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Craving a delicious meal that packs a lot of flavor without much effort? These Vegan Stir Fry Noodles are just the recipe for you! Whip them up when you need an easy weeknight dinner or an extra satisfying lunch.
- Quick and easy. You can have this recipe prepped and on the table in about 30 minutes.
- Healthy & well-balanced. This noodle stir fry contains carbs (noodles), healthy fats (in the sauce), and protein (tofu) to keep you full and satisfied. It’s also packed with veggies for extra micronutrients.
- Versatile. Make your stir fry a little different every time by swapping in different varieties of noodles, protein, and vegetables. (Recommendations below!)
- Crowd pleasing. These vegan stir fry noodles are packed with flavors that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
- Cutting board & knife. To cut up your tofu and vegetables. If you’re in a time crunch, you can also purchase pre-cut veggies (such as a stir fry blend) or frozen prepped veggies.
- Saucepan or stockpot. Something large enough to boil your noodles.
- Nonstick skillet or wok. Nonstick is my preference as it will keep the tofu and noodles from sticking and falling apart. It also makes for easier cleanup!
- Wooden spoon or spatula. Whatever you feel comfortable using to stir fry the tofu and veggies.
- Tongs. These are useful for folding the noodles in with the ingredients.
Ingredients for Vegan Stir Fry Noodles
Rice noodles. I use rice noodles for this recipe because they are generally widely available at regular grocery chains. Check the International section where you typically find soy sauce, rice vinegar, etc. Feel free to substitute in any of your favorite noodles, such as:
- Glass noodles
- Spaghetti (yes, pasta works in a pinch!)
- Ramen noodles
Just make sure to prepare your noodles according to package directions, until al dente. Make sure not to overcook them, or they will get mushy in the sauce.
Garlic, onion and ginger. These are the aromatic base for our Vegan Stir Fry Noodles. You can mince up fresh ginger and garlic or, if you’re in a hurry, use ginger and garlic paste.
Tofu. We will slice and pan-fry our tofu so it develops a nice chew. Firm or extra-firm varieties are the easiest to work with, especially if you are new to cooking with tofu. Feel free to substitute in a different vegan protein, such as tempeh, soy curls, or vegan chicken-style strips.
Vegetables. The written recipe calls for red peppers, broccoli, and carrots, but please know that you can use any vegetables you enjoy! Simply be mindful that certain vegetables will require a little extra cook time and add those in early. Some other great options include:
- Sliced mushrooms
- Chopped zucchini
- Bok choy or shredded cabbage
- Baby corn
- Bean sprouts (one of my personal favorites!)
- Snow peas
- Soy sauce. For salt and umami.
- Rice vinegar. For a slight tanginess.
- Brown sugar. To round out the flavors with a little bit of sweetness. You can also sub in maple syrup or agave if you prefer not to cook with refined sugar. I also love to use palm sugar in this dish (I keep this in my pantry for a lot of Thai cooking).
- Sesame oil. For a delicious toasted nutty flavor. If you prefer not to cook with oil, you can omit this altogether, or substitute in some toasted sesame seeds if you would still like to add that flavor.
- Chili paste. Optional, for a bit of heat. My go-to is Sambal Chili Garlic Paste, but you can also substitute in sriracha, or even simple red pepper flakes.
- Cornstarch. To thicken the sauce slightly. Or sub arrowroot or tapioca starch.
How to Make Vegan Noodle Stir Fry
- Cube tofu and chop veggies. Cut the tofu into small cubes and press it with a clean kitchen towel while you chop your veggies.
- Cook noodles til al dente. Follow the package directions and undercook your noodles of choice just slightly. They’ll finish cooking when you stir fry them together with the sauce. They tend to get mushy and fall apart if overcooked, so stay nearby while they boil.
- Mix the sauce. Simply whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.
- Pan-fry tofu. Add the cubed tofu with a little bit of vegetable oil to a nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Let these fry without moving them until they’re golden brown on the first side, then give them a toss in the pan. Then keep tossing them every minute or so until most of the sides of tofu are golden brown. Remove these to a plate while you stir-fry your veg.
- Stir-fry the vegetables. Add a little oil to the skillet or wok, then sauté onion, garlic, and ginger for 2-3 minutes, until onion starts to turn translucent. Then add in any veggies that take a bit longer to cook (in our case, broccoli), along with a splash of water, then cover and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes, until almost cooked. Finally, add in any veggies that cook faster (such as bell peppers and julienned carrot), and stir fry until tender.
- Add in the sauce and noodles. Use tongs to ensure the sauce is evenly distributed in your noodles. Cook until everything is heated through and the sauce has thickened to cling to the noodles.
- Garnish and enjoy! Add optional toppings, like toasted sesame seeds, fresh sliced scallions, chili sauce, etc., and enjoy your Vegan Stir Fry Noodles!
Protein Options for Vegan Stir Fry Noodles
Not a fan of tofu? Luckily there are many delicious plant-based sources of protein out there to choose from. Here are a few to consider adding to your Vegan Stir Fry Noodles.
- Tempeh. Available at many regular grocery stores in the same area where you find tofu. This is a healthy fermented soybean cake. It can be cubed and pan-fried similarly to tofu and it’s very high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
- Edamame. At 18 grams of protein per cup, edamame is a great addition to make this vegan noodle stir fry more satisfying. It’s also got plenty of fiber and healthy fats.
- Vegan chicken. For a meatier option, you can check out the Original Plant Chicken Pieces from Daring Foods or the Morningstar Farms Veggie Chik’n Strips.
- Soy curls. For a soy-based option that’s economical and super high in protein, check out Butler Soy Curls. Simply rehydrate them in salted water or in a chicken-style vegan broth. Wring out the excess liquid and pan-fry till golden.
- Seitan. This is made from the protein found in wheat. It has a meaty texture and, much like tofu, is a flavor sponge! Sweet Earth Traditional Seitan Strips are available at many regular grocery stores. Check where you’d typically find tofu and/or vegan cheese.
Storage & Reheating
These Vegan Stir Fry Noodles have the best texture when eaten fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can actually enjoy the leftovers cold (it will be more like a chilled noodle salad), or you can reheat them in the microwave or stovetop. You may need to add a splash of water if the noodles are looking a little dry.
Personally I don’t recommend freezing these, as the texture of the vegetables changes when frozen and thawed.
Need More Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes?
- Gochujang Tofu – Spicy, savory, and high-protein.
- Butternut Squash Curry – Comforting and full of veggies.
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana – A hearty one-pot dinner.
- Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff – The perfect creamy, savory comfort food.
- Easy Tofu Lettuce Wraps – If you’re craving something light and refreshing.
Vegan Stir Fry Noodles
- 8 oz rice noodles or other noodles; see notes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 large carrot julienned
Stir Fry Sauce
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup, agave, or other sweetener
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chili paste such as Sambal (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu drained and pressed
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- scallions thinly sliced
- toasted sesame seeds
- sriracha or chili crisp
Pan-Fry the Tofu
- Once tofu has been drained, pressed, and cut into small cubes or strips, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high heat.
- Add tofu and arrange in one layer in the pan. Season it with salt and pepper and allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes on one side, until golden brown.
- Give the tofu a toss in the pan. Allow them to cook for about another minute, then toss again. Repeat until most of the sides of tofu are golden. If the tofu starts browning too fast or the pan starts to smoke, you can lower the temperature to medium.
- Remove tofu to a plate. We will prepare our stir fry in the same skillet/wok.
Make the Vegan Stir Fry Noodles
- Begin preparing noodles of choice according to package directions. Cook or soak until they are slightly undercooked/very al dente. (They will finish cooking in the sauce.) Some brands of rice noodles will only require presoaking in hot water.
- When noodles are almost done precooking/presoaking, mix together ingredients for sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup.3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 tablespoon chili paste, 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- In the skillet or wok you used to pan fry your tofu, heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Stir fry onions for 1-2 minutes, until they start to become slightly translucent.
- Add in broccoli and a small splash of water and cover the pan to trap the steam. Steam the broccoli for about 3 minutes, or until it is *almost* cooked to your preferred level of doneness. Add an extra splash of water if the pan dries out. (If you are adding in any additional veggies that have a longer cook time, e.g. cabbage, kale, green beans, mushrooms, you can add them during this step too.)
- Remove the lid and add in your sliced red peppers and julienned carrots. (This is also where you would add in any other veggies that have a shorter cook time, or things you want to keep slightly crisp.) Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they are almost cooked to your preferred level of doneness.
- Give the sauce a stir (the cornstarch tends to settle to the bottom), then add it to the pan. Reduce the heat a little if the pan is too hot and the sauce starts to spatter.
- Add in the noodles along with the pan-fried tofu. Toss to coat everything evenly with the sauce (tongs are useful here). Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through and the sauce has thickened. If the noodles seem a little dry or the sauce is not coating the noodles, you can add an additional tablespoon of water at a time and stir to combine, until you have the right consistency.
- Taste and adjust your noodles to preference. Depending on the variety and exact quantity of noodles you used, you made need to add an extra splash of soy sauce (or you can simply use salt) so they're perfectly seasoned.
- Serve with any toppings you like. My favorites are fresh sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and a little extra sriracha or chili crisp. Enjoy!