Pretty much the first meal I learned to cook from scratch was Pad Thai. You see, I had zero experience in the kitchen when I started staying home with the kids in 2008. For a while, we used meal kits for dinners that were easy to prepare. But soon I wanted to make real food for everyone. So I took a class on Thai food from my favorite Thai restaurant, Thai Basil (side note: she won Bobby Flay’s Throwdown). Among the dishes I learned, Pad Thai is my favorite and proudest accomplishment.
While this is NOT the classic recipe I was taught, it is the perfect meal to make when you’re not sure what to make! All ingredients keep in the pantry or freezer except the optional fresh herbs. And it’s a crowd pleaser for sure!
Bonus: we’ve scaled this recipe to feed a crowd because it came about when our 4 kids had 2 friends over for a surprise dinner – serving 6 hungry teens and two adults. All you need to do is keep a few ingredients on hand! Then, you can wow friends and family with a last minute meal.
We make this in my favorite pan: A lodge cast iron wok. If you want to read more about it and why cast iron is one of the safest cooking surfaces there is, see our Nontoxic, Nonstick Cookware guide!
- 1 pack rice noodles we like these wide ones
- 3 chicken breasts, butterflied**
- 40 shrimp (35-40 tails off)**
- One large white or Vidalia onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 eggs
- 16oz shredded carrots (~2 cups)
- One large head of green onions, cut into 1-2" pieces*
- 4 Tbsp avocado oil, split in half
- 2 Tbsp ghee, split in half
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- juice of one lime
- 3 Tbsp molasses
- 1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup palm sugar
- Start boiling water, and heat up wok on medium heat
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper
- Add oil & ghee, sear chicken in wok (doesn’t need to cook thru), remove and set aside
- Add onions & garlic, cook until translucent
- Add shrimp, cook until pink (doesn’t need to cook thru)
- Remove all (shrimp and juices and onions) from heat, dice rested chicken, combine
- Once water is boiling, add a big pinch of salt, cook noodles per directions (mine says 6-8 min, we cook it 6)
- Add remaining oil and ghee into wok, crack 3 eggs, salt and pepper, scramble
- Once eggs are loosely cooked, add carrots and cook about 5 min until softened
- While waiting, prepare the sauce by whisking together the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, molasses, tamari, coconut aminos, and palm sugar
- Add back set-aside onions and meat into wok, let cook on medium heat until noodles ready
- Once cooked until softened desired texture, add noodles to wok - leave on top (don’t stir in)
- Pour sauce evenly over noodles, stir to combine
- Add most of the green onions
- Serve hot with remaining green onion, almonds/peanuts, and lime wedge as garnish
*if you don't have green onions, it's OK; but we recommend you add them to your weekly grocery list - they make everything better!
** you can use any protein you like; we like to mix chicken and shrimp as we usually have it in our freezer - but, this is a great way to use up any leftover protein!
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