Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil

Fast and easy? Adaptable? Simple? Delicious? That’s this vegetarian pad thai.

Vegetarian Pad Thai on Plate

Once again, NOODLES.

Here we are again, just me and my big bowl-o-noodles… and a few veggies, and a lot of sauce, and a handful of fresh basil and cilantro….  a fork, a hungry mouth, a heart-eyes emoji… ugh. This reunion with me and cooking could not get any happier.

This Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai is first and foremost RAINBOW, which is the only fun way to eat anything in life.

It is brown rice noodles, and spiralized veggies (because veggies in noodle form feels like more noodles), and a super tangy-delicious Pad Thai sauce that you just shake up in a jar in about five seconds flat, and peanuts that almost instantly start to soak up the sauce, and a gently scrambled egg that kind of cream-ifies the whole thing.

Also: fresh herbs by the fistful. You’ll take a bite, you’ll love it, and then you’ll remember you have to add in the basil, and so you’ll add them in and try your second bite complete with the herbs, and OH MY GOODNESS things just went to the next level. I’m so excited for you.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Vegetarian Pad Thai

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Vegetarian Pad Thai being scooped up with tongs

Low Effort, Big Flavor

This Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai (with peanuts and basil dohhh) is just really good, my friends. It is really good and surprisingly easy. I took a few ideas I had seen out there in the big wide internet world (vegetables as noodles! Pad Thai sauce-ery!) and made them into this. And I am so happy with how it turned out + the minuscule amount of effort it takes to get there.

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been really taking it easy lately in the kitchen. When I say take it easy, I don’t mean making ten minute basil artichoke toasts and five minute magic green sauce. I mean taking it easy as in NOT COOKING ANYTHING. We’re talking life-saving dinner made by friends, hot dogs (gulp), mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets out of the freezer. During these last few weeks, my old self has definitely been food-snob-judging my current self.

It’s a hard job, all this noodle-eating, but I’m willing to fight the good fight. Carry on, Warrior!

Pad Thai in Skillet with tongs

Ingredients In This Vegetarian Pad Thai

Lots of easy-to-find, fresh ingredients in this Pad Thai!

  • Brown rice noodles
  • Veggies (you can use whatever you’d like, but we really love red bell peppers, zucchini, onion, and carrots)
  • Egg
  • Peanuts
  • Fresh herbs

And for the sauce you’ll need:

  • fish sauce
  • brown sugar
  • broth
  • white vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • chili paste

How To Make Some Yummy Pad Thai

Let’s talk about how to make this Pad Thai, because it’s so easy. More like I’ll show you with pictures because I talk too much, always.

  1. Prep your noodles and veggies. Soak your noodles in a bowl of cold water to get them ready. Spiralize your veggies – you don’t need-need to spiralize. You can use a peeler or just cut the veggies into thin strips. But boy, oh boy! Spiralizers are fun to use!
  2. Shake your sauce. Toss the fish sauce, brown sugar, broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and chili paste into a small jar and shake it up until a sauce forms.
  3. Cook your veg. Stir fry your veggies in a pan with a little bit oil. Just 2-3 minutes should do it so that the veggies remain crispy rather than soggy. No sad veggies in this Pad Thai!
  4. Add the noodles and other bits of yum. Add your drained rice noodles to the hot pan. Move the noodles to the side and cook the egg. Add the veggies back to the pan with the sauce and slurp away on the best vegetarian Pad Thai.
Bell Peppers for Vegetarian Pad Thai
Pad Thai Noodles Soaking
Measuring cup pouring sauce on to pad thai noodles
Tongs grabbing pad thai

Pad Thai Variations

Lots of ways to make these noodles for you! May we suggest…

  • Crisped up tofu – why are these cubes so addictingly good?
  • Bean sprouts – the perfect crunch
  • Garlic – hello, good friend. You are welcome here.
  • Lime squeeze – the perfect freshness right on top
  • Different veggies (mushrooms, green onions, pea pods, so many fresh options!)
Vegetarian Pad Thai Noodles on a Plate

However you Pad Thai, do not, we repeat, DO NOT sleep on these slurpable noodles. Just so, so good.

Vegetarian Pad Thai: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this without sugar?

If going sugar-free is important to you, make sure to sub another sweetener for the brown sugar. Also important: fish sauce contains trace amounts of sugar.

How sticky should my noodles be?

There is a fine line between the mixture being Just Right Sticky and TOO Sticky. Usually too sticky happens when you cook it too long. Watch it carefully and once you see it starting to come together, remove from heat right away and toss with the veggies.

Should I use all of the sauce?

You might not need all the sauce in this recipe, but I (as a sauce lover) did use all of it! I would say just eyeball whatever amount looks good to you and save the rest to add in later if you want.

How can I make this gluten-free?

This recipe is gluten-free other than the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, so just swap that out for tamari if you need it to be gluten-free!

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai on a plate with cilantro.

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with a simple five ingredient Pad Thai sauce – adaptable to any veggies you have on hand! So easy and delicious!



For the Pad Thai

  • 4 ounces brown rice noodles (you can get stir-fry type noodles or Pad Thai noodles – and usually that’s half a box)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • half a yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs like cilantro, green onions, and basil, chopped

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce or vegan fish sauce substitute
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or sub another sweetener)
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)


  1. Place the uncooked noodles in a bowl of cold water to soak. Spiralize the zucchini, red pepper, and onion into noodle-like shapes. Cut the carrots into very small pieces (or spiralize them, too, if they’re big enough).
  2. Shake up the sauce ingredients in a jar.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies – stir fry with tongs for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp (if they are not spiralized, they might need longer). Be careful not to overcook them – they’ll get soggy and heavy. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Drain the noodles – they should be softened by now. Add the noodles to the hot pan and stir fry for a minute, using tongs to toss. Add the sauce and stir fry for another minute or two, until the sauce is starting to thicken and stick to the noodles. Push the noodles aside to make a little room for the egg – pour the beaten egg into the pan and let it sit for 30 seconds or so. Toss everything around with the tongs. The egg mixture will stick to the noodles and everything will start getting sticky.
  5. Add in the vegetables, toss together, and remove from heat. Stir in the peanuts and herbs and serve immediately.


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: pad thai recipe, easy pad thai, vegetarian pad thai, sticky noodles, pad thai sauce

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NOTE: The fish sauce is a key ingredient and the flavor is hard to replicate, and personally, I’m not a die-hard vegetarian, so this works for me as is. But that being said, if I were absolutely 100% vegetarian, I would try this recipe as a vegan fish sauce substitute.

Note: this post contains affiliate links for the brown rice noodles!

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This recipe is part of our simple slurpable noodles page. Check it out!

The post Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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