I’d like to know the real chef GIGI stole this recipe from and put it on INSTAGRAM like she came up with it. Please. Equally embarrassing that a so called “food blogger” would dip so low to repost it.

      1. Hi Michele! I put the written recipe and how-to on here giving Gigi Hadid full credit and also I feel it’s easier for some readers to follow a written recipe vs. following along with a video on Instagram. Hope you try it–it’s delish!!!

  11. 5 stars
    I must have been living under a rock when this took off. I never heard of it but it looks amazing! I love the simple ingredients and how easy it is to make.

  12. 5 stars
    This pasta is so good! I love the addition of butter. I don’t normally add butter to my vodka pasta but it really takes this dish up a notch. Delicious!

  13. This pasta looks so rich and satisfying!! Perfect for an easy dinner for our family – can’t wait to make it soon!

  14. 5 stars
    I just love a simple and flavorful pasta dish like this! 🙂 Definitely adding this to my weekly dinner plan soon.

    1. The alcohol cooks out. 2 T for a whole recipe would not affect a child or pregnant woman.

  15. 5 stars
    I’ve not seen the recipe on TikTok or Instagram but decided to try it anyway, and I was really pleased with the result. Very tasty and vodka adds a little something extra for sure! 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    Oh my god, i m sitting and commenting in the middle of the night and now i m hungry of this amazing pasta!!! It looks totally delish and i m loving that hype, definitely giving this a try!

  17. 5 stars
    I love this spicy pasta recipe! The sauce turns out perfectly and it’s just the right amount of heat. Thanks for breaking it down and making it so easy!