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4.63 from 16 votes

Easy Pad Thai Recipe

Skip the takeout and meet your new favorite homemade meal - Easy Pad Thai! This popular Thai noodle dish uses ingredients you can find at any grocery store and can include chicken, shrimp, or tofu. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Pasta / Noodles
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: easy Thai recipe, fakeout takeout, gluten free, weeknight-friendly
Servings: 3
Calories: 555kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00


  • Saucepan
  • Wok or Large Nonstick Pan
  • Colander


Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons honey (sub brown sugar or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (optional; see note)

For the Noodles:

  • 6 ounces pad Thai rice noodles
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 6 ounces shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu (if using tofu or chicken, chop into pieces)
  • 1 cup finely sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 large eggs, whisked
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped (see note)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • extra peanuts, lime wedges, bean sprouts, red pepper flakes (optional, for topping)


  • Cook noodles according to package directions. (Note: Be very careful not to overcook the noodles. They will continue to cook slightly when added to the stir-fry.)
  • Stir together all ingredients for sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust, adding more honey if you'd like it more sweet, more soy sauce or fish sauce if you'd like it more salty. (Tasting and adjusting the sauce at this stage is important; some limes are more sour than others, so you may need to balance it out.) Set aside.
  • Set all of the ingredients near the stove. Put a Tablespoon measuring spoon in the sauce so you can add it to the noodles a little at a time.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet, cast iron skillet, or wok over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons oil.
  • To heated oil, add tofu / chicken / shrimp and saute. When protein is browned on the outside (but not cooked all the way through), 2 Tablespoons sauce and bell pepper. Continue cooking until sauce coats protein and peppers are nearly tender, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Move protein and pepper to one side of the pan and add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the open space in the center. Pour eggs over oil. Scramble gently, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add noodles and 2 Tablespoons of sauce to the pan and stir until the noodles have absorbed the sauce. (The noodles should loosen up as they cook in the sauce, but add a splash of water if they stick together.)
  • Add all remaining sauce and continue cooking, gently folding everything together together until sauce cooks down and coats noodles, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Stir in green onions and about half of the peanuts (reserve the rest for sprinkling on top).
  • Divide between bowls and serve with toppings!


Cooking Oil - Any type will work. Peanut oil will impart a bit more of that peanut flavor, but vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil are other great choices.
Honey - Honey is really important here - it not only gives the sauce its signature sweetness, but it gives a thick substantial texture that really coats the noodles. If you're looking for vegan option, you can use brown sugar or maple syrup as a substitute. 
Fish Sauce - If you want the most authentic umami flavor, don’t skip the fish sauce. If needed, soy sauce, Tamari, or coconut aminos can be used as a substitute. 
Chili Garlic Sauce - I like to use either a Chinese-style chili garlic sauce or Sambal Oelek (some brands include garlic and others are just chilis, vinegar, and salt). Sriracha works well here too. Adjust the amount used according to your spice preference.
Peanuts - If you’d like to add more flavor to the peanuts, add the whole peanuts to heated oil (do not chop them first). Saute just until peanuts are starting to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove, leaving remaining oil in the pan. Use the remaining oil to cook the protein. 


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1723mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 2mg