Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai

TODAY IS THE DAY. As this post goes to publication, I’m on my way to the other side of the world for the trip of a lifetime: a multiweek journey through Thailand and Vietnam. To celebrate, I’m sharing this easy, light recipe for Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai. It’s simple and filling, you can find all the ingredients you need to make it in a standard grocery store, and if you apply a little hustle, the entire dish can be ready in 15 minutes flat.

Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai. EASY and SO delicious! Ready in 15 minutes. We couldn’t stop eating it! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated {gluten free}

The question I hear most when I tell anyone about our trip is “Why Thailand?” I don’t have a succinct answer.

For as long as I can remember, Thailand has been a country I’ve wanted to visit. It strikes me as a place of gorgeous scenery, open hospitality, and, of course, epic food. When we decided to pool our vacation time and pennies for an extended trip to a TBD location abroad, Thailand emerged at the top of the list. We wanted to try something different, and this trip to southeast Asia will be that and more.

Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai. Easy recipe without special ingredients. Anyone can make this and it’s even better than take out! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Ben’s and my typical vacation style involves a beach, margaritas, and a bowl of guacamole. Therefore, when we decided to completely forgo the south of Thailand, famous for its incredible beaches and party scene, to spend a week hiking through the hills of the north, it surprised us both. We’ll be carrying our belongings on our backs and staying in small villages. Guacamole will not be present.

Following the hiking, we’ll be sleeping out on a boat and kayaking through Halong Bay, then floating down a river to see cottage industries that are still in operation in Vietnam.

I packed four dresses, four tops, and two pairs of shoes for this entire trip. To put that in perspective, on our last trip to New York (which lasted as many days as this trip does weeks), I brought five pairs of shoes and seven tops.

My laptop? The most important tool to my work that I never ever leave town without? It’s back at home.

WHO AM I?

15 Minute Shrimp Pad Thai. Easy, healthy recipe that’s even better than take out! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Although Thailand and Vietnam won’t be either Ben’s or my first experience in a “developing” country, this trip is a clear departure from our usual travel style, particularly the hiking portion. I’m nervous and excited. The experiences that have had the most lasting, positive impact on my life are the ones that have pushed me the furthest out of my comfort zone. This trip is no exception.

Shrimp Pad Thai. Easy and so much better than take out! Healthy recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes. Simple and gluten free. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

I have plenty of tasty recipes scheduled for while we are away, so keep looking for me in your inbox, your Bloglovin’ feed, or wherever else you so kindly find out about my latest posts.

For today, I hope you enjoy this Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai recipe. It has saved our dinner on more than one night this week, which has been, for lack of a more accurate description, categorically nuts.

If you start with peeled, deveined shrimp (I use frozen), this Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai recipe can be on your table faster than delivery. It has outstanding flavor and will be much kinder to your body than takeout, and the leftovers reheat beautifully too.

As a cosmic bonus, if you try this light twist on shrimp pad thai this week, we could both be eating pad thai at the same time, on opposite sides of the globe. How’s that for a connection?

Farewell friends! See you soon. If you’d like to follow along with our trip, be sure to follow wellplated on Instagram (both posts and stories) and add wellplated as a friend on Snapchat. I’ll post updates when I can.

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Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai

Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai. A light version of everyone’s favorite takeout dish that’s so easy and delicious! Ready in 15 minutes and gluten free.

Yield: Serves 3

Prep Time: 9 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Pad Thai Stir-Fry:

  • 4 ounces dry brown rice noodles (rice sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can use either fresh shrimp or thawed frozen shrimp—if using thawed, lightly pat the shrimp dry prior to cooking)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts*
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated carrots
  • 2 large or 3 small green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce** (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar (I used seasoned)
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus additional 1-2 teaspoons to taste
  • 1-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. They should be soft but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cool water. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce. If you prefer a sweeter pad thai, add additional honey. For spicier, add additional chili paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium high. Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp begins to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and noodles. Stir continuously to coat the noodles and shrimp with the garlic, then push the ingredients in the skillet over to one side of the pan. Crack the eggs into the empty side of the skillet. Break apart the yolk with the spatula and let cook for 30 seconds, until just beginning to set. Stir the egg in with the noodles. Stir in the sauce.
  3. Add the bean sprouts, carrots, and chopped green onions and let cook until the bean sprouts are crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Sprinkle on the peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
  • *If you cannot find fresh bean sprouts (my grocery only carries them sporadically), you can swap rinsed, canned bean sprouts (available in the Asian foods section of many grocery stores) or substitute another fresh vegetable of your choice. The canned bean sprouts have a more fermented taste, so if this bothers you, I would recommend omitting them.
  • **Fish sauce is available in the Asian food section of most grocery stores. I HIGHLY recommend using it, as it adds important saltiness and irreplaceable Thai flavor to the dish. If you must make a substitution, use additional low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the noodles from drying out.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 3)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 350
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 302mg
  • Sodium: 1502mg
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Protein: 30g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

30 comments

  1. I guess you won’t be reading this until you get back, but I hope you have a wonderful time.  I spent 7 weeks in Bangkok back in 2007, which was wonderful, and we’ve visited Phuket (southern island) several times.  Thailand is an amazing country.  I’m guessing you’ll get to see Chiang Mai, a place we weren’t able to get to because of wildfires.  I’ll expect a report on your blog…  As for Vietnam, I’m not sure I’d call it a “developing country”, even though technically it is.  It’s a country I did not want to visit originally, because I came of age during the Vietnam War.  But Vietnam is also an amazing place.  You have never seen such industrious people anywhere; the country is thriving.  And Halong Bay: it is one of the most fascinating places you’ll ever see – totally surreal.  We’ve been through it on a powered boat a couple of times now, and it’s much smaller that way than it would be in a kayak.  IF you ever have a chance to spend time in southern Thailand, as in Phuket, we were able to take an excursion earlier this year to see James Bond Island, which is part of a formation that is very much like Halong Bay (there are only two such formations of limestone karsts in the world).  I’m not usually excited by other people’s vacation trips, but I’m very excited about yours.  It is one I’d recommend to anyone.

  2. Wow, have fun abroad! This pad thai looks like a lovely send off to an awesome trip- I’m sure you’ll be experiencing so many diverse and delicious Thai meals when you’re visiting :)

  3. Have a wonderful time in Thailand Erin! Spent a couple weeks backpacking all around the country ten years back and just loved it! the food is AMAAAAZING. Try anything you can get your hands on. The poeple are just so kind. And it’s so traveler friendly. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures when you get back. We’ll be thinking of you when we make this delicious Pad Thai!
    Enjoy!!

  4. hey girl this looks oh so yummy! I love shrimp! Y’all have a safe and fun adventure! Can’t wait to hear all about it and see pics of course!

  5. Have a safe and amazing trip Erin!! Thailand is on my list!! In the meantime, I’ll be shoveling this pad thai into my face. 

  6. This looks yummy but the sodium content is too high for my husband’s low sodium diet as required for medical reasons. Do they make a lower sodium fish sauce? Low sodium soy sauce is still high too but do you know if there is a brand that is lower than the others. We read labels and do most of our own cooking and it is shocking how much sodium is hiding in condiments and sauces. Have fun on your trip. 

    • Hi Helen! I’ve never actually seen a low sodium fish sauce, unfortunately. Have you ever tried Liquid Aminos? I personally never have, so I can’t vouch for exactly how their flavor would translate, but I’ve read quite a bit about them online. I’d suggest dong a little bit of research and seeing where that takes you. If you do find something you love, I’d love to know about it so I can pass the word on to others too!

  7. What an adventure you’ve given yourselves. While I have to admit I don’t have the desire to do this kind of traveling, I admire that others do. Wishing you a safe and productive (food-wise) journey…of course, looking forward to the advantage of living vicariously through your experiences!

  8. I got really excited when the first recipe I saw on your blog was for a Pad Thai. I love Pad Thai and am alway looking for new variations to try! Shrimp makes it even better, as I love the combination of Shrimp and Tofu. It would seem as though this is not a very spicy recipe though, what would you recommend to add some heat? Red pepper, sriracha? 

    Thanks for posting! Looking forward to more recipes! Cheers! 

  9. This recipe was another winner with my picky-eater husband. We swapped the bean sprouts for bok choi because they didn’t have them at the store, and the bok choi was plentiful in our CSA bundle this week. We added some red pepper flakes when the shrimp were cooking to add a little extra heat. I added the bok choi early with the noodles since it took a little longer to cook. Turned out great, and my husband’s ready to sign up again. He even enjoyed helping when we got to the egg part. Fun to do together. Thanks!

    • I’m so glad both you and your husband enjoyed the recipe! And I really appreciate your taking the time to leave this great review. Adding bok choi is an excellent idea!

  10. This recipe is SO delicious!!! Thank you !!

    Rating: 5
  11. I’ve ben meaning to comment for a while – our entire family loves this recipe! (Our toddler calls is “pasta pad thai” and gobbles it up!) It’s PERFECT for a busy weeknight when everyone gets home ravenous; I just prep all the veggies and sauce the night before. We add an extra tsp of honey to the sauce while cooking (and extra chili garlic sauce at the table since our toddler would prefer we stick to the recipe as written for the spice level), and usually double or triple the recipe based on the amount of rice noodles we have bc leftovers are fantastic! We also sometimes substitute broccolini for the shrimp to really make this recipe pack a veggie punch.

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad it’s a family favorite, Rachel! Thank you so much for leaving this wonderful comment…I loved hearing about your tweaks! Broccolini would be delicious.

  12. Due to allergies, i made this with liquid aminos instead of the fish sauce and soy. And I did not have the chili sauce on hand so I used sriracha instead. I also didn’t have bean sprouts so I diced up some mini sweet peppers instead. A lot of tweaks, but it turned out really good! I’m going to keep this recipe on hand for when I do have the right ingredients.

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for sharing your tweaks, Jackie! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Sweet peppers sound like a delicious addition!

  13. I was craving pad thai, but had never made it at home before because my family doesn’t usually care for these kinds of dishes. But I was feeling selfish, so I made this, and let’s just say they were all converted. My husband told me that I always have to double it now, because they all wanted more!! I’ve tried a few other pad thai recipes since this one, but this is the best we’ve had.

    Rating: 5
    • Deborah, I’m so excited to hear this recipe was a hit for you and the whole family! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review.

  14. Tried this recipe after hankering for some pad thai, absolutely delicious, thank you so much for sharing it. My husband and I love Thai food and for some reason it never occurred to us to make it ourselves instead of ordering it in. He wolfed it down within five minutes. Cheers! x

    Rating: 5
    • Woohoo! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks so much for giving it a try and leaving this great review!

  15. Completely lacks flavor. Easy to make though.

    Rating: 2
    • Hi Laura, I’m sorry the recipe wasn’t to your taste! As you can see from the other comments, many others have tried it and enjoyed it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish you would have loved it.

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