Vegetarian Pad Thai with a Sweet-Savory Peanut Sauce

A gluten-free and vegetarian take on the classic, this fresh and easy dish is packed with veggies and topped with the yummiest peanut sauce for the best flavor! Plus a mix of rice noodles and sweet potato noodles gives this pad thai a fresh take and some extra nutrients.

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Vegetarian Pad Thai with a Sweet-Savory Peanut Sauce

Easy, Flavorful and Satisfying!

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New! I added a cooking video to this page so you could see just how easy it is to make this gluten-free Vegetarian Pad Thai!

If you’re new to this website, at the bottom of every recipe page is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions.


Original post… 

This gluten-free Vegetarian Pad Thai is a real win!

Packed with goodness and fresh tasting, but it has multi levels of flavor and is so satisfying.

Plus, it’s super easy to whip up!

It is a mix of rice and sweet potato noodles, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, peanuts and the yummiest peanut sauce!

And it is adaptable to tastes… you could use more or less of the rice noodles and sweet potato noodles to taste.  It could even be 100% grain free if you skipped the rice noodles.

Here’s what in the dish (in addition to an amazing pad thai dressing and peanut sauce):

Thin Rice Noodles (we used Thai Kitchen here; in the video I use Annie Chun’s… there are many options!)

sweet potato noodles

shredded cabbage

mung bean sprouts

tofu (skip or sub grilled chicken for the omnivores if you prefer but I personally love it!)

plus peanuts


and scallions for garnish.

vegetarian pad thai gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

A note on the sweet potato noodles...

You could use a spiralizer to make them (we love our Paderno Spiralizer – amazon affiliate link), but many stores sell them pre-spiralized. While I like to make my own zucchini noodles, I find sweet potato noodles more challenging and usually purchase them already cut into noodles.

Now to the pad thai dressing.

We’ll toss the noodles, sweet potato noodles and cabbage in this dressing for the best flavor!

The pad thai dressing has many dimensions of flavor- sour, salty, savory, tangy, sweet — but all mixed together is so tasty!

A traditional pad thai dressing include fish sauce. As I made this a vegetarian version, it does not and tamarind stir fry paste substitutes.

Tamarind paste (according to google!) is from pods of a tamarind tree.  The tamarind past is sour but  mixed with all the other ingredients is sooooo delicious!

I usually purchase the tamarind paste at Whole Foods.

What you’ll need for the pad thai dressing is:

peanut oil

tamarind stir fry paste (see above for more details)

gluten-free soy sauce or tamari



fresh ginger

juice of a lime

and maple syrup.

vegetarian pad thai gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

And it comes together in 5 minutes!

You just heat up the oil, tamari and tamarind paste.

Then saute the scallions and garlic.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, ginger and maple syrup.

The result is the most amazing sweet, sour, savory and salty dressing that is mixed up with the noodles and makes the noodles taste soooo good!


Now on to the Peanut Sauce

It is one of my favorites!

It is seriously so yummy, practically drinkable. It is a little savory, a little sweet, a little (or a lot – you decide) spicy .

You could also make this with any nut or seed butter of your choice if you have an allergy to peanuts.

It’s made with 8 ingredients and comes together quickly:

peanut butter

gluten-free tamari


rice wine vinegar


fresh lime juice


and brown sugar.

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All you do it mix all the ingredients in a blender.

Taste and adjust to tastes and consistency.

Drizzled on top of the tofu and noodle mix, it is delish!

vegetarian pad thai gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

So now you have your dressing and your peanut sauce…

The only thing left to do is cook the rice noodles and saute the sweet potatoes until tender.

I usually do this simultaneously and it is super quick — the noodles take less than 5 minutes because they are thin and the sweet potato noodles just 5-10 minutes.

vegetarian pad thai gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

Once they are cooked you mix them along with the cabbage and mung bean sprouts with the dressing in a large bowl.

Then top with tofu, drizzle with peanut sauce and sprinkle with peanuts, scallions and cilantro for extra burst of crunch and flavor.

vegetarian pad thai gluten free #glutenfreerecipes

Leftovers are just a tasty!

If I know I’m not eating it all at once, I will store the noodles and sweet potato noodles together and reheat. Then stir in fresh cabbage, mung bean sprout and tofu.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

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Scroll down for recipe and leave  me a comment if you try it.


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5 from 3 votes

Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce

This fresh, easy dish is packed with vegetables and topped with a sweet-savory peanut sauce. It is packed with flavor, tastes indulgent without being heavy and is so satisfying. I've made this dish both with and without sweet potato noodles and it's great both ways. Made for 2 servings. You could easily adjust quantity and add more or less of your favorite veggies and add any other protein.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Veggies
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family


Noodles and Vegetables (Feel free to adjust these quantities to taste and use more/ less rice noodle/sweet potato noodles/ cabbage as desired)

  • Approximately 4 oz Gluten-free Thin Rice Noodles I've used Explore Asian and Thai Kitchen
  • Approximately 2 cups sweet potato noodles
  • 1 cup of shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup firm tofu drained, pressed and cubed (about 1/2 a block of tofu)
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts
  • a handful of cilantro


  • 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind stir fry paste
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions chopped (reserve some of the green parts for garnish)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Peanut Sauce (substitute any nut or seed butter if allergy)

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
  • ½ -1 inch piece ginger
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 "squirts" sriracha sauce
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • ¼ cup hot water you can use less if you want a thicker sauce but for the salad, we prefer thinner
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar



  • Over medium heat, add oil, tamarind sauce, soy sauce and heat until it is about to simmer. Add scallions and garlic and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add ginger, lime juice and maple syrup. Mix well. Set aside.

Peanut Sauce

  • Place all ingredients in a small blender and pulse till blended and smooth, approximately 1 minute or less

Noodles and Veggies

  • Prepare rice noodles according to package, set aside.
  • Meanwhile saute sweet potato noodles with a touch of oil (grape seed, sesame, or any neutral oil of choice) in a fry pan for 5-10 minutes, until tender.
  • Combine prepared noodles, sweet potato noodles, cabbage, and sprouts in a large bowl and add dressing to taste, mixing well.
  • Top with tofu and peanuts
  • Drizzle with peanut sauce and top with cilantro and scallions
  • Store extra peanut sauce in the refrigerator in a sealed jar and use as salad dressing or dip for the next few days.
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!


10 thoughts on “Vegetarian Pad Thai with a Sweet-Savory Peanut Sauce

    1. Thanks so much! It is one of my favorites! I happen to be a huge tofu fan and it is uncooked in this dish. You could always grill it or roast it if you wanted but it is an extra step. The other day I picked up a package of already grilled tofu which I thought was really interesting and tasted good, that would work too. Let me know if you try it.

  1. Do you do the sweet potato noodles yourself with a spiralizer or do you buy them dried? I’ve never seen them before!

    1. I usually purchase them pre-sprialized but you could make your own. Let me know if you try!

  2. My daughter said it best- “This is totally amazing.” Awesome recipe was a hit with the whole family and the sweet potato noodles were very easy to do with a spiralizer and some sautéing.

  3. 5 stars
    Karen – we loved this recipe! My hubby, daughter and I made it this afternoon. We added shrimp for my husband. What a hit! Thank you for sharing your kitchen with us! ? Debbie, Pat & Catelyn

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you so much! It was delicious even though I was missing the tamarind paste, sweet potato noodles and sprouts. I doubled the recipe for 2 of us and we ate almost all of it!

5 from 3 votes

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