In a dinner rut? Try these easy vegan and gluten free curry noodles with a serving of veggies in every bowl! This healthy meal comes together in one pan in just 20 minutes, is super adaptable to your preferences, and makes great leftovers, too!
In the chaos of the last few weeks – various freak things breaking at our old house, just as it went under contract to sell, a polar vortex stampeding through the area, stomach flu, pneumonia, and then my car breaking down in the middle of a (mild) snowstorm on the way to the pediatrician – dinner has taken a backseat.
This noodle recipe has come to the rescue more often than I can recall.
Everyone needs a recipe in their arsenal that they can throw together for dinner on nights when you kind of forgot dinner was a thing. Well, at least I do.
But I can tell, by the popularity of my “quick dinner idea” Instagram stories (follow along here), that there are plenty of you in the same boat.
Is Thai food anyone else’s comfort food? Maybe it’s just us.
What makes these so easy?
This recipe has two things going for it that you won’t find with most other curry noodle recipes:
- It’s a true one pan meal. All you will need is a large pan with high sides and a cover. This is the one I use. You could use a dutch oven instead, if you needed to.
- It’s extremely flexible and requires only basic measuring. Adjust the amount of curry paste to your preferences and swap in whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. You never have to get sick of this meal because it is so adaptable!
I’ll just leave it at that because it seems a little too extra (this is what the kids say these days, right?) to type up an hours’ worth of text about a meal that could be made three times over in that time.
How to serve curry noodles
These noodles are great fresh from the pan, topped with a lime wedge, and a pile of crunchy fresh veggies and herbs like cabbage, shredded carrot, green onion, and cilantro.
You can add protein: tofu or edamame keep this vegan, while cooked shredded or ground chicken, or grilled fish, or even seared flank steak ensure the meal is soy-free.
This is a dish that reheats really well, so it’s perfect for meal prep, or your lunch the day after you make it. Just make sure you pack it in a dish that is both airtight (to prevent spillage!) and microwave safe (since these noodles are best when warmed).
What else is great about this meal?
Where to start? This is my current go-to for a reason. Well, several, actually…
Not just fast, but also easy. All you need to do to throw your dinner together is bring the contents of one can of full fat coconut milk, one can worth of water, and some bottled red curry paste to a boil, add your noodles and cook. Then add the veggies, cook some more, add a squeeze of lime juice, and you’re done. That’s it. Nothing fancy
It’s naturally gluten free.
Rice noodles keep this dish gluten free.
Theoretically you could make these with grain free noodles like zucchini noodles, or packaged grain free noodles, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t confirm that it will work exactly right. Chances are, if you use vegetable noodles, this will be a slightly soupier curry (more like takeout). Nothing wrong with that!
One batch makes plenty of food (without many dishes)
Plus, once you’ve made it, you’re set for the next couple of meals. Each batch makes about 6 servings. Don’t be put off by the mere 8 ounces of noodles it calls for; once they plump up and are mixed with coconut milk and veggies, plus topped with more veggies and/or more protein (if you want), it is a decent meal.
Good thing this dish reheats surprisingly well, so you can save the leftover for lunch the next day.
Truthfully, this is far from authentic Asian food, but who cares? It’s fast, easy, delicious, adaptable, and everyone loves it. So go ahead and bookmark this for your next busy weeknight!
20-Minute Curry Noodles
One-pan gluten free & vegan curry noodles. Easy red curry noodles with a serving of veggies in every bowl! This healthy meal comes together in just 20 min!
- 13.5 ounces full fat coconut milk (1 standard can)
- 15 ounces water
- 3 Tablespoons red curry paste
- 8 ounces gluten free rice noodles
- 3-4 cups roughly chopped vegetables (see note)
- Juice of half of a lime
- Protein or extra veggies, for serving (see note)
- Add the coconut milk, water, and curry paste to a large saute pan with high sides (i.e. not a frying pan). Cover and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
- Simmer about 3-5 minutes, until the coconut milk is liquid. Then stir well to combine the water, milk, and curry paste.
- Add the rice noodles and give it a quick stir.
- Cover and cook until the noodles are al dente (softened but not quite ready to eat), about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the vegetables, stir, then cover and cook about 4-5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- Stir once more to make sure the noodles and vegetables are well-mixed.
- Cook, uncovered, until the sauce reduces to a thick layer on the bottom of the pan. If you prefer soupier noodles, cover the pan for this step so that the sauce doesn't reduce as much.
- Drizzle the lime juice over the noodles and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, topped with protein or extra veggies if desired..
- 3 tablespoons of curry paste is not spicy, but it is flavorful. If you want a milder dish reduce the curry paste to 2-2 1/2 tablespoons. I usually use 2 tablespoons when I'm making this for my toddler.
- I recommend a mixture of carrots, zucchini or snow peas, bok choy, and bell pepper - but you can use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Add the tougher vegetables (like carrots) to the pan about 2 minutes earlier than the more tender ones (like zucchini or snow peas).
- Don't use the ultra-thin angel hair style rice noodles. Thicker, stir fry or linguine-style noodles work best for this recipe.
- To serve, top with a lime wedge, and a pile of crunchy fresh veggies and herbs like cabbage, shredded carrot, green onion, and cilantro.
- You can also add protein: tofu or edamame keep this vegan, while cooked shredded or ground chicken, or grilled fish, or even seared flank steak make it soy-free.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 18gSugar: 17gProtein: 17g
Odd question – would almond milk work instead of coconut milk?
Nora (A Clean Bake) says
Not an odd question! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend it. Almond milk would be too thin and runny, and it might separate or curdle when exposed to heat.