Healthy Pad Thai | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (2024)

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Healthy Pad Thai is my simplified approach to a takeout favorite, using ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store. Whole grains, lean protein, and added veggies make this recipe half the calories and points of the takeout version!

Healthy Pad Thai | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (1)

If you’ve read through a lot of my blog, then you know that one of my favorite approaches to creating recipes is trying to lighten up my favorite take out and fast food items. I have copycat recipes for El Pollo Loco’s chicken, Panda Express style Chow Mein, Kung Pao Chicken, and many more.

Pad Thai has always been one of my absolute favorites, but it seemed too complicated to make at home. After reading through tons of recipes and doing some research on ingredients alternatives for the harder-to-find items, I found that it can be pretty easy to make at home. And it’s much healthier this way!

what kind of ingredients do i need to make healthy pad thai?

Let me be very clear–this is not a completely authentic Pad Thai recipe. A key ingredient in traditional Pad Thai is tamarind paste, which is made from a fruit pulp that is sour and sweet. You can usually find it in the Asian section of your grocery store, but I try to avoid buying a rather expensive ingredient to make just one dish.

secret ingredient

I looked for alternatives, finding that you really just want to mimic the sweet/tangy/sour flavors of tamarind. A combination of lime juice and, hear me out–ketchup!–did the trick. I know it sounds weird, but if Mark Bittman’s Pad Thai recipe in How to Cook Everything includes ketchup, too, then I feel validated. 🙂 And I always like when recipes include ingredients that I already have around.

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Pad Thai Noodles

The only ingredient that I wasn’t really used to working with is the rice noodles. You can use any kind of rice noodles that are labelled for Pad Thai. The shape is important because they are flat and wider than rice vermicelli noodles.

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Try using brown rice noodles if you can find them. I bought mine at Sprouts, but I’ve also seen them at Von’s. The brown rice is a little sturdier than the white rice noodles, so they don’t break up as much when you saute them. They also keep me fuller longer than the white rice versions. Best of all? If you’re on the purple plan, like I am, then they are ZERO points!

One more tip: the package says to soak these in boiling water for 8-10 minutes before stir frying them. I find that soaking for just 5 minutes is better. The noodles keep their shape and soak up the sauce better this way. But do whatever works for you.

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the protein

My favorite for Healthy Pad Thai is tofu. It soaks up the flavors of the sauce and is super quick and easy to saute up. I just drain the tofu and press it between two kitchen towels while the noodles soak and I prep the rest of the ingredients. Then, I cut it into small rectangles and sear in a hot skillet with cooking spray.

Healthy Pad Thai | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (5)

If tofu isn’t your thing, shrimp or chicken breast work just as well. Just sear up a pound of either.

The vegetables

Traditional Pad Thai usually includes bean sprouts, but I’m not a huge fan of those. I wanted to bulk this up with some veggies, so I decided on a combo of carrots and zucchini. To make them the same basic size as the noodles, I spiralized them. But you could just cut them into thin matchstick shapes. Feel free to use whatever veggies combo you like.

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That about covers it! In just around 30 minutes, you’ll have yourself some fantastic Pad Thai that is healthier than anything you could get from a take-out place and half of the points!

I’d love to hear from you if you make this recipe! It makes my day when you share your pics on Instagram and tag me (@litecravings). Don’t forget to use #litecravingsrecipes to make sure I see it. If I don’t get a chance to scroll through my tags quickly enough, I won’t see your post. I always make a point to look through the hashtags, though, so I’ll see it there!

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Healthy Pad Thai | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (8)

Print Recipe

5 from 18 votes

Healthy Pad Thai

Healthy Pad Thai is my simplified approach to a takeout favorite, using ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store. Whole grains, lean protein, and added veggies make this recipe half the calories and points of the takeout version!

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time20 minutes mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Asian

Servings: 6

Calories: 257kcal

Author: Geri


  • 8 ounces Pad Thai rice noodles (I use brown rice noodles)
  • 14 ounces tofu, drained and diced (or sub 1 lb of chicken or shrimp)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups spiralized carrots*
  • 2 cups spiralized zucchini*
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


  • 2 tbsp reduced-sugar ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari to keep it gluten free)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar or honey)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha (optional)


  • limes wedges, extra cilantro, peanuts (additional points), bean sprouts, chili flakes


  • Prepare your noodles. Gently place the dried noodles in a large bowl, then cover completely with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

  • Prepare your protein. In a very large skillet, sear your protein until just cooked through. For the tofu, I cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes a side. Use about the same time for shrimp, or a little longer for chicken. You can season your protein with about 1/4 tsp of salt and some cracked pepper if you like, but the sauce is pretty salty on its own.

  • Set the protein aside. In the same skillet, quickly scramble the eggs. Set aside with the other protein.

  • Saute garlic and carrots until slightly soft, about 5-7 minutes While that is cooking, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

  • Once the carrots are soft, add the zucchini and cook until just soft. This should only take about 2-4 minutes.

  • Push veggies to the side of the skillet and spray the middle with cooking spray. Add in your noodles and half of the sauce. Stir fry until the noodles have soaked up the sauce, about 3-4 minutes.

  • Add the protein and eggs back into the skillet, along with the other half of the sauce. Mix everything together until it is all coated, just a minute or two. Add in a couple splashes of water if the mixture is too dry, but keep in mind that the rice noodles and protein should soak up most of the sauce.

  • To reheat leftovers, add in about 1 tsp water before microwaving to help separate the noodles again.


WW Points: 6 for 1 2/3 cups

Click hereto log the recipe on the WW App. Recipe calculated using brown rice noodles, not including garnishes.

Green WW SmartPoints: 7 SP for 1 2/3 cups

Blue WW SmartPoints: 6 SP for 1 2/3 cup

Purple WW SmartPoints: 2 SP for 1 2/3 cup; if using white rice noodles, then points are the same as on Blue

Points on Green and Blue will be the same whether you use brown rice or white rice noodles.

*If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can chop the veggies into matchstick shapes.


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g

Healthy Pad Thai | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (2024)
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