Healthy Gluten Free Pad Thai is my rendition of the famous, number-one-selling dish in Thai restaurants all over America, Pad Thai. This recipe is made fast with minimal ingredients to prep. It shares the same aromatic tones as the traditional dish; acidic, sweet, and spicy. You'll notice the most significant difference between this recipe and the traditional Thai restaurant version is that it will taste overabundantly fresh.
If you are like me, you might love Asian-inspired dishes. I've created a few of my favorites but made them vegan & gluten-free. You'll want to check out my Sticky Tofu with Sumac for the mouthwatering sweet & sour taste, but all vegan! Or my Crispy Tofu Katsu, which is a staple in my kitchen!
Vegan & local
There's always room in my belly for the street-food, restaurant-style Pad Thai noodles that drip with flavors of creamy peanut spiciness.
When I want to pull all those flavors into my kitchen, I keep the recipe super fresh! The rice noodles and citrus pops from lime juice make this dish taste light and bright.
Even while vegan, I've had many versions of the traditional Pad Thai recipe, but you'll notice they all taste a little different.
My first experience was in college, Taste of Thai on Hertel Ave in Buffalo, NY. The place was poorly lit with a red carpet and dusty tchotchkes standing prisoner on decorative shelves. Soft Thai music filled the dining room while loud chatter from the kitchen crept through the partition.
I'd grab a free copy of Art Voice, a monthly paper on the happenings in our city, and head home with my doggie bag. Sadly, Taste of Thai closed unexpectedly; like an enigma, they were gone. I still remember that vegetarian Pad Thai is the absolute best I've ever had.
The #1 spot in Buffalo for Pad Thai is, hands down, Taste of Siam on Elmwood Ave. I'll return to Buffalo ONLY for their vegan version. I haven't found a place in the southwest I love, so I've resorted to making my own at home. If you're in PHX and know of a great local restaurant to get vegan Pad Thai, give me a heads up in the comment section - I'd love a new favorite!
Light & fresh sauce
This recipe does not use a premade sauce package. While rice noodles are naturally gluten-free, common Thai sauce ingredients contain gluten or fish. This tangy sauce is made with simple, whole ingredients that are not only gluten-free but vegan.
🥡peanut butter (I prefer PB powder mixed with water, so it's a runny peanut sauce)
🥡finely chopped green onions
🥡sriracha sauce (optional for spice)
What noodles to use?
Pictured are udon brown rice noodles from Lotus Foods. You can use any cooked noodles you'd like, although traditionally, flat rice noodles are used in Pad Thai dishes and are required to maintain this dish's gluten-free.
What vegetables to use?
Throughout the years of ordering pad Thai from various restaurants, I noticed that the vegetables are commonly similar and therefore used in this recipe.
🌱White beech mushrooms (this is in place of tofu)
Bell pepper, fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts, red onion, bok choy, or fried tofu are all great options when deciding what veggies to throw in. Get creative and lean into what you're craving!
Frequently Asked Questions
I can only speak for this recipe - YES. This recipe is packed with vegetables and clean ingredients. Adding in protein from tofu is an excellent option for a well-rounded dish. Prepare the tofu as you'd like and throw it in at the end before mixing everything together.
Unfortunately, a lot of the sauces are made with soy sauce containing gluten. This recipe uses coconut aminos as a soy sauce substitute. Commonly rice noodles are used and are gluten-free.
Often there is egg in the dish or fish sauce, making most versions not vegan.
It's not! This recipe has no spicy peppers or spicy additions to the sauce. Optionally you can add Sriracha to the sauce to add more spice!
This recipe stores well in an airtight container for up to five days, making it a great dish to prepare and enjoy throughout the week. Next-day leftovers are my favorite. Warm on medium heat or enjoy cold!
If you've made this recipe and have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to share them below.
Healthy Gluten Free Pad Thai
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup coconut aminos soy sauce subsitute
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon of oil I prefer avocado oil
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sriracha optional for spiciness
All other ingredients:
- 8- ounce package of rice noodles ensure gluten-free
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1- inch ginger minced
- 1 head of napa cabbage
- 1 cup carrots julienned, then cut into 1-inch sticks
- 8- ounce package of white beech mushrooms
- 1 head of broccolini or broccoli destemmed
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- 1-2 cup green onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon poppy/sesame seeds
- 2 lime wedges
- Boil water and cook noodles per package.
- Chop vegetables - mince garlic and ginger, chop broccolini/broccoli into small bite-sized pieces, remove the stem—cut end off napa cabbage. Julien carrots into long thin sticks, then chop into 1-inch-long sticks. Chop ends off mushrooms.
- Cover the bottom of a large frypan with water and set to high heat. Once warm, add in minced garlic until fragrant.
- Add all vegetables and ginger (except the garnish) to a large fry pan and cover on medium high heat. Stir occasionally, ensuring they do not stick, for about 7 minutes. Add more warm water if evaporated.
- Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
- Take prepared noodles and add to the veggie's pan, cover with sauce and stir until combined.
- Serve with garnish.