Homemade Vegetarian Pad Thai that’s easier than getting takeout

Servings: 4-6 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


homemade vegetarian Pad Thai

Takeout Pad Thai is pretty delicious. But you can make vegetarian Pad Thai at home too without a whole lot of effort. So save your money and treat your friends at home.

After a weekend of Halloween candy I’m ready to live on vegetables for a while.

My daughter has been hauling her candy around the house in a canvas bag and my son secured his chocolate bars in a lock box and has hidden the key in the garage of his Lego police station.

They gorged all weekend but this Halloween diet has got to stop.

So, new week, new month, we’ll kick things off with a healthy treat – homemade vegetarian Pad Thai. This takeout staple is easy enough to make at home, takes almost no time and tastes authentic. Plus you can adjust the quantity and variety of vegetables to your liking. In this version I have used Chinese cabbage but I have been adding grated carrots to the mix too. Make a double batch of the sauce so you have it on hand for even faster prep next time. Add shrimp if you’d like extra protein.

It’s a weekly staple for us, something my kids request.

Pad Thai 2 sm

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Adapted from Mark Bittman The New York Times


  • 4-6 ounces rice noodles (fettuccine-width)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil (peanut or grape seed)
  • 2 Tbsp. tamarind paste (can use ketchup instead)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (substitute light soy sauce or vegetarian “fish” sauce for strict vegetarian pad Thai)
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • ¼ to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 eggs, beaten (vegan option below)
  • 1 small head Napa/Chinese cabbage, shredded (4-6 cups)
  • 1-2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, quartered.
  • Optional garnish: Grated carrots & shaved purple cabbage


  1. Put noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit until noodles are just tender, checking often. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine tamarind paste, fish sauce (if using), molasses and vinegar in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes and sesame oil and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers add scallions and garlic. Toss a few times then add the beaten eggs (or tofu) and scramble them. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and cook until cabbage wilts and thicker pieces are crisp tender.
  4. Add drained noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss to coat.
  5. When sauce is bubbling and noodles are warmed through divide among plates and garnish with cilantro, peanuts and lime quarters.

Makes  4-6 servings.

Vegan option: Replace the eggs with 1/2 to one cup of firm tofu, crumbled.


One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.


3 thoughts on “Homemade Vegetarian Pad Thai that’s easier than getting takeout

  1. Jocelyne fluet lafleur says:

    I baked the thumbprint cookies everyone liked them.

  2. Jen says:

    This isn’t a vegetarian dish. ??

    1. Hi Jen, Not sure why you wouldn’t consider this a vegetarian dish with the vegetarian “fish” sauce option. Not sure if you have ever made your own but Cook’s Illustrated has an easy version made with mushrooms: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6610-making-a-vegetarian-substitute-for-fish-sauce

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *