Rice noodles are an incredibly versatile ingredient that’s used in recipes from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and all over Asia.
There are various types of rice noodles, made from brown or white rice and available in a variety of lengths and widths. With a firm springy texture, they absorb the flavours of whatever sauces or broths they’re served with.
Can vegans eat rice noodles?
Rice noodles are made with only rice flour and water and so they are naturally vegan and gluten-free. Rice noodles are a great vegan alternative to egg noodles which are generally not suitable for vegans or coeliacs.
I love cooking vegan recipes with rice noodles, so I’ve gathered together some of my favourites from around the world…
The Best Vegan Rice Noodle Recipes
1. Vegan Pad Thai
Traditional Pad Thai contains fish sauce, egg, chicken and shrimp, but it doesn’t actually need any of those ingredients as this vegan recipe shows. It’s easy to make a vegan version of the classic Thai noodle dish.
The crunchy peanuts, zingy lime and tasty rice noodles make Pad Thai one of my all-time favourite noodle dishes.
2. Oven-Baked Teriyaki Tofu and Noodles
This clever recipe uses the same dish to marinate the tofu and then bake it in the oven. The rice noodles also soak up the flavour of the Japanese-style teriyaki marinade as they cook.
Oven-baked tofu and rice noodles is such a simple idea and a fuss-free way to cook the two ingredients together without dirtying all of your pans.
3. Vegetable Singapore Noodles
Singapore-style rice noodles are Chinese takeaway classic, but this vegan version uses no meat or prawns, only vegan-friendly ingredients. It’s also much less greasy than the takeaway version with veggies sauteed in water rather than oil.
This vegan noodle recipe is great for using up leftover vegetables as you can throw in pretty much whatever you have ready in the fridge.
4. Vegan Ramen
This Japanese-style rice noodle soup is so full of flavour. While ramen noodles are traditionally made from wheat, this recipe used rice noodles for a gluten-free alternative that tastes just as good. It also uses tamari, which is the preferred gluten-free substitute for soy sauce.
I find that tofu is always the highlight of any vegan ramen dish, although the dried shiitake mushrooms also add a chewy, meaty texture.
5. Green Curry Noodle Soup
Creamy and lightly spicy, this Thai green curry noodle soup is a must-try recipe for vegans. It’s made with rice noodles, tofu, peas and carrots and topped with crisp bean sprouts and Thai basil.
This easy soup is made in just one pot, which is ideal for those of us who hate washing dishes!
6. Poke Bowl
A pole bowl is a dish filled with sliced veggies, The word ‘poke’ means ‘slice’ in Hawaiian and traditional Hawaiian poke bowls usually contain sliced, marinated uncooked seafood and vegetables. However, you can also make a vegan poke bowl without fish.
This vegan poke bowl contains rice noodles, chickpeas, edamame and a selection of delicious vegetables that are beautifully presented in a round bowl.
7. Vegan Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew is similar to Pad Thai, except that while Pad Thai uses thin rice noodles, Pad See Ew has wider, flatter rice noodles. This gives it a chewier texture.
If you like cooking Thai food at home then this Chinese-influenced Asian fusion dish with Chinese broccoli and shiitake mushrooms is a must-try.
8. Szechuan-Style Stir Fry
Szechuan cuisine is a style of Chinese cooking that originates from the Sichuan Province of China. It uses bold flavours with lots of garlic, chilli and peppers.
This lazy Szechuan-style vegetable stir-fry is really easy to make by throwing all of your favourite veggies into a wok and stir-frying with ready-made Szechuan chilli sauce.
9. Vegan Miso Soup
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup that usually contains fish stock. However, it’s easy to make Miso soup vegan-friendly by using tamari sauce or another vegan fish sauce alternative instead.
This delicious and hearty vegan soup recipe is packed full of brown rice noodles, mushrooms and cubed aubergine.
10. Sesame Noodle Salad
Sesame oil and sesame seeds give this vegan noodle recipe a wonderful flavour that’s brought alive by a squeeze of fresh lime. You can eat it as it is or add an extra protein source like air fried tofu.
This super simple salad can be served warm or cold. It’s an easy vegan meal prep recipe that will taste just as good the next day.
11. Golden Noodle Soup
In my opinion, the best noodle soups are so packed full of good stuff that you can’t see the liquid. This golden noodle soup recipe definitely meets that criterion.
This easy vegan noodle soup uses no fancy sauces or spices, just simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. It’s so versatile that you can throw in any vegetables that you happen to have at home.
12. Ginger Miso Noodle Salad
Oh so healthy, this cold noodle salad recipe is perfect for summer. Made with Pad Thai rice noodles, it’s an easy vegan and gluten-free swap for a dish that could also be made with wheat and egg-based Italian tagliatelle.
This easy ginger noodle recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, has minimal chopping and uses just one pot. Perfect for those lazy midweek summer’s evenings.
13. Vermicelli Stir Fry
Vermicelli is Italian for ‘little worms’ and that’s just what these small rice noodles look like. But, I can guarantee that they’re made of rice, not actual worms!
This simple stir-fry recipe uses carrot strips and water chestnuts to add a lovely, slightly crunchy texture. As vermicelli rice noodles don’t need to be boiled, just submerged in hot water for five minutes, this recipe is easy to make in under ten minutes.
14. Vegetable Low Mein
Lo mein is a Chinese-style noodle dish that’s similar to chow mein. Both dishes use the same noodles, but while chow mein is fried, low mein involves boiling the noodles instead. This makes for a much healthier version of the takeaway classic.
This healthy vegetable low mein recipe is not only vegan-friendly but also gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free.
15. Thai Vegan Chicken Salad
There’s no need for any processed fake meat with this Thai noodle recipe that uses oyster mushrooms to create vegan ‘chicken’.
Bursting with flavours yet with no fancy ingredients, this vegan noodle salad can be served warm or cold. The great thing about rice noodles is that they absorb flavours slowly over time, meaning that this dish will taste even better after being stored in the fridge overnight.
16. Pho Chai
Pho Chay is a traditional Vietnamese broth. This interesting recipe adds the bold flavours of black chai tea to give an interesting twist.
Powerful and deeply savoury, this unique vegan noodle recipe is certainly one to try.
17. Spicy Baked Peanut Tofu
Crispy baked tofu is the perfect accompaniment to rice noodles. This homemade peanut sauce is super easy to make with only seven ingredients that you’ll probably already have in your store cupboard at home.
You can just make enough sauce to coat the tofu, but I like to double up on the sauce ingredients and make enough sauce to coat the rice noodles as well.
18. Drunken Noodles
Despite the name, drunken noodles don’t contain any alcohol, In fact, it’s believed that this popular Thai dish gets its name from the fact that these noodles are so spicy that they’ll make you feel drunk!
The heat comes from sriracha sauce and fresh jalapenos. You can dial it up or down depending on how spicy you can tolerate your food.