Pad Thai: a vegan take on an authentic recipe

Being vegan doesn't mean you have to miss out on pad Thai and its incredible flavours. Give it a whirl

pad thai with butternut squash
(Image credit: Gousto)

Pad Thai represents Thai street food at its best, and while you may have seen this favourite dish on menus, mainly with the choice of chicken, prawn, or tofu, we have a tasty vegan recipe below using butternut squash instead, for a little autumnal twist.

This pad Thai is everything. You get the freshness from the veg, the spice from the chilli and Sriracha (a household essential), while the combination of tamarind and lime give it that aromatic and zesty kick. To finish it off, peanuts add the irresistible crunch and flavour which sits so well with the rice noodles, so yes, this recipe is a winner for real foodies – vegan or not. 

Keep scrolling for the recipe reveal and for more delicious inspiration and food ideas check out our hub.

Vegan pad thai recipe

(Image credit: Gousto)

With special thanks to Gousto for sharing this recipe with us.

Serves two

Ingredients:

  • 200g flat rice noodles
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 lime (juice of)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 25g roasted peanuts
  • 80g tender stem brocoli
  • 120g butternut squash
  • 15g tamarind paste
  • 8ml Sriracha hot chilli sauce (to taste – it's hot stuff)
  • 30ml soy sauce
  • 20g red curry
  • 15g fried onions
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Vegetable or sesame oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C (fan)/ 395°F/ Gas 6 and put the kettle on.

2. Cube the butternut squash and add to a bowl along with the red curry paste, plus some vegetable oil to combine. Add this to a baking tray and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes until cooked with a little bite. 

3. While this cooks, add the rice noodles to a bowl with boiling water to soften for 12-15 minutes. When you come to drain them, keep one cup of the starchy water and drizzle the noddles with some oil to stop them sticking also.

4. In the meantime, deseed and thinly slice the red pepper. Peel the garlic and rather than chopping it, finely slice it.

5. Heat a large wok or wide non-stick pan with a good glug of vegetable oil, over a medium heat. Once heated, add the peppers and garlic to the pan, with a pinch of salt, and cook for roughly 5 minutes until softened.

6. Half the broccoli spears, then add them to the pan with a splash of the previously boiled water. Cook this together for another 5 minutes or so until the Tenderstem is cooked but with some bite.

7. Mix the soy sauce and Sriracha, if using, together in a small bowl, with the tamarind paste, lime juice, 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water to make your pad Thai sauce.

8. Crush the peanuts (a rolling pin or pestle and mortar work), and slice the chill (deseed if you're sensitive to spice as they will intensify the heat).

9. At this point the butternut squash should be done, so you can add this to the pan with the broccoli and peppers. Reduce the heat, add your pad Thai sauce along with the noodles. If it's a little dry, you can add a little of the reserved noodle water.

10. Serve it up, garnished with crushed peanuts, crispy fried onions and some of the fresh chilli. 

Top tip: for a super fresh take on pad Thai, you can serve it with finely chopped mint, the flavours work a treat.

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