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Quick Sunflower Seed Pad Thai (Paleo, Whole30)

4.25 from 32 votes

What’s Inside: A Paleo and Whole30 favorite, My twist on Pad Thai recipe using sunflower seeds instead of peanuts, crisp veggies, zoodles, and shredded chicken. It’s simple and fast to make with a ton of flavor.

paleo sunflower seed butter pad thai (paleo, whole30) via Food by Mars

Quick Sunflower Seed Pad Thai (Paleo, Whole30)

One of my favorite foods, when I’d order Thai takeout on the regs, was Pad Thai. But since eliminating peanuts and soy, that hasn’t been a thing and I’ve missed it! Luckily, it’s easy to re-create the magic with sunflower seed butter… I find sunflower butter to be a pretty close replacement flavor-wise to peanut butter. Some zoodles and a delicious sauce later and we have a raw paleo sunflower seed butter pad thai that’s more allergen-friendly!

An easy weeknight, throw-together meal

This is great for any weeknight dinner or meal prep, it comes together in minutes and is super flavorful. You can be as flexible as you want with this dish and you might become obsessed with the sauce (because I know I have…). The toasted seeds on top add more crunch to this veggie-filled dish and I added some poached chicken for protein.

As a quick tip, you can easily prep your chicken on the weekend and have your veggies ready to go on deck when you throw together the meal during the week! And if you have a rotisserie chicken handy, go ahead and use up that leftover chicken to save even more time.

paleo sunflower seed butter pad thai (paleo, whole30) via Food by Mars

How to make and store zucchini noodles (zoodles)

Make them: Using a spiralizer (I have this under $30 one), turn your zucchini into noodles to use in place of any pasta dish (like this easy Pad Thai)! You can eat them raw (that’s my personal fave) or lightly sauté them so they don’t get too mushy – whichever you prefer.

Store them: In an airtight container or food storage bag (with the air squeezed out before you seal). Be sure to add in a paper towel sheet at the bottom of either your container or bag (to absorb excess moisture). They’ll keep for up to 4-days in your fridge.

Other Zoodle Recipes to try:

Grilled Shrimp with Spinach Pesto Zoodles (AIP-friendly, Paleo, and Low FODMAP)

Healthy Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp (Paleo, Whole30)

Zucchini Baked Ziti with Romesco (Paleo, Whole30)

paleo sunflower seed butter pad thai (paleo, whole30) via Food by Mars

Quick Sunflower Seed Pad Thai (Paleo, Whole30)

Sunflower Seed Butter Pad Thai (paleo, whole30) via Food by Mars

Sunflower Pad Thai (Paleo, Whole30)

4.25 from 32 votes
An easy (mostly) raw dish swimming in a flavorful sauce! Using sunflower seed butter and coconut aminos instead of peanuts and soy – this dish is paleo and Whole30 approved.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Yield: 2 people



  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (plain, unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger or ginger juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp water

Pad Thai

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts (optional)
  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 1 cup shredded carrots* or save time and buy a cole slaw mix which includes cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage* or save time and buy a cole slaw mix which includes carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin


  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a food processor and set aside. Toast the sunflower seeds over a hot non-stick pan for just a couple of minutes while tossing frequently (pay attention so they don’t burn!) – Set aside.
  • Clean two skinless chicken breasts, and bring a large pot of water to boil (enough to cover the chicken). Once boiling, add the chicken and set a timer for 8 minutes. Check with a thermometer to be sure (poultry should be 165f degrees when done). Set chicken aside on a cutting board and with two forks, shred the chicken.
  • Assemble the Pad Thai salad! Prep all veggies accordingly and toss with the sauce in a large mixing bowl with tongs to coat everything. Add in the chicken and continue tossing.
  • Serve with toasted sunflower seeds and more cilantro as garnish!
Diet: Thai
paleo sunflower seed butter pad thai (paleo, whole30) via Food by Mars
-Alison Marras
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  1. Yummm this was fantastic. It took longer for me to make than the recipe times suggested, but I’m also slow. I ended up cooking my chicken in the crockpot with some soy sauce, ginger and garlic. It came out super nice and added a good flavor and texture that you wouldn’t get from boiling the chicken.

    All in all, such a winner. Fresh, flavorful, so many different crispy textures. I made this for a group of 20-something guys that includes some vegetable haters. And they didn’t even complain that there were no noodles!

  2. Found this during a Whole30 in 2020 and I’ve since made it many times. The flavors are so fresh and delicious!

    • It’s definitely a standby recipe over here too… so happy you’re enjoying it and it’s in your regular rotation!

  3. love this healthier version of pad thai. Everything came out great with easy to follow recipe. looking forward to making it again. 

  4. This is a delicious twist on the classic! Your recipe is delicious – thanks for sharing! I love the nutty taste of the sunflower seeds – delish!

  5. This was really good! I added a date to the sauce and altered the proportions a bit to taste, but mostly prepared this as written. I’m doing Whole 30 right now and this was a nice change from our usuals. Thank you!

  6. This looks incredibly luscious and authentic…AND…your ‘zoodles’ are perfection! Any recommendations on ‘zoodlers’?! I need to purchase one ASAP…

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