Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zoodles
This Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zoodles is party-in-a-pan meets easy weeknight dinner meets the epic haul of zucchini I *accidentally* brought home again.
This recipe is sponsored by Pick ‘n Save.
At $1 a pound for fresh, locally grown summer vegetables, how’s a bargain-loving gal supposed to resist?
My love for pad Thai began when I lived within walking distance of three dangerously delicious authentic Thai restaurants in Minneapolis. It escalated when I realized how easy it was to make pad Thai at home. By the time Ben and I visited Thailand, pad Thai and I had reached Romeo and Juliet levels of romance.
In fact, for the two weeks we were in Thailand, I ate a bowl of pad Thai every single day of the trip.
Every. Single. Day. We’d start with our entrees, then add on an extra order of pad Thai for “the table.”
“The table” was Ben and myself. When you are two serious pad Thai lovers (and when the pad Thai sets you back less than $1.50 a plate and you flew to a different continent to eat it), you find room.
Back on this side of the Pacific Ocean, pad Thai is still a dish I love to cook at home. It’s fast, healthy, and hits the spot every time I’m feeling tempted by takeout (trust me, this recipe is a better choice) or struck by a bout of wanderlust.
My favorite recipe for Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai with rice noodles is the version we ate most often in Thailand, but Vegetarian Pad Thai like today’s recipe is also common.
Using Zoodles instead of Noodles in Vegetarian Pad Thai
With summer produce in its prime, swapping the usual rice noodles for spiralized zucchini to make zoodle pad Thai felt like an ideal way to take advantage…and to put a dent in the excess zucchini that keeps finding its way into our refrigerator.
If you haven’t jumped on the zoodle train yet, this Vegetarian Pad Thai is an ideal place to start (this is my favorite spiralizer for making zoodles). The zucchini noodles drink up the flavor of the tasty Pad Thai sauce, provide an extra serving of veggies, and make this meal incredibly healthy and low carb too.
If you love zucchini as much as I do, you’ll also enjoy this quick and easy Zucchini Stir Fry.
I shopped for my zucchini at Pick ‘n Save, my local Kroger-affiliated grocery store. Pick ‘n Save is the largest buyer of Wisconsin produce in the state, and I love knowing that my purchases are supporting local farms. Since I’m not able to make it to the farmers market most weekends, shopping at Pick ‘n Save gives me a convenient, anytime option to contribute to my community.
More Thai Recipes
Start to finish, this Vegetarian Pad Thai recipe is ready in 30 minutes, offers healthy proteins and fats thanks to a trio of eggs, peanuts, and edamame, is a deliciously addictive way to get your five-a-day.
If you’d like make the recipe a vegan pad Thai, I’ve included a few suggestions in the notes section of the recipe too.
Recommended Tools to Make Vegetarian Pad Thai
Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zoodles
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce - or tamari to make gluten free
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, - Sriracha, or hot sauce of choice
FOR THE VEGETARIAN PAD THAI:
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil - divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup grated carrots - grated with a boxed grater or food processor, or swap prebagged, julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame
- 2 large green onions - (or 3 small green onions), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges - for serving
- Additional hot sauce - for serving
- In a small bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients: fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce. If you prefer a sweeter pad Thai, add additional honey. For spicier, add additional chili paste.
- With a spiralizer, cut the zucchini into zoodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can cut the zucchini into ribbons using a vegetable peeler (I find a Y-shaped peeler like this one the easiest). Set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high. Add the garlic, then crack the eggs directly into the skillet. Break apart the yolk with the spatula and let cook for 30 seconds, until just beginning to set. Add the noodles and sauce and stir to coat. Next, add the bean sprouts, carrots, edamame, and chopped green onions and let cook until the bean sprouts are crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Sprinkle on the peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges and additional hot sauce as desired.
- Because zucchini noodles soften when reheated, this recipe is best enjoyed the day it is made, but it can last in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
- To Make Vegan Pad Thai: Use maple syrup or light agave in place of the honey (for vegan); replace the fish sauce with soy sauce or tamari (to make sure it is vegetarian), and omit the eggs or substitute them for extra edamame.
- **A note on fish sauce: fish sauce does contain some fish, so if you are making this recipe for someone who does not eat any fish products, replace it with soy sauce or tamari.
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