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20-Minute noodleless pad Thai is a healthy take on takeout

I have a weakness for Thai food. If stranded on an island for the rest of my life, with only one choice of food to eat, it’d probably be Thai. It’s just got the perfect balance of flavors, with all the coconut milk, cilantro, peanuts and bold spices going on. Perhaps it’s cliché, but pad thai is always one of my favorites and a go-to takeout order.

This noodleless version keeps all that delicious peanut flavor from the real thing, but with a low-carb, healthy, vegetable-filled approach perfect for the new year. Tofu is easily swapped out with chicken or shrimp too for a nonvegetarian version. Take your pick!

Noodleless pad thai recipe

This low-carb version of pad thai uses lots of fresh vegetables tossed in the classic peanut sauce for a healthier take on takeout.

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes


  • 3 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 small celery root, peeled
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 12 ounces extra-firm silken tofu, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water, to thin out the dressing


  1. Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, peel the carrots, zucchini and celery root. Alternatively, you could julienne the vegetables by hand with a knife.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour into the large bowl with the vegetables, and toss until well coated.
  4. Serve immediately. If not serving immediately, then keep the vegetables and dressing separate, and toss before serving.
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