Get ready for the best, easy vegan pad thai that comes together in less than 30 minutes. It is made with only a few simple ingredients including gluten free noodles! It is the perfect recipe to make a delicious and healthy weeknight dinner in a pinch.
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Thai food is one of my absolute favorite cuisines to order as takeout. To save my budget, I decided that I needed to recreate the classic dish to make this easy vegan pad thai. However, when it comes to the classic, it incorporates many ingredients that I often do not have on hand. While I would love to use those, I wanted to make a dish that would be easily accessible and affordable to everyone. With that said, this recipe is incredibly delicious and full of beautiful flavors.
SO… what will you need to make this easy vegan pad thai?
- Noodles (check below for different options! I used Palmini angel hair here)
- Cruciferous crunch mix (or mixed cabbage and kale)
- Shredded carrots
- Coconut aminos
- Cashew butter (or peanut butter)
- Rice vinegar
- Red pepper flakes
- Sesame oil
What kind of noodles?
In this recipe, I used Palmini angel hair. This pasta is a low carb noodle made out of hearts of palm. While I love a good classic noodle, I love how simple the ingredients are and that is a good option for when I want something a little lighter.
Other noodles that I have used in this recipe:
How can I add more protein?
You can easily scramble in a few eggs or egg whites into this for an extra boost of protein! This will make the delish vegetarian vs. vegan. You can also substitute or add cooked chicken, shrimp, salmon or beef. So many ways to customize this recipe!
Why cashew butter?
Typically, classic pad thai recipes use some sort of sweetener. For me, I do not love to use sugar in dinner recipes but I did want a touch of sweetness. Since the dish already has a nutty component due to the chopped peanuts, I used cashew butter because it has a slightly sweeter profile compared to other nuts. You can easily substitute with the peanut butter or do half and half. But trust me, it is delicious!
Can I make any substitutions or add more ingredients?
- Noodles: see the suggestions for substitutions above!
- Cruciferous crunch mix: I used the one from Trader Joe’s but you can either make your own or buy another brand’s mix. It is a stir-fry like mix with kale and purple cabbage!
- Coconut aminos: you can use soy sauce or tamari
- Cashew butter: any nut or seed butter will work but I would recommend cashew, peanut or tahini!
Need more dinner ideas? Check these out!
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Easy Vegan Pad Thai
- Saute Pan
Pad Thai Sauce
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 14 oz cans palmini angel hair or noodles (16 oz dr wt) see notes for substitutes
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 cups cruciferous crunch mix see notes
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Start by pressing the tofu to release the excess liquid. Press the tofu for at least 5 minutes over a paper towel on a plate.
- Now let's make the pad thai sauce: whisk together coconut aminos, cashew butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes and sesame oil until smooth. Make sure there are no clumps from the cashew butter!
- Get your pressed tofu and cut it into cubes. Add the tofu to a non-stick pan with 3 tbsp of the pad thai sauce on medium/high heat for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- If using the palmini angel hair, drain and rinse first. If using a different noodle, cook according to package instructions.
- Next, add in the cruciferous crunch mix, shredded carrots, and palmini angel hair into the pan with the tofu. Toss around and cover the pan for 5 minutes.
- After a few minutes, add in the rest of the pad thai sauce and toss again. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
- Top with peanuts and cilantro to serve!
- You can replace the cashew butter with any nut butter but flavor will vary. I recommend cashew, peanut or tahini
- For another noodle option, you can use rice noodles, ramen, spaghetti squash or chickpea spaghetti. Use 16 oz dry weight (Palmini angel hair cans are 14 oz net weight but 8 oz dry weight). Cook according to package instructions. If using spaghetti squash, slice in half and roast at 425 for 40 minutes (cut side down) or microwave for 10-11 minutes after poking about 10 holes in the squash using a knife or fork
- Nutrition is based off the exact products listed
- Replace the Trader Joe’s cruciferous crunch mix with another brand’s version or a mix of purple cabbage and kale.