Pad Thai is an extremely popular dish all around the world. Vegetable Pad Thai combines delicious vegetables with classic Thai flavors—lime, ginger, cilantro, peanuts, and soy sauce for the ultimate satisfying dish.
That said, the typical noodles used in Pad Thai mean that the dish can be pretty carb-heavy. If you’re following keto or cutting back on carbohydrates, you might assume that Pad Thai won’t be on your regular repertoire.
But thanks to It’s Skinny, this low-carb vegetable Pad Thai can be a guilt-free lunch or dinner. Enjoy the flavors of Thailand in this quick and delicious veggie-rich dish.
Pad Thai: A History of Gastrodiplomacy
Pad Thai might be one of the most well-known dishes in Thailand, but interestingly, it's relatively new to the country. Noodle dishes have been ubiquitous throughout Asia, but the specific combination of Pad Thai didn’t come about until the early-to-mid 20th Century.
Following WWII, there was a rice shortage exacerbated by flooding throughout Thailand. As a result, the Thai government promoted a patriotic "noodles for lunch" campaign to help alleviate the strain on rice growing and production.
Pad Thai included inexpensive vegetables and flavorings and minimal animal products. Some cooks included egg in the dish; others used dried shrimp to add the rich umami flavor. But for the most part, vegetable Pad Thai was a mainly plant-based, filling lunch.
The stir-fried vegetable dish became a symbol of Thai pride and was widespread throughout Thailand's major cities and areas. Many home cooks had their own version of the dish, and it was a well-known street food as well.
In 2001, the Thai Government embarked on a promotional campaign to encourage the spread of Thai restaurants worldwide. The hope was that travelers would develop a taste and appreciation for Thai delicacies and book a trip to the country. Pad Thai was the star of the menu offerings, and chefs could access an array of Thai recipes at different price points to promote in their establishments. Thai food took off in many major cities and is extremely popular two decades later.
Most of us have a favorite Thai takeout place we adore or a Thai restaurant we love visiting for lunch or dinner. But of course, if you're watching your weight, you may assume that Thailand's rich, spicy, savory flavors are a no-go—ESPECIALLY those carby noodle dishes.
Meet It’s Skinny: Low-Carb Vegetable Pad Thai’s BFF
If you’re craving Pad Thai, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this low-carb take on the beloved noodle bowl. Stir-fried vegetables and peanut butter add plenty of healthy, plant-based goodness. We make a savory, umami-rich sauce that hits all the right notes, and then cut the carbs with amazing It’s Skinny Fettuccine.
You've never tried It's Skinny Fettuccine before? Well, you're in for an amazing surprise. It's Skinny Noodles have ZERO net carbs, only 9 little calories per bag, and the perfect texture for all your favorite noodle, pasta, and even rice-based dishes.
Thanks to a special ingredient called konjac, our shirataki noodles are high in glucomannan fiber and ultra-filling while keeping your diet on track. This is guilt-free pasta at its best!
If you aren't familiar with konjac root, here's the deal. Konjac is a funny-looking little root vegetable—think turnip or sweet potato—with a leafy green top. The root makes an ideal swap for traditional pasta. It’s been used in Asian cooking for many years, but only recently has it become popular in the Western world.
What's even better about It's Skinny Pasta is that it couldn't be easier to work with. You don't have to boil water or get the perfect ratio with rice. To use It’s Skinny, you simply open the pack, drain, rinse, pat dry, and add it to the other ingredients. It’s ready to enjoy in two minutes flat!
It’s Skinny is available in:
Indecisive? We also offer a variety pack that lets you sample each type of It’s Skinny to decide what you like best! It’s Skinny is the perfect way to lighten up all your favorite meals. It plays perfectly with other ingredients and won’t overpower other flavors.
If you’re looking for a low-carb solution, look no further than It’s Skinny! Now on to making this delicious vegetable Pad Thai!
FAQs About Vegetable Pad Thai
Every cook faces some questions now and then. Maybe you want to customize this recipe for your preferred tastes or aren't sure about an ingredient. Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about Pad Thai.
Is this vegetable Pad Thai vegetarian? Can I make it vegetarian?
Like many versions of authentic Pad Thai, this recipe contains fish sauce, making it not vegetarian or vegan. However, you can omit the fish sauce and add savory seasonings like kelp flakes or mushroom powder to maintain the umami flavor. The other option is skipping the fish sauce altogether.
Unlike some Pad Thai recipes, this version doesn’t contain eggs. It's Skinny noodles are vegan and gluten-free, making them suitable for many different diets and eating preferences. With all the vegetables in this dish, it would be an excellent option for veggie lovers, vegans, and vegetarians, with a slight adjustment.
Can I add protein to this Pad Thai? What goes best with this dish?
Many riffs on Pad Thai contain proteins like shrimp, chicken, and even pork. You can easily ramp up the protein in this vegetable Pad Thai by including your favorite protein option with this meal. Surprisingly, canned meats like Spam are also popular throughout Asian countries and can be occasionally found in Pad Thai.
Our recommendation for increasing the protein in this Pad Thai dish is to opt for shrimp, which best matches the flavors and textures. Chicken is also delicious in this noodle dish. Scrambled egg is another authentic ingredient that can give you a protein boost. Remember that certain ingredients (including processed meats like Spam or ham) may change the carbohydrate count in this dish.
What other substitutions can I make to customize this low-carb Pad Thai recipe?
If you're not a fan of peanut butter, try tahini (sesame seed paste) or cashew butter in this dish. You can also top your Pad Thai with any chopped nuts for crunch. Cilantro haters can skip it or use parsley or chives instead.
The stir-fried vegetables in this Pad Thai recipe are easy to customize. Try water chestnuts or broccoli. Add bean sprouts for texture or peppers for sweetness or a little kick. You can exchange spinach for Bok choy, cabbage, or kale. Any leafy green will be right at home in this yummy meal.
If you’re ready to whip up some killer low-carb Pad Thai, let’s get started!
Low-Carb Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe
This fantastic low-carb vegetable Pad Thai gets its impressive stats from It’s Skinny noodles. With ZERO net carbs and only 9 calories, the noodles fill you up without weighing you down. You won’t believe how quickly this satisfying meal cooks up.
First, drain and rinse 1 package of It's Skinny Fettuccine pasta. Set aside.
Prepare your veggies: slice mushrooms, celery, carrots, onions, and shallots. Grate the ginger and finely chop the cilantro and the scallions. Set them aside.
Make your Pad Thai peanut sauce by mixing soy sauce, sesame oil, and fish sauce. Wisk with a fork to combine. Add in the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add the cilantro and scallions, stir and set aside.
In a large pan or wok, melt the coconut oil. Add the vegetables, except the mushrooms and spinach. Sauté until soft—approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger, mushrooms, and spinach.
Add the It's Skinny Fettuccine pasta and peanut sauce to the hot pan. Toss all the ingredients until the pasta is heated through and the spinach is wilted—approximately 3 minutes.
Plate up your Vegetable Pat Thai. Garnish the dish with cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a squeeze of lime juice. Dig in and enjoy!