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Chicken Pad Thai

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Chicken Pad Thai is a great copy-cat take out recipe that is quick and easy to make for any weeknight dinner. Ready in just 30 minutes, this stir fried noodle meal combines chicken, colorful veggies, a flavorful sauce, and tops it all off with chopped peanuts, cilantro and fresh lime wedges.

overhead view of white plate with rice noodles, veggies, and cilantro

Pad Thai is a traditional dish from Thailand, made of stir fried noodles with veggies, eggs, and a flavorful sauce. It can have either shrimp, tofu, or chicken in it. Topped with chopped peanuts and fresh lime wedges, there is so much great flavor, color, and texture variation in this recipe that its an awesome one to love!

While this is not an authentic version of what you would get if you were visiting Thailand, this is a seriously delicious meal that you can easily make at home.  Typically the sauce is made with tamarind, which is amazingly delicious, but also can be hard to find in the USA. 

Other weeknight asian recipes your family will love:

fork in bowl of chicken pad thai

How to make this recipe

This is a simple weeknight recipe to enjoy with your family. For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below. Here is a brief overview of how to make this.

For this recipe, you need flat rice noodles. These are sometimes called Pad Thai noodles, but can also be called Rice Sticks. You can usually find those in the Asian section of your grocery store. You can find them dried, fresh, or frozen. 

This recipe gives directions for dried noodles, but you can adjust to use any kind that you can find. Read more on types of asian noodles for more information. If you can’t find them in your local store, you can use fettuccine or linguine, but the flavor will be a little different.

Make the noodles

  1. In a medium sized bowl, soak the rice noodles for 10 minutes in warm water (or according to the package directions). 
  2. Drain and add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

Mix the sauce

  1. In a small bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients together until smooth. Set sauce aside.

Stir fry 

  1. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the chicken and saute for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. 
  3. Place on a plate and set aside.
  4. Add more olive oil to the pan, and add the garlic, sliced red peppers and carrots. 
  5. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies are slightly tender. Remove from the pan to a bowl or plate.
  6. Turn your heat setting down to low.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, and then pour the eggs in the center of the pan. With a spatula, scramble the eggs and break them up into smaller pieces as it cooks. 
  8. Add the cooked noodles, chicken, and sautéed veggies back into the pan.
steps to stir fry chicken and veggies
  • Top with the peanuts, sprouts, cilantro and green onion. 
  • Evenly pour the prepared sauce over the top. 
  • Gently mix to combine and lightly warm the noodles back up.
  • Remove the pad thai from the heat and top with additional crushed peanuts, cilantro and green onions. 
  • Serve with lime wedges.
mixing pad thai together

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t find bean sprouts? No problem! You can switch them out with shredded cabbage (try both green or purple. Which do you prefer?).

Want a different protein? Totally cool. You can also use shrimp, thinly sliced flank steak, or crispy tofu instead! 

Don’t have a wok? I don’t, either! This recipe works just fine in a large non-stick skillet or enameled dutch oven (affiliate link). Just use something that is wide and has tall sides.

Prepping ahead of time

This is a great meal to prep ahead of time and save yourself some cooking time. To make this meal even faster to prepare, try these shortcuts:

  • Use shredded rotisserie chicken from the store to cut down on cooking time. You can also use leftover cooked chicken, or cook some cubed chicken ahead of time.
  • Use pre-shredded carrots from the produce section of the grocery store.
  • Slice/chop the peppers, green onions, cilantro and limes ahead of time and store in containers in the fridge until you are ready to use.

How to serve this to your family

This is a great, quick weeknight meal the whole family will love. To help your family enjoy it, you can try:

  • Serving the toppings (green onions, cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges) on the side and allow everyone to top their own bowls)
  • For younger kids, you can pull out the different components and serve individual piles of noodles, chicken, and veggies on their plate.
  • For extra fun, set the table with kids chopsticks! Using a new utensil takes the pressure of what’s on the plate and puts the fun into learning to use them!
  • Serve some mango rice for dessert!
side view of white plate filled with pad thai surrounded by cilantro

How to make this kid friendly 

To help your children learn to enjoy this meal, try changing the dinner time conversation around your meal and inviting them into the kitchen to cook with you.

Dinner conversations with kids

How we talk to our kids about their food is just as important as what we serve. Inviting them to join into a conversation and analyse what they are eating helps food to be more fun and brings about more curiosity! 

  • What colors do you see in this meal? How could we add more colors to your plate?
  • What texture do the peanuts add to your meal? 
  • What do the cilantro and green onions add to your plate? How does it affect your dinner?
  • Do you like the taste of your dinner with more or less lime juice on it?
  • If we were to make this again, would you like to try it with shrimp or crispy tofu instead of chicken?

Read more about how to explore the sense of taste with your kids.

chicken pad thai in skillet

Kids in the kitchen: How your kids can help you cook

Inviting your kids into the kitchen to cook with you is an important part of helping them to learn to be confident and joyful eaters. 

Not only is it great one on one quality time with you, but it also helps them learn language skills, practice math, teamwork building, and helps them to have curiosity and wonderment in the food that you prepare and serve. Which helps them want to actually eat more!

This recipe helps them learn stir frying, measuring small amounts of liquids, whisking, slicing vegetables, and more.

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure and mix the ingredients for the sauce, and garnish the final dishes.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above plus help you cook the rice noodles, slice the red peppers, help saute the vegetables, scramble the eggs, and mix the final dish together.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus help you cut and cook the chicken.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

side view of white plate filled with pad thai surrounded by cilantro

Other recipes your family will love:

fork full of chicken pad thai with plate behind

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

Want to save this for later? PIN THIS TO YOUR WEEKNIGHT DINNER BOARD on Pinterest!

Yield: 4 Servings

Chicken Pad Thai Recipe

chicken pad thai on plate

This easy weeknight chicken pad thai is packed with family friendly flavor!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Pad Thai Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces brown rice pad thai noodles (or flat rice noodles of choice)
  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 small red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions (plus more for garnish)
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro (plus more to garnish)
  • 1⁄2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped (plus more to garnish)
  • 2 limes

Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce (more to taste if you like some spicy heat)

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, soak the rice noodles for 10 minutes in warm water (or according to the package directions).
  2. Drain and add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients together until smooth. Set sauce aside.
  4. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add the cubed chicken and cook for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Place on a plate and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, heat 1 more tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Add the garlic, sliced red peppers and carrots.
  7. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies are slightly tender. Remove from the pan to a bowl or plate.
  8. Using the same pan; place beaten eggs in the center.
  9. Turn the heat setings down to low.
  10. With a spatula, scramble the eggs and break them up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
  11. Add the cooked noodles, sauteed veggies back into the pan.
  12. Top with the peanuts, sprouts, cilantro and green onion.
  13. Evenly pour the prepared sauce over the top.
  14. Gently mix to combine and lightly warm the noodles back up.
  15. Remove the pad thai from the heat and top with additional crushed peanuts, cilantro and green onions.
  16. Serve with lime wedges.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container for 2-3 days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1010Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 338mgSodium: 1806mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 7gSugar: 26gProtein: 83g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

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a-boleyn

Sunday 6th of May 2012

After reading the latest guest blog post from Sally of "Bewitching Kitchen" I decided to check out your recipe for this dish and compare it to my own.

http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/56453.html

The use of peanut butter in the sauce was not one I'm familiar with and reminded me more of a satay sauce though the sprinkle of chopped peanuts was spot on. :)

I hope to be able to cook the recipe again soon, and now that I finally have a camera, be able to share the results as I've found that the cliche of 'a picture is worth a thousand words' is quite accurate. :) Since Jan of 2012, I've been gradually adding pictures to my 'recipe' tagged posts.

Ilan @ IronWhisk.com

Sunday 22nd of April 2012

Looks great Jenni! :)My week has gone by slowly..

shelley c.

Sunday 22nd of April 2012

I am pinning this. And making it very, very soon. It looks so fresh and delicious!!!!

Dana

Sunday 22nd of April 2012

OOh! I love pad thai! This looks much better than the scary colored boxed pad thai we tried a few months ago. Definitely going to try this soon.

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