Vegetarian and Vegan Thai Dishes

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 26

    Thai Yellow Curry With Chickpeas

    vegan curry

    This vegetarian Thai yellow curry is authentic, homemade vegan Thai food at its best. Note that there is no need to make 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. Unlike a lot of other yellow curry recipes out there, this one does not use curry powder, preferring to add the individual spices for a superior-tasting curry.

  • 02 of 26

    Real Veggie Pad Thai (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

    Vegetarian Pad Thai

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    The 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 26

    Thai Vegetable Noodle Soup With Lemongrass

    Thai Vegetable Coconut Soup With Noodles

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    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 the flu, and will boost your mood too. The lemongrass is the active ingredient—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.

  • 04 of 26

    Thai Green Vegetable Curry

    Green curry

    The Spruce

    An authentic Thai Green Curry Recipe with all the authentic trimmings—lemongrass, coriander seeds, green chilies, galangal, makrut lime leaves, coconut milk—this time, without the meat but with meat substitutes—wheat gluten or tofu, take your pick.

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  • 05 of 26

    Vegan Tom Yum Soup (Gluten-free)

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    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 said to help fight off cold and flu viruses and this veggie recipe is even healthier than the original.

  • 06 of 26

    Thai Green Mango Salad

    Thai green mango salad

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    This salad will blow you away with its tastebud-awakening flavors and mix of textures. 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 26

    Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup (Vegan & Gluten/Lactose-Free)

    Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    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 26

    Thai Green Papaya (Som Tam)

    Som tam thai recipe

    The Spruce 

    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 26

    Thai Cucumber Salad

    cucumber thai salad

    The Spruce 

    For a delicious Thai salad, try this 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 26

    Steamed Dumplings With Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger, and Coriander

    Thai-Style Vegetarian Steamed Dumpling

    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 (gyozas).

  • 11 of 26

    Thai Pumpkin Curry With Citrus Notes (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

    Vegan gluten free Thai pumpkin curry recipe

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    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 26

    Authentic Thai Tofu Satay (Vegetarian/Vegan)

    Easy vegan coconut satay recipe

    The Spruce

    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 families for generations, going all the way back to Thailand and northern Malaysia, and you'll taste its authenticity. Be sure to pair it with 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 26

    How to Make Fried Tofu (Gluten-Free)

    Tofu Block

    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 26

    Thai Stir-Fried Noodles With Vegetables

    Thai stir fried noodle recipe

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

    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. Noodle dishes in Thailand are never bland or lacking in flavor—I'm sure you'll find this the case here.

  • 15 of 26

    Easy Thai Rice Noodles With Basil

    Thai vegetarian rice noodles
    Ben Monk / 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 26

    Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice

    Vegetarian Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

    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.

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  • 17 of 26

    Easy Thai Coconut Rice

    Easy Coconut Rice

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    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.

  • 18 of 26

    Easy Saffron Rice

    Rice Cooker Saffron Rice

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

    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.

  • 19 of 26

    Easy Stir-Fried Eggplant

    Stir-fried eggplants

    The Spruce

    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.

  • 20 of 26

    Star Fruit in Mango-Orange Sauce (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

    Star Fruit in Mango-Orange Sauce

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    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.

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  • 21 of 26

    Bananas & Lychees in Sweet Coconut Milk

    Thai Banana-Lychee Dessert in Coconut Milk

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    This easy dessert only takes 5 minutes to make. But don't be deceived by its simplicity—the taste is so wonderfully sweet and complex 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.

  • 22 of 26

    How to Make Easy Fried Bananas

    Fried Banana


    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.

  • 23 of 26

    Easy Tapioca Pudding (Gluten-Free)

    Tapioca Pudding

     Allecko/Getty Images

    This easy dessert is so 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 26

    Thai Mango Sticky Rice Pudding

    Mango sticky rice

    The Spruce

    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).

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  • 25 of 26

    Sticky Rice Layer Cake (Gluten-free)

    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.

  • 26 of 26

    Thai Mango-Coconut Bubble Tea

    Mango coconut bubble tea


    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    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.