Pad Thai Zoodles are the ultimate dinner dish for days when it’s too hot to cook. They’re also a great way to sneak more vegetables into your diet. Drenched in a Thai style peanut sauce, these zucchini noodles are easy to customize to your liking. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Peanutty Pad Thai Zoodles
Way back in 2015, Angela from the blog Canned Time (which is sadly no longer around) asked me to participate in her Veganized Family Favorites Desserts series. I created a Chocolate Cream Pie, and strangely, I won favorite dessert out of the 12 recipes that were in the series!
The following year, Angela asked if I wanted to participate in another series this year, this time creating a recipe using nut butter, I jumped at the opportunity. I love cooking with nut butters, especially peanut butter, so how could I say no?
Spicy peanut sauce is my favorite way to cook with nut butter, so this Peanutty Pad Thai Zoodle recipe isn’t really a stretch for me. Canned Time’s Nut Butter Blast series was the perfect excuse for me to come up with a new recipe that uses it, though.
In this dish, cool, raw zucchini noodles are tossed together with vegetables and tofu and drenched with spicy peanut sauce. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy zucchini noodles!
How to Make Zoodles
Making zucchini noodles – or zoodles – is a fun way to incorporate more veggies into your meals. It’s also a great option for hot evenings, when you don’t feel like cooking. And they’re gluten-free, so those with gluten and wheat sensitivities can enjoy “pasta” without having to worry about what’s in their food.
- First you slice the ends off your zucchini.
- Then you make noodles by following the instructions for your spiralizer, if you have one.
- If you’d like to reduce the amount of water in your noodles, you can place your noodles in a colander above a bowl and toss them with salt. You should allow the noodles to sit for about half an hour. Then squeeze any excess water out with your hands and pat the noodles dry with a towel.
- The noodles are good to go right out of the spiralizer, but if you don’t want to eat them raw, you can cook them in a dry pan over medium-high heat and cook them for 4 or 5 minutes.
You can also buy pre-spiralized zucchini in many grocery stores. Some carry them in the fresh produce section while others have them in the freezer aisle.
There are a few different types of spiralizers available. I have the countertop type that sits horizontally and pushes the vegetables forward. It came with a few different blades so I can make thicker spaghetti or thinner angel hair pasta. There’s also a smaller, vertical version that cranks your veggies downward in a container And you can also find expensive ones that resemble a large pencil sharpener.
How to Make Peanutty Pad Thai Zoodles
This recipe is so easy to make!
- Once you have your zucchini noodles ready, you toss them together with the cabbage, red pepper, carrots, scallions, and cilantro.
- Next you mix together the peanut sauce ingredients and gently mix it in with the vegetables.
- Finally you divide the mixture among 4 bowls and top each with the tofu and peanuts.
- Serve the zoodles with lime wedges and sriracha.
I use my favorite baked tofu in this recipe. When making baked tofu for this recipe, you’ll want to cut it into small cubes. If you don’t want make your own tofu, you can use packaged baked tofu instead.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure your baked tofu doesn’t contain any wheat. Sometimes baked tofu can be made with soy sauce, which contains wheat.
Garlic Chili Paste
Garlic chili paste is my favorite ingredient for adding heat to my spicy peanut sauces. I use Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce, and I go through it super quickly! If you can’t get your hands on a jar, you can use sambal oelek, sriracha, or even just a little crushed red pepper flakes.
How to Customize Your Zoodles
You can easily customize this recipe to your liking!
- Instead of zucchini, you can spiralize carrots or summer squash. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, try beets, sweet potatoes, or parsnips.
- You can add more vegetables to the dish, if you’d like. Try sliced snow peas or chopped broccoli florets.
- Instead of tofu, you can use baked tempeh or shelled edamame.
- If you don’t feel like making your own peanut sauce, you can use a pre-made bottled sauce.
- Almond butter or sunbutter can be used instead of peanut butter, if you have an allergy.
Peanutty Pad Thai Zoodles
- ¼ cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 medium zucchinis
- 1 cup Baked Tofu or one 8-ounce package store-bought baked tofu, diced
- 2 cups napa cabbage shredded
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
- 2 carrots sliced into thin strips
- 2 scallions sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup toasted peanuts chopped
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Sriracha for serving, optional
- In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, water, sesame oil, tamarind paste, lime juice, tamari, ginger, garlic chili paste, and garlic.
- If you have a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchinis. If not, use a vegetable peeler or julienne peeler to slice the zucchinis into thin strips.
- In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, cabbage, red pepper, carrots, scallions, and cilantro. Gently toss in the peanut sauce.
- Divide the noodles among bowls. Garnish with peanuts and lime wedges. Serve with Sriracha, if using.
More Zucchini Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
- Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Pesto
- Crispy Zucchini Fritters from Vegan Comfort Cooking by Melanie McDonald
- No Bean Hummus
- Zucchini Lasagna Tart
More Noodle Recipes You Might Like Include:
- Thai-Style Noodle Salad
- Curry Noodles from Vegan on a Budget by Nava Atlas
- Sesame Noodles
- Peanut Carrot Noodles from Vegan for Everyone by Laura Theodore
Recipe originally published September 7, 2016. Revised August 1, 2021.