Healthy Chicken Pad Thai (Noodle-free!)
Loaded with veggies and full of flavor this one-skillet Chicken Pad Thai makes for a healthy, easy, and delicious weeknight meal! Strands of broccoli slaw, cabbage, and carrots stand-in for noodles making this recipe a satisfying Whole30, paleo, and gluten-free meal. You won’t even miss the noodles!
Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free pad Thai, a Whole30 pad Thai, a paleo pad Thai or a noodle-free pad Thai, you’ve come to the right place. This recipe is all of that and more.
One of my favorite recipes on this blog is our Easy Egg Roll in a Bowl which I make at least once a month and word on the street is that many of our readers love it, too! In fact, the creation of this Healthy Chicken Pad Thai was inspired by that recipe. I wanted something similar, but a little different to change it up. And while I know this recipe is far from a truly authentic pad Thai, I will say it’s insanely delicious in its own ‘veggified’, noodle-free way. You’re going to love it!
In addition, it’s made all in one skillet making for quick kitchen cleanup, it’s 100% meal-prep friendly, very satisfying thanks to all the veggies and it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken. Healthy Chicken Pad Thai makes for a perfectly balanced meal as it contains an adequate amount of protein, carbs, fats, and fiber.
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Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Ingredients
Here is what you’ll need to make this Gluten-free Pad Thai. Included are appropriate substitution and swaps.
- Cooking fat of choice – olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee are all great options.
- Whole eggs – omit for egg-free.
- Chicken breast – chicken thighs or ground chicken make for great swaps. Leftover chicken also works great! We love ButcherBox for its quality meat options.
- Broccoli slaw – found in the produce section in a bag. If you can’t find it, no sweat! Simply add additional cabbage and carrots or a coleslaw mix.
- Shredded red cabbage – may substitute green cabbage or go with a mix. For a quick and easy option, use pre-shredded.
- Shredded carrots – for a quick and easy option, use pre-shredded.
- Red bell pepper – any color of bell pepper will work.
- Yellow onion – adds flavor but feel free to omit if you don’t like onions.
- Green onion – thinly sliced separating the white/light green parts with dark green parts as they are added at different times.
- Garlic cloves – fresh garlic is best in this recipe! For a quick and easy option, use pre-minced garlic.
- Fresh ginger – may substitute ground ginger. If you do, you’ll want to add the ginger to the sauce.
- Optional garnishes – chopped cilantro, dry roasted cashews <–the best cashews, sesame seeds, sliced green onion, and fresh lime juice make for great garnishes.
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Whole30 Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients:
- Almond butter – drizzly almond butter works best. For nut-free, use tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Coconut aminos – we love coconut aminos! Similar to soy-sauce but less processed and much less sodium. If you substitute soy sauce, I’d recommend using half the amount.
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed is best!
- Crushed red pepper – adds just a little heat.
- Rice vinegar – a common ingredient in many Asian sauces. Note: Rice vinegar IS Whole30 compatible.
- Toasted sesame oil – adds such a nice nutty flavor and another common ingredient in many Asian sauces.
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How to make Healthy Chicken Pad Thai
A one-skillet, Whole30 Pad Thai is about to go down! Here’s how:
- Step 1: Place a large skillet (at least a 12-inch skillet) over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the cooking fat. Once hot, add the whisked eggs and scramble. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Step 2: To the skillet, add the additional 1 teaspoon of cooking fat as well as the cubed chicken. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Next add the remaining skillet ingredients, except for the dark green parts of the green onion. The skillet will be very full until it cooks down. Continue to cook for 8-12 minutes carefully stirring occasionally.
- Step 3: Meanwhile combine the sauce ingredients and whisk until well combined and smooth.
- Step 4: Once the veggies are tender and cooked down and the chicken is cooked through. Add the eggs back to the skillet, the dark green parts of green onion, and the sauce. Stir to combine and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
- Step 5: Serve hot topped with cilantro, cashews, and green onion. Squeeze with fresh lime juice.
How to store Veggie-Loaded Chicken Pad Thai
This recipe is a fabulous reheat-and-eat meal and makes for a tasty lunch in the days to come. Store the cooled leftovers in a glass container for up to 5 days. Because this recipe reheats nicely, it makes for a great meal-prep friendly recipe. I like to make Healthy Chicken Pad Thai on a Sunday and then divide it into 4-5 meal prep containers for an easy grab-and-go meal throughout the week.
To reheat: simply heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and heat for another 30 seconds or until heated through. You can also reheat on the stovetop over medium heat in a covered pan.
Tips for making Healthy Chicken Pad Thai
- For the chicken, feel free to use what you have on hand or what’s on sale. The recipe calls for chicken breasts but you could also use chicken thighs or even ground chicken.
- Change up the vegetables with what’s available to you. If you can’t find pre-bagged broccoli slaw, simply substitute additional cabbage and carrots.
- Use the largest skillet you own. At least a 12-inch skillet as the amount of vegetables will really fill it up to the point it’s almost overflowing. But no worries, it will cook down.
- Garnish as you please – I love topping it with dry roasted cashews for crunch, cilantro, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. So good!
- To make this recipe an especially easy weeknight meal, I recommend pre-chopping all of the veggies, cubing the chicken, and making the sauce up to 2 days in advance. That way when you go to make the meal, the bulk of the work is completed!
Confused about poultry labeling? Check this post out to learn all about how to choose the best chicken in the grocery store.
Other Thai Inspired recipes to try!
- 2 tsp. cooking fat of choice (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee)
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 – 1 1/4 lb. chicken breast, cubed into 1 inch pieces (may substitute chicken thighs or ground chicken)
- 1 (12 oz) bag broccoli slaw
- 1 ½ cup shredded red cabbage (may substitute green cabbage)
- 1 ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 small yellow onion (1 ½ cups, sliced)
- 6–8 green onion, thinly sliced white/light green parts divide with dark green parts
- 4–5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger (may substitute 1/2 tsp. ground ginger*)
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Place a large skillet (at least a 12-inch skillet) over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the cooking fat. Once hot, add the whisked eggs and scramble. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- To the skillet, add the additional 1 teaspoon of cooking fat as well as the cubed chicken. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Next add the remaining skillet ingredients, except for the dark green parts of green onion. The skillet will be very full until it cooks down. Continue to cook for 8-12 minutes carefully stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients and whisk until well combined and smooth.
- Once the veggies are tender and cooked down and chicken is cooked through. Add the eggs back to the skillet, the dark green parts of green onion, and the sauce. Stir to combine and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve hot topped with cilantro, cashews, sesame seeds, and/or green onion plus a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
*If using ground ginger, add it to the sauce.
- Serving Size: 1/5 of recipe (made with 1 lbs. chicken – garnishes not included)
- Calories: 345
- Sugar: 10 g
- Sodium: 350 mg
- Fat: 16 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 30 g
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.