Here’s a fun twist on a take favorite! This Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai is packed with fresh veggies and is quick to whip up using Crazy Cuizine’s Mandarin Orange Chicken. Sponsored by Crazy Cuizine.
Teenagers eat a lot of food. And they eat all day long. Teenage boys inhale whatever food they can find in the house, without any consideration of others living in the house with them! It’s no wonder my 13-year old daughter wants a small fridge in her room to hide her food from her brothers!
Even though we are past the crazy toddler years and deep into the teenage drama years, I swear we are busier than ever. It really is true, the bigger the kids, the bigger the problems. And seriously, the less free time we have available as a family.
I cook for my family everyday, but I’m always looking for shortcuts to provide them satisfying meals whenever they come popping in the kitchen and whimper, “I’m hungry, mom. What do you have to eat?” And this zucchini noodle Pad Thai is just the meal for these busy weeknights!
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a stir fry dish made with rice noodles, vegetables, a scrambled egg and a protein. Everything is sautéed together and coated with, you guessed it, pad Thai sauce. This super popular street food in Thailand is very popular here in the US in Thai restaurants.
The pad Thai sauce varies from place to place, but it traditionally includes fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and tamarind paste. If you have never had tamarind paste, it has this wonderfully sour base with some fruity undertones. So, why not mix it with some orange chicken?
How to make zucchini noodles or zoodles
Like I said earlier, I’m always looking for ways to sneak in nutrition in my kids’ diet. They love all things noodles, especially ramen, pho and chow mien. When I load up their noodles with vegetables and zoodles, then I know their are getting in something nutritious.
But for the rest of us, a bowl full of noodles is heavy, and often times followed by a carb-induced food coma. Zucchini noodles are a fabulous way of getting some much needed vegetables without all the carbs.
There are multiple vegetable spiralizers you can use to make zucchini noodles. For this zucchini noodle pad thai, I used my big spiralizer and not the smaller hand julienne peeler I have. It makes spiralizing my vegetables super fast and easy.
Although I prefer ditching the noodles and subbing in only zoodles, I ease the transition for my kids. If you are trying to get your kids to try zoodles, start by mixing them in with regular noodles, slowly increasing the quantity of zucchini each time.
Why this zucchini noodle pad Thai recipe is so easy
Stir fry cooking is such a quick and easy way to throw a meal together. The vegetables do not require long or extensive cooking. In fact, I think it tastes better just undercooked, with a little crunch left.
It’s always the meat that takes the most time to cook. My kids really love Crazy Cuizine’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, so why not throw it together with pad Thai? It’s quick, always tender and very kid friendly. You can use the mandarin orange sauce by itself, or kick it up, like I did by adding some tamarind paste, Thai chili paste and fish sauce to make a quick orange pad thai sauce.
Final tips to successful zucchini noodle pad Thai
Just like regular stir fry, there are certain things you can do to guarantee crisp vegetables and a delicious pad Thai. First of all, always make sure the oil in your pan or wok is nice and hot before adding the vegetables. You want to hear that loud sizzle when the veggies hit the pan.
Secondly, make sure they vegetables are cut in similar sizes. Because I spiralized the zucchini, I cut the bell peppers and carrots in long thin slices, or julienned. By keeping their sizes similar, they will cook evenly.
My third to tip for stir frying is to not overcrowd your pan. If you have too much food cooking on the pan it will not stir fry but will steam. And steam means liquid and liquid means mushy vegetables. If you have a small pan, cook the vegetables in batches.
And my last tip is to not over cook your vegetables. You want your veggies to have a little crunch in them. They only need a few minutes of cooking in a hot pan.
If you like this recipe, check out my Teriyaki Chicken Buddha Bowl recipe!
- 4 medium zucchini
- 5 TBS olive oil, divided
- 1 22-oz box Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
- 2 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 4 cups bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 tsp Thai chili paste
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- Using a vegetable spiralizer, cut the zucchini into noodles.
- Heat a large pan on medium heat and add 1 TBS olive oil.
- Add frozen orange chicken and cook on stovetop for 6 minutes or until hot.
- In a small bowl, mix together orange sauce with tamarind paste, chili paste and fish sauce.
- When chicken is hot, mix in sauce. Transfer sauce and chicken to a serving dish.
- Reheat pan and add 2 TBS olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add zucchini noodles and cook until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook zucchini or they will turn mushy.
- Transfer to the serving plate.
- Reheat pan over medium high heat and add 2 TBS olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Stir in carrots, green onions and garlic and continue cooking 1-2 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in eggs with the vegetables and cook until eggs are scrambled and cooked through.
- Add zucchini noodles back in the pan and mix in bean sprouts. Mix in the reserved chicken with sauce.
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Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 368 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 99mg Sodium: 423mg Carbohydrates: 26g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 15g Protein: 19g