Chicken pad thai is a favorite for many at Thai restaurants. Luckily, this noodle dish works great as a make-ahead meal so you can make it as part of your meal prep for lunch or dinner during the week!
Chicken Pad Thai Ingredients
To make chicken pad thai at home, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Rice noodles: I love rice noodles, but they can get mushy or stick together if you cook them incorrectly. After some trial and error, I finally figured out how to cook them without creating a mushy mess! Bring the water to a boil and then take the pot off the heat. Then you can add the rice noodles and let them soften for 5 minutes. To prevent the sticking, drain them and immediately rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the noodles have been cooled with the cold water, add a little oil and toss to coat all the noodles. The cold water rinse and then coating them with a little oil will make them turn out perfect.
Chicken breast: Dice a pound of chicken breast (or thighs) into bite-sized pieces.
Vegetables: You’ll stir-fry shredded carrots (buy bagged pre-shredded carrots to save time), bean sprouts, green onions, and garlic. At the end, sprinkle some chopped cilantro over the noodles (if you like cilantro).
Eggs: Most pad thai dishes have scrambled eggs along with another protein such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu. You will scramble the ends at the end, right before adding the cooked noodles and sauce.
Soy sauce: Adds some saltiness to the sauce. I like to use low-sodium. Use tamari to make it gluten-free.
Fish sauce: This is a must! I’ll admit that fish sauce does not smell great in the bottle, but when you cook with it, it adds rich umami and salty flavors to the dish that you can’t get from other condiments. This condiment is commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes so if you’re interested in making these cuisines at home it’s a good idea to pick up a bottle of fish sauce.
Brown sugar: Adds some sweetness to the sauce.
Freshly squeezed lime juice: Adds the sour component to the sauce. I also like to squeeze some extra lime juice over the finished dish so I’ll buy a couple of limes when I make pad thai.
Creamy peanut butter: Many pad thai recipes add roasted peanuts as a garnish, but I decided to incorporate peanuts into the sauce. It also thickens the sauce.
Red pepper flakes: Add more than is called for if you like spicy. You can also omit this ingredient if you prefer not to eat spicy foods.
If you’re making this pad thai for lunches or dinners later in the week, portion it out into individual containers with a tight-fitting lid. You can store it in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave for a few minutes when you’re ready to eat.
More Easy Meal Prep Meals to Try
Chicken Pad Thai
- 8 oz. rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3/4 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups beans sprouts
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 6 green onions (thinly slice white part, chop green part into 1-inch pieces)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, and red pepper flakes and set aside.
- Cook rice noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, add the rice noodles, and let them sit for 5 minutes to soften. Drain the noodles and immediately rinse them well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with a few teaspoons of oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and ground black pepper. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook 6-8 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Left the remaining oil in the skillet.
- Cook the vegetables and eggs: Add the shredded carrots and cook for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts, scallions, and garlic and cook 1 more minute. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add the whisked eggs. Scramble the eggs.
- Add the cooked rice noodles, chicken, and sauce to the skillet and toss everything to combine. Cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.