What is one serving of pad thai chicken?

Determining what constitutes a single serving of pad thai chicken can be tricky, as there is no universal standard for serving sizes of this popular Thai dish. Pad thai is a stir-fried noodle dish that typically contains rice noodles, chicken, eggs, tofu, peanuts, lime, fish sauce, tamarind, and other ingredients. The portion size can vary considerably depending on the recipe, the cook, and individual preferences.

Some general guidelines for a single serving of pad thai with chicken are:

By Weight

– 4-6 oz (110-170g) of cooked pad thai containing chicken. This would be the amount of the entire dish including noodles, protein, vegetables etc.

By Calories

– 300-500 calories per serving. Most pad thai chicken dishes provide around 400 calories in a single serving.

By Volume

– 1 – 1 1/2 cups of the finished pad thai. This is a common serving size at Thai restaurants in the US.

By Main Ingredient

– 2-3 oz (55-85g) of chicken breast. For a single serving, most recipes call for around 3 oz of boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin strips or diced.

– 4-6 oz (110-170g) of fresh pad thai rice noodles. Rice sticks are the main component of the dish, so a serving is largely determined by the amount of noodles.

By Plate Size

– Enough to fill an 8-10 inch plate or bowl. This is a visual serving size guide – a single serving would mound up on a standard dinner plate or fit into a large soup bowl.

So in summary, a typical single serving of chicken pad thai ranges between 1 – 1 1/2 cups in volume, weighs 4-6 oz including all ingredients, contains around 300-500 calories, has 2-3 oz of chicken, and fills an average dinner plate or bowl. But serving sizes can flex up or down from there depending on specific recipes and who is eating!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

The nutrition information for one serving of chicken pad thai can vary based on the specific ingredients and amounts used, but in general a serving provides:


– 300-500 calories


– 15-25g
– Chicken and eggs provide most of the protein


– 45-60g
– Mostly complex carbs from rice noodles


– 10-15g
– Low saturated fat, mostly unsaturated fats


– 2-4g
– From noodles, veggies, peanuts


– 500-1000mg
– From soy sauce, fish sauce

Vitamins & Minerals

– Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium provided in smaller amounts from ingredients like carrots, broccoli, peanuts and eggs.

So a single serving of pad thai chicken contains moderate calories and carbs, along with protein, fiber and some micronutrients. The mix of carbs, protein and fat makes it a fairly balanced meal. Like many Thai dishes, sodium content can be high due to sauces. Overall, one serving makes for a filling and flavorful meal containing multiple food groups.

Ingredients in a Single Serving

While ingredients vary across pad thai chicken recipes, a single serving generally contains:


– 2-3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced or thinly sliced


– 4-6 oz dried flat rice noodles, soaked and stir-fried


– 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 shallot, diced
– 1-2 green onions, chopped
– Cilantro for garnish


– 1-2 eggs, scrambled


– 1/4 cup baby carrots, sliced
– 1/4 cup cabbage, shredded
– 1/4 cup bean sprouts

Tofu (optional)

– 2-3 oz firm tofu, cubed


– 2 Tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts


– 1-2 Tablespoons fish sauce
– 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
– 1 Teaspoon brown sugar
– 1 Teaspoon lime juice
– 1 Teaspoon tamarind paste or concentrate


– 1 Tablespoon vegetable, peanut or canola oil

So a single serving of pad thai contains lean protein, noodles, egg, fresh vegetables, noodles, healthy fats, and a savory Thai sauce to tie everything together. Adjust any ingredient amounts to your taste preferences.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Here is a step-by-step overview of how to make one serving of pad thai chicken:

Prep Ingredients (10 minutes)

– Slice, dice and measure out all ingredients for one serving as outlined above.
– Soak rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes until pliable.
– Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Cook Chicken (5 minutes)

– Heat 1 tsp oil in wok or skillet over high heat.
– Add diced chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through.
– Remove chicken and set aside.

Cook Eggs and Tofu (2 minutes)

– Add eggs and scrambled quickly until set.
– Remove eggs and set aside.
– If using tofu, add and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
– Remove tofu and set aside.

Cook Vegetables (2 minutes)

– Add another tsp of oil to pan.
– Add garlic, shallot, carrot and cabbage. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

Cook Noodles and Sauce (5 minutes)

– Add soaked rice noodles and sauce mixture.
– Cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing constantly.
– Add a splash of water if too dry.

Finish Dish (1 minute)

– Add cooked chicken, eggs, tofu and bean sprouts.
– Toss everything to combine.
– Remove from heat, garnish with peanuts, green onion and cilantro.

The entire cooking process takes about 15-20 minutes and results in a fresh, flavorful single serving of pad thai with chicken! Adjust cook times as needed based on ingredients and preferences.

Tips for Serving

Here are some tips for serving and eating a single portion of pad thai chicken:


– Mound the pad thai neatly on a dinner plate or in a large soup bowl.
– Garnish with chopped peanuts, green onions and cilantro for color.


– Pad thai is typically eaten with chopsticks or a fork, less commonly with a spoon.
– Provide a fork and spoon for easier eating compared to chopsticks.

Drink Pairing

– Thai iced tea, green iced tea, or Thai beer like Singha are great thirst-quenching pairings.
– A ginger ale or sparkling water can also complement the flavors.


– Offer sriracha hot sauce, soy sauce, lime wedges, and extra chopped peanuts for customizing.

Side Dishes

– A small green salad, vegetable spring rolls, or soup make tasty accompaniments.


– Refrigerate leftover pad thai in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. The noodles soak up sauce as it sits.
– Add a splash of water when reheating to loosen up the noodles.

Following these tips will lead to an appetizing single serving presentation and experience of this tasty Thai noodle classic!

Nutritional Differences in Shrimp vs. Chicken Pad Thai

Pad thai can be made with various protein options, most commonly either shrimp or chicken. Here is a nutritional comparison of a serving of pad thai made with shrimp versus chicken:


– Shrimp pad thai: 350-450 calories
– Chicken pad thai: 300-500 calories

– Shrimp is slightly lower in calories than the same amount of chicken.


– Shrimp pad thai: 18-22g
– Chicken pad thai: 15-25g

– Shrimp provides a bit more protein ounce for ounce than chicken breast.


– Shrimp pad thai: 7-12g total fat
– Chicken pad thai: 10-15g total fat

– Shrimp is lower in total fat and saturated fat compared to chicken.


– Shrimp pad thai: 700-900mg
– Chicken pad thai: 500-1000mg

– Sodium content depends more on the sauce ingredients than the protein. Both versions can be high in sodium.


– Shrimp pad thai: 130-160mg
– Chicken pad thai: 115-140mg

– Shrimp contains more cholesterol than chicken, but both provide significant amounts.


– Shrimp has more selenium, vitamin B12.
– Chicken has more choline, phosphorus.

So while shrimp and chicken pad thai are nutritionally similar, shrimp has a slight edge for being lower in calories and fat with more protein and micronutrients like selenium. But both make healthy and delicious protein options!

Cost Comparison of Making vs. Takeout

Making pad thai at home can save quite a bit of money compared to ordering takeout. Here is a cost breakdown:

Homemade Pad Thai

Ingredient Cost
Rice noodles $0.50
Chicken breast $1.50
Eggs $0.30
Vegetables $0.75
Sauce ingredients $0.50
Oil & seasonings $0.10
Total cost per serving $3.65

Takeout Pad Thai

An order of chicken pad thai from a restaurant costs $8-12 on average.

So you can make pad thai at home for about a third of the cost of takeout! The ingredients for homemade come out to just $3-4 per serving compared to $8-12 to order it from a restaurant.

Over time, cooking this tasty Thai dish yourself leads to major savings. If you ate one serving of pad thai from takeout once a week, that would cost $416-624 a year. Making it at home instead costs just $189-208 per year, saving over $200.

Plus, cooking it yourself allows you to control the ingredients and portions for a healthier meal. So making pad thai chicken at home wins for being affordable, customizable, and convenient.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about pad thai chicken serving sizes and nutrition:

How does pad thai chicken compare to beef or shrimp pad thai nutritionally?

Chicken, beef and shrimp pad thai are all nutritionally similar. Shrimp is slightly lower in calories and fat than chicken or beef. But all provide a mix of protein, carbs, fiber and micronutrients.

Is one serving of pad thai enough for a meal?

Yes, one 300-500 calorie serving of pad thai is satisfying and filling enough to be a complete meal. The mix of protein, fiber and complex carbs keeps you energized.

Is pad thai healthy to eat regularly?

Pad thai can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. It provides nutrients from multiple food groups. Limit sodium intake from frequent servings though. Enjoy 1-2 times a week.

How long does leftoever pad thai last in the fridge?

Leftover pad thai will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat gently before eating again and add a bit of water to loosen it up. Discard if noodles smell or look soggy.

Can you freeze pad thai?

Pad thai freezes well for 2-3 months. Portion it out first and wrap tightly. Thaw in the fridge before reheating on the stove or microwave. Add water to refresh as needed.


Determining the right serving size for pad thai depends on several factors, but generally ranges from 300-500 calories containing 4-6 oz total weight. Nutrition can vary slightly between protein options but will provide a balance of carbs, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients. Cost and preparation is significantly lower when you make pad thai fresh at home. Overall, a single serving of this classic Thai noodle dish makes for a delicious, filling and budget-friendly meal any night of the week.

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