Here is my Turkey Pad Thai recipe. Finally! This post has been a little slow getting out of the kitchen and onto your computer screens because I wanted to get it just right. The first recipe test I did yielded promising results, but none that would stand a chance of meeting your expectations of the deliciousness that is Pad Thai.

turkey pad thai

The way I see it, Pad Thai is somewhat of a magical entity: a perfect balance of sweet, sour, salt and fat. All tossed together with the comfort of noodles. A crunch of peanuts, an unexpected fresh burst of herbs. It’s not something you just want to half-a$$. So I wasn’t about to send a “promising” recipe out into the blogosphere. It had to be worthy of the name Pad Thai.

turkey pad thai

napa cabbage, scallions and chopped cashews for turkey pad thai

The photo was stumping me too. Maybe I wanted it to be perfect because I am leaving for my 15 year (swoon I feel old) college reunion and I am having flashbacks of my photography professor, Richard Linke, being way too critical. He would look at my photographs of this bowl of noodles and say, “Does it have a decisive moment, is there mystery, are you happy with the composition, can the light be more beautiful…?” And so on. You see what I mean? I took 199 exposures… Ugh.


So anyway, what I ended up with is worth the wait. And believe it or not, I can still call it healthy and seasonal. I used the scallions, Napa, cilantro and basil from our CSA share and locally raised ground turkey. And it is healthy, in part, because the Napa cabbage bulks up the serving size and takes place of some of the calorie-dense noodles. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a low-fat dish. But each serving has only 3 grams of saturated fat. Oh, that reminds me about one more thing. I am now doing nutritional analysis! Check it out below the recipe… So at long last, here is the healthy seasonal Pad Thai.

turkey pad thai


turkey pad thai

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Thai


Turkey Pad Thai with Scallions and cabbage



  • 6 ounces Thai stir-fry rice noodles
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced and whites and green parts divided
  • 8 cups Napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage, (about 1 small head)
  • ½ cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted cashews or peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil, preferably Thai


  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place noodles in a low wide baking dish. Pour boiling water over the noodles to completely submerge them and swish them around a little bit. Let sit 10 minutes to soften, agitating gently once or twice to prevent clumping. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk brown sugar, tomato paste, lime juice, fish sauce and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey and scallion greens. Crumble and stir the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns. Cook until the meat is cooked through, 6 to 9 minutes. Add cabbage and coconut milk and reduce heat to medium. Stir until the cabbage is just slightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the turkey mixture to a large bowl.
  4. Add the reserved sauce to the skillet and the drained noodles and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer the noodle mixture to the bowl with the turkey, add the scallion greens and toss to coat. Serve each portion topped with the herbs and nuts.


Fiber:3 g. Sat Fat:3 g. Protein:21g. Sodium:494mg.


  • Serving Size: 2 cups each
  • Calories: 365
  • Fat: 13