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Thai Spicy Noodle Soup (Vegetarian and Vegan Recipe)

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This Thai Spicy Noodle Soup recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. It makes an easy Asian noodle soup that is infused with fragrant red coconut curry flavors. Perhaps best of all, it is ready to eat in just 15 minutes! Learn how to make homemade Thai noodle soup with this quick and simple recipe.

Overhead view of Thai Spicy Noodle Soup in a white bowl with chopsticks on a wooden background.

If you are a fan of Asian noodle soup bowls, but have never made one before, this Thai Spicy Noodle Soup is the perfect place to start. It is full of complex and bold flavors, but is so simple to make. It makes a perfect weeknight dinner because it is super satisfying and takes mere minutes to cook.

Thai Noodle Soup Ingredients

Alright, before we get to the recipe, let’s talk ingredients. To make the best homemade Thai Noodle Soup, you will need:

  • Coconut oil: I like using this as the cooking oil in this recipe, because it is healthy and gives an additional slightly coconut flavor to the soup. I recommend always using unrefined, virgin, and organic coconut oil.
  • Garlic and ginger: These two ingredients are imperative in Asian cooking. Always use freshly grated/minced garlic and ginger for the best flavor.
  • Red curry paste: This paste is used to add heat and complex curry flavor to the soup in one step. Different brands of curry paste can vary significantly in terms of spiciness and flavor. See below for my top choices.
  • Vegetable stock: This will serve as the base for the soup broth. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, chicken broth can be used instead.
  • Coconut milk: This is added to tone down the heat from the curry paste. It also makes the broth nice and creamy. I typically use full-fat coconut milk, but you’re welcome to use low-fat if you prefer.
  • Noodles: I use thin rice noodles when making this soup recipe. I love them because they only take a few minutes to cook and are naturally gluten-free.
  • Lime juice: A good squeeze of citrus balances and brightens all the flavors in the soup. Make sure you always add lime at the very end of cooking, so that you don’t cook out the flavor.

Plus, of course, toppings! I always fall in the-more-the-merrier camp when it comes to toppings on Asian soup. Garnishing adds texture, additional layers of flavor, and makes the soup more presentable when serving. A few I’d strongly recommend here include:

  • Chopped fresh cilantro and green onions: These give a huge burst of freshness and also add a nice bright pop of color.
  • Crushed peanuts: I like adding chopped peanuts because they add a bit of crunch. If you don’t have any on hand, any other kind of nuts can be used instead.
  • Thai bird chilies: If you would like some extra heat (or you can add crushed red pepper flakes instead).

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Overhead view of Thai Spicy Noodle Soup in a white bowl with chopsticks on a wooden background.

How to Make Thai Spicy Noodle Soup

As a brief overview, to make this homemade Thai noodle soup recipe, simply:

1. Make the flavor base: Sauté the garlic, ginger, and red curry paste in a bit of coconut oil until fragrant.
2. Add the liquids: Stir in the broth, coconut milk, and water and bring to a boil.
3. Cook the noodles: Add the rice noodles to the pot and let them sit until tender.
4. Add lime juice & garnish: Stir in your lime juice and garnish the soup with optional toppings, if desired.

Full instructions are included in the recipe at the bottom of this post, as always.

How To Keep Noodles from Getting Soggy in Soup

For best results, only let the noodles cook in the soup for a few minutes (just until they are softened) and then serve the soup right away. I find that if the noodles sit in the soup for too long after I make it, they tend to absorb a lot of the liquid and get very mushy.

Possible Recipe Variations

Want to customize this Thai noodle soup recipe a bit? Feel free to…

  • Add protein: You could add thinly sliced beef steak, shrimp, tofu, or shredded chicken to make the soup even heartier and more satiating.
  • Make it milder: If you don’t like much heat in your food, I would recommend using half the amount of red curry paste the recipe calls for. And if the soup gets too spicy for you, just add more coconut milk, broth, and lime to tone it down a bit.
  • Make it spicier: If you do like a lot of heat in your food, feel free to add more red curry paste, and/or a few thinly-sliced Thai red bird chilies.
  • Add veggies: You’re welcome to add in whatever other vegetables you might love here. If you would like to save a step, you could also just add in a bag of a pre-chopped frozen stir-fry veggie mix.

Those are just some common variations for noodle soup. However, your options for customizing it are truly endless, so feel free to get creative!

Close-up overhead view of Thai Noodle Soup in a white bowl on a wooden background.

More Thai Dinner Recipes

If you’re looking for more Thai food inspiration, I recommend these trying these recipes:

For this Thai Spicy Noodle Soup recipe, I recommend:

Here are a few items that I suggest using to ensure this recipe comes out perfect:

  • Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste – This is one I use and love! It gives amazing, authentic flavor to Thai dishes and adds the perfect amount of heat.
  • Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk – I love the taste and consistency of this brand. It adds so much body and richness to soups and curries.
  • Zulay Citrus Juicer – If you cook with a lot of citrus, a sturdy juicer is a must. This one works for both lemons and limes and will squeeze out every last drop of juice like a pro. Worth every penny.

Important: If you are vegan, be sure to use a brand of Thai red curry paste that is vegan. The one I use is not, but Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste is vegan and is also very good.

If you make this easy Thai spicy noodle soup recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡

Thai Spicy Noodle Soup (Vegetarian and Vegan Recipe)

Thai Spicy Noodle Soup - Vegan, gluten-free and ready in 15 minutes! | Recipe at EverydayEasyEats.com
This Thai Spicy Noodle Soup recipe is vegetarian and vegan. It is an easy 15-minute soup that is bursting with Thai coconut curry flavor!
Alia Kay
4.79 from 41 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 servings
Calories 485 calories

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste and sauté for 2 minutes to release the curry’s aromas.
  • Stir in the broth, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the rice noodles to the pot and allow them to sit for a few minutes until softened.
  • Stir in the lime juice. Serve immediately, topped with optional garnishes if using.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Thai Spicy Noodle Soup (Vegetarian and Vegan Recipe)
Amount per Serving
Calories
485
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
29
g
45
%
Saturated Fat
 
25
g
156
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Sodium
 
1060
mg
46
%
Potassium
 
253
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
55
g
18
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
1684
IU
34
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
44
mg
4
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

  1. For best results, serve the soup right away once it is done cooking.
  2. If you are not vegan, you can substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth.
Keyword Spicy Noodle Soup, Thai Noodle Soup, Thai Spicy Noodle Soup

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61 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Alia, This soup looks SO amazing! I love how creamy it gets with the coconut milk. And how fast it is?!?! Can’t wait to make this during the week.

    1. Hi Laurel, thanks so much! I love cooking with coconut milk, it adds so much richness to recipes. Haha yes I am a big fan of quick recipes too! I hope you do get a chance to make this sometime! 🙂

          1. 5 stars
            also one more question, all i have is pancit rice noodles, will that work? or is there another substitute i could use?

        1. Hi again Janessa – Yes pancit noodles will work! Just add the uncooked pancit noodles at the end and let them cook for a few minutes in the pot until they are soft and cooked through. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I LOVED this recipe! I made it two weeks ago and ever since my boyfriend has been BEGGING me to make it again. Can’t wait to have it again tonight 🙂 Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Bre! Yay!! That makes me so happy! 🙂 I am so glad you two enjoyed it! I especially love having this soup when I have a cold, because the spicy heat in it warms me right up. You are very welcome!!

  3. 5 stars
    Hey I’m making this right now and I can’t wait! I’m just curious….In the ingredients list it calls for 4 cups of vegetable/chicken broth but in the directions (#2) it says to add 1 cup water. I went with the 4 cups of broth and didn’t add any extra water I was just curious which was correct or maybe if I’m reading this wrong? Anyway, it’s on the stove and smells good!

    1. Hey Sarah – I’m so glad you made it! So yes you’re supposed to add the 4 cups of broth plus 1 cup of water. I just usually don’t include water in the ingredients list in my recipes, so that’s why i just listed the broth. But if you didn’t add any extra water it should still turn out fine. I hope you liked the soup! 🙂

      1. Hi again Sarah! I just wanted to let you know that I amended the recipe to include the water in the ingredients list, to avoid any confusion in the future! 🙂

    1. Hi Beth! Thank you! You should definitely make it! And I know what you mean, it is very warm outside and I am sipping on a hot mint tea right now. Sometimes you just need something hot and comforting no matter what! Let me know what you think of the recipe when you do make it! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe! It was excellent! I made it exactly as you have it listed here. I topped it with cilantro, crushed peanuts and diced green onions. My 19 year old son broke out a set of chopsticks (I had no idea we had these) and proceeded to eat two huge bowls. Three of us nearly ate the whole pot!! I think next time I’ll try either shrimp or chicken in it, but really its stands fine on its own!

    1. Hi Darren! You’re welcome!! Thanks so much, I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe! It is a favorite in my house as well. Chicken or shrimp definitely go great with this soup, but I usually find myself just making the recipe as is. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Alia! I just came across your recipe and will be making it tomorrow. Question on the noodles, my husband is away for work so I get to enjoy this all to myself for a few days. Should I cook the noodles separately, then just add when warming? Rice noodles seem to be my nemesis, I always over cook them I think. Can’t wait for tomorrow nights dinner. 🙂

    1. Hi Melissa! Yay!! I’m excited for you to make it! Just cook the rice noodles exactly how it says in the recipe: At the very end, add the rice noodles to the pot and let them sit in the soup for 2-3 minutes, just until they are softened. If you do that, you definitely won’t overcook the noodles. Let me know how the recipe turns out at dinner tomorrow! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Sorry if this is a basic question, but I’m a cooking novice, lol. When would you add in the tofu if you were using it – with the noodles? Would you recommend doing anything with them first, or just letting them marinate in the pot? Thanks!

    1. Hey Nish! No worries, that is a perfectly valid question. 🙂 Personally, when I am cooking with tofu, I like to crisp it up a bit in a frying pan before cooking anything else.

      This is what I recommend: First cut up the tofu into small cubes and add a little bit of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the tofu to the pan and cook it for a few minutes until it is golden on all sides. Then transfer the tofu to a plate and set it aside. Then you can make the recipe as it is written and add the tofu back to the soup at the very end. I hope that helps! 🙂

  7. 4 stars
    I made this soup last night. I think I messed up? I cooked the noodles in the soup. The noodles absorbed the soup. The flavor was very good, but I think next time I will cook the noodles separately and add them to the bowl at plating. It could have been the noodles I used. They were a little thick not the super thin ones.

    1. Hi Camela! Aww that’s too bad the soup didn’t turn out as you wanted. I usually use medium-sized rice noodles to make this soup.

      I think the most important thing is to let the noodles cook in the soup for just a couple of minutes and then serve the soup right away. I find that if the noodles sit in the soup for too long after I make it, they can absorb a lot of the liquid. Maybe next time only allow the noodles sit in the soup for a few minutes before serving. I hope that helps! 🙂

  8. 4 stars
    I love this recipe. I had to cook noodles twice the recommended time that the box recommended, about 16 mins to get noodles soft . And by that time the soup had thicken but poring more hot water thins it out. I will definitely make this again and add chicken. It’s like the Thai version of chicken soup.

    1. Hi Staci! I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup! Did you use rice noodles? They should only take a few minutes to soften, so maybe it was the type of noodles that you used. Chicken would definitely be a great addition to this recipe! Thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    This soup was delicious! Just what I was looking for on a frigid Michigan winter night. This recipe will definitely be made again and again! I added some matchstick carrots, red cabbage and bok choy before the addition of lime juice and noodles and loved the comforting and warming flavors! Thank you for sharing!
    Any suggestions for leftovers? The noodles seem to be sucking up all the broth. I’m thinking pan fried noodles for tomorrow’s lunch.

    1. Hi Jessica! Thanks so much! All of the extra vegetables you added would definitely take this recipe over the top! I usually never have leftovers haha!

      Pan-fried noodles sound delicious though, so maybe do that! Or if you find the noodles have absorbed a lot of the broth, you could add more broth/water to thin it out. 🙂

  10. Hi Alia, I looked up the red curry paste you recommend and it contains shrimp paste so the recipe is not vegan. Just fyi.

    1. Hi Ritu! Thanks for letting me know! The recipe is actually still vegan, as long as you use a vegan red curry paste. I have added a note and a recommendation for a good vegan red curry paste to clear up any confusion! 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    Loved this! Added a whole bunch of veggies before I added the liquid. Added cooked chicken at the end and i put noodled into each bowl with boiling water until soft and then drained and added the soup to the cooked noodles. Big hit.

    1. Hi Melanie! Woo hoo! I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup! Lots of veggies + chicken are great additions to this recipe. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  12. I would love to know what rice noodles you use. The 2 kinds of rice noodles that my grocery sells is vermicelli and straight cut, both by the brand A Taste Of Thai. One looks like angel hair and one looks like the kind you use in pad thai. I used the straight cut bc that is what it looks like in the picture but am curious to the ones you use in the recipe. It is cooking right now but the broth is absolutely delicious. I sautéed onions and chicken in butter/coconut oil before adding the rest of the ingredients you suggest. So good!!!!

    1. Hi Amy! I just added a link to the exact noodles I use in the recipe card above. They are called medium rice stick noodles and they sound just like the straight cut noodles you described, because they similar to Pad Thai noodles. So it sounds like you made the right choice!

      Chicken with onions is a great addition! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the soup once it is done cooking!! 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      This is seriously the BEST Thai soup I have made. I have made several bc we love Thai. My husband even said it could be sold in a Thai restaurant, it’s that good. I added 1 chopped yellow onion and 4 thin chicken breast to butter/coconut oil and sauté in a dutch oven. Then followed her recipe (but doubled it bc my guys eat a lot) and added her suggested toppings of cilantro, green onion and chopped peanuts. I hope you try this, you will not be disappointed!

      1. Hi again Amy! Oh my gosh that makes me so happy!! Thank you so much! I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe. You will have to try some of my other recipes sometime! 🙂 I am going to add another Thai recipe soon so keep an eye out for that one. 😉 Have a great week!

  13. 5 stars
    I just cooked it. I added some tofu in it and it’s very delicious 🤤, plus it cooks in no time 😊.

    1. Hi Janet, thanks so much! Chicken, onion and shredded carrots would definitely taste great in this recipe. I am glad you enjoyed the soup! 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda! Yes, you can absolutely add vegetables! I would sauté them a bit to soften them up before adding the broth, coconut milk and water. 🙂

  14. Want some keto diet recipes for following my keto diet please as need to be able to eat while at work.

    1. Hi Diane, for sure! I already have some keto/low carb recipes on the blog, just go to the search bar and search “Keto”. I’m also going to be adding some new keto recipes to the blog soon, stay tuned! 🙂

  15. I don’t have red curry or any curry in my fridge,is there any recommendation that I can sub? Thanks a lot😊

    1. Hi! Thai curry paste serves as the main flavor base for the soup, so you do need some kind of curry paste to make this recipe. If you don’t have red curry paste, green or yellow curry paste can be used instead.

      Alternatively, you could make your own curry paste from scratch. Here is a good recipe that I recommend using: https://www.recipetineats.com/thai-red-curry-paste/. I hope that helps! 🙂

  16. I know this is an old post, but just FYI, the red curry paste you recommend is not vegan or even vegetarian. One of the ingredients is shrimp paste and it contains traces of fish,

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for your comment. Yes, I am aware of that. I actually mentioned that in the notes just above the recipe card, along with my recommendation for another vegan red curry paste. 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    This recipe was 100/10. I will be eating this on a weekly basis, surely. The richness and flavors are incredible.