Healthy Chicken Pad Thai that you can make in minutes – no takeout needed! (dairy-free, gluten-free option)
Over the past couple of years, my husband and I have grown pretty fond of Thai food. There are so many bold flavors and fresh ingredients involved in Thai cooking, and my husband can’t resist a good noodle dish, which are pretty abundant in Thai food. One of the first Thai dishes we ever tried (which I’m sure is the case with many of you) was Chicken Pad Thai.
Pad Thai is a classic Thai dish that any good Thai restaurant in America will serve, and in my opinion, it’s the best way to judge a new Thai restaurant! There was a little Thai place in Lubbock right around the corner from my husband’s house in college that we used to go to when we could. They had odd hours and hardly any seating. You were lucky if you could get a table when they were open, because they were always packed! It was the first restaurant that I ate Pad Thai at, and I immediately fell in love.
Once I decided to try cooking Chicken Pad Thai at home, I ran into a few road blocks. First, if you want to make authentic Pad Thai sauce, you have to have tamarind paste. (What in the world is tamarind?) I’ve searched high and low at any and all grocery stores, and have yet to find it anywhere. But the sauce is just not the same without it (I’ve tried). The solution? Amazon. Just order some and be done with it. You’ll be happy you did later.
Also a problem was finding the right noodles. Yes, there are rice noodles everywhere. There are even Pad Thai rice noodles everywhere. But you know what isn’t? Brown rice noodles. If I’m making noodles you better believe they are going to be whole grain. And just like tamarind, the only place I could find exactly the right noodles was Amazon. And I bought an entire case. Oh, Amazon. Isn’t technology amazing? Of course then there are bean sprouts, which you can’t get on Amazon. Bean sprouts are a pain to find sometimes, and they go bad approximately 1 day after you buy them. So if you don’t want spoiled bean sprouts in your fridge make a giant batch of Pad Thai and eat it for days.
But once you track down all of the ingredients for Chicken Pad Thai, the dish itself is actually quite easy to make. Just prep everything, then cook (which takes all of 5 minutes) and serve! You’ve got a super delicious meal in a snap. And it’s totally customizable, too. Traditional Pad Thai is made with tofu and shrimp, but we aren’t huge tofu fans in our house, so I made this one with chicken. But feel free to use what you’d like. Since I’m a wimp when it comes to spice, I put just a tiny bit in the sauce, and then I put the bottle of sriracha on the table so my hubby can put plenty on his. I also like to have plenty of options for garnish so everyone can make their Chicken Pad Thai exactly how they like it. Everybody wins!
If you’re looking for a delicious way to try Thai food at home, this Chicken Pad Thai recipe is a must. And you only have to buy the hard-to-find ingredients once. After that, you can keep on making this super dish time and time again without ever having to order takeout!
Healthy Chicken Pad Thai
Chicken Pad Thai is a classic Thai dish that you can make in minutes- no takeout needed!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3 servings 1x
- Category: Main dish
- Cuisine: Thai
- 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 large chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 4 oz brown rice noodles
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup bean sprouts
For Pad Thai Sauce:
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp low sodium tamari* or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 to 1 tsp Sriracha (depending on preferred spice level)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- Sliced limes
- Chopped peanuts
- Cilantro leaves
- Chopped green onions
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Prep ingredients: Whisk together all sauce ingredients, chop veggies and garnishes and slice chicken.
- In a medium bowl, mix cornstarch and chicken.
- In a medium saucepan, bring about 6 cups water to a boil. At the same time, heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.
- Add chicken mixture to heated oil in the skillet and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add rice noodles to boiling water and turn off heat. Let noodles cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Add carrots and cabbage to wok and cook about 3 minutes. Push to side and add eggs to other side of the pan. Stir eggs until cooked.
- Add chicken, noodles, and sauce to wok with veggies and eggs. Stir to combine and let sauce thicken. Add bean sprout and stir to combine.
- Divide Pad Thai into individual bowls and garnish how you wish!
*Use tamari for gluten-free