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 recipe?
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 it
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! 😉
Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe with Peanut Sauce
- ½ cup crunchy, salted peanut butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup lime juice (about 3 large limes)
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Mirin (sweet rice wine)
- ¼ cup low-sodium Tamari (see notes)
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons chili paste (Sambal Oelek is perfect)
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
- 1½ cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 2 cups bean sprouts, washed and dried
- 1½ 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
- ¼ cup loosely packed mint, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- 1 cup scallions, finely chopped (about 5 scallions)
- ¾ cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the sauce. 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.
- Cook onion and garlic. 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.
- Add remaining vegetables and cook. 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. 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 ½ cup of the noodle water and add it to the vegetable mixture. Then drain the noodles and add them, too.
- Add fresh herbs, sauce and garnish to the noodles. Add the cilantro, mint, scallions, and pour the sauce over the entire mixture. Gently toss to evenly combine all of the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper (if necessary), and Garnish with the peanuts.
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Thanks for the comment, Lauren. Yes, good point -- I'll make the edit! 😀 Happy cooking!
love the recipe ideas on your blog! I tried your pad thai and it was delicious--for protein I added squares of firm tofu fried in an inch or so of peanut oil to get that crispy exterior.
Margo -- thanks so much for the comment. So happy you liked this dish, and tofu and peanut oil is a great touch. 🙂
That peanut sauce sounds incredibly delicious! This is a fantastic meatless meal.
Thanks, Angie! 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal)
I've never met a single person that didn't love Pad Thai and your vegetarian version sounds good and as you said, you can serve the protein on the side.
Thanks so much, Karen. Seems like it's everyone's favorite to order in a Thai restaurant. 🙂
Kelly | Foodtasia
Valentina, this pad thai looks and sounds so delicious! Such amazing flavors! I could definitely plant myself on the sofa with a big bowl full! (and some m&m's!) 🙂
Love it. Thanks so much, Kelly!
Wings, I haven't thought of that tv show for ages. It was a good one though. M&Ms, I love them but it seems of each one I eat makes me gain an ounce.
Your Pad Thai sounds absolutely divine. A dish with such a rich history and perhaps my favorite Thai dish. Whenever I visit a new Thai restaurant I always order Pad Thai, if it's good then so is the restaurant. Your plating looks wonderful. I'll be giving that a try.
Thanks, Ron, and what a fantastic way to rate a new Thai restaurant. I'm doing that from now on. And the M & M's -- yes, I can't really have them around without eating WAY too many. 😀
Love it, Pad Thai is one of our favorites and yours looks perfect! Such a nice dish for meatless Monday.
Many thanks, James. Ah yes, meatless Monday -- perfect. 🙂
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
Lol...I could never forget the M &M's. Though, truth be told, if I had this pad Thai in front of me I'd probably eat more than one bowl and be so full that that's all I'd want. It looks delicious, Valentina! I'm kinda wanting this for breakfast right now, actually 😉 Happy Monday to ya!
Nothing wrong with noodles for breakfast. 😉 Thank you, Dawn! 🙂 Have a great week!
David @ Spiced
Never forget the M&Ms! Haha. We went out for dinner Saturday night with friends to a Thai place. It was delicious, but I do love cooking at home. There's just something so fun and relaxing when it comes to the kitchen. I love the sound of this peanut sauce...nice and easy but packed with flavor! This recipe definitely needs to go on the short list! 🙂
Thanks, David. Fun going out for Thai too. I inevitably eat too much every time. Those flavors!
I love pad Thai - it is one of the dishes that I can always order without garlic! The peanut sauce recipe has so many uses! Love it! Happy Monday!
Thanks, David, and a very happy week to you. 🙂
Had to wipe the drool off my keyboard after reading this! Seriously brilliant recipe - I am adding it to my Vegetarian Nutrition class course as one of the dishes my students make if that's ok - I print out the recipe from the website for them to use in class and then add the link to a list for my students!
Of course! I'm flattered. 🙂 Thank you and I hope they love it! xo
Jeff the Chef
I love peanut sauce. I'd put it on anything!
Me too. 😀 Thanks, Jeff!
Love this. So refreshing and healthy. I could eat it every day.
Me too! Ha! Thanks, Mimi. 🙂
I love it when specific dishes stir fun memories. Wings was a great show. Remember Tony Shalhoub as Antonio?
I've been craving Pad Thai for weeks! Now I have no excuse not to make it - your recipe looks just perfect!
Yes! Tony Shalhoub! These days I'm loving him is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 🙂
Hope you try and love the pad thai. Thank you for checking it out. ~Valentina