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Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles (Whole30, Paleo, GF, DF)

Delicious and easy homemade takeout in under 20 minutes, this Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles will be your new favorite dish. Full of flavor and easily adaptable to any dietary needs, Basil Thai Chicken is also a make-ahead meal prep dream dish.

Two bowls of Basil Thai Chicken with zoodles, basil, glasses, and chopsticks on a white board

A former client of mine from Thailand brought this dish to a potluck and I was instantly hooked. I very sweetly but (quite) aggressively demanded the recipe and still have a print out of the email in my homemade recipe book today.

Another name for Basil Thai Chicken is Gai Pad Krapow (or pad kra pao gai). The recipe my client shared with me used American-ized ingredients because our town lacks a really good Asian market.

What Ingredients are in Basil Thai Chicken?

Well, we’re going for a Captain Obvious answer on this one, but basil and chicken kind of play a significant starring role.

A platter with carrots, basil, garlic, ginger,chicken broth, and ground chicken

Yuck. Sorry about the raw chicken.

You’ll use:

While the recipe I was given only called for carrots, I’ve also added green beans, asparagus, and/or snap peas depending on the season. Peppers, mushrooms (barf), broccoli, or even squash would be wonderful additions as well. Go nuts!

Many recipes call for sliced chicken breast. I’m not sure why Jirapa chose to use ground meat, but I’ve stuck to her directions and it has never steered me wrong.

Traditional recipes will call for whole Thai chilies to be cooked with the meat. I was told to use red pepper flakes, and again, I believe that is due to the availability of local ingredients. And I wasn’t about to “American-splain” how to cook Thai food to someone from Thailand, so I still use red pepper flakes.a white colander with zucchini noodles

I’m always looking for brainless ways to add more veggies to my meals, so I prefer to serve this over zucchini noodles (“zoodles”). Pro tip: to make this a meal prep-style dish, spiralize the zucchini and place in a colander over a bowl or plate. Lightly salt the zoodles to draw out extra water. They can sit uncovered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

If you are vegetarian/vegan, check out this recipe from Nora Cooks for directions on how to incorporate “ground” tofu into this recipe.

How is Thai Basil Different From Regular Basil?

Just the appearance alone will let you know it’s not the traditional basil you find in a lot of Italian and Mediterranean cooking. The leaves are smaller and there often are streaks of purple underneath. It has a bit of a spicier flavor than “normal” basil, and you’ll find it served with many Thai curries.

In Thailand, most of the basil used in this type of recipe is called “Holy basil”. It is not a type commonly found here in the states, so look for herbs labeled as “Thai Basil” in your grocer’s produce section.

Can’t find Thai basil at your grocery store?  Just use regular basil and we’ll still be friends. But you’ve been officially put on warning. Get your life together man.

Can This Recipe Be Made Whole30 or Paleo?

Yes! The only substitution you need to make would be to use coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce. And of course, serve the chicken over cauliflower rice, stir-fried veggies, or my favorite, zoodles.

Here’s How to Make It:

  1. Cook the ground chicken in a wok/frying pan until cooked through. Remove from pan.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, carrots, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and chicken stock, and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pan, and top with basil. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes.Process shots for making Basil Thai Chicken
  4. Salt and pepper to taste and serve over rice, cauli rice, or zoodles.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • Make sure your rice is cooked and ready to go before you start cooking the meat.
  • Thai Basil Chicken is a meal prep dream. It reheats so nicely and tastes even better the next day!
  • To break up the ground chicken into a really fine “mince” I like to cook it until most of the pink is gone. I then take a pastry cutter and chop the meat into teeny pieces.
  • Add more of any of the ingredients to your taste/preference. For instance, I love a bunch more basil in mine than what is called for in the recipe.
  • I prefer the zoodles to be cold and topped with the warm chicken, but if you like yours warmed up it is just a 2-minute process. Add a tsp of olive oil to the empty pan and gently toss the zoodles around with tongs until warmed through.
    Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles in a bowl with chopsticks

More Recipes Like This:

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Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles in a bowl with chopsticks
Print
5 from 2 votes
Thai Basil Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Delicious and easy homemade takeout in under 20 minutes, this Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles will be your new favorite dish. Full of flavor and easily adaptable to any dietary needs.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: chicken stir fry, easy chicken dinner, Thai Basil Chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 199 kcal
Author: Sarah Cook - Sustainable Cooks
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 10 leaves Thai basil sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
Instructions
  1. Place a frying pan or wok over medium heat. Preheat for five minutes.

  2. Cook the ground chicken through; remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. Add garlic, ginger, carrots, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and chicken stock to the pan and cook until the carrots are crisp-tender - about 3 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan. 

  4. Add basil. remove from heat and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Serve immediately over rice, cauliflower rice, or zoodles (zucchini noodles).

Recipe Notes

Make sure your rice is cooked and ready to go before you start cooking the meat.

Thai Basil Chicken is a meal prep dream. It reheats so nicely and tastes even better the next day!

To break up the ground chicken into a really fine "mince" I like to cook it until most of the pink is gone. I then take a pastry cutter and chop the meat into teeny pieces.

Nutrition Facts
Thai Basil Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 402mg 17%
Potassium 789mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 157.1%
Vitamin C 4.1%
Calcium 2.5%
Iron 7.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

This post was originally published in August 2011. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos were added and the recipe was made printable.

Delicious and easy homemade takeout in under 20 minutes, this Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles will be your new favorite dish. Full of flavor and easily adaptable to any dietary needs, Basil Thai Chicken is also a make-ahead meal prep dream dish. #sustainablecooks #thaifood #takeout #chicken

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10 comments on “Basil Thai Chicken With Zoodles (Whole30, Paleo, GF, DF)”

  1. Made this for dinner tonight. It was awesome. Your right the ginger makes this! I feel like it needed another flavor so thinking of adding some lemongrass to it next time. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Yum! If my basil ever grows (or I cave and buy some), I’ll definitely have to make this.

  3. Gonna make this next week because I have regular basil to use up. I like the idea about the green beans.

  4. Great suggestion to use the pastry cutter to break up the cooked, ground meat!

  5. I couldn’t find Thai basil in my store so I used regular basil and it came out great. Thanks!

  6. I made this doubled with ground turkey, dry ginger and garlic and added an onion. Served over a mix of zucchini and regular noodles. It was very good!