These flavor-packed vegan noodles are perfect for weeknights or anytime you crave simple comfort food. The sauce comes together in a bowl, with no special equipment required, and you can include any veggies you have on hand. Gluten-free and oil-free options.
Inspired by the sauce in my favorite Sticky Sesame Tofu, this sauce uses both tahini and almond butter for richness and is packing all the flavors you love in an Asian-inspired recipe.
Ginger, rice vinegar, and garlic make it zesty and fresh, and if you're a fan of toasted sesame oil, it fits right into the party!
Best of all, these noodles are so much healthier than take-out, and they come together in about 25 minutes.
Here's a quick overview of what you'll need for this recipe. Scroll down for complete instructions.
Almond butter (or additional tahini to make this recipe nut-free)
Tamari or soy sauce
Plain rice vinegar
Maple syrup or agave nectar
Red pepper flakes, optional
Water or unsweetened almond milk, for consistency
Toasted sesame oil, optional
Use any noodle or pasta you like. I used rice noodles, but I also really love soba noodles with this sauce.
Wheat pastas like spaghetti are also great. Or go with bean-based gluten-free noodles for even more fiber and protein.
For added nutrition I included carrots and kale, but pretty much any veggie you have on hand also works here.
Try it with bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers, and/or cabbage. Any vegetable that you would prefer lightly cooked, such as broccoli or cauliflower florets, can be tossed right into the pot with the noodles during the final 1 to 2 minutes of cooking.
I kept the recipe simple and opted for just noodles and veggies. But you can easily include tofu, chickpeas, shredded seitan, peas, edamame, or other beans to make these vegan noodles even more filling.
How To Make Vegan Noodles
One of my favorite things about this dish is how simple it is to prepare. It's truly one of those comfort food meals that makes me feel rescued at the end of a long day. The perfect balance of saucy + carbs, with nutritious vegetables to satisfy your inner self-care critic!
The basic process looks like this:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles according to package directions.
- In a medium-size bowl combine the sauce ingredients. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Chop the kale, and peel the carrots, if using. Also chop the green onion.
- While the noodles drain in a colander, add the kale to the pot. Sauté over medium heat for just 1 minute.
- Add noodles and sauce to the pot. Grate carrot on top, and stir to combine.
- Serve with green onions, lime wedges, and sesame seeds.
Tips and Substitutions
Depending on your appetites, this recipe make just enough for two or three people. Adding tofu or beans, as mentioned above, helps to stretch it out, but if you're serving more than two people, I recommend doubling the recipe.
To make this recipe oil-free simply omit the toasted sesame oil.
You can also skip the almond butter, and use additional tahini to make this dish 100% nut-free.
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Ginger-Sesame Vegan Noodles
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons raw almond butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 small thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and zested About 2 packed teaspoons.
- 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened almond milk or water For consistency.
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes Use more if you like it extra spicy.
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, optional
- 8 ounces brown or white rice noodles or other pasta/noodle of choice
- 6 or 7 large kale leaves, thick stems removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
- half of a lime, cut into wedges
- sesame seeds
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander, and briefly rinse with cool water to help prevent sticking.
- In a medium-size bowl whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Taste and adjust saltiness, sweetness, and acidity, as desired. Keep in mind that the sauce should be very flavorful because the noodles and vegetables will dilute the flavor significantly.
- While the noodles drain in a colander, add the chopped kale to the pot. Sauté over medium heat for about 1 minute.
- Add the noodles, sauce, and grated carrots to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Serve warm topped with green onion, lime wedges, and sesame seeds.