Pad Thai is one of those classic takeout meals that really hits the spot at lunchtime and, especially, at dinnertime, after a long day at work. It's hearty, just-the-right-amount of greasy and packed with tasty goodness. But ordering takeout gets expensive. And those noodles, never mind the grease, is doing your diet no favors. How can you have your Pad Thai and eat it, too? By cutting out the carbs.
You heard us. If you have a vegetable peeler, mandoline slicer or a spiralizer, try any of the following eleven noodle-free Pad Thai recipes. Get ready to enjoy all of the flavor with none of the guilt. The best part is that all of these recipes, even the raw or vegan ones, are customizable. You don't care for raw veggie noodles? Sauté them! You don't want a vegetarian meal? Add meat! The sky's the limit.
Cookie and Kate whips up this plateful of spicy peanut-y goodness. It does take some time to transform the carrots, daikon and zucchini into noodles, but since there is no actual cooking required, it comes together fairly quickly. Once you have your vegetables and tofu prepped, you just whip up that zippy peanut dressing and mix thoroughly. If you have any leftovers, be sure to store the "noodles" and dressing separately!
Nosh and Nourish sautés these carrot and sweet potato noodles in a little sesame oil and tops them with egg, red cabbage, bell pepper, sunflower seeds, cilantro and the creamiest Pad Thai sauce you've ever tasted. It's delicious as is, but feel free to throw in meat if you must!
Deliciously Organic adapted a recipe from Cook's Illustrated and had fantastic results. Again, there's some prep work require with all the chopping and mixing, but once all the ingredients are ready, it only takes 15 minutes to cook on the stove. Deliciously Organic used palm shortening in this recipe because it has a neutral flavor, is a healthy fat and can withstand high heats.
Lemons and Basil confirms that sweet potatoes have the perfect pasta texture, and that's just the beginning of what makes this recipe absolutely scrumptious. The bell peppers and onions add wonderful flavor and the edamame and peanuts added the perfect crunch along with a punch of color. The pièce de résistance in our opinion, however, is the Sriracha peanut sauce. It really rounds out the dish. The spiciness of the Sriracha combined with the creamy, nutty flavor of the peanut butter is topped with a touch of maple syrup and toasted sesame oil. Yuuuuum.
This dish featured on One Green Planet may become one of the ones you make over and over and over again. It's also the type of dish that really allows you to fine-tune for maximum flavor. Eat it raw vegan style or blanch the noodles and sauté in a pan for a hot dish. Either way, you are getting lots of nutrition without that heavy feeling you get from a traditional Pad Thai.
The best part about this dish from White on Rice Couple is that you can add whatever protein you want. If you prefer your zucchini noodles a little on the crunchy side, cook the zucchini first, and then let the water drain from the noodles before serving. The water that's released from the noodles won't water down any sauce or flavor in the zoodle recipe.
Shared Appetite's first attempt didn't go very well. The sauce was weird and he added the cooked spaghetti squash into the pan with the rest of the Pad Thai mixture too early, making it a big bowl of mush by the time the rest of the dish was done cooking. But he didn't give up. After some much needed tweaking, culinary victory was his! Check out the recipe and follow his directions.
Pinch of Yum combined brown rice noodles with spiralized veggies with a super tangy-delicious Pad Thai sauce that you just shake up in a jar in about five seconds flat. The peanuts almost instantly start to soak up the sauce, and a gently scrambled egg cream-ifies the whole thing.
Gluten-Free Cat featured this recipe for raw Pad Thai whose magic is the sauce. It almost doesn't even matter which veggies you choose to slather in it. For the sauce you'll need ginger, pitted and soaked dates, garlic, tamarind juice, raw almond butter, Thai chilies, lime and either nama shoyu or gluten-free tamari. Try not to drool while preparing it!
With Raw Intentions combines sweet mango with strong, spicy ginger for an amazing dressing. No need for salt: that is delivered by the strips of Swiss chard. Hurray for not retaining water!
The Endless Meal admits to being addicted to turning veggies into noodles. You have to admit that, when you're trying to cut back on your carb intake, the idea is kind of ingenious. She used a regular vegetable peeler to make the carrot noodles. Since Pad Thai noodles are typically wider than your average noodle, these carrot noodles mimic the real ones beautifully. Carrots also let you have more control over how mushy (or not) you want your end result to be. Speaking of results, this dish is a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy and has just the right amount of heat. Add a handful of peanuts on top and a good squeeze of lime. The whole meal takes 30 minutes to throw together.