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Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai

While I might typically use rice noodles (which are gluten-free) to whip up a pad thai, I thought maybe I'd give spiralized sweet potato a whirl. That way, I can be sure that every bite is offering a good hit of vitamins, minerals and healthy benefits.
Feb 11, 2017 | Rachel Molenda

Hello again, Joyous readers!

It's been so great getting to know you over the past month. Who knew there were so many of us health nuts out there? If you read my Q&A with Joy from a few weeks back, you might remember that I promised I would share my Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai recipe (and I like to keep my promises!).

I'll be honest, I've been graced with my fair share of recipe fails. When I first made this recipe a while back, I was truly shocked that it worked out! Mainly because it usually takes me a couple of rounds of trial and error until I've perfected a recipe. One thing that's super important to me when thinking up recipes is that it's 100% whole foods-based (in true Joyous Detox style!).

When we put whole foods from nature into our body, it thanks us for it.

It shows us its gratitude through boosted energy, mental clarity, decreased bloating, improved digestion, glowing skin and of course, better poops! 

So while I might be deeply infatuated with Thai food, it doesn't always love me back – but I'm not surprised. Thai food has many healthy aspects becuase it emphasizes fresh colourful vegetables, a variety of herbs and creamy delicious coconut milk, but it loses its gluten-free brownie points due to its highly refined sugar content and tendencies to contain unfermented soy in abundance (which, as we know, is typically genetically modified). I learnt this first hand when I travelled Thailand and Vietnam for three weeks this past October. My love bug and I did a full day cooking class where we learnt how to make everything from pad thai, papaya salad, fresh rolls, green curry, khao soi, thai iced tea and mango sticky rice. The common ingredient amongst them all? Sugar!

Don't get me wrong – I definitely have a "when in Rome" mentality I carry with me through my travels and I made sure to taste all of the flavours the authentic cuisine had to offer. I also came well prepared with a Greens+ powder and digestive enzymes, fully knowing that my body might experience some unpleasant symptoms otherwise. But when I returned home, I knew I wanted to continue embracing those vibrant flavours, but with a healthy boost!

In comes my Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai!

While I might typically use rice noodles (which are gluten-free) to whip up a pad thai, I thought maybe I'd give spiralized sweet potato a whirl. That way, I can be sure that every bite is offering a good hit of vitamins, minerals and healthy benefits including the following:

  • Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) - Supports our eye health, immune system, gives us glowing healthy skin and protects us from free radicals
  • Vitamin C - Helps to support immunity and aid in coping with stress (Did you know vitamin C is depleted when we're in a state of stress? We wonder why we seem to get sick around stressful, busy times!)
  • Potassium - It works hand in hand with our dear friend sodium to maintain normal blood pressure and hydration levels. 
  • Manganese - Have you ever heard the saying "manganese for the knees"? If you're a fellow holistic nutritionist, this might have saved you on a few tests during your school. I know it did for me! As the saying suggests, manganese helps to form connective tissue. It also helps to increase the level of superoxide dismutase in the body which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent sprains.
  • Fibre - Helps to slow the release of the natural sugars found in sweet potato so it doesn't cause our blood sugar to spike and later lead to a crash. Fibre is also helpful in filling us up and giving us the sensation of being full so we don't overeat.

... And that's just the sweet potato component of this dish!

I also added an array of colourful vegetables including red pepper, cauliflower and heirloom carrots which are packed with phytonutrients and a super yummy almond butter-based pad thai sauce, free of common allergens such as peanut and soy.

I left out a primary protein source, although you could totally top this with an over easy egg, 2 scrambled eggs, 3 tbsp of hemp seeds or a sliced organic chicken breast.

This recipe is paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free – and yes, it is still DELICIOUS!

Mains & Sides
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Pad Thai Noodles
  • 1 large sweet potato, spiralized*
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 small red pepper, julienned
  • cilantro, to garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Prepare sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower and red pepper as stated. Set ingredients aside.
  2. Pour Pad Thai Sauce ingredients into a medium size bowl or measuring cup and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat and drizzle grapeseed oil in pan. Once hot, begin to sauté the cauliflower and carrots for 5 minutes, followed by the red pepper for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Using the same pan, toss in the sweet potato noodles (you might want to drizzle it with a bit more grapeseed oil at this point). Toss it in the pan with tongs for 8 minutes until the sweet potato noodles look a bit glossy (but try to avoid overcooking them).
  5. Once cooked, add the sweet potato noodles to a bowl with the other vegetables and pour Pad Thai Sauce all over it. Mix with tongs to ensure the sauce covers every part of it.
  6. Plate, garnish with cilantro and serve!


Makes 2-3 servings.
*If you don't have a spiralizer you can use a veggie peeler.

I'm so excited to hear what you guys think of this one!

Be sure to let me know if you try it in the comments below and what unique spins you put on it.

Véronique Chiasson   •   February 11, 2017

It definitely looks AMAZING!!! Trying this tonight :).

Rachel   •   February 13, 2017
VERONIQUE CHIASSON   •   February 13, 2017

Jessica   •   February 11, 2017

Hi!! Excited to try this!!! If i dont have almond butter can i use peanut butter? Thanks

Rachel   •   February 13, 2017

Genevieve   •   February 13, 2017

Made this last night, and it was sooo good! That sauce was amazing. We added pastured turkey, which had been marinated in turmeric and garlic. This will be going into our rotation, and will be making that sauce for lots of uses too!

Rachel   •   February 13, 2017

Tanya   •   February 13, 2017

Can't wait to try this! For a nut free version, could I use Tahini?

Rachel   •   February 14, 2017

Terra   •   February 14, 2017

Hi Rachel! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but am looking forward to whipping up something along these lines soon. An odd request: can you please share where you bought that striped top? It's a keeper! I'm always looking for good basics like that to pair with jeans, especially as we head into spring. Overall, actually, I'd love Joyous HQ to dip more into that lifestyle kind of content – Joy is wonderfully well-dressed and I always appreciate when she shares outfit tips/recent purchases on Instagram.

Rachel   •   February 14, 2017

Jacqueline   •   February 15, 2017

Just made this for dinner and it was delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe. I added cashews for some protein and crunch as well as chopped spinach. Will definitely make again soon.

Rachel   •   February 16, 2017

Angie   •   February 16, 2017

Hi Rachel, Made this for lunch today and my 22-month old daughter couldn't stop eating it! The sauce is really delicious! Thanks for posting it!

Rachel   •   February 17, 2017

Wendy Dyck   •   February 17, 2017

This recipe looks delicious! I've been wanting to buy a spiralizer...which one would you recommend? Thanks.

Rachel   •   February 17, 2017

Bonnie Crawley   •   February 17, 2017

Hey Rach! This looks amazing! I am going to try it this weekend subbing peanut butter since I have an almond allergy. One question- I don't have a spiralizer but you mention using a veggie peeler instead is ok. Would this just make thicker/wider noodles? Are all of the cooking instructions the same? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   March 2, 2017

Vickie Tessener   •   February 23, 2017

I made this tonight. So delicious. I added raw cashew nuts when I was stir frying everything. I also used coconut aminos in place of the tamari. The dressing is so delicious I could drink it. Going to try hemp seeds and scrambled egg next time. I am not a vegan so I might try some Chicken or shrimp. Thanks for sharing the deliciousness. I have the new cookbook too in addition to the first one. Love them both!

Rachel   •   February 24, 2017

Kelly   •   February 27, 2017

The sauce is incredible and has become our go to recipe when we are craving these flavors.

Rachel Molenda   •   February 28, 2017

Shayla   •   March 2, 2017

You bet I tried this! Last year I gained weight because I got a bit obsessed with making my own spicy penaut butter pad thai, but I hadn't thought to sub the noodles for sweet potato. Rach your recipe is BETTER than the one I was addicted to. ;) So great, eating it now.

Rachel Molenda   •   March 3, 2017

Amber P.   •   May 17, 2017

I'm making this tonight, can't wait!


Nicole   •   June 8, 2017

I have made this Pad Thai and it is delicious! Anyone who has tasted it asks for the recipe. It is quick in preparation and cooking. Delicious.

Rachel Molenda   •   June 9, 2017

Sandy   •   August 29, 2017

This Pad Thai is absolutely delicious!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us :) I too have passed the recipe on to others who loved it!

Rachel Molenda   •   August 30, 2017

Mel   •   October 22, 2017

This is my favorite veggie meal recipe ever!! So so delicious! Thank you Rachel for sharing! Cant get enough!

Rachel Molenda   •   October 23, 2017

Karen   •   November 10, 2017

Rachel, this is truly the yummiest dish! I make it in my cooking classes, serve it at events, and it gets raving reviews every time!! Thanks so much for sharing it! Oh, I even made a video!

Rachel Molenda   •   November 13, 2017

sweets online kanpur   •   December 20, 2017

Your post is very nice thanks for sharing this post..

Rachel Molenda   •   December 21, 2017

Lisa   •   January 10, 2019

Where have you, and this recipe been all my life? I made it tonight and gobbled it up. The whole family enjoyed it. I will definitely be making it part of my regular rotation. I had a little trouble with the sweet potatoes because I don’t have a spiralizer. I used a peeler but then overcooked them and they fell apart quiet a bit because they were too soft to withstand the tongs. Next time I might haul out my mandolin which has an attachment that will julienne. Thanks!!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 11, 2019

Ana   •   April 12, 2019

Ooooh...I like this! I love sweet potatoes. This looks so good I can probably eat the whole serving to myself! Saving the recipe to make this week. :) The sauce looks so good too.

Joy McCarthy   •   April 12, 2019

Rukshana B.   •   May 25, 2019

I just made this but had to substitute the sweet potato noodles out for rice noodles due to time, but I really like it. The sauce is nice, not too salty, I think I can use this sauce on top of a salad too.

Joy McCarthy   •   May 27, 2019

Lisa   •   September 27, 2019

Hi Rachel, I'm going to try this recipe again and would like to add egg like you mentioned. At which point in the steps would you add the egg? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   September 30, 2019

MARIA N.   •   March 13, 2020

I make this probably once a week - my family loves this dish! I always add noodles and double the sauce because we are a family of 6 - so delicious - thank you for this recipe ❤

Joy McCarthy   •   March 13, 2020

nikki   •   August 27, 2021

this is one of my favourite recipes ever! also a family favourite that they always request!! making it again this weekend

Joy McCarthy   •   August 27, 2021

Terri Waits   •   February 22, 2023

This has been one of my favorite healthy meals for a few years now. My husband loves it too. I am very grateful for recipes like this one that allow us to eat delicious and satisfying meals minus the guilt. I love it because it is absolutely delicious. That it contributes to good health is a bonus!

Joy McCarthy   •   February 23, 2023

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