This loaded rice noodle stir fry with crispy garlic is such a dreamy dinner! Made with gluten free rice noodles, a ton of veggies, chicken (or tofu!), an easy stir fry sauce, and a crispy garlic scallion chili oil that is optional but SO delicious. The perfect thing to make when you’re craving take out but looking for something a little bit healthier. Gluten free, dairy free, with a vegan / vegetarian option.
How underrated is a veggie packed rice noodle stir fry?!
One of our favorite go to dinners for so many reasons. Basically it checks all the important boxes we’re looking for in a weeknight meal – easy, quick, full of veggies, protein rich, and great for leftovers.
Check, check, check!
And they’re also SUPER easy to customize based on what you have in the refrigerator. Perfect for that I-really-need-to-grocery-shop energy 😂
The veggies can easily be changed (I share a list of ideas later in the post!), and the protein is pretty easy to switch, too. I used chicken but pork, shrimp, or crispy tofu would all be 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
To take the flavor party up a notch this recipe includes instructions for a crispy garlic scallion chili oil. It’s drizzled over the top of the stir fry just before serving. Totally optional if you’re short on time or don’t have the ingredients but so delish if you do.
We’ve made it multiple times with and without and it was thoroughly enjoyed both ways!
Why you’ll love this loaded rice noodle stir fry with crispy garlic
This easy stir fry is:
- Saucy 🔥
- Crave worthy
- Gluten free + dairy free
- Loaded with veggies
- Perfect for leftovers
- Easy to make
- SO tasty!
Loaded rice noodle stir fry with crispy garlic ingredients
Like I mentioned before, this recipe is really SO versatile. So consider the veggies and protein a starting point, and feel free to create your own version based on what you like.
The ingredient list may seem a little long, but half of the items are for the stir fry sauce and the crispy garlic scallion chili oil. So don’t let it intimidate you!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this rice noodle stir fry:
- Rice noodles – Rice noodles are my gluten free noodle of choice for this stir fry, but you could swap equal amounts of another noodle. My favorite rice noodles are made by Lotus Foods – their organic white rice noodles and their organic brown rice noodles have an amazing texture and always cook up PERFECTLY. No breaking and no sticking together (as long as you give them a good rinse in cold water).
- Chicken breast – For the best texture and tenderness I recommend slicing the chicken breast as thinly as possible against the grain – or crosswise. This creates shorter fibers in the meat making it easier to chew. You could do the same with a boneless pork tenderloin or steak. Shrimp, scallops, or crispy tofu would also be delicious in this recipe!
- Easy stir fry sauce – The simple stir fry sauce is made with coconut aminos (or tamari), rice vinegar, hot sauce, and arrowroot starch. If you don’t want the stir fry to be spicy just leave out the hot sauce. The arrowroot starch is there to thicken the sauce to coat the noodles and veggies, but it can also be left out in a pinch. If you’re using tamari you may want to add a tiny bit of sweetener, since coconut aminos are sweeter than soy sauce.
- Garlic scallion chili oil – Totally optional, but if you have the time I highly recommend whipping up this crispy garlic oil to top the stir fry before serving! It’s made with sizzled sliced green onions, garlic, sesame seeds, a pinch of chili flakes, sesame oil, and salt. YUM!
- Julienned carrots
- Red bell pepper
- Shitake mushrooms – You could also use another type of mushroom.
- Snow peas – Easily swapped for sugar snap peas or even shelled peas!
- Sesame seeds + green onion to garnish
How to make this rice noodle stir fry
Like most stir fry recipes, it’s best to prep all the ingredients before you start cooking. The actual cooking portion of the recipe goes pretty quickly, and you’ll want to have everything ready to go as you cook.
“Mise en place” (french for everything in it’s place) is one of my top tips for easy cooking, but it’s especially helpful when making a stir fry.
Here’s the step-by-step:
- Combine the stir fry sauce ingredients in a bowl or a glass measuring cup and set aside.
- Add the thinly sliced chicken to a small small bowl and toss with a bit of the stir fry sauce.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water to release some of the extra starch and set aside.
- If you’re making the crispy garlic scallion chili oil: In a large skillet or wok heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil over medium heat. When hot, add white and light green parts of green onion, chopped garlic, sesame seeds, and pinch of chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is crisp and green onion is frizzled. Scoop out of the pan into a small bowl, season with a generous pinch of salt, and set aside.
- In the same skillet, stir fry chicken until just barely cooked. You don’t want to overcook it as it will continue to cook with the veggies.
- Add all veggies except for peas with the remaining garlic. Cook until veggies are just starting to soften and garlic is fragrant.
- Reduce heat and add cooked rice noodles, snow peas, and remaining stir fry sauce to the skillet. Toss and continue to stir fry until hot and the sauce has thickened slightly to coat the noodles.
- If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, or the noodles start sticking, just add a tiny splash of broth of water to thin the sauce and release them from the pan.
- Serve topped with the reserved garlic scallion sesame oil, more sesame seeds, and the remaining thinly sliced green onion.
Top tips for cooking rice noodles
Cooking perfect rice noodles can be a little bit tricky.
Because not all rice noodles are the same, one of the most important things to note are the specific cooking instructions for the rice noodles you’ll be using.
For example: The rice noodles I love and recommend are boiled in water similar to traditional pasta, but other brands only require a soak in water off the heat.
Once you figure out how to cook the rice noodles you’re working with, it’s also important to follow these tips:
- Don’t overcook them – This tip might seem obvious, but rice noodles have a tendency to break apart and lose their chewy texture if they are overcooked – even more than regular noodles. If you’re not sure, drain them a tiny bit early since they’ll cook a little longer in the sauce for this recipe.
- Rinse them with cold water – Thoroughly rinsing your rice noodles with cold water right after cooking. This helps wash away any extra starch to prevent them from sticking together. You can repeat this process again just before adding the noodles to the stir fry if they have clumped together while you were cooking.
- Test doneness as you cook – Like most noodles, the best way to tell if they’re done is to test them as you go. Whether you’re boiling them in water or soaking them on the counter start testing the noodles a few minutes before the “cook time” is up.
A general guide for substituting other vegetables in this rice noodle stir fry
For this recipe you’ll add the veggies during two different steps.
The first – step 6 – is the heartier, slower cooking vegetables – the carrots, peppers, and mushrooms.
The second – step 7 – is the quicker cooking veggies – in this case, snow peas.
Here are some examples of which group different vegetables would fall into:
Heartier veggies (add during step 6):
- Any color bell peppers
- Green beans
- Bok Choy
- Mushrooms – of any kind
Quick cooking vegetables (add during step 7):
- Leafy greens like spinach or chard
- Peas – snow peas, sugar snap peas, shelled peas
- Bean sprouts
How to make this stir fry vegan / vegetarian
You can make this rice noodle stir fry vegan and vegetarian friendly with two easy swaps:
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in the stir fry sauce
- Swap the chicken for a plant based protein, or just some extra veggies
To keep things simple you could toss in some crispy tofu during step 7 to heat through and simmer with the sauce just before serving!
Love this healthy stir fry recipe? Here’s some other simple gluten free stir fries to try!
- Mushroom Soba Noodle Stir Fry
- Ground Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry (Whole30!)
- Super Easy Crispy Pork Stir Fry (Whole30!)
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This loaded rice noodle stir fry with crispy garlic is such a dreamy dinner! Made with gluten free rice noodles, a ton of veggies, chicken (or tofu!), an easy stir fry sauce, and a crispy garlic scallion chili oil that is optional but so delicious. The perfect thing to make when you’re craving take out but looking for something a little bit healthier. Gluten free, dairy free, with a vegan / vegetarian option.
For stir fry
- 8 ounces rice noodles – these are the rice noodles I use in this recipe
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut crosswise (against the grain) into thin slices (optional, can substitute with a plant based protein or omit / replace with some extra veggies for a vegan & vegetarian option)
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ cup chicken or veggie broth
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste (optional)
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup snow peas, or sugar snap peas
- Sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onion to garnish
For crispy garlic scallion chili oil (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch of green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, the rest reserved
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Pinch of chili flakes, optional
- Generous pinch of salt
- In a small bowl combine the coconut aminos, chicken or veggie broth, rice vinegar, hot sauce, and arrowroot starch. Stir until well combined and set aside.
- Add cut chicken to a medium sized bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the stir fry sauce. Stir to coat and set aside.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Rinse well with cold water to release any extra starch and set aside.
- If making the crispy garlic scallion chili oil: In a large skillet or wok heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil over medium heat. When hot, add white and light green parts of green onion, about 2/3 of the chopped garlic, sesame seeds, and pinch of chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is crisp and green onion is frizzled. Scoop out of the pan into a small bowl, season with salt, and set aside for serving.
- In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil over medium high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry until just barely cooked – you don’t want to overcook as it will continue to cook with the veggies.
- Add julienned carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, and 3 cloves chopped garlic to the skillet and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes or so, until veggies are just starting to soften, and garlic is fragrant.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add cooked rice noodles, snow peas, and remaining stir fry sauce to the skillet. Toss and continue to stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, until hot, snow peas are bright green, and the sauce has thickened slightly and coats the noodles.
- If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, or the noodles start sticking, just add a tiny splash of broth of water to thin the sauce and release the noodles from the pan.
- Serve topped with the reserved garlic scallion sesame oil, more sesame seeds, and thinly sliced green onion.
If you’re not using meat, you can add a few extra veggies, or throw in some crispy tofu in step 7 when you add the rice noodles and peas.
The crispy garlic scallion oil is optional. If you’re short on time or just don’t have the desire to make the crispy garlic scallion sesame oil to top the stir fry, you can totally skip it!
Nutrition information is for the stir fry without the crispy garlic scallion oil.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: dinner
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: asian
Keywords: stir fry, asian, noodles, gluten free, dairy free