Pad Thai (GF & Refined Sugar-Free)

Living in Northwestern Minnesota has its perks. Every morning I get to wake up and drink coffee on my porch with Blue, then go for a walk and listen as loons fly over and call to each other. I don’t have a commute, we spend lots of time outside, I love our home and our garden… but it has its pitfalls, too. No Thai restaurants within an hour drive.

There was a hole in the wall Thai restaurant in Evanston that Matt and I loved, and we tried to go at least once a month. It was BYOB, so I would pack a bottle of wine and we’d walk over to the restaurant to enjoy the relaxed pace of service, the quiet ambiance, and some of the most delicious noodle dishes we’ve ever had. If you’re ever in the area, go here! I have been craving their Pad Thai since we moved, and it didn’t occur to me until this week to try and recreate a healthier version at home!

I adapted this recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch by removing the refined sugar and gluten in the recipe, and swapping out the veggies for broccoli. I opted for coconut sugar in the sauce in place of brown sugar, and tamari instead of soy sauce. Tamari is just soy sauce produced without wheat- you can most certainly use regular soy sauce in this recipe if you aren’t avoiding gluten.

If you are making this recipe vegetarian, swap the fish sauce out for more tamari/soy sauce to make your Pad Thai sauce. If you’re looking to include additional protein with the tofu, shrimp, beef, or chicken are all delicious in Pad Thai! Instructions for adding protein included below.

I love how easy this popular dish is to recreate at home, and the best part? It’ll only take you about 30 minutes from start to finish! I’m not sure about your neighborhood Thai restaurant, but that’s definitely faster than where we got our Pad Thai from.

Pad Thai
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 30 minutes  

Makes 4 servings

8 oz flat rice noodles
3 T avocado oil
3 cloves garlic , minced
8 oz extra-firm tofu , cut into small pieces
8 oz beef or chicken, cut into small pieces, or raw peeled shrimp (optional)
2 cage-free eggs, beaten
1 cup fresh bean sprouts, optional
1 C broccoli, cut into small pieces
3 green onions , chopped
1/2 C peanuts
2 limes
1/2 C fresh cilantro , chopped

For the sauce:
1 T Tamari
3 T fish sauce (or more Tamari)
4 T coconut sugar
2 T rice vinegar
1 T Sriracha (or more to taste)
2 T natural creamy peanut butter


Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender.  Rinse under cold water and set aside.

Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

Heat 2 T avocado oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat.

Add whatever protein you’re using, along with tofu, garlic and broccoli. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken or beef, cook until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, flipping only once.

Push everything to the side of the pan with your spatula. Add a 1 T more avocado oil to the free space in the pan and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook.

Add cooked noodles, sauce, bean sprouts if using, and peanuts to the pan, and gently toss to combine, reserving some peanuts for topping.

Top with green onions, extra peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Patricia Moll says:

    I love listening to the loons, it is so calming. I am looking forward to this healthier version of Pad Thai. I bet Matt added some hot sauce to his? 🙂


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