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This quick Vegetable Pad Thai is based on an authentic Pad Thai recipe, but unlike many meat-less
If there is one Thai dish that's a little bit more common than all other Thai dishes - at least in Europe - it has to be the Pad Thai. Not too uncommon in Thailand either, mind you - it seems like every corner in Bangkok has its own Pad Thai restaurant. I use the term restaurant loosely
I get why it's so popular, especially among us
Learning the Secrets of an Authentic Pad Thai
This specific recipe is based on a true, authentic Pad Thai recipe. While living in Bangkok I attended the Chef Leez Thai cooking school, which I can highly recommend if you're ever in the vicinity and crave some cooking.
For me, living without a kitchen for 3 months, that day with Chef Leez was one of the best of my life. Hands down. No question. I just loved it. Not just getting to cook, but also learning
What is Pad Thai?
While we have all kinds of flavors associated with a Pad Thai, "Pad Thai" literally means "Thai stir-fry". Anything Pad is a stir-fry and Thai means, well, yeah, "Thai". In
If you have it in Thailand you will likely get dried mini shrimp as well - these bring a delicious flavor to the
Making the Pad Thai is just like making any stir fry. Chop everything up, combine in a wok, add some sauce, and fry. Combine it all in the right order and you'll ensure the perfect texture. Top with your crushed peanuts, chili flakes and lemon or lime and - for the true Thai experience - serve with some fish sauce on the side for the salt lover.
How to Make Pad Thai Sauce
An important part of a good Pad Thai is having a good Pad Thai sauce. You can buy this at most Asian supermarkets outside of Thailand but I prefer making my own. It's super simple with only a few ingredients, and all are far more versatile in your kitchen than a can of Pad Thai sauce. All you need is fish sauce (salty), tamarind paste (sweet & sour), a pinch of sugar and some water. For the exact ratio of these, I suggest the classic old taste test. I like using the same amount of fish sauce and tamarind, but I also like to add a bit extra fish sauce on top before diving in.
Now yes, there is a little sugar added. Traditionally, it should be palm sugar (it's supposed to be healthier than refined white sugar, and is more authentic in taste) - I have a hard time finding good palm sugar in Sweden so I use my regular kind. I've made it without sugar as well, and it's still delicious. But it's such a small quantity and it does provide that extra roundness of flavor, so most often I add it.
How to Make Vegetarian Pad Thai Without Tofu
Anyway, this Veggie Pad Thai is my latest Pad Thai favorite. I'm not a big fan of tofu, so I really wanted to create a meat-less Pad Thai version without it. Here the broccoli and bell pepper provide both texture & taste, while at the same time filling you up with loads of vitamins.
And of course, it has all the Pad Thai flavors you love - the sweet & sour tamarind, the salty fish sauce, the crunchy peanuts, the squeeze of lemon or lime. And that touch of sugar, if you like. Yes, I said, fish sauce. So while almost vegetarian, it isn't technically. But less meat is always something, right?
Over to you then - try it, and stop with the takeout already. I mean, 15 minutes? That's quicker than Uber Eats! Looking for more delicious Thai recipes? Check out my authentic Massaman Chicken Curry or Larb Gai.
Did you make this? Please leave a comment and/or a rating and let me know what you thought! Or just leave a comment anyway - I love hearing from you. Posting it on Instagram? I'd love for you to tag me @alwaysusebutter, and please use the hashtag #alwaysusebutter as well.
Love & deliciousness,
15-minute Vegetable Pad ThaiPrint Pin Rate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 broccoli cut in bite size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 2 servings rice noodles cooked according to package instruction
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
Pad Thai Sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar can be omitted
- 2 tablespoon water
- 4 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts roughly chopped
- 2 lemon or lime wedges
- fish sauce if desired
- chili flakes according to taste
- Make the Pad Thai sauce by mixing together all the ingredients. Taste test and adjust accordingly.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or other large pan over medium heat. Add in the chopped shallots and garlic and fry for a minute.
- Add in the broccoli florets and sliced bell pepper, and fry for 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is slightly softened.
- Add in the Pad Thai sauce, mix well, and cook for a minute.
- Add in the cooked noodles, mix well, and cook for another minute.
- Move the vegetables and noodles to one side of the pan. Break the eggs straight into the empty half of the pan, break the yolks and mix carefully without mixing it in with the vegetables and noodles. Let the eggs fry until just cooked, then mix it in with the rest.
- Add in the bean sprouts and chopped spring onions and mix well. Plate, and top with chopped peanuts, chili flakes and a wedge of lemon or lime.
Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.
Quite tasty, but mine turned out sort of brown/grey due to color from the tamarind paste... Any tips on how to maintain a more appetizing color? Also doubled the amount to make 4 portions and it took me about 45 minutes to make. However, I will admit I am no professional home-chef 😀
Oh no! I think it probably depends on which tamarind paste you use - mine doesn't turn out that color. I use one from Thai Dancer that comes in a bottle. Curious, what took a lot of time with the recipe? It's so quick for me to make but of course I am used to it 🙂
I love vegetarian twists on traditional dishes! Looks so yummy!
Thank you Izzy! I'm a big fan of those twists as well 🙂
This looks so yummy! I am also not a huge fan of tofu, which can be hard being a vegetarian. I have actually been looking for a homemade vegetarian Pad Thai recipe so this is perfect!
Happy I could help! Let me know when you try it!
I love a good pad thai and yours looks really delicious, I love all the colors in there, much more inviting than the usual uniform brown. Thank you for sharing, Emmeline! 🙂
You are very welcome! I love the colors too - a sucker for adding veggies more according to color than anything else!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate
This looks amazing! How fab that you got to learn from a great chef! Nice!
Thank you! Yes, that was so amazing. Best thai food I've had was made by me under her supervision 😉
Mmm who doesn't love a good Pad Thai!?! I love that you have given us a veggie option, we are trying to go meat-free twice a week this year and this will definitely make it easier! YUMM!
Thank you for commenting! I'm trying my best to have more meat-free meals as well, so have to make versions of all my favorites 😀
This Pad Thai is so colorful and it looks delicious!
I've never made Thai food, I'll have to try it!
You should! So easy to make and quicker than takeout 😉
Love all the progress pictures and love how simple and easy this recipe is. I love keeping things vegetarian as much as possible so this would be great for us. Saving for later.
Thank you, so glad you liked it! Same here - especially when a dish is just as good vegetarian as it is with animal protein! Let me know when you try it 😀
Wow! I never made pad thai on my own before and this is so tempting to give a try!
Try it, it’s so easy! Thanks for commenting!
Cheese Curd In Paradise
I love Pad Thai and I love your vegetarian version! I love the added veggies because it gives a hearty base to the meal- plus the broccoli is delicious soaked in the sauce!
My husband loves pad thai - I should try this to surprise him!
Bee - Bites 'N Pieces
This looks really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
There's nothing better than Pad Thai! Thank you for the recipe (I needed a reason to use up the rest of my tamarind paste!) And holy moly vitamin C - I had no idea this recipe was soooo healthy!
Yey for vitamins! All that tamarind and Bell pepper and broccoli 😍
First of all I am not a vegetarian but this Vegetarian Pad Thai looks amazing. I love pad thai and it was amazing to eat the different variations in Thailand! Secondly thanks for adding the macros. I am always trying to eat healthy and it helps to know the break down.
I may skip the tofu though and make this with grilled chicken to add some protein content for us non vegs. SO my questions is, what do you think I could use to reduce the carb count a wee bit besides cutting the serving down?
Hi Eric! Thank you for commenting! There's actually no tofu in this one (not a fan!) but adding some chicken to it would be awesome anyway - I've done it a few times and it complements the veggies perfectly. Most of the carbs come from the noodles, and since rice noodles are a quite low carb variety as far as noodles go the best option would be to reduce the amount or just exclude them. It would make a delicious stir-fry without noodles, with just the veggies and egg and then you can add your chicken as well if you like. /Emmeline
Love all of the flavor in this recipe! Such a good, easy dinner idea!
This is so yummy! Super healthy as well. Would love to try it!
This quick vegetarian pad thai looks so light and refreshing. Perfect for the New Year and eating healthy!
Thai food is my favorite food of all time. I love all the delicious intense and spicy flavors. It's just so good! This is such a great recipe, I'm def going to try it 🙂
Amy | The Cook Report
I love quick noodle dishes like this, they make a perfect after work meal!
This is such an healthy and delicious meal. My family to enjoy this dish. Have to make it.