Loaded with veggies and full of flavor, this one-skillet Chicken Pad Thai-inspired dish makes for a healthy, easy, and delicious weeknight meal! Strands of broccoli slaw, cabbage, and carrots stand-in for the noodles we love to make this recipe a satisfying Whole30, paleo, and gluten-free meal.
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 inspired by one of our most favorite Thai-inspired dishes.
One of our favorite recipes on this blog is Easy Egg Roll in a Bowl and word on the street is that many of our readers love it, too! In fact, the creation of this Chicken Pad Thai was inspired by that recipe along with the authentic Pad Thai made with noodles.
We love authentic Pad Thai so we borrowed some of the ingredients from the popular dish that originated in Thailand to create our noodle-free version. While this recipe is far from a truly authentic Pad Thai like you’d find in Thailand or at a Thai restaurant, we know you’ll love it in its own ‘veggified’, noodle-free way. Replacing the noodles with strands of broccoli, cabbage and carrots greatly increases the vegetables in this dish and therefore makes it extra healthy with additional vitamins, minerals and fiber!
This recipe makes for a perfectly balanced meal as it contains an adequate amount of protein, carbs, fats, and fiber. The sauce is SO good, and adds some of the flavors of your favorite Thai food takeout in a healthy, one-pot homemade meal!
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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 this Healthy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe
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 high 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 This Healthy Pad Thai Recipe
- 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. We recommend 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.
Why is this recipe ‘healthy’?
The strands of broccoli, cabbage and carrots that replace noodles add color and therefore add a boost worth noting of vitamins, minerals and fiber making this a healthy and satisfying dish. Now don’t get us wrong, we long for the authentic Pad Thai made with rice noodles which can most definitely fit into a healthy diet. We’re just always on a continuous mission to share recipes that are veggie-filled and sneaky ways to add more fiber. When a recipe is given a boost of minerals and vitamins, we consider that healthy!
Other Thai Inspired recipes to try!
- Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw
- Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad
- Thai Coconut Curry Rice
- Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
- 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
- ¼ cup almond butter (drizzly almond butter works best – like the Trade Joe’s one or Target brand)
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- Place a large skillet (at least a 12-inch skillet) over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the cooking fat (if the skillet is not non-stick, you may need more 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.
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*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
- Fat: 16 g
- (Sat Fat: 3 g)
- Sodium: 350 mg
- Carbohydrate: 28 g
- (Fiber: 6 g
- Sugar: 10 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.