This delicious Vegetarian Pad Thai recipe is easy to make with crunchy veggies, crispy tofu, and tender rice noodles. Easy enough for any home cook and ready in about 30 minutes.
If you’re looking for a deliciously satisfying vegan recipe to make for Meatless Monday, try this amazing vegetarian pad thai! It’s got crispy marinated tofu, a creamy peanut sauce, and tons of veggies. Customize with your favorites and introduce your family to something new.
Be sure to try some of our other favorite Asian-inspired dishes, like Korean Short Ribs, Ramen Noodle Stir Fry, and Chicken Lo Mein.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Pad Thai Noodles
Protein – this vegetarian recipe uses a block of tofu, but if you aren’t cooking vegan you can use chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp.
Tofu marinade – soy sauce and lemon juice.
Flat rice noodles – you can also use soba noodles, spaghetti, or tagliatelle.
Peanut sauce – agave syrup (or honey or brown sugar), peanut butter, sriracha sauce, and water.
Olive oil – for stir frying.
Vegetables – carrot, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger.
Prep the tofu. Set the block of tofu on a plate and place a heavy bowl or pan on it. Let it sit like that for about 15 minutes to remove most of the excess water. Cut the tofu into cubes and marinate in lemon juice and soy sauce for at least 15 minutes.
Make the peanut sauce. Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Add more agave/honey if you like it a little sweeter.
Cook noodles. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Careful not to overcook. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Cook tofu and vegetables. Heat a medium skillet and cook the marinated tofu until it’s golden brown and crispy. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables, garlic, and ginger.
Add noodles and toss. Toss the noodles with the vegetables, then stir in the peanut sauce until the sauce is well dispersed and all of the noodles are well coated. Serve immediately with desired garnishes, like chopped peanuts and cilantro.
There are lots of other protein options if you don’t want to use tofu. You can still marinate the protein of choice in the lemon juice and soy sauce, then cook and add to your pad thai.
You can also swap out the vegetables for your favorites or just what you have on hand.
Make Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove.
Don’t skip the garnishes! A squeeze of lime, red pepper flakes, and crunchy peanuts really elevate this dish.
Sauces to serve with: Sriracha, Hot Chili, Chimichurri.
Optional garnishes: Lime, red pepper flakes, fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts
Cut the tofu (see notes) in 1-inch cubes and transfer in a small bowl. Pour soy sauce and lemon juice over the tofu and toss gently. Marinate for about 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Make the peanut sauce. In a small bowl, whisk agave syrup, soy sauce, lemon juice, peanut butter, sriracha sauce and water. Adjust sweetness as desired. Set aside.
Cook noodles according to instructions on the package. Rinse under cold water.
Heat a medium non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Remove tofu from the marinade and add to the skillet, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each side until golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate.
In a large wok, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat (if you don’t have a wok, a large, deep skillet will work too). Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are tender; 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, onion and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add drained noodles and toss. Pour peanut sauce over the noodles and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve immediately with desired garnishes, like chopped peanuts and cilantro.
Pro tip: Before cutting the tofu into cubes, set it on a plate and place a heavy bowl or pan on it. Let it sit like that for about 15 minutes. This will help to remove much of the excess water.
Let us know how it was by leaving a review or sharing on Instagram with the tag #yellowblissroad
Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.