20 Minute Vegetarian Pad Thai + How to Make it Gluten-Free

By August 25, 2023 Diabetic Friendly, Gluten-Free, Lunch and Dinner, Vegetarian
healthier pad thai

I shared this pad thai photo on Facebook and Instagram a few weeks month ago and am finally getting around to sharing the recipe. Though I’m not quite sure it qualifies for being a recipe because it doesn’t require exact measurements. No exact measurements = my favorite kind of cooking :)

What’s more important with meals like this is that they’re balanced - aka, good ratios of noodles to other stuff. Nothing erks me more than a bowl full of noodles with a couple vegetables peaking out here and there. If I wanted a bowl of noodles, I would have just ordered a bowl of noodles. Restaurants do this a lot because pasta is cheap and it goes far. Plus, the sheer volume of food alone gives the appearance that you get more bang for your buck. And you do, but overtime you’ll also gain weight and the lack of nutrient dense foods in your diet will eventually catch up with you.

Be smart and eat smart. Make your pad thai sing with veggies.

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Serves 2

2/3 package of Buckwheat Soba Noodles

1/4 cup pad thai sauce

1 package tempeh, crumbled

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 cup red cabbage, sliced

1 cup bean sprouts

1 hearty handful of cilantro

Chopped peanuts for garnish

Olive oil, salt and pepper

  • Boil your pasta according to the directions on the package.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 TBS olive oil in a sauté pan and cook onion, zucchini and tempeh until soft. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Add half the cabbage, all the bean sprouts and the sauce, stir it in, and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside.
  • Drain your pasta when it’s done cooking, immediately add a 1 tsp of sauce and toss it around to coat each noodle (prevents them from sticking together).
  • In each person’s bowl place 1 cup of noodles and 1 cup of vegetable mixture and give it a toss. Top each bowl with a bit of cabbage, cilantro and peanuts. Drizzle extra sauce if needed.


Pad Thai//a nice change in pace. Years ago I used to think that if a meal wasn’t made entirely from scratch, it couldn’t possibly be healthy. I’ve come to realize that this simply isn’t true. Sure, this pad Thai sauce came from a jar but using fibrous buckwheat udon noodles and nutrient dense tempeh, mushrooms, cabbage, onion and zucchini really ups the #nourish factor here. #EnjoyYourFood #padthai #nomnom #nutrition #foods4thought #love

A photo posted by Ashley Galloway MS, RD (@thefreshbeet) on

The items here that would typically have gluten in them are the sauce, noodles and tempeh. This sauce however, is gluten-free (GF). For the other ingredients, you can use a GF noodle - see rice noodles below - and either leave out the tempeh, or buy a GF tempeh product. Easy.

homemade pad thai

soba noodle recipe


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