dinner Featured gluten-free

20-Minute Veggie Pad Thai Recipe

March 23, 2020

Get the taste of your favorite Thai-inspired dish with a vegetarian twist in this easy vegetable pad thai recipe. It’s ready in just 20 minutes and will give you the extra dose of veggies you need for a filling and flavorful dinner recipe.

Well I had a whole intro to the post pre-written all about why I love 20 minute meals and how the tagline of THM is “where healthy meets living” because health is generally not the centerfold of my life – but none of that seems relevant right now. Health is something that we’re all prioritizing right now, not just for ourselves but for our entire society. There isn’t a whole lot of living right now. And that’s important. It is a season (or maybe several) and sometimes we need to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate. Right now this season is about self-isolating and taking care of ourselves and the people we love.

That being said, we can still eat well – and quickly! This 20-minute vegetarian pad thai is no exception. So whether you’re ordering your groceries in or taking a small outing to the store, this recipe is for you. The whole family will love it and it’s packed full of veggies. Not to mention the pantry staples you can also keep on hand. So stay home, stay healthy and eat well friends! Thinking of you all.

Here’s What You Need:

  • rice noodles – I like using brown rice noodles but any type works.
  • sesame oil or peanut oil – can use coconut oil or olive oil if you don’t have.
  • yellow onion and garlic – two key flavor bases!
  • fresh vegetables – I like using a mixture of broccoli, bell pepper, broccolini, bok choy, etc.
  • large eggs – adds protein and flavor to the dish. Can skip to make this dish vegan.
  • sweet chili sauce – choose your own adventure! Use more if you want the dish to be extra spicy.
  • soy sauce – or tamari works as well.
  • fish sauce – can skip if vegan or strict vegetarian.
  • tamarind puree – a key ingredient in traditional pad thai. Worth tracking down to include, promise!
  • lime – included in the sauce but you can add an extra squeeze of lime juice to the final product as well.
  • coconut palm sugar – or brown sugar to sweeten the sauce slightly.


What is Tamarind Puree?

You probably noticed a strange ingredient on the list: tamarind puree. I wanted to make a note of this because this ingredient should not be skipped. Traditional pad thai recipes always use tamarind puree or paste. Many americanized versions skip this and use ingredients like ketchup instead. While I totally get it can be hard to come by, trust me when I say that this vegetarian pad thai recipe is sooooooo much better with tamarind puree.

You can buy it at most Asian grocery stores and even Whole Foods has it! You can also order it online here. Sometimes it comes as a brick of paste rather than a puree. If that’s the case, scoop off a tablespoon of the paste and mix it in with a 1/4 cup of hot water. Use this in place of the 2 tablespoons of puree that this veggie pad thai recipe calls for. It also lasts a long time so you can make this recipe many times. I promise you that it will make all the difference!

How To Customize This Vegetarian Pad Thai:

Vegetables – You’ll see that this veggie pad thai recipe calls for 4 cups of veggies. I left this open to customization because I really love making this recipe when I want to use up veggies in the house. I’ve probably made it with just about every type of veggie, but if you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few ideas:

  • broccoli
  • bell pepper
  • broccolini
  • bok choy
  • cauliflower
  • bean sprouts

Protein – I also sometimes add tofu or chicken to this recipe. This adds time to it so more often than not I just go for eggs but feel free to pan fry chicken or tofu or use leftovers and add directly to the recipe.

Sauce – A few other swaps you can make: tamari or even coconut aminos for soy sauce, brown sugar for coconut palm sugar and you have a couple different options for oils, though personally I prefer sesame oil.

Toppings – As for toppings, sky’s the limit! Crushed peanuts make it feel more authentic but feel free to also add green onions, cilantro, extra lime juice or chili flakes for a spicy kick.

Most importantly: get creative and have fun! Let your time in the kitchen be enjoyable rather than a burden. Trust me, it will change your life.


Vegetarian Pad Thai

Get the taste of your favorite thai dish with a vegetarian twist in this easy veggie pad thai recipe. It’s ready in just 20 minutes and will give you the extra dose of veggies you need for a filling and flavorful dinner recipe.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Vegetarian



For the sauce:

For the noodles:

  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil or peanut oil (can use coconut oil or olive oil if you don’t have)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups of veggies (broccoli, bell pepper, broccolini, bok choy etc…)
  • 4 large eggs

optional toppings: green onion, crushed peanuts, cilantro, chili flakes etc..


  1. Heat up water in a medium pot and cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile mix together all sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Add sesame oil (or whatever oil you are using) to a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until transluscent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and choice of veggies and cook for an additional 5 minutes. If veggies are still a pit hard place a top on pan and allow to steam for a few minutes until cooked through.
  4. Push veggies to side of pan and crack eggs directly into the pan. Stir to scramble and cook for 2 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
  5. Combine egg with veggies and add rice noodles.
  6. Top with sauce until fully coated. Cook in sauce for about 3 minutes over low heat or until noodles have absorbed most of the sauce.
  7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

*Note: sometimes tamarind comes in a block of paste. If that’s the case use 1 tbsp of paste and mix it into 1/4 cup of hot water.

Keywords: Vegetarian Pad Thai, Vegetable Pad Thai, Veggie Pad Thai

Like this recipe? Here are a few other easy dinner options you might enjoy:


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  • Reply
    Grace David
    February 3, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    AMAZING!!! I made it this week and the family loved it so much. I was just wondering, what is the nutritional value of this, like the kCals and all of that? Anyways, great recipe and I will 100% be making again.

  • Reply
    Melissa Torres
    March 25, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    I didn’t have Tamarind paste or care about grabbing it but even without it, this recipe was SO good! I’ve had fish sauce in other recipes where its just too stinky and the biggest flavor and I hated it. But it was just right in here. we used rice mei fun noodles for a change up. I marinated chicken before and then added it to this recipe and everyone loved it. Even the kids who swore they’d need a PBJ sandwich for dinner instead, wanted more. Definitely going to be making again!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      March 27, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      So happy to hear that! The tamarind makes it taste more authentic to traditional pad thai but still absolutely delicious without it! So glad the kiddos enjoyed too 😉

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