Hello, my wonderful chickpeas! Today we are venturing into my twist on a Thai classic: my Vegan Pad Thai With Tofu! This recipe is delicious, easy to make, and is ready in 45 minutes or less! It’s the perfect vegan Pad Thai recipe for anyone looking for a plant based version of those classic flavors. Rice noodles, tofu, veggies, and a quick sauce come together perfectly for this meal.
This one was so fun to make and I can’t wait for you to enjoy it for your next lunch or dinner! Let’s get into it.
Inspiration for Vegan Pad Thai With Tofu
Unfortunately for those of us who are vegan or vegetarian, traditional Pad Thai is usually made with fish and/or oyster sauce, and eggs. However, I love the other general flavors of this dish so much that I wanted to create a vegan-friendly option! As always, since this has some substitutions and changes from a traditional Pad Thai, you should expect it to taste slightly different from an authentic version. However, it’s a great option if you want to satisfy that general craving in a plant based way!
My goals here were to let the savory lime and peanut butter flavors shine, incorporate some extra veggies, and keep it easy… all while still giving off strong Pad Thai vibes. This Vegan Pad Thai recipe does just that! This is a great weeknight meal when you want something simple that still brings the flavor.
We make a few substitutions in this Vegan Pad Thai recipe to keep things veg-friendly, but there isn’t anything tremendously crazy in this ingredients list! Some of it you may even already have in your pantry and fridge at home, so let’s get cooking!.
- Rice noodles: a necessary staple for Pad Thai. You can usually find these in the Asian section of the grocery store!
- Extra firm tofu: to add some protein and texture to our dish! The tofu also soaks up the flavor of the sauce nicely.
- Bell pepper, onion, garlic, carrots, and green onion: I really wanted to pack some colorful veggies into this recipe. Color means lots of nutrients, plus they also make our dish beautiful!
- Mung bean sprouts: a classic for Pad Thai! These add a bit of crunch.
- Dry roasted peanuts: For even more crunch, and for more of that delicious peanut flavor.
- Tamari, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sriracha, lime juice, and peanut butter: these all come together to make our delicious sauce! The end result is a great balance between sweet and savory.
How to Make Vegan Pad Thai With Tofu
As always, the full recipe can be found down below. But here are the basics of what we are doing today:
- Cook your Pad Thai noodles.
- Blend up your sauce.
- Sauté your tofu.
- Add the peppers and onions, continue to sauté.
- Add garlic, continue to sauté.
- Toss in the Pad Thai noodles, sauce, and carrots to the pan. Then toss to combine.
- Add in green onion, mung bean sprouts, and peanuts.
- Lastly, serve and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
I always encourage my readers to adjust my recipes based on their preferences! Here are some ideas on how you can do that, and how you can best enjoy this Vegan Pad Thai recipe!
- If you want more of a rainbow, toss in multiple colors of bell pepper! I think a mix of red, orange, and yellow would be especially fun.
- If you like things spicy, then feel free to add more sriracha to the sauce! This is an easy way to increase the spice.
- Having a hard time finding mung beans at the store? No worries, they add some crunch and are a fun addition, but the recipe is still great without them. Feel free to leave them out if they aren’t available at your local store!
- I tested a number of Pad Thai noodles while creating this recipe, and by far I liked the Annie Chun brand best! They have both regular Pad Thai rice noodles AND a brown rice version (if you want to keep things WFPB).
- Looking for other Asian-inspired veganized recipes? You may also like my Vegetable Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu and my Vegetable Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce!
Vegan Pad Thai With Tofu
This Vegan Pad Thai With Tofu is delicious, easy to make, and is ready in 45 minutes or less! It’s the perfect Vegan Pad Thai recipe for anyone looking for a plant based version of those classic flavors. Rice noodles, tofu, veggies, and a quick sauce come together perfectly for this easy meal.
*Note that From Start to Finish is an estimate that includes 20 minutes to prep your ingredients (including pressing your tofu and cooking your noodles), and 25 minutes to complete the recipe directions.
1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed for 20 minutes* and cubed
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into long strips
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into long strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz Pad Thai rice noodles*, cooked according to package directions
2 small/medium carrots, julienned
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
4 Tbsp tamari
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sriracha
1.5 Tbsp lime juice
1.5 Tbsp natural peanut butter*
- Optional toppings:
Cilantro, additional unsalted dry roasted peanuts, and/or additional lime juice (or a lime wedge)
- Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until very smooth.
- Bring a large nonstick pan (or wok) to medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add just a bit of water to prevent sticking, and add your tofu cubes. Allow to sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally but allowing them to sit for 1-2 minutes at a time in between stirs. Add small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add the red bell pepper and onion to your pan. Allow to sauté 5 more minutes, still stirring only occasionally and adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add garlic to the pan. Allow to sauté 2 more minutes.
- Add your cooked noodles, sauce, and carrots to the pan. Toss until everything is heated through and sauce is mostly absorbed by the noodles. (It may seem like a lot of sauce at first, but it’ll reduce down after a couple of minutes).
- Add in the green onion, mung bean sprouts, and peanuts. Toss to combine.
- Serve and top with additional toppings if desired!
- *Extra firm tofu, pressed for 20 minutes: You can press your tofu by using a tofu press, or by wrapping your tofu in paper towels and placing a somewhat heavy plate on top of it.
- *Pad Thai rice noodles: for a less processed (WFPB) option, check out these Annie Chun Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles!
- *Natural peanut butter: ideally you want to use a peanut butter where the only ingredient is “dry roasted peanuts”, like this Once Again Creamy Organic Peanut Butter.
Stay joyfully balanced!