Skip to Content

What to Add to Vodka Sauce from A Jar (21 Options)

Vodka sauce from a jar is a great way to save time when you’re cooking.

But what if you want to add a little something extra to it?

There are many options for what to add to vodka sauce from a jar. You can keep it simple with just a lemon wedge, or get creative with a mango salsa or avocado relish. Other sides that pair well with vodka sauce are roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, quinoa, rice, and couscous.

In this article, I’ll go over the 21 best options!

Read Also: Vodka Sauce Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Vodka Sauce Meals

What to Add to Vodka Sauce from A Jar

What to Add to Vodka Sauce from A Jar?

There are many options for what to add to vodka sauce from a jar. You could add some cooked ground beef, Italian sausage, or chicken. You could also add some vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, or spinach. Finally, you could add some herbs or spices to give the sauce more flavor.

Jarred Vodka Sauce

Still looking for options?

Here are 21 things you can add to vodka sauce from a jar:

1. Onion

Chopped Onions

Onions can be sweet or sour, soft or crisp, tangy or dripping with umami flavor.

They can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled.

And they can make a big difference in the flavor of your jarred vodka sauce.

If you want to add onion to your vodka sauce, start by peeling and slicing one medium onion.

Then, add the onion to the saucepan with the jar of sauce and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The onion will add sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce.

2. Garlic

minced Garlic

Pungent, spicy, and earthy, garlic is a key ingredient in many cuisines around the world.

It’s also a common ingredient in vodka sauce, which is why it’s important to be careful when adding it to the dish.

Too much garlic can easily overwhelm the other flavors in the sauce, so it’s best to start with just a few cloves and add more to taste.

Minced garlic is a good option for those who want to control the amount of garlic they’re adding, but chopped garlic will also work well.

Just be sure to add it slowly and taste as you go.

3. Crushed Tomatoes

Crushed Tomatoes

Sweet and bright with rich tomato flavors, crushed tomatoes are a perfect addition to vodka sauce.

You can add as much or as little as you like, depending on how tomato-y you want your sauce to be.

Just be sure to give it a good stir so the crushed tomatoes are evenly distributed.

4. Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream will make your sauce richer, and will help to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

You can also add in some shredded cheese to make it even more indulgent.

If you want to add a bit of spice, you can try adding in some crushed red pepper flakes, or even a tablespoon or two of jarred tomato sauce.

5. Milk

Oat milk

Adding milk to your sauce will thin it out.

The amount you’ll need to add will depend on how thick or thin you want your sauce to be.

Start by adding a little bit at a time and then adjust as needed.

If you’re using a jarred sauce, just heat it up on the stove before adding the milk.

6. Sausage


Sausages make a great addition to almost any pasta dish, and they’re especially delicious in vodka sauce.

If you’re using a jarred sauce, simply cook the sausage in a separate pan and then add it to the sauce.

If you’re making your own sauce from scratch, you can add the sausage right into the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

Just be sure to cook it thoroughly before proceeding with the recipe.

As for how much to add, that’s entirely up to you and your personal preferences.

A good rule of thumb is to start with one sausage per person and go from there.

7. Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers

When you’re wondering what to add to jarred vodka sauce, roasted red peppers are a great option.

They’ll add a little sweetness and smokiness to the sauce.

You can buy them jarred, or roast your own.

If you’re using jarred roasted red peppers, add about 1/2 cup to the sauce.

If you’re roasting your own peppers, start by charring them over an open flame.

Then, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam.

Once they’re cooled, peel off the skin, remove the seeds, and chop them into small pieces.

Add them to the sauce according to your taste.

8. Artichoke Hearts


Artichoke hearts have a similar taste to asparagus and brussels sprouts, but with a slightly nutty flavor.

They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Adding artichoke hearts to vodka sauce can help round out the flavor and add some much-needed nutrients.

9. Capers


The taste of a caper is reminiscent of the lemony tang and brininess of green olives, without the olive’s characteristic oiliness.

If you want to add a little more zing to your vodka sauce, consider adding a tablespoon or two of capers.

You could also add a teaspoon or so of caper juice for an extra salty, briny flavor.

10. Olives


Known for their use in Greek and Italian cuisine, olives are a type of fruit that grows on trees.

They can be eaten fresh, but are often cured in brine or oil.

Olives come in many different varieties, each with their own unique flavor.

Adding olives to jarred vodka sauce can give it a salty, briny flavor.

If you’re using jarred sauce, start by adding a small amount of olives and tasting as you go.

You can always add more, but you can’t take them out once they’re in!

11. Mushrooms

White Mushrooms

Mushrooms taste a bit earthy and umami, which can help round out the sweetness of vodka sauce.

To add mushrooms to jarred vodka sauce, start by sautéing them in a bit of olive oil.

You can use any type of mushrooms you like, but button mushrooms are a good option because they’re affordable and have a mild flavor.

Once the mushrooms are cooked, add them to the jar of sauce and stir until evenly mixed.

You can add as many or as few mushrooms as you like, depending on your personal preference.

12. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are reminiscent of tomato paste, only much tastier.

They’ll add a lovely sweetness and depth of flavor to your vodka sauce that you just can’t get from tomato paste alone.

I like to add about 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes for every jar of vodka sauce, but you can adjust the amount to suit your taste.

Just be sure to rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for about 10 minutes before adding them to the sauce.

13. Fresh Basil or Oregano


Both of these herbs belong to the minty Lamiaceae family and have a potent aroma that can quickly take over a dish if you’re not careful.

A little goes a long way, so start by adding just a teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano or basil to your jar of vodka sauce.

You can always add more later if you want more flavor.

14. Spinach


Spinach has a light taste that won’t overpower the vodka sauce, and it’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies.

Just add a handful or two of spinach leaves to the sauce when you’re heating it up.

If you’re using frozen spinach, that’s even easier – just add a scoop straight from the freezer.

You can also use other leafy greens like kale or Swiss chard, but they will have a slightly stronger flavor.

15. Chicken


Why not add some protein to your vodka sauce by cooking up some chicken breasts and adding them to the jar?

Not only will you add more flavor to your sauce, but you can also use the leftovers for another meal or even frozen for later.

Just be sure to reduce the sauce by half before serving so as not to overpower your other ingredients.

16. Shrimp


Shrimp is often used with tomato sauces because of its sweetness and acidity.

  1. When adding shrimp to a jar of sauce, start by seasoning it with salt and black pepper.
  2. Then, add it to the pan and cook it until it’s pink and just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook it or it will turn rubbery.
  3. Once it’s cooked, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before adding it to the sauce.

17. Crabmeat


Do you like crab?

If so, you’re in luck!

Crabmeat is one of the most versatile seafood ingredients around, and adding it to vodka sauce from a jar is a great way to elevate its flavor.

  1. Simply combine 2 tablespoons of crabmeat with 2 tablespoons of vodka and 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the crabmeat is cooked through.
  4. Serve warm or cold.

18. Lobster Meat


You can use canned lobster meat in vodka sauce recipes to add some extra flavor and body to the sauce.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of lobster meat to your jar of vodka sauce, depending on how much you want it to taste like lobster.

Use a whisk or an immersion blender to combine the lobster with the vodka sauce until smooth.

19. Ground Beef or Turkey

Ground beef

How about some lean meat? Ground turkey or beef can add flavor and substance to your vodka sauce without adding a lot of extra fat or calories.

  1. Start by sautéing the meat in a small amount of oil until it’s browned, then add your desired amount of vodka and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
  2. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and any other spices you might want to add.

20. Cheeses (Parmesan, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Etc.)


There are quite a few different cheeses you can add to vodka sauce from a jar, but Parmesan is the classic.

  1. Start by melting the cheese in a small saucepan over low heat. You can either stir it constantly with a spoon or use an immersion blender to make it smooth and creamy.
  2. Once melted, add the vodka and let it simmer for a few minutes until warmed through.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

21. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste will add a strong tomato flavor and a little thickness to your vodka sauce, without requiring any additional cooking.

  1. Simply add it to a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to simmer.
  2. Then reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.
What to Add to Vodka Sauce from A Jar (1)

What to Add to Vodka Sauce from A Jar (21 Options)

If you're looking for ways to dress up your jarred vodka sauce, then you need ideas and you need them fast.
Whether you're making dinner for two or feeding a crowd, these 20 ideas will save the day.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 151 kcal


  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Milk
  • Sausage
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Capers
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil or Oregano
  • Spinach
  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Crabmeat
  • Lobster Meat
  • Ground Beef or Turkey
  • Cheeses (Parmesan, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Etc.)
  • Tomato Paste


  • Pick your favorite ingredient from this list to add to your jarred vodka sauce.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What to Add to Vodka Sauce from A Jar
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.