Dave and I have always had a weakness for eating out. We love date nights, and splurge more than we should on good food. We have many fun family memories of eating out at simple (family-friendly) restaurants with the kids too — especially back when they could just eat a bit off our plates or split a burrito between two of them. While I remember often leaving a restaurant asking myself, “Why did we try that again?” I am glad for the memories we have at our local Mexican spot, food trucks, or thai restaurant.
As boys grew up, restaurants became more of a “special occasions only” thing. These boys just eat way too much. No longer can they share a burrito, now they need two to themselves. 🙃 (We, however, still make date nights a priority!)
Since, we’ve been on some degree of “lock-down” here in Hawaii for what seems like, ever, I’ve been mostly cooking at home for this
small army houseful of boys. And I really love it! But I have filled in a day every week or so with some form of takeout or cheater-meal (thanks Costco Street Tacos!)
But there is no doubt our very favorite take out is Thai food. Our family loves Thai food, and our typical order is at least 2-3 orders of Pad Thai, along with a red or yellow curry, and a veggie dish or salad. (ok my stomach just growled and I’m writing this at 9 AM.)
Well, this summer I decided that if I could make my own Pad Thai, I could save a lot of $$ and make a lot of boys happy . So, I’ve been on a mission to master homemade pad thai for the past few weeks. And…I think I’ve finally got my go-to recipe down. 👊🏽
Since I shared a few pics of last weekend’s batch on my Instagram stories, I know a lot of you, too, love the noodly-peanuty-sweet-but spicy dish. So, I thought I should share what I’ve got!
You can make this recipe meatless — with just the noodles and veggies or add tofu, chicken or shrimp. (We usually use chicken and it’s a bonus if I have some chicken breasts already cooked and ready to toss in!)
Find my printable recipe below, and as always — I encourage you to play with it and customize it to your family’s size and tastes. (I usually make extra sauce so if there are leftover noodles I can toss more for leftovers!) See a few notes in the recipe.
Family Favorite Pad Thai
- 16 ounce flat rice noodles
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 2 sweet peppers, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup peanuts, salted -dry roasted
- 4 limes, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Pad Thai Sauce
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar*
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp creamy, natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
Cook noodles according to package directions. (or rinse if using ready-to-use Healthy Noodle -- see note in post below.)
Combine ingredients for Pad Thai Sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and sliced sweet peppers, and cook until soft, about 3 mintues
Add noodles, bean sprouts, and 1/2 cup of peanuts to pan. If adding cooked protein, add that now as well. Add sauce and stir well. Cook together for just a few minutes, as the sauce thickens and ingredients combine well.
Pour into a large bowl and top with green onions, 1/4 cup of peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. (Offer more lime wedges and peanuts for individuals to add)
We usually add chicken or tofu to our pad thai. If you want to add protein (shrimp is also great!) you can cook the protein first, then stir in when you combine all of the ingredients. Pad Thai is also good without protein as a side dish!
*I personally think this is a lot of sugar for the sauce, so I'm working on playing with less sugar or some substitute. My boys LOVE the flavor of the sauce though, so if you're going for taste...keep the sugar! 🙂
One more quick note: I have been using a box of “Healthy Noodle” from Costco for this recipe lately, and the noodles are pre-cooked and ready to go. (the box says they are made of Soybean fiber and Konjac — is that even healthy? 🤷♀️) WE LOVE THEM!
I hope you try this and love it. I appreciate it when you Pin and share my recipes with your friends as well, so you can use the links below to share to social media!
Big hugs and talk soon!