Vegan Pad Thai for Meatless Monday

Vegan Pad Thai
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Meatless Monday recipe but it isn’t because I’m not still a big advocate of the movement. In fact, my desire to eat less meat has increased over the last several months. The more I find out about the impact society’s consumption of meat has on the planet, our health and our waistlines, the more I want to ensure that meat is not always the focus of my family’s meals.

I recently took the quiz at Every Meal Counts and was staggered by the impact my eating habits still have on the environment, despite the amount my family and I have cut back on meat. Did you know that the amount of water required to raise a chicken could fill over six bathtubs? I found that seriously shocking and it’s only the beginning. I realise I need to do more and for me, part of that is getting back to developing more meatless recipes as well as writing a Meatless Monday post each week. I want to help everyone realise that eating meat free isn’t just good for you, it can be delicious too.

Meatless Monday is about more than just going without meat one day a week. It’s about the practice of being mindful that every meal we eat is important – and that every time we say no to meat or fish choices, we are saying yes to a healthier world and a healthier body.

I do struggle with the ethics of eating meat and fish – with the idea of something dying for my plate. I honestly can’t defend the practice and so choose to (hopefully) mitigate the damage I do by choosing to eat sustainably raised, organic or pastured meat and poultry in smaller quantities and on fewer occasions than in the past. I have no problem with eggs and dairy products, provided they are ethically produced and preferably organic. I appreciate there are those who believe we are better without them but I find them to be good additions to my diet and feel healthier when I eat them.

My family and I look forward to our meatless meals and try to make sure that at least three of our main meals every week are vegetarian choices. Meatless Monday isn’t about leaving something out or missing something, it’s about enjoying really delicious food that is good for you too.

So, for 2015, look forward to new Meatless Monday recipes as well as old favourites as well! For my first recipe, I’ve chosen a Vegan Pad Thai.

Vegan Pad Thai

I’ve always wanted to try Pad Thai but I’ve been a bit nervous about it. I don’t like fish sauce or bean sprouts so that has always put me off a bit. (Fish sauce is, of course, not vegetarian either.) Recently I found a recipe for Pad Thai in a leaflet produced by Waitrose, a British grocery store brand. It sounded delicious but there were still bean sprouts in it. I wondered if I could tweak the recipe to make an homage to a Pad Thai that, while not strictly authentic, was authentically delicious.

I was seriously pleased with the results. Packed full of veggies and studded with deliciously crunchy peanuts, my Vegan Pad Thai was a real hit with my family. Seriously quick and easy to prepare, it has become a favourite meal in our house and not just on Mondays either!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Vegan Pad Thai
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons mild olive oil or other flavourless oil
  • ¼ cup crunchy organic peanut butter
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (light if you are watching your salt)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 7 ounces dried medium rice noodles
  • 1 green cabbage, finely shredded (I like to use pointed or 'sweetheart' cabbage)
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, finely grated
  • ½ cup peanuts, finely chopped, divided
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. Don't leave the pan unattended while the oil heats up.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the boiling water and the peanut butter together.
  4. Add the lime juice, soy sauce and sugar and blend thoroughly.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Add the rice noodles to the boiling water, separating them with a fork.
  7. Put the lid on the pan and remove from the heat. Leave the noodles to soak.
  8. Stir fry the cabbage, red pepper and carrots in the hot oil in the frying pan for about five minutes or until tender crisp.
  9. Drain the noodles thoroughly and add to the pan.
  10. Using two forks, separate the noodles and mix them through the vegetables thoroughly. Try not to break up the noodles.
  11. Add the sauce and half the chopped peanuts and warm through.
  12. Serve the Pad Thai in warmed bowls with the remaining peanuts scattered over top for garnish.

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like A Vegetarian Valentine’s Dinner.

Shared with See Ya in the Gumbo, Inspire Me Mondays, Best of the Blogosphere, Simple Supper Tuesday, Treasure Box Tuesday, The Lou Lou Girls, Inspire Me Wednesday

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1254 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog,
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  1. Wow! Finally, a wonderful vegan recipe for Pad Thai! I’ve been a vegan for almost seven years and am always looking for yummy alternatives to meat and dairy. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Wow, I never really considered the environmental impact of eating lots of meat. Thanks so much for enlightening me 🙂 This recipe sounds really delicious! Looking forward to giving it a go, Thai is my favorite!

  3. I am trying to find more vegan meals my hubbie will like and I think I hit the jackpot with this one!

  4. I love the Meatless Monday movement! This dish looks scrumptious and I love the addition of cabbage!

  5. I love pad thai! Every few weeks I eat the “vegetarian pad thai” at a restaurant near work, but I have wondered whether or not they use fish sauce. Theirs may or may not contain bean sprouts–it varies depending on what’s in season–I’m okay with bean sprouts but don’t miss them when they aren’t there. Other vegetables they include that you might consider are mushrooms, bok choy, broccoli, and water chestnuts. They also include a few strips of baked marinated tofu, which is delicious and adds protein.

    I’ve saved your recipe to Pocket and plan to try it someday!

  6. Hi April! I’ve never done Meatless Monday, but I can completely understand and see your reasoning behind it. It’s pretty shocking when you think about the consumption of a whole family and the effects on the environment. While I’ll probably never give up fish, I could see giving up meat one day. I need to read more books about it to make my own educated choice. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  7. April, I feel the same way. I’ve been vegetarian in the past and even vegan for a shorter time, but my husband does not thrive without some meat in his diet and I grew tired of preparing two different meals. So I buy organic, grassfed/pastured meat and poultry that has been humanely and ethically raised. And serve smaller portions. It is better for us and better for the planet. Can’t wait to try your pad thai!

  8. We used to do a meatless meal once or twice a week (not Monday…just whatever day fit best in our schedules lol). For some reason, I’ve gotten out practice. And noticed an increase in the weekly grocery bill as well. I’m pinning your pad thai to my meatless board…slowly collecting some new meatless dishes so I can start back up. Thanks for sharing, April.

    • I agree, Michelle, fitting a meatless day into your schedule is the best idea. It doesn’t have to be Monday 🙂 I’m glad you are planning to start again & I hope you enjoy the Pad Thai 🙂

  9. I notice that Thai dishes usually calls for peanuts. We have a peanut allergy, so how would this dish taste without the peanuts?

    Thank you for sharing at #InspireMeMondays !

    • Hi Brandi! I think the dish would be delicious with or without peanuts. Do you have an allergy to all nuts? I’m wondering about the dressing as the peanut butter is a fairly big part of it. If you are not allergic to other nuts you could definitely replace the peanut butter with another nut butter in the dressing. However if you are allergic to nuts in general, I wonder if something like hummous or tahini might be a good replacement for the peanut butter element in the dressing. I would love to hear how you get on with the recipe. Please let me know! x

  10. This sounds really great! I am going to give this a try with gluten free noodles. Thanks for linking up with us in the #Bestoftheblogosphere! Hope to see you again this week!

  11. April, I deeply admire your passion for meatless meals, and definitely agree with your reasons behind them! Your Vegan Pad Thai looks wonderful- thank you for sharing it with us at Treasure Box Tuesday! Pinning~

  12. Wanted to let you know I made this last week for a vegan friend who loves Thai food. It was a big hit all around!

  13. Ok, no doubt this is what I want for tomorrow!!
    I looooooooooove pad-thai – the veggie version, and I’d definitely ask my housekeeper to make it for us for tomorrow (I admit, I don’t cook myself…..)
    Thanks for this recipe!! 🙂

  14. Hi April… My sister is looking for a vegetarian Pad Thai recipe and yours looks perfect! I love your vegetarian meals…they always look so colorful, healthy and easy to make!

  15. Thank you for linking up at LET’S GET REAL WEEKLY LINK PARTY. Your post has been pinned to our board, tweeted and yummed.

  16. This looks yummy but I am allergic to peanuts. I wonder if I could use almond butter? Thanks for sharing on Let’s Get Real Friday Link Party.

    • I’m sure almond butter would work really well, Karen, and it would add a lovely flavour too. You could garnish with flaked or chopped almonds as well. Please let me know how it goes when you try it!

  17. I am featuring your recipe as part of my feature section in this week’s Let’s Get Real Weekly Link Party.

  18. Oh my goodness this Pad Thai looks so yummy!! Just wanted to pop by and check out the recipe – this looks perfect for Friday night dinner, yum!!

  19. Love your thoughts on eating less meat to use less energy and contribute to a healthier world and environment. I’m definitely going to take the quiz Every Meal Counts, I’ curious to learn about the energy I use and where I can make adjustments. I also like that your recipe doesn’t use fish sauce (I don’t like it very much), so I’ll absolutely be pinning this for later!

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