Easy, sweet, salty, and super garlicky, these Vegan Garlic Noodles might just become your new favorite go-to meal. With just 5 ingredients and no oil or dairy, this dish is quick and easy, coming together in just 15 minutes.
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Hey Internet, it… probably hasn’t been that long since I did a pasta dish… but here I am. This seems only right to publish now, because I’ve been making it on repeat.
Seriously, I’ve probably made this about 20 times in the last month. It’s easy and fast for when I’ve been cooking or doing other work all day (I work in communications during the day) and need something delicious and satisfying.
Enter the inexpensive, 5-ingredient pasta dish.
These noodles are garlicky to the extreme! If you’re not a huge fan of garlic, you can adapt this recipe for less garlic. Go as little as one or two cloves.
But if you’re a professional vampire slayer--I mean, if you really love garlic, I highly recommend using a full (small) head of garlic for this dish!
I know, I know, what about kissing? Well, I asked my husband if my breath was horrible after we ate this. He didn’t think so, but he had eaten it too, so maybe they cancelled each other out?
Who knows. If you’re concerned, go brush your teeth right after.
But these totally addictive noodles are ridiculous. Ridiculously easy, ridiculously tasty, ridiculously fast, and ridiculously simple.
Need I go on?
Oh, really? I don’t need to go on? Great. Let’s actually talk about the recipe, then.
The Garlic Elephant in the Room
Let’s talk about the garlic now, since it’s in the title of this recipe.
I’ll say it again: USE AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE GARLIC as you’d like.
I know I’m going to get a ton of comments when I share this on social media. Some people will thank me for my unabashed love for garlic, some people will call me crazy and some will just turn up their noses.
Yes, I used a whole small head of garlic for 8 oz of pasta. Yes, I really love garlic.
Please, please, just use as much or as little as you prefer.
Alright, that’s out of the way. Good.
What You’ll Need
About the pasta: First of all, ANY will work! I used bucatini because I love the shape for these flavors.
But if you want a light, delicate, slurpy noodle, I recommend using noodles like angel hair pasta, thin spaghetti, or ramen noodles. This really allows the garlicky flavor to shine.
Use gluten-free pasta if needed.
Next is green onions. Also known as spring onions or scallions, these delicious and light onion are perfect for this dish. I recommend slicing them thinly and separating the white parts (more hardy) from the green parts, which are more delicate and we don’t want to overcook them.
Some garlic noodles use oyster sauce. This isn’t vegan.
There IS a vegan version, called vegetarian oyster sauce (it says vegetarian but it’s usually vegan too) made from mushrooms, but it can be a bit hard to find.
I like it with plain old soy sauce, so I didn’t bother getting a special ingredient. Use what you’d like!
Finally, the base of the sauce for this recipe is a small amount of canned coconut milk. This has the right texture and flavor, as opposed to the watered down stuff from the carton.
I don’t eat butter or vegan butter (I don’t use oil at home), so this is my substitute. But the flavor is actually amazing! It isn’t very coconut-y at all, and it makes the sauce creamy and delicious.
If you use oil in your home, feel free to melt some vegan butter here or use olive oil instead. Either option is delish!
For a flavor boost, try adding a tablespoon of vegan hoisin. It's a flavor power house and it will give these noodles a sweet and salty kick you'll love.
Another flavor-enhancer option is toasted sesame oil. I KNOW, I KNOW I literally just said I don't cook with oil.
And I don't, but once in a great while I'll make an exception. I love the flavor and aroma of toasted sesame oil. Most of the time I do without, though.
You can get a similar flavor from toasting your own sesame seeds, btw, but I'll leave it up to you.
How to Make Vegan Garlic Noodles
- First, cook your pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is fully cooked, drain it (but don't rinse it) and return it to the pot until the sauce is ready. Everything else can be made in the meantime.
- Chop your garlic and green onions, keeping the green parts of the onion separate from the white parts.
- Now heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, empty for 1 minute. Then add the garlic with a tablespoon of water (you may choose to cook with oil or broth if you prefer). Stir. When the garlic starts to stick, add a touch more water. Cook the garlic until very fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Now add the white parts of the onion, adding a tablespoon of water if needed. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring often and adding a splash of water if it sticks.
- Now add the coconut milk and tamari or soy sauce. Stir well and heat for one minute. Then add the green parts of the onion and stir well. Finally, add the pasta into the skillet and toss well with tongs or forks.
- Serve hot and enjoy! Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan, chili flakes, sesame seeds, and/or extra green onion if desired.
Quick Tips for the Best Vegan Noods (Noodles)
- Use as much--or as little--garlic as you’d like, according to your own tastes. We REALLY love garlic, but this dish will work with as little as one clove.
- Use noodles you like--but the thinner the better to let the garlic be the star. Ramen noodles, angel hair pasta, or thin spaghetti are great in this. I actually used bucatini here because I honestly prefer it in dishes with these flavors (soy sauce, garlic, etc.) but the best noodles are the ones you like. I honestly think shape has a lot to do with it.
- Start the pasta first, then cut the garlic & green onion, and start cooking it in a skillet. This is the most efficient way to cook this pasta in 15 minutes.
- For the most flavor, salt your pasta water. Not necessary, but it does increase the flavor.
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain it, but DO NOT rinse it.
- Separate the green onion--the white parts should go in when the garlic does, so they can cook down. I’d add the green parts just before mixing the pasta with the sauce, so they don’t wilt too much.
- Can’t have coconut? Melt vegan butter in the skillet with the garlic, or use olive oil if you’d like.
- Serve with vegan Parmesan, chili flakes, and extra green onion if desired.
- We eat this as a main meal, but you could eat it with steamed veggies, salad, or whatever yo'd like. If you really want garlic overload, try some of my vegan garlic bread on the side.
More Vegan Pasta / Quick Weeknight Dinners
If you like this pasta, chances are you’ll like my other easy weeknight pasta dinners, many of them only requiring one pot!
Creamy Mushroom Pasta (one pot)
Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes (one pot)
Chickpea Florentine Pasta (one pot)
Rasta Pasta (one pot)
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
These Vegan Garlic Noodles are:
- And oh so delicious!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!