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 on my bucket list.
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 this healthy shrimp pad Thai recipe has saved dinnertime on more than one occasion stateside.
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 personally think this is the BEST 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, this is shrimp pad Thai on the lighter side.
- 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!
Serve it as is, with a side of Air Fryer Tofu or Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce as an appetizer.
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. (Massaman Curry and Panang Curry are other family favorites in the making.)
- Shrimp. Peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp make prepping this recipe a breeze. Use fresh or thawed frozen shrimp. (This Garlic Shrimp Pasta is another frozen shrimp favorite!)
Be sure to rinse and pat the shrimp dry before cooking for best results.
- Rice Noodles. The traditional choice for pad Thai recipes (and this Pork Stir Fry). Added bonus: they’re gluten free!
- Eggs. Pad Thai 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. (They’re also a tasty way to garnish this Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken.)
- Cilantro + Lime. Give the dish color, freshness, and some acidity to balance the salty fish sauce and soy sauce.
- Rice Vinegar. A mild, lightly sweet vinegar, this is an affordable Asian ingredient that’s a game-changer when it comes to recreating that takeout flavor.
- Fish Sauce. Essential for an authentic pad Thai sauce. It does NOT taste like fish and is widely available.
- Soy Sauce. I always opt for a low-sodium soy sauce in all of my Well Plated Asian recipes.
- Ground Chili Sauce. Also called sambal oelek. For just the right amount of heat. Adjust to suit your preferences. (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. Traditional pad Thai calls for palm sugar, but honey works nicely as an everyday swap.
- Cook the rice noodles, drain and rinse. 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 scramble the eggs on the empty side. Add the sauce and stir everything together.
- Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro, then serve warm with lime wedges. ENJOY!
Seriously, don’t skip the lime wedges. There’s something about a squeeze of fresh lime juice that makes homemade pad Thai taste like it came straight from your favorite Thai restaurant.
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave with a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth to keep the noodles from drying out.
What to Serve with Shrimp Pad Thai
Asian Lettuce Wraps
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.
- Chef’s Knife. This knife was an investment, but it’s the best knife I’ve ever owned. This is a great affordable chef’s knife option.
No need to book a plane ticket.
This healthy shrimp pad Thai is all you need for a one-way virtual trip!
Frequently Asked Questions
Fish sauce is a traditional Asian condiment made from fermented fish or krill. It has an intense, concentrated flavor reminiscent of the salty sea. A little bit goes a long way and takes any Thai recipe (e.g., Chickpea Curry) to the next level.
In my opinion, nothing can 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 (but really, if you like Thai food, pick up a bottle of fish sauce!).
Yes! If you prefer to make this pad Thai recipe with chicken, swap the shrimp for bite-sized chicken pieces. You will want to follow the instructions, cooking the chicken for several extra minutes before adding the noodles and garlic to ensure it is fully cooked.
Shrimp and chicken are perhaps the most common and authentic meats in pad Thai. However, you’ll also see pad Thai noodles made with extra firm tofu as a pad Thai option with vegetarian protein.
Shrimp Pad Thai
For the Pad Thai Stir-Fry:
- 4 ounces dry brown rice noodles
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or canola 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* (see note)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated carrots
- 2 large green onions (or 3 small) finely chopped
- 1/4 cup peanuts finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Lime wedges for serving
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce** gluten free if needed (see note)
- 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 ground chile sauce (sambal oelek) or 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 (or even a little brown sugar). For spicier, add additional chili paste.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. 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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Return (virtually) to Bangkok with me when you try one of these other tasty Thai-inspired Asian recipes:
Thai Cashew Chicken
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!
Coconut aminos might be a good option
Thanks for the suggestion, Melinda!
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!
This recipe is SO delicious!!! Thank you !!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Andrea! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!
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.
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.
Love Pad Thai and just returned from Thailand, where it is surprisingly easy to eat without having to have the food spicey. Both my daughter and I are sensitive to chilies. Most pad Thai and Pad Seeuw is very mild.
I adjusted yours with celery instead of bean sprouts (which would have required a shopping trip). It substitutes well. Also had no limes, so I used refrigerated lime juice, sprinkled on at the end. Since I can tolerate a little spice, I used 1/4 t. Thai red curry paste, which has lemongrass and galangal,(Thai ginger). It was delicious!
I hope you had a wonderful trip! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this pad thai as well. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
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.
Thanks for sharing your tweaks, Jackie! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Sweet peppers sound like a delicious addition!
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.
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.
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
Woohoo! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks so much for giving it a try and leaving this great review!
Is there a way to substitute chicken instead of shrimp? We have a shellfish allergy in the family…
Hi Christina, yes, you can substitute chicken cut into bite-size pieces for the shrimp. Note that it will need longer to cook than shrimp does before you start adding the other ingredients in step 2!
I just tried this with a few tweaks! SO so good!! Thanks!
So happy to hear that Alexandra, thank you!
I am loving all of the recipes on this website. Served this over zucchini noodles to make this whole30 compliant. Also substituted the peanuts for almonds and soy sauce for coconut aminos! Loved the freshness of the ingredients!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Carrie! Thanks for taking the time to give it a try and leave this wonderful review!
I’ve used this recipe several times now, and my wife and I just love it. The only tweak I use is for the bean sprouts which aren’t readily avaliable in our stores. In their place I use bagged broccoli slaw to provide the crunchy texture and fresh vegetable flavor.
That’s an awesome swap, Seth! Thanks for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!
This was sooo good! It’s rare I find a true gem of a recipe on the internet and this is one. It will most definitely be going into my saved recipes. Thank-you for the recipe.
Hannah, I’m happy to hear this was a winner for you! Thanks for taking the time to leave this awesome review.
Definitely will be making this one again! Added peanut butter for a sweeter and nuttier taste. Thanks for the recipe!
Sarah, thanks for taking the time to review the recipe! I’m glad you enjoy it!
What an awesome trip! Traveling through Southeast Asia would be so exciting. I think the recipe sounds really good. I wonder if you could substitute cashews for the peanuts. I gonna have to give it a try. Anne
Anne, it was a dream! And yes, you can make that swap. It will have a different flavor but certainly still be yummy.
I’ve made this twice now and it’s turned out excellent both times! We are conservative with the fish sauce, but it does add that authentic Thai flavor. Makes 3 perfect portions, we were both satisfied. Just had this with some sliced fresh mango and julienned carrots on the side and a pineapple coconut sparkling water. Two pieces of advice for cooking… first, have everything ready before you start. It all happens very fast. Second, when you push the shrimp over to add the eggs, move the pan so that the eggs sit over the heat, and the shrimp side is pushed slightly off the heat. That will help the eggs to set faster and also prevent the shrimp from overcooking. Thanks, Erin! We love this recipe!!
Christopher, thanks for reporting back with your notes! I’m glad to hear the recipe is a hit.
Really tasty dish! I subbed in chicken for the shrimp and a thinly sliced yellow bell pepper for the bean sprouts. I always forget to hold back a bit on the addition of fish sauce as different brands have different salt levels, but the 2 tablespoons worked well for the Thai Kitchen fish sauce brand. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so happy to hear that this was a hit, Ana! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!
This recipe was very simple to follow and tasty. I appreciate the additional comments for substitutions. We are reducing the amount of soy and sugars in our diets so we subbed for soy sauce coconut aminos and agave for for honey and it tasted yummy, as I’m sure it would have been with the original contents. This is definitely a repeat for us. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing this kind review, Paula! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe!
Yummy! This tasted just like the take out from a great Thai restaurant near our place. We did not have chili paste so I used 1 tablespoon of siracha instead for the sauce. It had just the right amount of kick. My husband just loved it. We omitted the sauce for my 3 year old and he gobbled it all up. Thanks again for sharing!
I’m so happy that it was a hit, Katie! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Great recipe! Healthy, flavorful, quick, and easy…
I used spaghetti squash instead of noodles. Will do it again!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Ed! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Pad thai is one of my favorite takeout dishes, and I assumed I could never make anything myself that would be 1% as good as the pad thai from the convenient Thai restaurant around the corner from me in NYC. I was wrong!!! This is truly one of the most delicious meals I’ve made — and seriously, it’s SO easy and as fast as ordering delivery! It’s absolutely scrumptious and such a healthy, high-protein, lower-calorie alternative to takeout pad thai that somehow still 100% satisfies my restaurant-caliber pad thai cravings.
The recipe is easy-to-follow and filling, not dry at ALL, and has the perfect mix of crunchy mix-ins, soft noodles, and citrus jam-packed with a delicious plump shrimp. I was surprised the shrimp only needed to be cooked for such a short period of time (now I know why my shrimp is always rubbery!) but I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. It’s been in my regular dinner rotation and I haven’t ordered takeout Thai since. :)
Two suggestions – first, I made this in a skillet the first time but it was definitely overflowing and harder to mix, so I’ve used a wok and I’d recommend that just for easy mixing. Second – in recent batches, I’ve made Erin’s crunchy tofu and mixed that in as well for an extra tasty protein crunch! :) I live alone and always make the full recipe so I have 3 days worth of leftovers, and they’re still totally delicious reheated in the microwave with some fresh lime juice on top. A life-saver for meal prepping! Thank you, Erin!
Jean, thank you for this wonderful review. I appreciate it so much!
Delish! I used chicken instead of shrimp and it still turned out amazing. Highly recommend!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Deirdre! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Ran out of fish sauce and used oyster sauce in its place and that of the honey. Also added a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce which has anchovy paste in it. It was a reasonable substitute.
I love this recipe.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Jackie! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
This recipe is absolutely delicious!! I will be making this again very soon! The flavors all came together so nicely. Yum!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Morgan! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Great low sodium recipe! I used roasted baby carrots in place of bean sprouts and it was so yummy my son keeps asking for more!
Hi Dorsie! So glad that you and your son enjoyed this pad thai! Thank you for this kind review!
Made this last night and it is AMAZING! Omitted the bean sprouts and used finely chopped white onion only because we didn’t have green onions. My husband and I both loved it. It’s a KEEPER! Already put it on my dinner plan for two weeks from now 😉!
Hi Michelle! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
We love pad Thai but the calories can really get up there with takeout. I wasn’t sure how my husband would be with this healthier version but I assumed I’d have leftovers if he didn’t like it. We had no leftovers. It was so good, fresh, and easy. There is zero chance of ever getting takeout load Thai again.
Hi Danielle! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
So delicious! First time making pad Thai, tasted like our local restaurants. 100% recommend
Hi Adela! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
This recipe is incredible!!
Hi Ashley! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
This was one of the most delicious things I have ever made. My oldest daughter is allergic to fish and peanuts so we usually don’t keep those ingredients in the house. Every once in a while we’ll make something at night while everyone’s asleep that’s just for us and I couldn’t have picked a better recipe to do that.
Hi Jordan! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I made this and it was sooo good! My whole family loved it and it was so easy to make, healthy, and absolutely delicious!!! I love finding healthy versions of food I like. Thank you Well Plated 🥰
You are welcome Tina! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Really delish! I didn’t have bean sprouts, so substituted bamboo shoots. Also, I added sliced mushrooms and sliced potato. Next time I think I will omit the fish sauce and just do 2 tbsp of oyster sauce. Also, I only used 1 tsp of the chili and next time will do 1 and 1/4 tsp. So good, thank you for sharing.
Hi Jamie! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I had to substitute several ingredients because I did not have them and it still turned out great. Easily customizable and fast to put together- I will be making this again!
Hi Brooke! So glad it worked out for you and that you enjoyed it!
Forgive me- I’ve not yet made the recipe – just waking up . Friend emailed that she made some version of Pad Thai ( she didnt ID her recipe) – I jumped to the computer to find a recipe – hopefully easy – YOURS caught my eye.
Your photos and easy instructions really encourage me! For now I just want to say THANK YOU for explaining so well. I do think I can do this recipe – I’m excited!
Hope you enjoy it Susan!