This healthy Pad Thai made from brown rice noodles has all the flavor of the traditional dish, but no peanut butter! The easy homemade sauce combined with chicken and brown rice noodles make this Pad Thai an easy dinner you’ll want on your permanent meal rotation.
Easy Pad Thai Recipe Made Without Peanuts
It took me a while to realize, but Pad Thai is one of those meals that everyone in my house actually enjoys. In fact, many times when we go out to eat, one of my kids will order it. Problem is, I can never get it because it has peanut butter and I have a sensitivity to peanuts.
I figured it was time to create an easy, tasty recipe that I could make at home, so here it is: an easy Pad Thai recipe without peanuts. I know that anyone with peanut sensitivities or peanut allergies will be just as happy as me!
What is Pad Thai Sauce made of?
Typically Pad Thai sauce is made with fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, Sriracha (or another hot sauce) and peanut butter. But because I needed a peanut-free Pad Thai, I changed up my sauce, beginning with the nut butter. In addition, I substituted honey for brown sugar since honey is not a refined sugar (it comes directly from nature) I also made sure to use Tamari in lieu of regular soy sauce, since the latter contains gluten. Though fish sauce is not necessarily “bad” for you, I opted to leave it out as I felt like I could get the same effect without it, and it’s one less ingredient to purchase. Score!
So how do you make a peanut-free Pad Thai?
It’s easy to make the sauce without peanuts. First of all, substitute the peanut butter with either cashew butter (my personal first choice) or if you have tree nut allergies or sensitivities, use sunflower seed butter instead. The popular brand is Sunbutter and they have both an organic version as well as an unsweetened version. A lot of times this dish will have chopped peanuts on the top, but honestly they really aren’t necessary. Either skip them overall or use crushed cashews if you’d like/can tolerate them.
What are the best noodles for peanut-free Pad Thai?
Hands down, my favorite noodles to use when making Pad Thai are these Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles by Annie Chun.. Why am I a fan? Well for starters, they are gluten free – yay! But more importantly, they are made with just one ingredient – brown rice flour. Yes, it has water too, but I’m just not counting that;).
Eating foods with minimal and recognizable ingredients is very important to me, so this is huge to me. They are also whole grain and vegan. And I prefer these being brown rice over white rice because the latter is refined and stripped of some of it’s valuable nutrients.
Toppings to include on Pad Thai
Part of the fun of this dish is including various toppings to allow everyone to customize their dish. Some ideas of what to serve alongside this meal:
- fresh lime slices
- chopped cashews (omit for those with tree nut allergies)
- sesame seeds
- chopped cilantro
- diced green onions
- bean sprouts
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 6 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 6 tbsp cashew butter (sub sunflower seed butter if needed)
- 1/2 lime , juiced
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp thai chili sauce (or Sriracha)
- 1 inch knob ginger , diced (sub 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger if needed
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 pounds chicken breasts , cubed
- 3 eggs , beaten
- 12 oz brown rice noodles , cooked according to package directions
- chopped cilantro
- chopped cashews
- bean sprouts
- Thai chili sauce or Sriracha
- lime wedges
Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
Cook noodles according to package direction. Rinse and set aside in a colander.
Preheat a skillet or wok over medium heat and add oil. Add chicken breast and cook until browned and mostly cooked through. Turn off heat, drain some of the liquid and place back on stove. Push the chicken over to one side of the skillet and pour the beaten egg into the skillet in the space you’ve created and use your cooking spatula to scramble the egg in the skillet.
Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and then pour the sauce over the noodles. Reduce the heat a little at this point to more like medium-low. The mixture will be saucy at first but let it cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. The noodles and proteins will soak up the sauce and it will thicken.
Remove from heat, and serve warm. Let diners add their own desired toppings.
One thing I need to mention – this does not have any vegetables within, so I highly recommend serving some stir-fried veggies on the side, or even some simple roasted broccoli. I also suggest this delicious Nut-free “Peanut” Butter Sauce – I promise it won’t disappoint! And a few more recipes for inspo before I leave you:
Other nut-free recipes you may enjoy: