Raw pad thai made from zucchini noodles, carrots, bell peppers, and a creamy peanut butter vegan pad Thai sauce makes a healthy, easy, and veggie packed side dish, salad, or appetizer. Vegan, gluten free, and paleo and Whole30 with a few modifications.
The kickoff to ETGveggies!! No better way to start off the veggie filled week than with one of my favorite cuisines and this raw pad Thai salad!
This recipe was inspired by a dish we had at Combi in Byron Bay in Australia. We stayed in Byron Bay for almost a week because we loved it so much and we ate at Combi probably 5-6 times!
One morning after we went surfing I wanted something light and refreshing and ordered this zucchini noodle pad Thai they had on the menu. Made with zucchini noodles and carrots and a peanut sauce dressing, it was so so good. And I knew I had to recreate it!
I added two more veggie to the mix and am obsessed. It’s crunchy, sweet, and has a little spice to it. I know salads can get a bad wrap, but this one will be a hit! And it’s super easy to make, packed with veggies, and totally satisfies your Thai food cravings in a lighten up way.
If you struggle with eating more veggies, a really tasty and easy way to help is topping them with delicious sauces or dressings. We are doing exactly that with this vegan pad Thai sauce. I mean how can you go wrong with a peanut butter sauce?!
Raw Pad Thai
This easy vegan pad Thai salad is packed with veggies, mixed with a creamy peanut butter sauce, and takes 15 minutes to make. It makes a great side dish for dinner, dish to party or BBQ, or meal prep option to make at the beginning of the week.
Here is what you need:
- bell peppers
- bean sprouts
- green onions
- salt and pepper
- toppings of choice – lime juice, chopped peanuts, red pepper flakes….
First start off by making your vegan pad Thai sauce. See below for full details on that.
Next run your zucchini through your spiralizer. You can use whatever noodle setting you like, but I like the thicker linguini noodles for this recipe as I find the sauce sticks to them as well. I used blade C on my Inspiralizer.
If you like, trim you noodles so they are easier to eat. To do this, I just take a pair of kitchen sheers and roughly cut them.
Then add the zucchini noodles, shredded carrots, and bell peppers to a large bowl. Add the sauce and mix well to combine. Stir in your chopped green onions and cilantro and mix again. Finally top with your chopped peanuts and more cilantro.
I like to make this recipe in advance before serving. That way the flavors get to sit and marinade some. You can do it anywhere from 1 day to a few hours ahead. Since we are using zucchini noodles, a little water will be released as they sit, thinning out the sauce a little, so just keep that in mind.
If making ahead, leave off the peanuts until you are ready to serve so they don’t get soggy.
Vegan Pad Thai Sauce
Pad Thai sauce is pretty simple and made with a few ingredients. It usually has added sugar, which I don’t think is necessary. So here is what we need for a healthy vegan pad Thai sauce:
- coconut aminos – gluten and soy free soy sauce substitute
- peanut butter – adds a great creaminess and savoriness to the dish
- rice vinegar – adds a little sweetness and tang
- tamarind paste – made from a sweet & sour fruit, it is a staple in pad Thai
- lime juice – citrus to bring out the flavors
- red pepper flakes – adds some spice
- salt and pepper
Simply place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix well to combine. The sauce will be on the thicker side, but as you mix with the zucchini noodles, they will release some water and thin it out.
A few notes about tamarind paste – I would highly suggest getting it as it is essential in authentic pad Thai. It is a unique flavor and I absolutely love it – a little sweet, but also pretty sour.
You can find tamarind paste at Whole Food, in your local Asian grocery story, or on Amazon! Just make sure you get pure tamarind paste and there isn’t any added sugar.
Substitutions for Raw Pad Thai Salad
This recipe is pretty customizable based on what you like and what you have on hand. Here are few substitutions and additions:
- veggies – add any veggies you like in this salad, the more the merrier!
- nut butter – any nut butter will work. You can also use tahini or sunbutter if you want to keep it nut free
- coconut aminos – soy sauce or Tamari will also work if you don’t have coconut aminos
- tamarind paste – tamarind really gives it that authentic pad Thai taste, but honey or maple syrup can work as a sweetener, they will just be sweeter than tamarind
More Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes
Raw Pad Thai Salad
Raw Pad Thai Salad
- 3 large zucchini, spizalized into linguine noodles (900 grams)
- 2 cups shredded carrots (185 grams/2 large)
- 2 medium bell peppers, julienned (2 1/2 heaping cups/300 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- for serving: chopped peanuts, cilantro, bean sprouts...
- Make the pad thai sauce. In a small bowl or jar, combine the poeanut butter, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, lime juice, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Cut off ends of your zucchini and run through the spiralizer with using the linguine noodle shape attachment (mine is blade C on my Inspiralizer). Add to a large bowl with the shredded carrots, chopped bell peppers, and bean sprouts.
- Pour sauce over the veggies and mix well to combine. Add the cilantro and green onion and mix one more time. Be careful not to overmix as the zucchini noodles will release water and thin out the sauce the more you mix. Top with some chopped peanuts and more cilantro to serve. Enjoy!
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