This delicious and flavour packed Chicken Pad Thai is just like the one you would find at your favourite Thai restaurant. It's zesty, spicy, and everything you could want from a Thai dish. It's far easier to make than you might think, and easily adapted to add different vegetables and protein.
What we love about these pad Thai noodles is that they taste incredible, with minimal effort and no trips to specialist shops. You can find all the ingredients in a regular supermarket and you don't need any fancy kitchen gadgets to make it. It's ready in just 20 minutes too.
Be sure to make extras, as you are going to want a double portion of this! Looking for more healthy Thai recipes to try? Why not try our Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry, Thai Yellow Curry or Thai Green Curry.
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai, sometimes spelled as Phad Thai, is a traditional Thai stir-fried rice noodle dish, usually served as a street food throughout Thailand. It is typically made with noodles, prawns (shrimp), chicken, beef or tofu, peanuts, scrambled egg, and bean sprouts, as well as a variety of other vegetables.
Why you will love it
- Quick - These Pad Thai Noodles are ready in just 22 minutes. Much quicker than ordering takeout.
- Minimal prep time - Just make up the sauce and chop the chicken and veg and you are good to go!
- A really tasty and easy Thai dish - If you haven't tried cooking Thai food before, then this is a great place to start.
- Easy to adapt with different ingredients - Feel free to adapt this with different vegetables and protein.
- Veggie packed - Although not traditional, we have added broccoli and bell peppers to give this Pad Thai a vegetable boost.
- Easy to adjust the spice level according to taste - Don't like spicy food? You can use less chilli. You can also add more.
Pad Thai Ingredients
- Chicken breast - This helps to keep the chicken pad Thai nice and lean. You could swap it for skinless and boneless chicken thighs, however this would change the nutritional information and cooking time.
- Broccoli - We used tenderstem broccoli, but small florets of normal broccoli will work.
- Bell pepper - We used a red pepper for a nice pop of colour. Any colour bell pepper would work though.
- Oil - You will need olive oil to cook the chicken and sesame oil for the sauce.
- Noodles - Traditionally rice noodles are used but we used soba noodles, which are made for buckwheat flour.
- Garlic and Ginger - The base for all Thai recipes. Save time and use a garlic and ginger paste.
- Honey - Sweetens the sauce and balances out the other savoury flavours.
- Nut butter - This thickens the sauce. Normally peanut would be used, but we used almond butter, which is better for those with peanut allergies.
- Chilli - Adds a nice kick of heat to the dish. Adjust depending on how much heat you like.
- Fish sauce - This can be omitted but it adds a complex umami flavour to the dish.
- Lime - Fresh and zesty, this really lightens up the dish.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: In a pestle and mortar, combine the garlic, ginger, honey, almond butter, sesame oil, chilli and fish sauce (a). Pound until smooth and set aside (b).
Two: Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken until browned all over, about 5-7 minutes.
Three: Add the pepper slices and broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Four: Put the noodles into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 4 minutes.
Five: Add the cooked noodles and sauce to the chicken and vegetables. Mix well and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Six: Serve with spring onions (scallions), sliced chilli and lime wedges (all optional).
Vegetables - When it comes to Pad Thai vegetables, we used broccoli and slices of red bell pepper for this to keep it simple, but any vegetables will work. Carrots, mangetout (snow peas), button mushrooms and baby corn would all work well.
Bean sprouts are also commonly used as well as spring onions (scallions).
Protein - We used chicken in ours, but you could swap that for prawns, tofu, egg, or just do a veggie loaded one. If you are doing a veggie version, then try going for chunkier, meaty vegetables like aubergine, courgette (zucchini) and different textured mushrooms.
Pad Thai sauce
This pad Thai sauce is everything and more. Whilst the chicken and vegetables are delicious, nobody is denying that, it really is all about the sauce. Whilst you can buy a Pad Thai sauce ready made, or even kits from the supermarket, it's worth making it yourself for that intense flavour. Luckily, it's really easy to make.
A pad Thai sauce is a mixture of garlic, ginger, honey, almond butter, oil, chilli, fish sauce and lime, it has all those Thai flavours that you know and love. This recipe does have a little bit of a kick of heat in it, but you can easily adapt that. You could leave the chilli out of the sauce completely and then just add some chilli slices on top for those that want the spice.
These Thai noodles really are a whole meal in itself, so you don't really need anything to go with it. If you wanted to add a side dish, then our Carrot and Coriander Side Salad would compliment the Pad Thai well.
You could make this as a smaller portion and eat it as an appetizer for any of our Thai Recipes.
Store: You can store these pad Thai noodles in airtight containers in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Freeze: Pad Thai doesn't freeze well as the texture is ruined by the formation of ice crystals within the noodles.
Reheat: Simply reheat in the microwave or on the hob (stove top) for a few minutes until thoroughly heated through.
You can, but we would recommend cooking it in two batches. If you overcrowd the pan, then the noodles won't be able to fry properly.
There are just 525 calories in our healthy pad Thai. A much lighter alternative to ordering a takeout, and lots of ways to add vegetables too.
To make a vegetarian version of these Thai noodles, swap the chicken for tofu or extra vegetables. You will need to swap the fish sauce for soy sauce too. If you want to make a vegan version, then you will need to use brown sugar instead of honey.
• This is such a quick recipe, and the more often you make it the quicker you will get. Make sure everything is prepped and ready to go.
• To cut down on the cooking time of this chicken pad Thai, make sure that the chicken it cut in to thin strips.
• For best results, use a wok to make this.
• Add some extra texture with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts before serving.
• A sprinkling of coriander will add lots of flavour to the finished dish.
• Make this as mild or as spicy as you like. Make it spicier by adding extra chilli to the sauce, or milder by leaving it out completely and adding chilli flakes on top for those that want them.
More Thai recipes
If you’ve tried this Pad Thai recipe, or any other recipe on the blog, then let us know how you got on in the comments below, we love hearing from you!
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - we love sharing photos when people make our recipes. You can use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Chicken Pad Thai
- 150 g chicken breast - cut into chunks
- 80 g tenderstem broccoli
- 1 red bell pepper - thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 100 g soba noodles
For the sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves - chopped
- 30 g ginger - peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon nut butter - (we used almond butter)
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil - (or olive oil)
- 0.5 red chili - chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 lime - juice only
To serve (all optional):
- 4 spring onions (scallions) - sliced
- 0.5 red chilli - sliced
- 2 limes - quartered
- In a pestle and mortar, combine the garlic, ginger, honey, almond butter, sesame oil, chilli, lime juice and fish sauce. Pound until smooth and set aside.2 garlic cloves, 30 g ginger, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoon nut butter, 2 teaspoon sesame oil, 0.5 red chili, 1 lime, 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken until browned all over, about 5-7 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 150 g chicken breast
- Add the pepper slices and broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes.1 red bell pepper, 80 g tenderstem broccoli
- Put the noodles into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 4 minutes.100 g soba noodles
- To the chicken and vegetables, add the sauce and cooked noodles. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Serve with spring onions (scallions), sliced chilli and lime wedges (all optional).4 spring onions (scallions), 0.5 red chilli, 2 limes
- Add some extra texture with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts before serving.
- A sprinkling of coriander will add lots of flavour to the finished dish.
- Make this as mild or as spicy as you like. Make it spicier by adding extra chilli to the sauce, or milder by leaving it out completely and adding chilli flakes on top for those that want them.
- This is such a quick recipe, and the more often you make it the quicker you will get. Make sure everything is prepped and ready to go.
- To cut down on the cooking time of this chicken pad Thai, make sure that the chicken it cut in to thin strips.
- For best results, use a wok to make this.