Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (2024)

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You won’t know this healthy Chicken Pad Thai isn’t from your favorite takeout spot! It’s full of veggies, flavorful chicken, a creamy peanut sauce and only takes 30 minutes to make!

Love making Asian-inspired recipes at home? Then you’ll love thisInstant Pot Mongolian Beefand Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (1)

Table of Contents

  • What is Chicken Pad Thai?
  • Ingredients
  • How to make Chicken Pad Thai
  • How to cut the chicken
  • Is Chicken Pad Thai healthy?
  • More Noodles
  • Chicken Pad Thai Recipe

I’ve always loved Pad Thai! I remember the first time I tried it in an authentic Thai restaurant. Now it’s one of my favorite meals to order if it’s on the menu.

I love this meal because it’s healthier (read more to see how!) and it includes so much protein from the chicken and eggs. We’re so lucky to live in Ohio because we’re ranked No. 2 in the nation for egg farming. Learn more about how the eggs get from the farm to your table.

What is Chicken Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is a traditional Thai stir fried noodle dish made of wide rice noodles, scrambled eggs, veggies and a special Pad Thai sauce. It was created in the 1930’s by the Thai Prime Minister as a way to unite the country and establish it through their culture. The campaign also included changing the name of the country, writing a new national anthem and creating this national dish.

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (2)

Ingredients

Although the ingredient list is long, this simple chicken pad thai recipe is made with several things you probably have in your pantry or can easily find at the grocery store.

  • Wide rice noodles
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Veggies: Red bell pepper, matchstick carrots, shallots and bean sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Toppings: green onion, cilantro, peanuts and lime juice

Is this authentic Pad Thai? Authentic Pad Thai sauce typically includes an ingredient called Tamarind paste, that’s often tricky to find. Instead, we’re creating our own by mixing together equal parts coconut sugar, lime juice and coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you aren’t gluten free).

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (3)

How to make Chicken Pad Thai

  1. Cook the noodles: Start by cooking the rice noodles according to the package directions. Most call for soaking the noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Make the sauce: While they’re soaking, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Cook the chicken: Use a large wok if possible (or a deep skillet) to sear the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  4. Cook veggies and eggs: Remove the chicken to a plate, then add the pepper and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat to low and pour the scrambled eggs over top and gently stir to cook and scramble, being careful not to overcook.
  5. Mix: Add the chicken back to the pan with the noodles and sauce and toss to coat.
  6. Garnish: Top the Chicken Pad Thai with cilantro, green onion and chopped peanuts. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice. Learn how to cut green onions and how to store green onions to finish this recipe.

How to cut the chicken

Slice the chicken into small strips and then into 2-inch pieces. lf some pieces are thicker you can slice them in half again to ensure they’re all the same size. This helps them cook evenly!

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (4)

Is Chicken Pad Thai healthy?

If you order Pad Thai in a restaurant, it may not be very healthy. But that’s why this homemade version is so good! It tastes just as good (better IMO!) as takeout, but it’s healthier because it’s gluten free, dairy free and this version is refined sugar free.

It’s also packed FULL of veggies and protein from the chicken and eggs. Three ounces of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast has 31g of protein and and one egg contains eight essential nutrients and zero carbs.

Chicken is the No. 1 consumed protein in the US (the average person eats 90 lbs annually!). For a very good (and delicious) reason. It provides magnesium calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins. If you’re looking for a way to switch up your regular chicken dinner, this Pad Thai is it!

Calories in Chicken Pad Thai: There are 493 calories in one serving of this Pad Thai recipe. There are 29g of protein, 50g carbs and 20g of fat.

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This recipe is sponsored by The Ohio Poultry Association. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much to brands like them who believe in my and my recipes so I can keep sharing free ones with you!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment. Tag me on Instagram so I can see what you made!

More Noodles

  • Birria ramen
  • Gochujang noodles

Tap stars to rate!

4.88 from 40 votes

Chicken Pad Thai

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Cook: 20 minutes mins

Total: 30 minutes mins

You won’t know this Chicken Pad Thai isn’t from your favorite takeout spot! It’s full of veggies, flavorful chicken, a creamy peanut butter sauce and only takes 30 minutes to make!

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (6)

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Molly Thompson

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Molly Thompson

Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

For the Pad Thai:

  • 8 oz wide rice noodle
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil divided
  • 1 lb chicken breast sliced into thin strips then 2 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced then halved
  • 1 shallot minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten free option
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar could also use brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or red chili paste plus more if you want more heat
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

  • Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions, being careful not to overcook because they’ll cook longer once mixed in the sauce. Most noodles call for soaking them in hot water for about 10 minutes.

  • While they’re soaking, whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until completely incorporated and the peanut butter is no longer clumpy then set aside.

  • When the noodles are done, strain them then toss them with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and set aside.

  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot and rippling, add the sliced chicken and allow to cook without moving for 1-2 minutes until it starts to turn crispy and golden brown. Flip and cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through (the internal temp should reach 165°F).

  • Remove the chicken to a clean plate or paper towel. Add the red pepper and shallots and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes then add the carrot and garlic and cook again for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low, add the beaten eggs and stir to scramble, being careful not to overcook them.

  • Add the chicken back to the pan with the cooked noodles and sauce and mix well to coat everything.

  • Finish by topping it with the bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro and peanuts and toss gently. Serve warm with more cilantro, peanuts and lime juice if desired.

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.7g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 691mg | Fiber: 4.3g | Sugar: 13.5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (2024)

FAQs

Can Pad Thai be healthy? ›

It can definitely be a part of a balanced, well-rounded diet. While pad thai includes many nutritious ingredients, its sodium content is considerably high. You can reduce its sodium by requesting the eatery go easy on the sauce and salt-contributing condiments.

Does chicken Pad Thai have a lot of calories? ›

Best: Pad Thai

This dish is a menu staple of Thai restaurants. It's made from rice noodles sauteed with spices, peanuts, egg, and bean sprouts. Get it with shrimp, chicken, or tofu for lean protein, and extra veggies for fiber and vitamins. Just watch your portion: Pad thai clocks in at 300 to 400 calories a cup.

Is drunken noodle healthier than Pad Thai? ›

Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles both have a moderate calorie count, making them a good choice at a restaurant. On top of that, they're packed with veggies and protein. Pad Thai has roughly 357 calories in one cup. Drunk Noodles contain about 323 calories per cup.

What is chicken Pad Thai sauce made of? ›

What is Chicken Pad Thai Made of? This Thai street food dish is primarily made with small pieces of cooked chicken, eggs, rice, noodles, an assortment of veggies and seasonings. Then it's all tossed in a sweet and savory sauce. My sauce is made with ketchup, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, peanut butter, and lime.

Can I eat Pad Thai while losing weight? ›

Stir Fried Noodle and rice dishes: Most stir-fried noodle and rice dishes contain oil and simple carbohydrates which are bad for weight loss. And sorry for Pad Thai lovers, you have to cross it out from your favorite Thai food while trying to manage your weight loss diet.

What is unhealthy in Thai food? ›

Traditional Thai cuisine is quite healthy and largely based on vegetables, lean proteins, and fresh herbs and spices. Certain Thai dishes are high in refined carbs and may contain deep-fried foods, added sugar, or high amounts of salt.

Why is pad thai so high in calories? ›

While the dish isn't usually the highest calorie option on a Thai menu, it does provide significant calories because it is stir-fried using oil, and because the dish includes peanuts. Pad Thai nutrition is sometimes called into question because of the sugar in the dish.

What is the healthiest Thai curry? ›

People love green curry because of the gentle balance of heat, sweet, and acid from the chiles, lime, and fresh herbs. Green curry is great with chicken and shrimp because it offers a punch of seasoning to the protein. The long list of herbs also makes green curry one of the healthiest Thai cuisine dishes.

Which is healthier Thai or Chinese food? ›

Thai food is often healthier than Chinese food. Thai food puts a focus on balance and variety. They are often light and the aromas are just as important as the taste of the food. Thai food uses less heavy sauces and oils than Chinese food uses that are healthier for you, if any oil at all.

What Thai food has the least calories? ›

Low-Calorie Thai Dishes
  1. Tom Yum Soup. Calories per serving: Approximately 70-90 calories. ...
  2. Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad) ...
  3. Gai Pad Krapow (Basil Chicken) ...
  4. Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad) ...
  5. Pla Neung Manaow (Steamed Fish with Lime) ...
  6. Pad Phak (Stir-Fried Vegetables) ...
  7. Larb (Spicy Thai Salad) ...
  8. Tom Jued (Clear Soup)

Why is Pad Thai so good? ›

Why is Pad Thai so popular? David Thompson says this dish hits all the flavour notes – sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami. He says, “A good Pad Thai should be made with prawns and deep-fried shallots and when made well, it is damn delicious.”

What can I use instead of tamarind paste in Pad Thai? ›

Rice vinegar: Mix rice vinegar or white wine with an equal amount of brown sugar to replace tamarind paste in recipes. The rice vinegar or wine adds acidity and some sweetness, while the brown sugar enhances that sweetness. Use this as a one-to-one substitute for tamarind paste in recipes.

Is chicken Pad Thai good for you? ›

Although the ingredients in pad Thai are generally pretty healthy, the calories can still add up fast. Just one cup of a typical pad Thai has about 400 calories and 17 grams of fat, as well as loads of sodium. To balance it out, I always order mine with an extra serving of steamed vegetables to mix in.”

What ethnicity is chicken Pad Thai? ›

Pad Thai is a traditional Thai dish made with stir-fried rice noodles, eggs, tofu, beansprouts, and a multitude of spices. The dish is one of the most famous street food in the world, but the dish is not meant to be eaten on the go. The word “pad” means “fried” while “thai” means “Thai”.

What is the healthiest Thai food to order? ›

Gorin likes to order the salad as an appetizer, but if you add some grilled protein to your order, it easily transforms into a light meal.
  • Chicken Satay. ...
  • Spicy Beef Salad. ...
  • Whole Steamed Fish. ...
  • Pad Thai (With Extra Vegetables) ...
  • Green Curry (With Extra Veggies And Lean Protein) ...
  • Chicken Larb. ...
  • Basil Tofu. ...
  • Tom Yum Soup.
Sep 24, 2019

Is Thai food healthy or unhealthy? ›

Thai food is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Many of the dishes are loaded with fresh vegetables and packed with protein for a nutritional meal. Several of the dishes that use spices and herbs will also provide added health benefits.

Are Pad Thai rice noodles healthy? ›

Rice noodles are low in fat and moderate in calories, making them a healthy option. Try pairing them with high fiber veggies and tasty sauces — though you may want to limit your use of high sodium add-ins like soy sauce.

Is Pad Thai good for your stomach? ›

One of the most commonly used ingredients in Thai cuisine, galangal is a relative of ginger and, hence, contains properties that aid with digestion. It's used in Thai stir-fried noodles such as Pad Thai, as well as in Thai curries.

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