This easy, light recipe for Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai is 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.
This recipe will forever transport me back to my multiweek journey through Thailand and Vietnam with Ben. It was the trip of a lifetime (which you can read more about here).
Thailand had always been a country I’ve wanted to visit. It’s a place of gorgeous scenery, warm hospitality, and, of course, epic food (this Vegetarian Pad Thai is another dish inspired by my travels).
Pad Thai is a recipe that saved us many times on our travels (being a tourist really works up an appetite) and, back stateside, healthy shrimp pad thai recipe has saved dinnertime on more than one occasion.
5 Star Review
“This recipe is absolutely delicious!! I will be making this again very soon! The flavors all came together so nicely. Yum!”— Morgan —
I love this healthy shrimp pad Thai recipe because:
- It’s a better-than-takeout recipe that’s also better for you. Gluten-free, reduced sodium, and LOADED with succulent shrimp and veggies.
- It’s easy to prep—requiring only a single pan and a sharp knife for chopping.
- It’s quick to cook. Homemade pad Thai on your table in 15 minutes? Yes, please!
How to Make Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai
This healthy shrimp pad Thai recipe can be on your table faster than delivery and be much kinder to your body too. Full of outstanding flavor, and with leftovers that reheat like a dream, this recipe will quickly become a family favorite.
- Shrimp. Peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp make prepping this recipe a breeze. Use fresh or thawed frozen shrimp. If using frozen be sure to pat them dry before cooking for best results. (This Garlic Shrimp Pasta is another frozen shrimp favorite!)
- Rice Noodles. The traditional choice for pad Thai recipes. Added bonus: they’re gluten free!
- Eggs. Pad Thai just isn’t the same without a little scrambled egg stirred into the noodles.
- Bean Sprouts + Carrots. Add awesome crunchy, flavor, and extra nutrition to the dish.
- Green Onions + Garlic. Contribute another layer of flavor and depth to this Thai-inspired recipe.
- Peanuts. Pad Thai’s perfect partner for crunch, added saltiness, and delightfully subtle peanut flavor.
- Cilantro + Lime. Give the dish color, freshness, and some acidity to balance the salty fish sauce and soy sauce.
- Fish Sauce. Essential for an authentic tasting Thai recipe (see my Chicken with Thai Peanut Stir Fry Sauce). If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for a reduced-sodium variety.
- Rice Vinegar. An affordable Asian ingredient that’s a game-changer when it comes to recreating that takeout flavor (see my Asian Cucumber Salad).
- Soy Sauce. I always opt for a low-sodium soy sauce in all of my Well Plated Asian recipes.
- Garlic Chili Sauce. For just the right amount of heat. Adjust to suit your preferences. Sambal oelek or Sriracha could be substituted if you don’t keep garlic chili sauce in your pantry. (I love adding extra garlic chili sauce to an Egg Roll in a Bowl.)
- Honey. For a touch of sweetness that balances and marries all the flavors together.
- Cook the rice noodles, drain and rinse. Set aside.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients.
- In a wok, saute the shrimp until pink, add the garlic, and toss in the cooked noodles.
- Push the contents of the wok to one side, then add the eggs to the empty side. Scramble until they begin to set and then stir into the noodles.
- Stir in the sauce, then add the veggies and saute until crisp-tender.
- Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro, then serve warm with lime wedges. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the noodles from drying out.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Nonstick Skillet. A great alternative to a wok that will still get the job done.
- Wok. If you love preparing Asian-style recipes at home (like my Vegetable Lo Mein), a wok is a fantastic investment.
No need to book a plane ticket. This healthy shrimp pad Thai is all you need for a one-way trip to deliciousville!
Frequently Asked Questions
Fish sauce is a traditional Asian condiment made from fermented fish or krill. It has an intense, concentrated flavor that’s reminiscent of the briny sea. A little bit goes a long way and really takes any Thai recipe (e.g. Chickpea Curry) to the next level.
In my opinion, there’s nothing that can really truly replicate the taste and aroma of fish sauce. However, you may swap for additional soy sauce if you cannot find it at your local store or do not wish to purchase an entire bottle. Other possible swaps include oyster sauce, coconut aminos, tamari, or Worcestershire sauce.
Yes! If you would prefer to make this pad Thai recipe with chicken, swap the shrimp for bite-sized pieces of chicken. Note that you will likely need to cook chicken for several extra minutes before adding the noodles and garlic to ensure it is fully cooked. (This Healthy Orange Chicken is another great Asian recipe featuring chicken.)
Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai
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 green onions (or 3 small) 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 or tamari for gluten free
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon honey plus additional 1-2 teaspoons to taste
- 1-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 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.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high. Add the shrimp and saute 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.
- 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.
- TO STORE: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm gently in the microwave with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the noodles from drying out.
- *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.
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