Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe with Peanut Sauce is an especially tasty and hearty dish. Packed with delicious Asian flavors, it’s great for a crowd at a party or for a quiet family dinner. Back in the day, my friends and I would order from our favorite Thai restaurant, sit on the comfy L-shaped couch and watch mindless TV shows. Wings comes to mind. 🙂
We always ordered Pad Thai, and we always had a couple of big bowls of M & M’s out for dessert. Those were some of the best times ever!
These days I love making it at home, and I love this Vegetarian Pad Thai recipe because I can serve it with chicken, shrimp or tofu on the side — and make everyone in a crowd happy. It also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, so this is absolutely fantastic when you’re serving a group with various diets.
What’s in this Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe with Peanut Sauce
Traditional Thai Peanut Sauce includes fish sauce, which I left out to keep it vegetarian. While this is not an authentic recipe, it’s incredibly delicious, and I’m hoping just reading the ingredients will entice you to make it.
The Peanut Sauce
The Peanut Sauce includes peanut butter, lime juice, Mirin (sweet rice wine), Tamari, chili paste and a touch of sugar.
The Vegetarian Pad Thai
This portion of the recipe includes onion, garlic, carrots, bean sprouts, red pepper, Napa cabbage, scallions, cilantro and mint.
What to Serve with Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe with Peanut Sauce?
As I said, I like to serve this with chicken, shrimp and/or tofu on the side, for anyone who might like to add it.
Here are two of my favorites to serve with it:
Or, here’s a fabulous idea . . . make double the Peanut Sauce recipe, and use half of it to marinate chicken to sauté or bake.
And if you’re keeping the whole meal vegetarian or vegan, here are a few lovely appetizers to serve beforehand:
What are you doing this weekend? Call some friends you haven’t seen for a while and catch up with this Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe with Peanut Sauce.
And don’t forget the M & M’s! 😉
Update April 2019: This recipe was originally published in 2012 and has be updated with new images and additional text.
Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe with Peanut Sauce is a super tasty and hearty dish. Packed with delicious Asian flavors, it's great for a crowd at a party or for a quiet family dinner.
- 1/2 cup crunchy, salted peanut butter room temperature
- 1/3 cup lime juice (about 3 large limes)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium Tamari (see notes)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chili paste (Sambal Oelek is perfect)
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 2 cups bean sprouts, washed and dried
- 1 1/2 cups red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 2 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces dry Pad Thai-Style rice noodles
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup loosely packed mint, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- 1 cup scallions, finely chopped (about 5 scallions)
- 3/4 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the peanut butter with the lime juice, Mirin, soy sauce, sugar, chili paste and 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil. Set aside.
Coat a large sauté pan or wok with the remaining tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Place the pan over low-medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes and slightly golden.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the carrots, bean sprouts, peppers and cabbage. Stirring occasionally, cook until the carrots are tender, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water just until tender but still firm to bite, about 6 minutes. Before draining, remove 1/2 cup of the noodle water and add it to the vegetable mixture. Then drain the noodles and add them, too.
Add the cilantro, mint, scallions, and pour the sauce over the entire mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper (if necessary) and gently toss to evenly combine all of the ingredients. Garnish with the peanuts.
You can also use soy sauce, but if you'd like to keep this dish gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce. (Tamari is gluten-free.)
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