This easy Pad Thai recipe can be made as a chicken Pad Thai recipe, shrimp Pad Thai or even vegan pad Thai! It’s simple to make, great for all ages and eating preferences, and absolutely delicious! It’s the best Pad Thai recipe we’ve ever made at home!
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Before we had kids, my husband and I both worked a lot of hours at regular corporate jobs. We didn’t see each other as often as we liked, so we tried our best to eat dinner together. But those dinners had to be fast because well we didn’t have a lot of time!
I regularly get asked about my favorite go-to weeknight meals and while this doesn’t make the cut for my Whole 30 meal plan, this easy Pad Thai recipe is one of the quickest meals we used to eat regularly! It takes 20-30 minutes to go from the box to the table and works for pretty much everyone – kids, adults, and even people with allergies or food preferences.
And the best part – figure out the base recipe and then change it up to make it your own by switching up the meat, changing the toppings, and even changing the amount of sweetness or flavor if you want!
What is Pad Thai?
If you’re on this post, you likely already know what Pad Thai dish is or have had it at your favorite Thai restaurant once or twice. But if not, then Pad Thai is a popular stir fried Thai dish based on rice noodles. Most Pad Thai dishes that I’ve had include a combination of rice noodles, eggs, a sweet sauce, plus toppings like bean sprouts, cilantro, and peanuts.
Pad Thai can come with a variety of meats – shrimp, chicken, tofu, or even just with the eggs that are included in the normal recipe.
Pad Thai Sauce Options
There are also typically two different types of Pad Thai that I’ve tried at restaurants and the main difference is in the Pad Thai sauce, not the actual components of the dish. There are typically two different Pad Thai sauce varieties seen most – a red version that’s flavored with tamarind and chilis and another version that’s more sweet and often flavored with a combination of fish sauce, lime, and sugar.
I prefer the sweeter Pad Thai sauce over the red kind so that’s what this recipe is.
What Pad Thai Noodles Do I Use?
The base of any good Pad Thai recipe is rice noodles so honestly you can use whatever rice noodles you can find in your grocery store. We prefer Annie Chun’s Pad Thai noodles that you just have to soak in warm water before you cook.
One tip for soaking the Pad Thai noodles – break them up into smaller chunks before you soak them. Most often they come in really long strands of noodles and you want to make sure the pieces are edible size when serving. You can technically soak them whole but it’s way easier to stir fry and eat when they’re broken up.
Easy Pad Thai Recipe
This Pad Thai recipe is so easy to make, you can really have everything ready and on the table in under 30 minutes. That’s just one of the reasons it’s one of our favorite weeknight meals! It’s also super kid-friendly since what kid doesn’t like noodles and rice noodles are a fun alternative on normal pasta.
To make this pad Thai, simply soak your noodles and while the noodles are soaking make your sweet sauce.
Then cook up your scrambled eggs so you can add those in at the very end. Once all of your ingredients are ready to go, heat up your wok to stir fry the noodles in the sauce, add any meat you need cooked (we like to do shrimp or chicken), and then add in the eggs at the very end.
Remove everything from the wok and top with your desired toppings like carrots, cilantro, peanuts, and bean sprouts.
See How to Make This Easy Pad Thai Recipe
How to Make This A Chicken Pad Thai Recipe
Turning this into a chicken pad Thai recipe is simple – just add chicken.
Okay, it’s not quite that simple. Cut two boneless skinless chicken breasts into bite size slices and cook it in the wok first with a bit of avocado oil or coconut oil. Or olive oil if you’d prefer, I just like to use the others for the higher burning point since the wok tends to get hot.
Once the chicken is cooked, set it aside and add it at the same time you add the cooked scrambled eggs later in the recipe so that it can also get flavored with sauce.
If you’re going to add chicken, I recommend only using two eggs instead of four – the four is only if you’re planning to use the eggs as your main protein source in the dish. I also recommend upping the sauce to 5T lime juice, 5T fish sauce, and 3 1/2 T sugar since the chicken will soak it up more than the eggs.
How to Make This A Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe
One of our favorite ways to make this is as a shrimp pad Thai recipe with little shrimps. Since shrimp cook so fast, they’re the only meat that we don’t cook before we stir fry the noodles. I typically add the shrimp along with the noodles and sauce and just let them cook along at the same time. Shrimp only takes a few minutes to cook (just needs to go from the pink color to transparent), so using this as shrimp pad Thai is actually one of the fastest ways to get it to the table!
How to Make This A Vegan Pad Thai Recipe
Turning this into a vegan Pad Thai recipe is a cinch. Either just take out the eggs all together and go sans protein OR use tofu instead and switch out the store bought fish sauce for this vegan fish sauce. I’m not the best person to ask about cooking tofu so I recommend checking out this guide to stir frying tofu to make sure you don’t ruin the tofu!
Is Pad Thai Gluten Free?
The answer to this totally depends on what specific brand ingredients you’re using. If you use the exact ingredients mentioned in my recipe card including the Annie Chun’s Pad Thai noodles, then yes – this Pad Thai is gluten free. Just make sure that whatever fish sauce you’re using is gluten free as well!
Deliciously Easy Pad Thai Recipe
- 2 T coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 eggs
- 1 rice noodles Annie Chun's Pad Thai
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 4 T lime juice
- 4 T fish sauce
- 3 T sugar
- 2 T fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 T peanuts whole or crushed
- 2 carrots julienned
- Soak noodles in hot water for 10 minutes or until tender.
- While noodles are soaking, mix lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Heat wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 T oil and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.
- If using meat, add meat and cook until completely done. Remove meat from wok and set aside. If only using eggs, skip to step 5.
- Add eggs to wok and scramble.
- Reduce heat to low then add sauce and noodles. Toss until well mixed.
- Add bean sprouts (and meat) and toss well.
- Remove from heat and garnish with carrots, cilantro, and peanuts.
Don’t forget to this pin this easy Pad Thai recipe for later!