Spicy noodles, drunken noodles, peanut sauces, lime galore… There’s so much to love about Thai food—which is probably why we end up ordering it so much. Plus, making it at home requires so many ingredients. Or does it? These 11 Thai recipes, from pad Thai to Thai red curry, are not only easy but they also only include easy-to-find ingredients. Take that, takeout.
1. 20-Minute Thai Basil Beef
Anything that takes 20 minutes is right up our alley. This recipe kicks things off by cooking ground beef with shallots, one of our favorite secrets for meat that has just a touch of extra flavor. But that’s just the beginning. The sauce really gets going when you throw in the chilis, garlic, fish sauce, lime, and sugar.Just the right amount of sweet and tangy, this beef dish makes a great last-minute dinner and can be modified any way you need. Are you a veggie? Sub tamari for the fish sauce. Don’t love beef? Use chicken or pork.
2. Pad See Ew
Gone are the days of noodles that can’t stand up a whole lot of sauce and toppings. (Sorry, zoodles, but sometimes you’re just not sturdy enough!) Pad see ew uses wide rice noodles, meaning you’ll be able to scoop up plenty of that delicious beef and broccoli.Though this recipe does call for two Thai staples—Chinese broccoli and Thai soy sauce—feel free to use regular broccoli and any soy sauce you have on hand. Since Thai soy sauce often has more salt, we often prefer the taste of regular anyway.
3. Thai Salad With Carrot and Cucumber Noodles
Though veggie noodles aren’t right for every dish, they work perfectly in ones like this simple salad, where the dressing is light, and the ingredients are small enough to spread across every bite.We love subbing edamame for chickpeas when we have frozen ones on hand and upping the protein with shredded chicken to make it a main meal. (Psst… a drizzle of Sriracha tastes pretty nice too.)
4. Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
This dish is the perfect recipe for using up leftover rice. (Jasmine brown rice tends to taste best, but any rice will do!) Simply heat a large wok or castiron skillet, quickly scramble some eggs, and set aside. Then let the real magic begin by caramelizing the pineapple, charring the bell pepper, and making things extra Thai-tastic with garlic and green onions. This is another dish that goes great with added protein—like tofu or shrimp—and is a super-simple solution to post-work hanger.
5. 20-Minute Spicy Thai Noodle Bowls
As much as we love being authentic—in life and in the kitchen—sometimes we just need to fake it a little. This recipe skips Thai noodles and opts for spaghetti but pulls in Thai flavor with a sauce of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Feel free to stick to the suggested veggies or think outside the box with the likes of broccolini, water chestnuts, baby corns, or zucchini.
6. Chicken Satay Skewers With Peanut Dipping Sauce
Yay for satay. These little skewers are so darn delicious we can hardly stop eating them. (But really, can someone come over to help?) Made with a simple Thai marinade and equally as simple peanut sauce, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to cook so you can dig in. Because the marinade is so versatile, feel free to use beef, shrimp, pork, or tofu for the skewers. Heck, you could even use mushrooms!
7. Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Wedges
You may not find this recipe on an actual Thai menu, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge. Though not a common Thai ingredient, sweet potato is great because it’s robust enough to soak up all of those amazing Thai sauces.This recipe opts for a mango coconut sauce—drool, we know!—and cooks the potatoes in chili paste to give them a little extra kick. Top with cabbage, herbs, and cashews and any other toppings you choose.
8. Thai Red Curry
“Easy” and “curry” don’t often go in the same sentence, but we’re here to tell you that making an amazing curry is more than doable. This recipe uses coconut milk, red Thai curry paste (which is widely available), and fish sauce for the incredible broth and bulks it up with diced chicken breast, a slew of veggies, and a generous handful of basil. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. (And when you find easy recipes for notoriously tricky dishes.)
9. Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Talk about chicken soup for the soul: Spicy, tart, and even a little tangy, this recipe brings all kinds of life to the classic comfort dish. If you don’t have rice noodles on hand, feel free to sub a pack of ramen. And as with most Thai dishes, use whatever protein you prefer, as this dish tastes great with pretty much anything. Just don’t go light on garnish. The more, the merrier has never been truer.
10. Thai Shrimp Cakes
Crab cakes we’ve heard of, but shrimp cakes? A similar concept with a Thai twist, this protein-packed snack is made by mixing shrimp (frozen works fine) with curry paste, egg, fish sauce, sugar, and coconut milk in a food processor or blender.The blended shrimp—we know, that doesn’t sound so nice but trust us, it does taste nice—is then joined by green beans and basil for a little extra flavor and cooked in a skillet. Dip in the homemade sweet chili sauce or feel free to skip this step and use store-bought.
11. Vegan Tofu Pad Thai
As crazy-delicious as takeaway pad Thai is, it’s one of those dishes that’s often packed with extra oil and sugar—meaning you may not feel so great after eating it.This vegan version skips excessive sweetener and uses a simple sauce of veggie broth, tamari, tomato paste, Sriracha, and just a dash of maple syrup for an equally as tasty (but much more healthy) Pad Thai sauce. The rest of the ingredients are as expected, with rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, red bell pepper, cilantro, and plenty of peanuts and lime.