Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes with Brown Rice Noodles

Brown rice noodles, those slender strands of deliciousness, have transcended the boundaries of culinary tradition to become a staple in kitchens worldwide. Their versatility, coupled with their impressive nutritional profile, makes them a favorite amongst vegetarians, vegans, and health-conscious individuals alike.

But the path to culinary creativity with brown rice noodles can feel daunting, especially for those new to vegetarian and vegan cooking. Fear not, intrepid explorers of the culinary world! This blog post is your guide to unlocking the potential of brown rice noodles in a world without meat or dairy.

We’ll embark on a flavor-filled journey, exploring vibrant stir-fries infused with exotic spices, refreshing salads bursting with colorful vegetables, and nourishing soups that warm the soul. You’ll discover innovative ways to incorporate protein and essential nutrients into your diet, proving that delicious and satisfying meals can be enjoyed without sacrificing your dietary preferences.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian or a curious newcomer, this guide is your compass to navigating the diverse landscape of vegetarian and vegan brown rice noodle recipes. So, put on your culinary explorer hat and join us as we embark on a delicious adventure, where taste buds dance to the vibrant rhythm of plant-based ingredients and brown rice noodles take center stage.

Vegan and Vegetarian Foods

Embarking on a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can be an exciting and rewarding journey, unlocking a world of delicious and nutritious plant-based foods. Whether you’re motivated by ethical concerns, environmental consciousness, or health benefits, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources to navigate this new culinary landscape with confidence.

Understanding the Differences

  • Vegan: A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and any products derived from them. Vegans also often extend their philosophy beyond food, avoiding leather, wool, and other animal-based products.
  • Vegetarian: Vegetarians abstain from eating meat, poultry, and fish, but may still consume eggs and dairy products. There are various types of vegetarians, including:
    • Lacto-vegetarians: Consume dairy products but not eggs.
    • Ovo-vegetarians: Consume eggs but not dairy products.
    • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Consume both dairy products and eggs.

Nutritional Considerations:

A well-planned vegan or vegetarian diet can provide all the essential nutrients your body needs. However, it’s important to be mindful of certain key nutrients:

  • Protein: Plant-based protein sources include legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and certain grains like quinoa.
  • Iron: Iron-rich plant foods include leafy green vegetables, lentils, beans, fortified cereals, and tofu. To enhance iron absorption, consume vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes alongside iron sources.
  • Calcium: Calcium-rich plant foods include tofu, fortified plant milks, leafy green vegetables, and tahini.
  • Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products. Vegans and vegetarians may need to consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement.

Essential Pantry Staples:

  • Grains: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley provide essential carbohydrates and fiber.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein and fiber.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Nutritious snacks and ingredients, offering protein, healthy fats, and essential minerals.
  • Tofu and Tempeh: Versatile sources of protein with a neutral flavor that readily absorbs marinades and sauces.
  • Plant-Based Milks: Alternatives to dairy milk made from soy, almond, oat, or coconut milk.
  • Nutritional Yeast: A deactivated yeast rich in protein, B vitamins, and a cheesy flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth: A flavorful base for soups, stews, and sauces.

Delicious and Nutritious Recipes:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries and nuts, tofu scramble with vegetables, chia pudding with fruit and seeds.
  • Lunch: Veggie burger on whole wheat bun, lentil soup with a side salad, quinoa salad with roasted vegetables.
  • Dinner: Vegan chili with brown rice, tofu stir-fry with noodles, veggie pizza with plant-based cheese.
  • Snacks: Fruits and vegetables, hummus with whole wheat pita bread, nuts and seeds.

Resources for Your Journey:

  • Cookbooks: Numerous cookbooks are dedicated to vegan and vegetarian cuisine, offering inspiration and guidance.
  • Websites: Online resources like Forks Over Knives, Plant-Based on a Budget, and The Vegan Society provide recipes, tips, and information.
  • Social Media: Connect with other vegans and vegetarians on social media platforms for inspiration, support, and community.

Tips for Success:

  • Plan your meals: Planning ahead ensures you have nutritious and delicious options readily available.
  • Explore new recipes: Experiment with different ingredients and cuisines to discover exciting flavors and dishes.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance and support.
  • Make it sustainable: Focus on whole foods and create balanced meals to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs.
  • Enjoy the journey!: Embrace the variety and culinary creativity that a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle offers.

Remember, transitioning to a plant-based diet is a journey, not a destination. Take your time, experiment, and enjoy the delicious and nutritious world of vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes with Brown Rice Noodles

1. Vegetarian Stir-fries with Brown Rice Noodles

Brown rice noodles are the perfect canvas for vibrant vegetarian stir-fries, their subtle taste readily absorbing the essence of flavorful sauces and complementing the vibrant medley of vegetables. From classic Pad See Ew to innovative Spicy Thai Basil Stir-fry, these recipes showcase the versatility of brown rice noodles in creating satisfying and delicious dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

1. Classic Pad See Ew:


  • 200g brown rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (or vegetarian substitute)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Cook the brown rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until softened.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, and bean sprouts. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  5. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan. Add the beaten egg and scramble until cooked through.
  6. Add the cooked noodles and green onions to the pan. Toss to combine all ingredients evenly.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

2. Spicy Thai Basil Stir-fry:


  • 200g brown rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red chili paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (or vegetarian substitute)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped eggplant
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts (optional)


  1. Cook the brown rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until softened.
  3. Stir in the chili paste, soy sauce, and fish sauce.
  4. Add the broccoli, eggplant, and zucchini. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender-crisp.
  5. Add the cooked noodles and Thai basil leaves to the pan. Toss to combine all ingredients evenly.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped peanuts (optional).

3. Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir-fry:


  • 200g brown rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 green onion, sliced


  1. Cook the brown rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until softened.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar.
  4. Add the carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, and pineapple chunks. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  5. Add the cooked noodles and green onions to the pan. Toss to combine all ingredients evenly.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

These are just a few examples to spark your culinary creativity. With a little exploration, you’ll discover countless vegetarian stir-fry recipes that showcase the versatility of brown rice noodles and tantalize your taste buds.

2. Brown Rice Noodle Bowls

Brown rice noodle bowls are more than just a meal; they’re delicious meal waiting to be painted with vibrant flavors and textures. Their customizable nature allows them to be tailored to individual preferences, making them a perfect option for vegetarians, vegans, and health-conscious individuals alike.

Protein Power:

The heart of a delicious noodle bowl lies in the protein choice. Two versatile options for vegetarian and vegan diets are tofu and tempeh:

  • Tofu: This mild-flavored protein absorbs the essence of its marinade, making it incredibly versatile. Try pan-frying it for a crispy texture, marinating it in your favorite sauce for a burst of flavor, or baking it until golden brown for a healthy and satisfying bite.
  • Tempeh: With its nutty flavor and meaty texture, tempeh adds a substantial element to noodle bowls. Crumble it and saute with spices for a taco-inspired bowl, grill it for a smoky flavor, or marinate it in a flavorful sauce for an Asian-inspired dish.

Vegetable Symphony:

Noodles and protein crave the company of colorful vegetables. Choose from a variety of options:

  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce add a fresh and slightly bitter counterpoint to the other flavors.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts offer a satisfying crunch and provide essential nutrients.
  • Bell peppers: Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers add vibrant colors and a sweet and savory flavor.
  • Mushrooms: Button, shiitake, and portobello mushrooms offer a unique umami flavor and a satisfying texture.
  • Aromatic vegetables: Ginger, garlic, and scallions add depth and complexity to the overall taste.

Sauce Symphony:

The sauce is the glue that binds all the elements of a noodle bowl together. Choose from a variety of options:

  • Peanut sauce: This classic sauce is creamy, savory, and slightly sweet, making it a perfect companion for tofu or tempeh.
  • Sesame ginger sauce: This light and flavorful sauce is perfect for a refreshing noodle bowl.
  • Teriyaki sauce: This classic sweet and savory sauce is a delicious choice for a grilled tempeh or tofu bowl.
  • Spicy sriracha sauce: This fiery sauce adds a delightful kick to any noodle bowl.

Topping Extravaganza:

No noodle bowl is complete without a sprinkle of crunchy toppings:

  • Chopped peanuts: Add a satisfying crunch and a nutty flavor.
  • Sesame seeds: These tiny seeds add a delightful pop of flavor and texture.
  • Green onions: These fresh herbs add a touch of color and a slightly oniony flavor.
  • Cilantro: This fragrant herb adds a fresh and citrusy flavor.
  • Crispy fried shallots: These add a luxurious texture and a slightly sweet and savory flavor.

The Art of Customization:

The beauty of brown rice noodle bowls lies in their ability to be customized to your individual preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of proteins, vegetables, sauces, and toppings until you discover your perfect bowl.

Tips for Presentation:

  • Arrange the ingredients in a visually appealing way.
  • Use contrasting colors to create a vibrant and dynamic look.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs for a touch of color and flavor.
  • Drizzle with a flavorful sauce for a finishing touch.

By following these tips and embracing your culinary creativity, you can transform your brown rice noodle bowls into masterpieces of flavor, texture, and color.

Vegan Pad Thai with Brown Rice Noodles

Pad Thai, a vibrant and flavorful stir-fry dish synonymous with Thai cuisine, undergoes a delicious transformation in this vegan rendition. Brown rice noodles take center stage, offering a healthy and gluten-free alternative to traditional rice noodles, while a savory and slightly sweet sauce brings all the delectable flavors together.


  • For the Noodles:
    • 200g brown rice noodles
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • For the Tofu Crumbles:
    • 1 block firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • For the Vegetables:
    • 1 cup chopped carrots
    • 1 cup broccoli florets
    • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • For the Vegan Pad Thai Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup tamari sauce
    • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (adjust to your spice preference)
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated


  1. Cook the Noodles:
  2. Prepare the Tofu Crumbles:
    • In a bowl, combine the tofu crumbles, soy sauce, cornstarch, turmeric powder, and black pepper. Mix well to coat the tofu evenly.
    • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the tofu crumbles and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Cook the Vegetables:
    • Add a little more oil to the pan if needed. Add the carrots and broccoli florets and cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the green onions and cook for another minute.
  4. Make the Vegan Pad Thai Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, lime juice, sriracha sauce, vegetable oil, garlic, and ginger.
  5. Assemble the Pad Thai:
    • Return the cooked noodles to the pan with the vegetables.
    • Pour the Pad Thai sauce over the noodles and vegetables. Toss well to combine and cook for another minute, until the sauce is heated through.
    • Add the cooked tofu crumbles back to the pan and toss to combine.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Pad Thai Sauce:

  • Balance the flavors: Taste the sauce as you’re making it and adjust the amount of tamari sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and sriracha sauce to achieve the desired balance of sweet, salty, and savory.
  • Add heat gradually: Start with a small amount of sriracha sauce and add more to taste. Remember, you can always add more spice, but you can’t take it away!
  • Use fresh ingredients: Fresh lime juice, garlic, and ginger will provide the brightest flavors for your sauce.
  • Cook the sauce until it thickens: Let the sauce simmer for a minute or two after adding it to the pan. This will allow it to thicken slightly and coat the noodles and vegetables.

This vegan pad thai recipe is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy a classic dish. The brown rice noodles provide a satisfying texture, while the tofu crumbles and vegetables add protein and essential nutrients. The homemade vegan Pad Thai sauce is perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of sweet, salty, and savory flavors.

Vegan Soups with Brown Rice Noodles

As the weather turns cooler, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm and flavorful bowl of soup. And when combined with the satisfying texture of brown rice noodles, vegan soups become an ode to culinary comfort and nourishment.

Light and Fragrant Broth-Based Soups:

  • Spicy Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup: This vibrant soup features a fragrant coconut curry broth infused with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Tender vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers add color and texture, while the brown rice noodles provide a satisfying base.
  • Vietnamese Pho with Brown Rice Noodles: This classic Vietnamese soup is characterized by its rich and flavorful broth made with star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Thinly sliced tofu, bok choy, and green onions add layers of flavor and texture, while the brown rice noodles ensure a satisfying and filling meal.
  • Miso Soup with Brown Rice Noodles and Vegetables: This light and flavorful soup features a savory miso broth packed with umami flavor. Crisp vegetables like scallions, mushrooms, and snow peas add freshness, while the brown rice noodles provide a satisfying base.

Hearty and Rich Stews:

  • Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Brown Rice Noodles: This hearty and satisfying stew features a flavorful broth simmered with lentils, carrots, celery, and potatoes. The addition of brown rice noodles elevates the stew to a complete meal, offering both protein and carbohydrates.
  • Thai Red Curry Noodle Stew: This fragrant and flavorful stew features a rich red curry broth simmered with coconut milk, red curry paste, and vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and bamboo shoots. Tofu cubes add a satisfying protein element, while the brown rice noodles soak up the delicious broth.
  • Black Bean Soup with Brown Rice Noodles: This classic Mexican soup is packed with flavor and protein. Black beans are simmered with vegetables like corn, bell peppers, and onions, creating a rich and hearty broth. The brown rice noodles provide a satisfying base, while a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro add a touch of brightness.

Customizing Your Vegan Soup Experience:

The beauty of vegan soups lies in their versatility. Feel free to customize these recipes with your favorite vegetables, spices, and herbs:

  • Vegetables: Explore the world of seasonal vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, and spinach to add unique flavors and textures.
  • Spices: Enhance the flavor profile with spices like cumin, coriander, and chili flakes.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and basil add a touch of brightness and freshness.

Tips for Cooking with Brown Rice Noodles in Soups:

  • Pre-cook the noodles: This helps prevent them from becoming mushy in the soup.
  • Reserve some of the broth: This allows you to adjust the consistency of the soup to your preference.
  • Add the noodles at the end: This ensures that they are cooked through but still retain their texture.

By embracing the versatility of brown rice noodles and exploring a variety of vegan soup recipes, you can create countless comforting and nourishing meals that are sure to warm your soul.


1. Are rice noodles suitable for vegans?

Yes, most rice noodles are suitable for vegans. They are typically made from rice flour or rice starch and do not contain animal-based ingredients. However, it’s always best to check the ingredient list to be sure, as some brands may use additives or flavorings that are not vegan.

2. Are brown rice noodles healthy?

Yes, brown rice noodles are considered a healthy food. They are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. Compared to white rice noodles, brown rice noodles retain more of the bran and germ, which contributes to their higher fiber content and nutrient value.

3. Do you have to soak brown rice noodles before cooking?

No, soaking brown rice noodles before cooking is not necessary. However, some people prefer to soak them for about 10-15 minutes to soften them slightly and reduce their cooking time. This can be helpful for thicker brown rice noodles or if you want to achieve a softer texture.

4. What can I eat rice noodles with?

Rice noodles are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some ideas:

Stir-fries: Combine rice noodles with your favorite vegetables, protein (tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp, etc.), and a flavorful sauce. Salads: Add rice noodles to salads for a delicious and filling cold dish. Soups: Use rice noodles as a base for noodle soups like pho, ramen, or tom yum. Spring rolls: Fill spring roll wrappers with rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs for a fresh and healthy snack or appetizer. Pad thai: A classic Thai dish featuring rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, and a sweet and savory sauce. Lo mein: Another popular stir-fry dish using rice noodles, often featuring vegetables, chicken, or pork. Pad see ew: A stir-fried noodle dish with Chinese broccoli, eggs, and a sweet and savory soy sauce-based sauce.


Brown rice noodles have emerged as a culinary chameleon, effortlessly adapting to various cuisines and preferences. Their versatility shines through their ability to absorb vibrant sauces, complement diverse protein and vegetable combinations, and serve as a satisfying base for flavorful dishes.

Beyond their culinary prowess, brown rice noodles offer a wealth of health benefits. Made from whole grains, they provide a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential nutrients. This makes them a valuable addition to a balanced and healthy diet, contributing to improved digestion, weight management, and overall well-being.

But the true magic of brown rice noodles lies in their deliciousness. Their subtle flavor allows them to effortlessly blend with and enhance the tastes of other ingredients, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite. Whether you’re craving a stir-fry, a salad, or a comforting soup, brown rice noodles offer a satisfying and flavorful base.

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