Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai
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This Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai recipe is easy to make in just 15 minutes and features THE BEST Pad Thai sauce! It’s vegetarian and given a spicy kick from chili peppers and sriracha! This recipe can be made anywhere from a 5-10 level spice, just follow the instructions below to make it just the right amount of spicy for your taste.
This recipe first appeared on the blog in January 2013. Since then it’s been viewed over a quarter million times and made by thousands of people! The original sauce recipe, that everyone knows and loves, has always stayed the same. The only thing that’s changed from the original recipe is that I added more veggies.
Feel free to add as many, or as few, vegetables as you would like, just be sure to make the sauce! It’s the star of this Vegetarian Pad Thai and will have you coming back to this recipe over and over again.
I love making my favorite Thai take-out dishes at home because it costs a fraction of the price and is made in less time than it would take to drive and pick up take-out at a restaurant. You can also make it your own by spicing up the dish as much as you’d like, or adding your favorite vegetables!
The best part about this Thai food favorite is that it’s so easy to make in just 15 minutes, making this one of our go-to weeknight meals!
Table of contents
- Soy sauce – I prefer to use low-sodium soy sauce to keep the saltiness of the Pad Thai sauce down, but feel free to use traditional soy sauce, if you prefer. If you’re making this recipe gluten free, you’ll want to use Tamari, or gluten free soy sauce.
- Sesame oil – pure sesame oil will be sold in the grocery store with the other oils, or in the Asian section of the store.
- Peanut butter – any creamy peanut butter will work, so feel free to use your favorite! Just remember that a peanut butter with added sugar will make the sauce a little sweeter.
- Brown sugar
- Lime juice – I always recommend fresh squeezed for the best flavor!
- Thai red curry paste – if you’re making this recipe vegetarian, you want to make sure that the curry paste you’re using does not contain shrimp paste. The brand Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste does not contain shrimp. It’s gluten free and vegetarian, making it perfect for this recipe.
- Pad Thai rice noodles – these could be labeled as rice noodles, Pad Thai noodles or stir-fry noodles. You can find them in the Asian section of the grocery store. If you live near an Asian market, you can also pick them up there for a fraction of the price!
- Garlic – fresh minced cloves are always preferred.
- Vegetables – feel free to get creative and use your favorite vegetables, or whatever you have on hand. Just be sure to cut them each into 1 inch pieces, so that they’ll all cook at the same time. You’ll want two cups of vegetables for this recipe, feel free to use two or three different veggies, or more! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Red bell pepper
- Baby bok choy
- Sugar snap peas
- Jalapeno, serrano peppers or Thai chilies – we’ll get into this more in the spice section below, but feel free to use any of these chili peppers or a combination of them to make this Pad Thai extra spicy! I always use at least one sliced jalapeno and if I have them around, I’ll throw in 2-3 Thai chilies.
- Bean sprouts – these are optional, but you’ll typically find them in an authentic Pad Thai recipe and they add an excellent crunch to the dish.
- Fresh cilantro, green onions and peanuts – these toppings are the perfect way to finish the dish. They add bright, fresh flavor on top of the Pad Thai and a delicious crunch!
I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: start by preparing the Pad Thai sauce. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, Sriracha and Thai red curry paste to a mason jar.
Step 2: secure the lid on the mason jar and shake the jar until all of the sauce ingredients are well combined.
Step 3: bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Turn the heat off on the stove and add the Pad Thai rice noodles to the hot water. Soak for 6-8 minutes, or until tender.
Step 4: slice and dice all of the vegetables and peppers for the Pad Thai.
Step 5: heat sesame oil in a wok, or large skillet, over high heat on the stove. Add all of the sliced and diced vegetables and peppers. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
Step 6: move the vegetables to one side of the wok and add two whisked eggs to the other side of the wok. Use a spatula to scramble the eggs in the pan.
Step 7: add the prepared rice noodles and sauce to the wok with the vegetables and eggs.
Step 8: toss everything together, then add the bean sprouts and toss them in with the Pad Thai. Top with the diced green onions, cilantro and crushed peanuts.
When ordering Pad Thai at a restaurant, they’ll usually ask how spicy you’d like it on a scale of 1-10. At any authentic Thai restaurant, this simply means how many Thai chilies they’ll be adding to the dish.
As it’s written, this recipe is at a level 5 using one jalapeno and one tablespoon Sriracha in the sauce. Here are a few ways you can take this recipe anywhere from a 5-10 level spice.
- For a level 6: add 1-2 minced Thai chilies to the recipe with the vegetables. Each chili is different, so the spice level will vary slightly depending on the chili.
- For a level 7: add 2 minced Thai chilies with the vegetables, and add an extra teaspoon of Sriracha to the sauce. My husband likes his Thai food spicy, so this is our go-to at home.
- For a level 8: add 4 minced Thai chilies with the vegetables, and an extra tablespoon of Sriracha to the sauce.
- For a level 9: add 6 minced Thai chilies with the vegetables. Also and an extra tablespoon of Sriracha to the sauce.
- For a level 10: keep a glass of milk handy for this one! Add 8 or more minced Thai chilies with the vegetables, and an extra tablespoon of Sriracha to the sauce.
Frequently asked questions
- Is Pad Thai gluten free? The dish is gluten free, just make sure to use Tamari instead of traditional soy sauce when making the sauce to keep it gluten free.
- Can you make the sauce ahead of time? Yes, the sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the Pad Thai. You can even make a double batch of the sauce to make this recipe twice in one week. It’s so good, I promise that you’ll want to!
- Is Vegetable Pad Thai vegan? It is not, because of the eggs. But it’s easy to make vegan Pad Thai simply by omitting the eggs in this recipe. Always make sure that the red curry paste does not contain shrimp paste, if you’re making this recipe vegan or vegetarian.
- Can you add tofu to the Pad Thai? Yes, I recommend using a block of extra firm tofu, pressing it dry and dicing it into small cubes before adding it to the recipe. You’ll want to stir fry it in the wok for 3-4 minutes before adding the vegetables.
- How long will leftovers stay good? Leftover Pad Thai will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s easy to reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes. I always recommend a squeeze of lime juice, and adding fresh cilantro and green onions on top after reheating it.
Pantry items needed
- Tamari – gluten free soy sauce used to make this recipe gluten free
- Thai Red Curry Paste – vegetarian
- Sesame Oil
- Pad Thai Rice Noodles
More Thai food favorites
- Thai Yellow Curry
- Drunken Noodles
- Thai Chicken Satay
- Vegetarian Massaman Curry Noodles
- Thai Coconut Soup with Potstickers
More easy vegetarian recipes
Looking for more easy vegetarian recipes made in 29 minutes or less? Check out these favorites!
- Vegetarian Ramen
- Vegan Tacos with Grilled Veggies
- Caprese Pasta
- General Tso’s Vegetarian Noodle Stir Fry
- Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl
Don’t forget to pin this 15 Minute Pad Thai Recipe for later and when you make it, be sure to share a pic on Instagram and tag me @WhitneyBond or use the hashtag #WBRecipes!
Spicy Vegetable Pad Thai
Pad Thai Sauce
Vegetable Pad Thai
- 14 ounces pad thai rice noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cups vegetables, bell peppers, zucchini, onions or mushrooms – sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced – or 2 minced Thai chilies
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
- In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, sriracha and Thai red curry paste to make the pad thai sauce. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Once boiling, turn the heat on the stove off and add the pad thai noodles to the hot water.
- Let the noodles soak in the water for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, then drain and set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to a large skillet or wok over high heat.
- Stir fry the vegetables, jalapeños and garlic in the sesame oil for 4-5 minutes, then push to the side of the skillet.
- In the other half of the skillet, add the whisked eggs and scramble.
- Add the cooked pad thai noodles and prepared pad thai sauce to the skillet. Toss everything together.
- Add the bean sprouts and toss them into the dish.
- Sprinkle the cilantro, scallions and crushed peanuts on top and serve immediately.
- The dish is gluten free, just make sure to use Tamari instead of traditional soy sauce when making the sauce to keep it gluten free.
- The sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the Pad Thai. You can even make a double batch of the sauce to make this recipe twice in one week.
- To make this recipe vegan, omit the eggs. Always make sure that the red curry paste does not contain shrimp paste, if you’re making this recipe vegan or vegetarian.
- Leftover Pad Thai will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s easy to reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes. I always recommend a squeeze of lime juice, and adding fresh cilantro and green onions on top after reheating it.
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