The best 15-minute healthy chicken pad thai recipe made in one pan with simple ingredients like brown rice noodles, eggs, red bell pepper, and crushed peanuts. This insanely flavorful and light pad thai recipe is the ideal lunch, dinner, and meal prep. Everyone will love this better-than-take-out meal!
The best pad thai recipe
Everyone needs a few go-to 15 minute dinners that are tasty and easy to throw together after long days. But, in order to keep healthy eating fun and simple, adventurous flavors are a must! I love my Zucchini Boats and Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs, but boy am I excited to share the best ever healthy pad thai recipe. It is packed with incredible flavors, so easy to make, and is sure to be your new favorite meal.
This chicken pad that recipe is full of lean protein, veggies, and healthy carbs from the brown rice noodles. It is super nourishing, balanced, and sure to leave you full and satisfied.
One of my favorite things about this Asian dinner is that it makes for the best meal prep recipe. I love cooking up a batch or two on Sunday and then saving it for work lunches throughout the week. Since I am super busy, chicken pad thai is easy to grab from the fridge and enjoy without ordering take-out food. Plus, it is super healthy and affordable.
This pad thai recipe is better than take-out food, trust me!
What is pad thai?
Pad thai is a traditional street food noodle stir fry from Thailand. It usually consists of rice noodles, eggs, peanuts, bean sprouts, and fish sauce. In this recipe, we are using chicken, but pad thai comes in many different variations: from shrimp to tofu to vegetarian. This traditional Thai dish is in almost every Thai restaurant and is amongst one of the most popular dishes in the country.
Ingredients in healthy chicken pad thai
I love creating recipes that use minimal and simple ingredients. For this gluten free pad thai recipe, you will need 10 easy ingredients and a handful of kitchen pantry staples. You can pick up all these ingredients at your local grocery store. Here is what you will need to make this 15 minute healthy dinner recipe!
Pad Thai Ingredients
- Brown rice noodles: First, we will use 4 – 6 ounces of brown rice noodles for the base of this healthy pad thai stirfry.
- Avocado oil or olive oil: To cook the vegetables and chicken, add 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil to a frying pan.
- Chicken breasts: We’ll be using 2 chicken breasts cut into thin strips.
- Garlic: Add in 2 cloves of minced garlic.
- Red bell pepper: Then, add in 1 large red bell pepper sliced into thin strips.
- Eggs: We need 2 eggs for this 15 minute pad thai.
- Bean sprouts: Add in 2/3 cups of fresh bean sprouts. They are also called mung beans in some stores.
- Carrot: Add in 1 cup of freshly grated carrots for extra veggies.
- Green onion: Thinly slice up 3 green onions. They are also called scallions.
- Fresh cilantro: We will need 1/3 cup of freshly chopped up cilantro for extra flavor.
- Peanuts: Add in 1/4 cup of crushed peanuts. If you are nut free, just leave the peanuts off.
- Fish sauce: For the base of the healthy pad thai sauce, add in 2 Tablespoons of fish sauce.
- Rice vinegar: Next, add in 2 + 1/2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar. You can substitute white wine vinegar for this if you do not have rice vinegar.
- Low-sodium soy sauce: Add in 1 Tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce or tamari if you are gluten free.
- Lime: Finally, for an extra tangy flavor, add 1 juice of 1 lime.
Easy ingredient substitutions
If you don’t love an ingredient or two, no worries! Here is a list of the very best substitutes you can use to customize this pad thai recipe to your liking:
- Chicken: Swap out the chicken with shrimp for tofu.
- Brown Rice Noodles: Use regular rice noodles or “stir fry” noodles.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Use white wine vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar.
- Fish Sauce: Use extra low sodium soy sauce instead of fish sauce. This will make it vegetarian and vegan too.
- Red Bell Pepper: Use yellow or orange bell pepper instead.
- Peanuts: Swap out with cashews. If you are nut free, leave off the peanuts.
- Make it Vegan: Swap the chicken for tofu and fish sauce with extra low sodium soy sauce. Remove the eggs too.
- Make it Vegetarian: Remove the chicken and add more eggs or replace it with tofu. Also, switch out the fish sauce with more low sodium soy sauce.
How to make healthy chicken pad thai
Chicken pad thai is made in one pan in under 15 minutes. It is easy to make, and any level cook can throw it together! First, we will start by cooking the veggies and chicken, then add the eggs, and finally, add in our homemade sauce. This healthy dinner will come together in a few easy steps:
First, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the brown rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and quickly rinse the noodles under cold water, so the noodles do not stick together and place to the side.
Whisk together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice in a small bowl. Set to the side and prepare your chicken by patting it dry and cutting it into thin strips.
Next, heat a large saute pan with the olive oil to medium. Then add in the chicken, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Cook for 2 – 4 minutes.
Then, push the chicken and bell peppers to the side and crack the two eggs into the center of the pan. Use your spatula to scramble the eggs and then mix them in with the chicken and veggies.
Finally, add the cooked noodles, bean sprouts, grated carrot, green onion, fresh cilantro, and sauce. Gently toss to combine everything.
Serve immediately and garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Enjoy your healthy pad thai!
Is pad thai healthy?
Yes! This pad thai recipe is very healthy and full of good-for-you ingredients that will leave you feeling great. Chicken pad thai is a very balanced and healthy meal full of extra vegetables, lean protein, and healthy carbs. We use low sodium soy sauce to make this pad thai lower in salt, plus there is NO SUGAR (which you find in most traditional pad thai recipes). This healthy chicken pad thai is also gluten free and dairy free. To make it nut free, just leave off the peanuts!
Pad thai variations:
The options are endless when it comes to healthy pad thai! Here are some easy and delicious ingredient variations you can try out:
Vegetarian Pad Thai: To make vegetarian pad thai, substitute the chicken with 3 additional eggs or with tofu and swap the fish sauce with more low sodium soy sauce.
Shrimp Pad Thai: Swap out the chicken with shrimp. I recommend using uncooked, cleaned, and detailed shrimp for the best tasting shrimp pad thai.
Vegan Pad Thai: Similar to vegetarian pad thai, to make vegan pad thai, use tofu in place of the chicken and more low sodium soy sauce in place of the fish sauce. Remember to also remove the eggs!
Fequently Asked Questions
Is pad thai paleo?
This Asain-inspired dinner recipe is a great (and tasty) option for paleo eaters with one ingredient swap: brown rice noodles. Healthy chicken pad thai can be made paleo by substituting the brown rice noodles with paleo kelp noodles or paleo pasta since those are gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. Just remember to use tamari (gluten free soy sauce).
Is this recipe gluten free?
Yes! This healthy pad thai noodle recipe is gluten free since we use brown rice noodles. Just remember to use low sodium tamari which is gluten free soy sauce. If you are looking for a healthy gluten free dinner recipe, try this chicken pad thai.
What is pad thai sauce?
Traditional pad thai sauce includes fish sauce, sugar, tamarind paste, and vinegar. However, to keep things simple for you in this recipe, we only use ingredients you can pick up at your local grocery store! So instead. of the tamarind paste, we use rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar). Plus, we are making this sauce sugar-free, so there is NO SUGAR added to this sauce.
What type of noodles should I use for pad thai?
You can use regular rice noodles or brown rice noodles for pad thai. Both work and taste great! Personally, I like using brown rice noodles for extra fiber and a little more protein. Pad thai noodles may also be called “stir fry noodles” in some supermarkets.
Chicken pad thai goes wonderful with so many things. Since it is already packed with vegetables and protein, I like serving my pad thai with crushed peanuts, sliced green onion, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped up cilantro. Feel free to add some siracha for extra spice and some lime wedges for an extra tangy flavor! Sometimes I add a side of steamed broccoli or sugar snap peas if I want to make it an even more vegetable-forward meal.
How to store and reheat leftovers
Any remaining healthy chicken pad thai can be stored in the refrigerator in tupperware for up to 5 days. When you are ready to eat, reheat the noodles in the microwave for 1 minute or on the stovetop until warm. I don’t recommend freezing pad thai!
Check these other healthy dinner recipes out!
Need some more healthier dinner recipes? Here are some of my favorite Healthful Blondie recipes to try out….
- Healthy Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- Healthy Thai Peanut Chicken Curry
- Grilled Honey Soy Chicken Thigh Skewers
- Southwestern Zucchini Boats with Ground Turkey
- Super Crispy Tofu (Air Fried or Oven Baked)
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy 15-Minute Chicken Pad Thai
- 4 - 6 ounces brown rice noodles
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup freshly grated carrots
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup peanuts, finely chopped
For the Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the brown rice noodles according to the package directions. Then drain and quickly rinse under cold water so the noodles do not stick together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice. Set to the side. Prepare your chicken by patting it dry and cutting it into thin strips.
- Heat a large saute pan with the olive oil to medium. Then add in the chicken, bell pepper and minced garlic. Cook for 2 - 4 minutes.
- Push the chicken and bell peppers to the side and crack the two eggs into the pan. Use your spatula to scramble the eggs. Break up the egg and then mix in the chicken.
- Add in the cooked noodles, bean sprouts, grated carrot, green onion, fresh cilantro, and sauce. Gently toss to combine everything.
- Serve immediately! Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Recipe by Tati Chermayeff / Healthful Blondie + Photos by The Travel Palate
I only recommend products I absolutely love and use myself. In full disclosure, by purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. Everything counts to keep my dream afloat; thank you for supporting Healthful Blondie!
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