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Looking for a Pad Thai recipe without the sugar spike that comes with it? You’ve found it! This chicken Pad Thai recipe with carrot noodles is Paleo, gluten free, and dairy free.
And while the take-out joint on the corner likely makes their sauce with refined sugar and rice noodles that’ll give you a big sugar spike, this one won’t. Make it in 30 minutes for a weeknight dinner, or use it for lunches for the week.
Low carb, no refined sugar Chicken Pad Thai
Ohhhhh Pad Thai. It’s a staple in every Thai restaurant. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes…not so much. But when it’s good…YUM. It’s good. We used to make Pad Thai years ago, before we transitioned to a new style of eating (lower carb, no refined sugar, no grains).
And now that we’re eating a little different, we just make the Pad Thai a little different. Same amazing flavor, just without the rice noodles and refined sugar.
Tamarind in the sauce
This Pad Thai is made with tamarind paste. Tamarind is an African tree that produces pods with a brown pulp that is traditionally used in Pad Thai. It has a distinct tart taste that makes it taste so good.
Tools used to make this Paleo chicken pad thai
- Saute pan (with a lid) – We LOVE cast iron. This size works great for this recipe.
- Peeler – Any basic peeler will do! You can see the kind we use in the “Step 1” picture below.
- Tamarind paste – If you can’t find this in your local grocery store, Amazon sells it. Make sure to find pure tamarind paste with no added sugar, like this kind.
- Coconut aminos – We use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce in this recipe. If you’re having a hard time finding this in your local store, Amazon sells it.
- Serving platter – Why not use one of your serving platters to make your meal extra special. Don’t have one? I’ve been liking these long rectangular ones lately.
How to make Paleo chicken pad thai
I’ll walk through the step-by-step instructions for the Pad Thai recipe below (and in the recipe card at the bottom), but first let’s take a 10,000 foot view of what we’ll be doing.
- Cook the chicken
- Then cook the veggies and egg.
- When they’re done cooking, add the sauce, water and steam the carrot noodles.
Sounds simple enough, right?
step 1: Make the pad thai Sauce and the carrot noodles
The pad thai sauce is super simple…just add all the ingredients in a jar or bowl. The carrot noodles are simple, too. Use a basic peeler and peel, peel, peel.
Step 2: Toss the CHicken in A little sauce
I LOVE chicken thighs. They’re juicy and packed with more flavor than chicken breasts. Toss your chicken thighs with 1 Tbsp of the sauce.
step 3: Cook the chicken and onion
Cook the chicken in your pan (we use a cast iron and love it) on medium heat. Flip the chicken after 3-5 minutes. When you flip the chicken, add the onions.
Step 4: Cook the peppers
When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and add the peppers.
Step 5: Scramble the egg
When the peppers are done cooking, it’s time to cook the egg. The best way to scramble the egg is to just scoot your veggies to the side and cook the eggs on one half.
This way you don’t dirty an extra pan, and the eggs get to soak up all that great flavor that’s sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Step 6: Add the pad thai sauce and the carrot noodles
Almost done! Stir the egg into the veggies and add 3 Tbsp of the sauce, along with 3 Tbsp of water to the pan. Add the carrot noodles to the top of the veggies and put the lid on for 3-5 minutes to steam the carrot noodles.
Cook until the carrot noodles are how you like them. Personally, I like them when the crunch is gone, but they aren’t soggy.
Step 7: Dish up and serve
Serve your meal with the remaining sauce for any sauce lovers at the table.
Is Pad thai gluten free at restaurants?
Probably not. They most likely will use soy sauce (which often has gluten in it) to make the sauce. Be careful because even if they say it is gluten free, they might not actually know what that means. I had a LONG conversation one time with the waiter at a restaurant about how soy sauce actually has gluten in it. He ended up telling me, “nothing we have is gluten free then”.
Are rice noodles gluten free?
Typically Pad Thai is made with rice noodles, which ARE gluten free. This recipe gives a boost of nutrition by using carrot noodles instead. If you’d prefer to use the standard rice noodles, go for it!
Can I use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos?
You sure can. I like using coconut aminos because I know there’s no gluten in them, and I’ve heard not-great things about soy. SO I found coconut aminos to be a good substitute. They give an extra little sweetness to the sauce, that soy sauce doesn’t.
Want more recipe ideas?
- Here’s a recipe using carrot noodles with broccoli, chicken and peanut sauce.
- Try this simple gluten free, dairy free no cook chocolate pudding for dessert!
Paleo Chicken Pad Thai with Carrot Noodles
A delicious chicken Pad Thai without refined sugar or soy and with carrot noodles. A crowd pleaser everyone will love.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: dinner, weeknight meal
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Asian, Thai
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 4 eggs
- 3 Tbsp water
- cilantro for garnish (optional)
- limes for serving (optional)
- 2 Tbsp tamarind
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
- Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a jar or bowl
- Peel the carrot noodles (using a basic peeler, just peel peel peel and each peel is a carrot noodle).
- Chop the onions and peppers
- Toss the chicken and 1 Tbsp of the sauce in a mixing bowl.
- Cook the chicken thighs on medium heat for 3-5 minutes and then flip them
- When you flip the chicken thighs, add the onions to the pan.
- Cook the chicken thighs until cooked. When they’re cooked through, remove the chicken from the pan and add the peppers. If there’s a lot of liquid from the chicken, let it cook off while you cook the peppers.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until the peppers and onions are cooked.
- Scoot the veggies to one half of the pan and scramble the eggs in the other half. When the eggs are cooked, mix everything together
- Add 3 Tbsp of sauce and 3 Tbsp of water, top the veggies with the carrot noodles and cover the pan for 3-5 minutes until the carrot noodles are slightly soft (but not mushy).
- Top with fresh cilantro and a lime wedge (optional).
Keywords: chicken pad thai, paleo pad thai, gluten free pad thai