Chicken Pad Thai: A Weeknight Wonder with a Vegan Option


Pad Thai used to be a regular on our weekly menu. It’s quick to make, yet packs in so much flavor and nutrition. And thanks to this Chicken Pad Thai recipe. it’s back on rotation in our household. This is a very versatile version, so I’ve included easy options for vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.

This Chicken Pad Thai recipe with photo was shared with us by my friend Kristina of Love & Zest. Kristina is a sports dietitian, food photographer, mom and NFL agent’s wife living in beautiful Central Florida. Her blog isn’t 100% dairy free, but it has many dairy-free recipes and tons of inspiration. You can also find Kristina on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Chicken Pad Thai

Special Diet Notes: Chicken Pad Thai

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, and tree nut-free. I’ve also included a full vegan option.

For soy-free chicken pad thai, substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce. Salt, to taste, if needed. The aminos are usually a little sweeter and quite a bit lower in salt than soy sauce or tamari.

For peanut-free chicken pad thai, substitute sunflower seed butter (or another peanut butter alternative of choice) for the peanut butter and omit the peanuts. If you don’t have one handy, whisk 2 teaspoons cold water, 1 teaspoon flavorful, preferably Asian-inspired oil (like sesame), and 1/2 teaspoon non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot starch into the sauce until smooth. Bubble the sauce for a minute in a separate saucepan to slightly thicken before adding it to the rest of your ingredients.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Weeknight Chicken Pad Thai (with Vegan Option)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy dinner is full of flavor! See the notes above this recipe for peanut-free and soy-free options, and the one below for a vegan option.
Serves: 4 servings
  1. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is fully cooked through and the juices are clear.
  3. Remove the chicken from pan and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, and chili garlic sauce.
  5. Return the sliced chicken to your skillet over low heat. Add the zucchini, carrots, and rice noodles. Pour the sauce over top and toss to coat. Add the bean sprouts and cabbage, and toss to coat.
  6. Divide the pad thai between 4 plates and garnish each serving with crushed peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on more flavor.
Vegan Option: This pad thai recipe is made without fish sauce, so it's easy to adapt for strictly vegan needs. Substitute 1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu for the chicken. Dice it into ¾-inch cubes before sauteing it in the olive oil until lightly golden on all sides. Also substitute agave nectar or your favorite vegan sweetener for the honey.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 295 Fat: 12g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 22g Sugar: 9g Sodium: 792mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 27g Cholesterol: 60mg

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About Author

This recipe was shared with Go Dairy Free by another recipe creator. We have not tested this recipe in our kitchens unless otherwise noted.


  1. Chicken Pad Thai is one of my absolute favorites! I usually add a hefty dose of fish sauce and leave out the peanut butter (peanut allergy – insert eyeroll here) but really any Thai noodle dish has my heart!

  2. Thai food is always so hard to eat out with a peanut allergy. Love that you have a recipe for this much loved dish! Do you think any flavour would be lost if I left out the peanut butter?

    • Hi Kortney, in a way, yes. If you have a peanut butter alternative, I would swap that in. If not, then use a little starch, to thicken, and perhaps a little oil for richness. Peanut butter actually helps to thicken the sauce as it cooks and does provide more body, so I would personally replace those two aspects. I’ll add a peanut-free option with the special diet notes …

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