If I were to dream about Pad Thai (you know, just hypothetically...), I think it would look like this. A rainbow mess of veggie noodles and hot, savory steam rising from the pan.
I mentioned it in my Thai Basil Chicken Recipe, but I can be picky about Thai food. I want it overloaded with veggies. Zoodles are the perfect way to do that! Regular Pad Thai calls for rice noodles, and I’ve made it that way, but what I love more is this combo of zoodles with caramelized red pepper strips and bright carrots. Hello, rainbow in a skillet!
This dish is also a “throw it all in the pan” sort of meal, which is just my style. If I know we’re going to be home late, I’ll spiralize the zucchini and chop the peppers and carrots in the morning, so that in the evening all I have to do is put things in a pan before eating. First the chicken, then the carrots and peppers, and finally the zoodles—they cook virtually instantly, so you barely have to wait before digging in!
Remember to sprinkle with crushed peanuts or cashews and a drizzle of Sriracha before you take the first bite. The crunch and zing is worth it. And if you want to really flex you culinary muscles, crack and egg into the pan in the last few minutes, scrambling it a bit.
If you like this recipe, you'll also love this Zoodle Chicken Chow Mein, with cabbage and green beans.
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 cup carrot, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 8 ounces chicken, cubed
- 1/4 cup scallions, minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil For sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha (your favorite brand or homemade)
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce OR if you prefer, Worcestershire sauce for a more mild fish flavor For serving:
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- 1 lime, slided in wedges
- First, use a Spiralizer (affiliate link) to turn the zucchini into zoodles. Set zoodles aside.
- Heat coconut oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat. Once oil glistens, add cubed chicken, browning for about 3 minutes on each side. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through by slicing a piece in half— meat should be white all the way through, with no visible pink. If it is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to move chicken to a plate and set aside. (If any pink is left, cook in the skillet for a few extra minutes).
- Add julienned carrot and sliced bell pepper to skillet, sautéing until tender. Once the carrots are tender and the peppers are starting to brown on the edges, add the chicken back into the pan, along with the zoodles, minced cilantro, and scallions.
- Make the sauce: add all ingredients for the sauce to a small jar. Secure lid on jar, and shake until all ingredients are combined.
- Pour sauce into skillet, and use tongs to move zoodles and chicken around in the pan so that everything is coated. Allow sauce to come to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute (just long enough for the zoodles to cook. I like them al dente—soft with a tiny bit of bite left- but you can cook them another minute if you prefer them extra soft).
- Divide amongst serving bowls and top with crushed peanuts and lime wedges.