Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paleo Pad Thai

I love Pad Thai and was able to hunt down a great paleo recipe to use as the base for this meal. It is prepared totally on the stovetop, so there's no need to turn on the oven--which is great on a hot summer day. I was surrounded by chaos while preparing this meal, and had many starts and stops, so I don't have a good gauge for the length of preparation. I would say the vegetable noodle prep takes most of the time. If you have time during the day, you can do a little at a time. Also, have all of the sauce ingredients measured and ready when the chicken is cooking. The chicken thighs worked great, but you could also substitute shrimp, steak, or duck.

Adapted from

Serves 4.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 medium to large zucchinis
3 large carrots
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4 Tbsp almond butter (My absolute favorite is Once Again Raw Creamy Almond Butter.)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, pureed*
1 lime, juiced
2 green onions, white and green parts sliced thin

*When ordering Thai, we usually specify the spiciness level with stars, with 1 star being the least spicy. One chili pepper provides 1/2 to 1 star's worth of spice. To increase the spice level, add another chipotle pepper or season with red pepper flakes.

  1. Cut zucchini into ribbons with a Y-peeler. First, trim the ends, then slice lengthwise on one side until you reach the seedy core. Discard the outer skin. Peel the opposite side in the same manner, then repeat on the remaining two sides. You will be left with the core, which I highly encourage you to dice right away and refrigerate to toss in with your eggs in the morning. Stack the ribbons and slice lengthwise into 3 or 4 noodle-like pieces with a sharp knife. Transfer "noodles" into a large bowl.
  2. Trim carrot ends. Use a vegetable peeler to peel carrot directly into the large bowl, discarding outer peel.
  3. Warm coconut oil in a large skillet. Add chicken thighs and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Remove from skillet, slice into bite-sized pieces, and keep warm.
  4. Add onions to pan and saute for 2 minutes or until they begin to soften and become translucent.
  5. Add almond butter, ginger, chipotle chile, and lime juice. Stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute (mixture will be thick). 
  6. Add zucchini and carrot noodles and stir to distribute the sauce throughout the noodles. Add an additional 1 Tbsp coconut oil if the mixture seems dry. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked through to an al dente texture.
  7. Add chicken back to the pan and stir to combine.
  8. To serve, spoon pad thai evenly among plates or shallow bowls. Sprinkle with green onions. Garnish with a lime wedge.


  1. I am new to paleo ( as of last month) and I just LOVE your blog. I have made this pad thai twice now because it is so amazing! I like it better than pad thai with noodles. It takes awhile to prep, but the final product is definitely worth the effort. Thanks for this recipe- Megan

  2. Megan, I'm so glad you found paleo...and my blog! There is a little prep with this recipe, but fortunately, the results are so good! I like it better than our old take-out pad thai (which was really good!). Thanks for the great comments. Hope to hear from you again! Good luck on your paleo journey!

  3. Could you please explain the "1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, pureed*"? I'm new to anything like this flavoring, but am really enjoying it. What specifically do I buy to make the adobo sauce, and do I add a chili pepper?



    1. Hi, Kristin! You can purchase canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Mexican food aisle in most grocery stores. Just take one out and include a little of the adobo sauce, put it in a food processor, blender, Magic Bullet, etc. and process until it is like a sauce. Take the rest of the chilis and separate them onto pieces of plastic wrap, wrap them individually or in twos or threes. Put them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze for later use.

    2. Wonderful, thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

    3. Just be careful. The majority of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in cans contain wheat flour. Says so right there on the labels.

    4. Hmm. I don't have a can on hand, but I'm a pretty thorough label reader. I'm pretty sure mine didn't contain wheat, but I'll take a closer look next time I buy them. Thanks for the heads up, Anon!

  4. I made this last night, it was VERY good. I didn't have the "chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce" but I don't like very spicy food anyways so I didn't miss it one bit. The leftovers I'm having for lunch today are just as good (served over some steamed broccoli) Yum!


    1. Glad you liked this, Anon! Now that zucchinis are back in season, I'll have to add it to the menu. Thanks for the nice comments!

  5. This was so good! My husband and I have been doing the paleo thing for a few months now- your blog and recipes are by far the best I've come across. It seems like elsewhere it is sort of hit or miss- but we love everything we've tried from Paleo Table! Keep up the amazing work! We are very grateful!

    1. Thanks, Jackie! What a nice note! I'm so glad you've been enjoying the Paleo Table recipes. I love this recipe, too! And I appreciate the awesome feedback! People like you are what really makes blogging paleo so rewarding to me. Hope to hear from you again.