These Vietnamese Noodle Bowls are loaded with fresh vegetables, tofu, glass noodles, and a tangy sauce. Naturally gluten-free, the colorful bowls have plenty of nutrients and can be enjoyed for weekday lunches or family dinners!
Light and refreshing meals are a hit all summer long. That’s why I’m loving these Vietnamese Noodle Bowls! They’re full of fresh vegetables, are easy to customize, and don’t require a hot oven.
As a bonus, the bowls are naturally gluten and oil-free. They’re also inexpensive, flexible, and a great way to get your day’s worth of vegetables.
This recipe is an excellent choice for Sunday meal prep, family-friendly dinners, or as a quick and easy lunch. The fresh and tangy Asian-inspired dressing fills every bite with flavor, and can easily be swapped with my savory peanut sauce.
What are glass noodles?
Glass noodles (also known as cellophane, fensi, Chinese vermicelli, or bean thread noodles) are a translucent noodle made from water and starch (usually from potatoes, mung beans, or tapioca). They’re easier to cook than pasta – just cover in hot water and soak until soft!
Glass noodles are very versatile and can be used in many Asian-style dishes, like spring rolls, soups, and stir fries. While this type of noodle doesn’t contain many vitamins or nutrients, they’re fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, a great source of carbohydrates, and low in calories.
Ingredients & Substitutions
You can fill your Vietnamese Noodle Bowls with as many fillings as you want. This is what I chose to use:
- Glass noodles – If you can’t find glass noodles, substitute them for rice or vermicelli noodles. The thinner, the better!
- Carrots – Shredded or chopped.
- Lettuce – Butter, romaine, or any green leaf lettuce will do.
- Cucumber – Or use celery.
- Cabbage – Red, green, or anything cabbage-like, such as shredded brussel sprouts or savoy cabbage.
- Grilled tofu steaks – For delicious savory flavors and protein! Add more spice by using my recipe for Tofu in Chili Garlic Sauce instead.
- Cilantro – Feel free to leave it out if you don’t like it.
- Toppings – Lime, sliced avocado, jalapenos, and peanuts will go all amazing with the noodle bowl fixings.
The glass noodle bowls are topped with an oil-free and gluten-free dressing made out of these easy ingredients:
- Tamari – Swap this for soy sauce if you don’t need the dressing to be gluten-free.
- Vegetable broth – Use water if you don’t have broth.
- Rice vinegar – Or use apple cider vinegar.
- Maple syrup – Agave syrup would also work.
- Sriracha – Use your favorite hot sauce or chili sauce. You can leave this out if you’re not a big fan of spicy flavors.
- Fresh lime juice, onion powder, garlic powder, and powdered ginger – For a tangy, authentic taste.
Tips for Making Vietnamese Noodle Bowls
Cook your noodles according to the package instructions. They’re easy to make but are quite different from pasta noodles.
Use all the vegetables you want! Don’t feel like you have to use all of my suggestions. In the end, it will still be a colorful, nutritious, plant-powered meal.
Give the tofu steaks as much flavor as possible by doubling the sauce recipe and using it as a marinade. Let the tofu marinate in an 8×8 glass casserole dish for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight for more flavor.
Double or triple the recipe if you want to serve a crowd. Alternatively, lay out a wide selection of fillings and toppings so your guests can customize their own bowls.
Prepare your veggies, tofu, and dressing ahead a day or two ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to fill your bowls. Store the Vietnamese Noodle Bowls leftovers sealed in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More noodle recipes you’ll love
Are you craving more noodles? Try any of these delicious recipes:
- Thai Basil Noodles With Mushrooms, Bok Choy & Tofu
- Sesame Noodles with Tempeh
- Butternut Squash Noodle Bowl
- Quick Curry Noodles With Toasted Cashews
- Healthy Vegan Ramen Noodle Salad
Vietnamese Noodle Bowls
Main Recipe (yields 4 servings):
- Cook noodles according to package directions
- While noodles are cooking make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisking until combined.
- Assemble the bowls by adding the noodles, vegetables and tofu.
- Pour the dressing over the ingredients and garnish with cilantro and other toppings of choice.
Make tofu ahead of time to cut down on prep time.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who helps vegans find ways to make mealtimes easier (and healthier).
When she’s not creating new recipes for her blog, you can find Mary Ellen doting on her two shih tzus or exploring the world with her husband.