Vegan-Friendly Thai Recipes

Top Thai Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians

Vegans welcome!  Vegan and vegetarian eating is a growing trend in Thailand, and these dishes reveal just how tasty vegan Thai food can be. Included are many dishes which are also gluten-free, so no one has to miss out. These recipes are brimming with Thai taste and are also nutritionally balanced.

  • 01 of 28
    Yellow curry chickpeas
    Michael Alberstat / Getty Images

    This Vegetarian Thai Yellow Curry is authentic, homemade vegan Thai food at its best! Note that here I have dispensed ​with making a curry paste; instead, all the minced herbs and​ dry spices are added directly to the curry pot - a great time-saver if you're in a hurry! And unlike a lot of other yellow curry recipes out there, I don't use curry powder, preferring to add the individual spices for a superior-tasting curry.

  • 02 of 28
    Vegetarian Pad Thai
    Vegetarian Pad Thai.

    Best vegetarian and vegan pad Thai on the web!  This authentic recipe is made exactly the way they do it in Thailand, complete with the correct pad Thai sauce ingredients.  Try and taste the real thing!

  • 03 of 28
    Thai Vegetable Noodle Soup with Lemongrass & Tofu
    Thai Vegetable Noodle Soup with Lemongrass & Tofu. D.Schmidt

    This simple recipe offers restaurant-quality Thai noodle soup in just a few steps. It's a great natural remedy if you're fighting a cold or flu bug, and will boost your mood too. It's the lemongrass that does it - this added to a variety of healthy greens and a mound of thin rice noodles (or the noodles of your choice). Combined with vegetable broth and coconut milk, this delicious soup is a complete meal in itself and a bowl of warm comfort on a chilly day. ENJOY!

  • 04 of 28
    Thai Vegetable Green Curry
    Thai Vegetable Green Curry. D.Schmidt

    An authentic Thai Green Curry Recipe for the vegetarian palate. All the authentic trimmings - lemongrass, coriander seeds, green chillies, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk - without the meat, but with meat substitutes - wheat gluten or tofu, take your pick.

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  • 05 of 28
    Vegan Tom Yum Soup
    Alpha/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Thai Tom Yum Soup is just as delicious made vegetarian/vegan. Instead of fish sauce and chicken stock, soy sauce and a good-tasting vegetable stock can be used. Tom Yum Soup is currently under study for its ability to boost the immune system and help fight off cold and flu viruses, and this veggie recipe is even healthier than the original!

  • 06 of 28
    Mango salad with steak skewer
    Winfried Heinze / Getty Images

    This salad will blow you away with its tastebud-awakening flavors and mix of textures. And as a bonus, it's low in calories and fat. Enjoy it as is, or make it into a complete meal by adding some fried tofu. Any way you toss it, this healthy salad will be sure to win rave reviews from all your culinary fans!

  • 07 of 28
    Thai Pumpkin Soup
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    In Thailand, pumpkin and coconut milk are commonly paired up to make a variety of soups, curries, and even sweet dishes. Here they are combined with a lightly curried soup that makes for a wonderful vegetarian/vegan entree - similar to those served at Thai or Vietnamese restaurants throughout North America.

  • 08 of 28
    Som tam
    Quynh Anh Nguyen / Getty Images

    This green papaya salad, known as som tam, is popular in most areas of Thailand, and when you taste it, you'll know why. Green papaya salad is a beautifully unique and flavor-filled dish that will make a great impression. It's also easy to make, low-calorie, and very nutritious.

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  • 09 of 28
    Thai Cucumber Salad
    Foodcollection RF / Getty Images

    For a delicious Thai salad, try my easy Thai Cucumber Salad. This salad achieves all of the flavor and taste of non-vegetarian Cucumber Salad without resorting to using fish sauce or shrimp paste, plus it's virtually fat free!

  • 10 of 28
    Steamed Dumplings with Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger, and Coriander

    For a vegan dim sum treat, try these delicious Thai Steamed Dumplings made with a shiitake mushroom-tofu-ginger & coriander filling. These dumplings are steamed, but with an option to fry them to create pot-stickers (goyzas).

  • 11 of 28
    Thai Pumpkin Curry (Vegetarian)
    Thai Pumpkin Curry (Vegetarian). D.Schmidt

    This vegetarian curry offers an array of bright colors - orange, yellow, and red - infused with citrus accents. You'll love the delicious taste of this curry, as well as its healthy combination of vegetables, including pumpkin or squash, yam/sweet potato, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes.

  • 12 of 28
    Thai Tofu Satay
    Michel Passin / EyeEm / Getty Images
    Try this Thai Tofu Satay for a vegetarian/vegan main course dish that's incredibly flavorful and nutritionally complete. The satay marinade for this dish has been handed down through my husband's family for generations, going all the way back to Thailand and northern Malaysia, and you'll taste its authenticity! Be sure to pair it with my Real Peanut Satay Sauce - it's easy to make and adds the finishing touch to this great vegan dish.
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  • 13 of 28
    Fried Tofu
    Hungry Dudes/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Learn how to make your own homemade deep-fried tofu (gluten-free!). This recipe is fun to make and delicious to eat. Serve on its own with sweet chili sauce, or use it to add to your other vegetarian Thai food dishes.

  • 14 of 28
    Thai Stir-Fried Noodles with Vegetables
    Jessica Spengler

    These stir-fried noodles are made with a flavorful stir-fry sauce composed of lime juice, soy sauce, white pepper, and chili. Note that although most Thai noodle dishes are made with rice noodles, there are also various Chinese-inspired Thai noodle dishes made with wheat or egg noodles, as in this recipe. I always love all the noodle dishes available in Thailand, simply because they are never bland or lacking in flavor. I'm sure you'll find this the case here. ENJOY!

  • 15 of 28
    Nam Ya noodles
    Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

    This Thai fusion noodle recipe is extremely easy, plus healthy and wonderfully delicious! Rice noodles and fresh basil are the key ingredients. ​This noodle dish cooks up in no time, and is equally superb as a weekday dish or to serve company.

  • 16 of 28
    Curried Chick Peas
    pelican/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Beans are a common vegetarian food in many parts of Thailand, and this easy recipe for Curried Chickpeas is definitely one of my personal favorites. I love this dish so much that I sometimes just eat it on its own for lunch (with or without rice).

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  • 17 of 28
    Pineapple Fried Rice
    Bryan Ochalla/Flickr/CC 2.0

    This classic Thai pineapple fried rice recipe is real vegetarian/vegan Thai food. Make this easy fried rice at home - it's as good or better than take-out fried rice! Thai jasmine rice is fried up with chunks of pineapple, plus cashews, peas, and currents with a curry-flavored sauce.

  • 18 of 28
    Coconut Rice
    Julian/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Coconut rice makes a terrific accompaniment to many Thai and Indian dishes, but it's equally wonderful with many Western-style entrees. Quick and easy to make, this coconut rice recipe will come in handy for those times when you want to make dinner extra special without going to a lot of extra work.

  • 19 of 28
    Saffron Rice
    Gloria Cabada-Leman/Flickr/CC 2.0

    This saffron rice may just be the easiest rice recipe you'll ever make. Just put together a few ingredients and let them simmer in your rice cooker while you get on with other things. Saffron rice makes a delicious accompaniment to all types of Southeast-Asian and East Indian dishes but is equally beautiful to serve alongside nearly any Western dish you might be making (it's especially nice with roast chicken or pork, or with any type of fish or seafood dish).

  • 20 of 28
    Stir-fried eggplant
    Pelican/Flickr/CC 2.0

    This simple eggplant recipe is aromatic and flavorful, and the generous amounts of fresh garlic make it extra healthy. This eggplant recipe makes a terrific side dish that can also be made vegetarian. It also works with any type of eggplant - whatever is fresh and available where you live. You can also adjust the spice level in this eggplant recipe, taking it anywhere from mild to spicy hot, according to your liking.

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  • 21 of 28
    Star fruit
    Photo by Cathy Scola / Getty Images

    This special dessert recipe is beautiful to serve, plus easy to make and healthy too! It starts with slices of fresh star fruit (instructions on how to buy and prepare star fruit are included). Star fruit is similar in texture and taste to apples, and while it can be eaten fresh, in this recipe the star fruit slices are lightly cooked and then given a tropical-tasting mango-orange sauce.

  • 22 of 28
    snowpea&bokchoi
    Lychee. snowpea&bokchoi/Flickr/CC 2.0

    This easy dessert only takes 5 minutes to make! But don't be deceived by its simplicity - the taste is so wonderfully sweet and exotic that I find it addictive! It's also a low fat dessert that happens to be incredibly healthy. A great way to use up leftover bananas, this banana lychee pudding is really more of what they would call a "dessert soup" in Asia.

  • 23 of 28
    Tapioca fruit pudding
    Lulu Durand Photography / Getty Images

    This easy dessert is so exotic and scrumptious tasting, you'll want to make it the next time you're entertaining guests. Although most tapioca puddings take hours to make, this one is ready in 30 minutes or less (I made mine in 15). The fresh mango is optional - you'll find this tapioca pudding equally delicious without it too.

  • 24 of 28
    Deep Fried Bananas Served With Ice Cream In Plate
    Katawut Mekwattana/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Unlike most fried banana recipes, this one doesn't involve a messy batter. It's surprisingly easy to make and tastes like restaurant-quality fried bananas. Enjoy them hot from the pan, or add ice cream on the side (vanilla or coconut) for a special Thai dessert that is to-die-for delicious!

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  • 25 of 28
    Thai Coconut Sticky Rice
    Joy/Flickr/CC 2.0

    This Mango Sticky Rice Dessert (Khao Niaow Ma Muang) is a classic Thai dessert and SO very scrumptious. The sticky rice can either be steamed, as they do in Thailand (a colander can be used for this), or you can make it in a pot on your stove (instructions included).

  • 26 of 28
    Sticky Rice Layer Cake
    Calvin Chan Wai Meng/Getty Images

    I'm particularly proud of this cake, since it has literally taken me years to get it right! It's made of sticky rice and tapioca flours, and is both gluten and lactose free (it's also vegan). A truly asian dessert, this type of sticky rice cake can be found in many southeast-asian countries, with slight variations according to the region and the chef.

  • 27 of 28
    Red Beans Rice Cakes
    Naoo Kumagai/AFLO/Getty Images

    This is a great healthy vegan dessert that is festive as well.  Red bean rice cakes are delicious and easier to make than they appear.  Follow this simple step-by-step recipe and bring home a bit of sweetness and goodness to any occasion.

  • 28 of 28
    Bubble Tea
    Geri Lavrov/Flickr/CC 2.0

    Here is a colorful dessert drink that is sure to please all, especially the young kids, who will adore the little colored bubbles in this oh-so-delicious drink.