This flavorful and healthy Instant Pot Pad Thai Stir Fry packed with veggies uses ingredients you already have on hand! Vegan and gluten-free option + easily made on stovetop as well.
I feel like I’ve been living under a rock.
When the Instant Pot became all the rage over the holidays last year, I kind of…ignored it. Me, a dietitian and food blogger and restauranteur, turning a blind eye to the latest and greatest in quick cooking. The horror!
So when my friend Megan emailed me about her new Fresh and Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook, I was forced in the best way possible to hop on the trend train and give this beloved electric pressure cooker a whirl. Was I intimidated? Very. Did I procrastinate until 5pm when there was barely any daylight left to learn how to use this thing, make the Pad Thai Stir Fry recipe, and photograph it? You bet your hiney!
But to be honest, it was SO much easier and far less intimidating than I made it out to be in my head. I admittedly hate reading manuals; but once I learned how to fit the darn lid on (and ok, had Megan send me a video of her using it), I was totally fine. I always thought pressure cookers were for things like cooking dried beans, but with the pot-in-pot method, you can make so many meals without dirtying other dishes. Nearly all the cooking time is hands off, so you can do your laundry or respond to emails or pluck your eyebrows (is that just me?) while things cook.
Another fun fact I learn from Megan is that the pressurized pot lowers the boiling point of water, so your food is rarely cooked at a temperature above 250 degrees . Lower temps means fewer nutrients lost, as does shorter cooking times. Did you know the instant pot cooks 50-70% faster than traditional cooking methods? Winning!
Head to my Instagram to enter to win a FREE copy!
Of note, the Instant Pot doesn’t aways shorten the cooking time, but it does decrease the active time since it times everything for you. It takes time for the pot to come to pressure before the cycle begins and to release that pressure when the cycle ends. The time to come to pressure is similar to the time it takes for water to boil. All of Megan’s recipes include the total time needed for pressure cooking.
So here I am in the present day, totally enamored with this gadget. It’s like a miracle worker! For this recipe, you cook the noodles in the pot and stir together the delectable peanut buttery pad thai sauce while they’re cooking. Once the noods are done and perfectly cooked thanks to the magic of the Instant Pot, you drain the noodles, dump the sauce in the Instant Pot, add the veggies, and sauté it all together. No other dirty pans! It comes together in no time.
Clearly, I’m a fan. I love that Megan’s book features so many classics that are appealing to everyone and also a meat chapter that Jeff is super pumped about. I really appreciated how this book took me out of my comfort zone. It has 75 hearty and comforting recipes developed with optimum flavor, nutrition, and speed in mind. Think Cauliflower Mac N’ Cheese, Kungpao Chickpeas, Eggroll in a Bowl, Deep Dish Pizza Casserole, and One Pot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting. Every recipe has a photo and a gluten-free option and nearly all recipes have a tested vegan option.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t fret. You can easily make this scrumptious Pad Thai Stir Fry on the stovetop. Simply cook noodles in a pot according to package directions, stir together the sauce, then drain and rinse the noodles. Keep them in the strainer while you add the sauce to the sauce pot along with the veggies. Sauté for about five minutes, combine with noodles, and you’re done!
Easy peasy pad thai squeezy.
- 4 oz whole wheat spaghetti (or brown rice spaghetti for gluten-free*)
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- 5 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (1/2 inch knob)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ head green or red cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 2 cups snow peas
- 3 green onions, tender white and green parts only, chopped
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Chopped salted peanuts, for garnish
- Break noodles in half and arrange in Instant Pot in a crisscross manner to avoid clumping. (See notes at the bottom for stovetop option**.) Pour water over noodles. Secure lid and move steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. While noodles cook, in bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, Sriracha, ginger, and garlic and set aside.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure.
- When the floating valve drops, press Cancel and remove lid. Drain noodles through colander, rinsing with cold water to remove starch and stop cooking. Rinse and dry insert and return to Instant Pot.
- Press Sauté and pour peanut sauce into pot. Add cabbage, carrot, pepper, and snow peas and stir well. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in noodles and green onions until everything is heated through,
- Serve pad thai warm with cilantro and peanuts on top. Dish is best served right away, but leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in fridge for 5 days.
**Stovetop option: Cook noodles in a pot according to package directions. Whisk together sauce. Drain and rinse noodles and keep them in the strainer while you add the sauce to the sauce pot along with the veggies. Sauté for about five minutes then add noodles and green onions.