This vibrant vegan pad Thai is healthy, flavoursome, and a true celebration of vegetables!
What is pad thai?
Pad Thai is a Thai noodle dish made with rice noodles, a tangy, savoury sauce, spring onions, beansprouts, and chopped peanuts. It is often served with meat, fish and/or egg, but this vegan version uses colourful vegetables instead!
This easy homemade pad Thai is made by sauteing ginger and garlic in a little sesame oil before adding some crunchy fresh vegetables. Then we add soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, and of course the noodles! It's a meal which comes together very quickly so is perfect for busy evenings.
Why you'll love this recipe:
- It comes together in less than 20 minutes
- It's super customisable, and can be made with whatever veggies you have on hand
- It is packed with fresh flavours and spice
- It's naturally vegan and gluten free!
How to make vegan pad thai step-by-step
- Saute the ginger and garlic in the sesame oil then add the vegetables (photo 1). Stir-fry the vegetables for 3-4 minutes until they are cooked but still crisp and vibrant, then add the flavourings (photo 2).
Toss through the cooked rice noodles (photo 3) then serve with chopped peanuts and spring onions!
Which vegetables can I use in this dish?
As mentioned, this pad Thai is super customisable. I like to use baby sweetcorn, sugar snap peas, carrot, bean sprouts and spring onions (aka scallions) in this recipe. I highly recommend using beansprouts and spring onions in this recipe - you will see these two ingredients in a lot of pad Thai recipes.
Beyond that, you can use any vegetables of your choosing, such as bell peppers, mushroom, edamame, spinach pak choi or mange tout.
If you are looking to bulk up your pad Thai you can also add some plant based protein! I love serving this dish with some crispy tofu - check out my crispy tofu burgers recipe to find out how to make your tofu perfectly crisp!
You could also add in some quorn chicken, tempeh, or seitan to this recipe. The choice is yours!
How to make this recipe perfectly
- Chop your vegetables into long sticks. Chopping your vegetables into similar shapes to the noodles not only makes it easier to eat, but it provides an exciting textural experience!
- Don't burn the garlic and ginger. It's best to simmer the garlic and ginger on low heat until fragrant before adding the rest of the vegetables. This helps to infuse the dish with tasty garlicky, ginger-y(?) flavour. But make sure not to burn it, or else the dish will taste bitter.
- Serve it hot. And top with chopped peanuts!
Traditionally, pad Thai is made with rice noodles. This is great news for coeliacs, as it means pad Thai is naturally gluten free!
Of course, when you are making this dish at home, you can use any noodles of your choice. I personally prefer using rice noodles as they are a lighter option than wheat noodles. Opt for a slightly thicker rice noodle (as opposed to the very thin and stringy variety) to avoid your noodles being clumpy.
This dish is best served when its hot and fresh, but it can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
More quick vegan lunches to try:
Vegan Pad Thai (Gluten-Free)
- 4oz/ 115 grams Rice Noodles or wholewheat noodles if you'd like
- 4 Baby Corn
- ⅓ cup Sugar Snap Peas
- 1 Carrot
- ½ cup Beansprouts
- 2 Spring Onions aka scallions - save the green tops for garnish
- 1 clove Garlic finely chopped
- 1 thumbnail-size piece Fresh Ginger finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil or sunflower/vegetable oil
- ⅓ Lime juiced
- ½ teaspoon Chilli Flakes
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- ½ teaspoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Roasted Peanuts/Cashews roughly chopped
- Cook the rice noodles according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables into long thin sticks.
- In a large frying pan or wok over medium-low heat, saute the ginger and garlic in the sesame oil. Once fragrant, add the chopped vegetables, reserving some spring onions for garnish.
- Stir fry the vegetables for 3-4 minutes until they are cooked but still crisp and vibrant. Add the lime juice, chilli flakes, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, and toss to combine.
- Add the cooked and drained rice noodles to the pan and toss through. Serve the pad thai hot, topped with chopped nuts and the reserved spring onions. Enjoy!
- You are looking for ~1.5 cups veggies in total. You can use any vegetables of your choice!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop.