Get the taste of your favorite Thai-inspired 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.
The BEST Veggie Pad Thai Recipe!
I feel like I’ve been working on this veggie pad thai recipe for years! I used to have a shrimp pad thai recipe on the blog that has since been lost into the archives but if I’m being honest, I always felt like it was missing something. It lacked that authentic pad thai flavor that you get in Thai restaurants.
The sauce mixture was off and needed a little extra oomph and it wasn’t until a picked up a jar of Tamarind puree that I finally figured that out! I now keep a jar of it on hand so I can make this veggie pad thai recipe whenever I please. Simply put: this veggie pad thai recipe is THE BEST. It comes together quickly (hello 20 minutes!) and you can truly use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Ingredients in Veggie Pad Thai:
Think of pad thai as a rice noodle stir fry with a tamarind-based pad thai sauce.
- Rice noodles – I like using brown rice noodles but any type of rice noodles work. You can sometimes find them labeled as “Pad Thai Noodles”
- 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 if you want a gluten-free pad thai
- Fish sauce – can skip if vegan or strict vegetarian. You can also purchase vegan fish sauce.
- 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 tamarind 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 Veggie 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 florets
- red bell peppers
- bok choy
- bean sprouts
Protein – I also sometimes add extra firm 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. Shrimp is great too!
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.
Garnish – As for toppings, sky’s the limit! Crushed peanuts make it feel more authentic but feel free to also add green onions, fresh cilantro, extra lime juice/lime wedges or red pepper 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.
Is this Veggie Pad Thai Vegetarian?
Technically no because it includes fish sauce, however feel free to skip the fish sauce or use a vegan fish sauce to keep this pad thai recipe vegetarian. To make this recipe vegan you’d need to use vegan fish sauce AND skip the eggs. It won’t have that true authentic taste but it will still be delicious!
More Easy Dinner Recipes:
- Chicken Pad See Ew
- Sesame Soba Noodles
- Baked Chimichurri Salmon
- Healthy Kimchi Fried Rice
- Za’atar Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- The Ultimate Buddha Bowl
Veggie 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.
- 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:
- 2 1/2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (use more if you like extra spicy)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (omit if vegetarian and replace with 1 tbsp soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp tamarind puree*
- juice, 1 lime
- 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup water
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..
- Heat up water in a medium pot and cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile mix together all sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Add sesame oil (or whatever oil you are using) to a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and choice of veggies and cook for an additional 5 minutes. If veggies are still a bit hard place a top on pan and allow to steam for a few minutes until cooked through.
- 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.
- Combine egg with veggies and add rice noodles.
- 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.
- 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
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Grace DavidFebruary 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.
Melissa TorresMarch 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!
Davida LederleMarch 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 😉