Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

This healthy spaghetti squash Pad Thai uses spaghetti squash strands instead of rice noodles for a veggie-packed dish that’s lower in carbs and super satisfying.

Pad Thai is probably one of the most well-known Thai dishes, but if you’re unfamiliar it’s traditionally a stir-fried noodle dish originating from Thailand. It’s typically made with rice noodles, but since I’m a spaghetti squash lover through and through, I had to try it with squash noodles instead. Authentic Pad Thai is made with a sauce that consists of fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste and sugar. For this untraditional Pad Thai we’re using a sweet chili almond sauce that doesn’t use fish sauce, but still has a ton of flavor and makes this dish absolutely delicious.

Rectangle serving tray full of spaghetti squash pad thai and topped with cilantro, peanuts, green onions and lime. Chop sticks are resting on the edge of the tray.

While I never want to imply that spaghetti squash noodles are exact healthy dupes for regular noodles, they are a really great substitute for this Pad Thai dish! I find that while the texture is super similar, spaghetti squash has a firmer texture than cooked noodles and of course, they are thinner than the traditional rice noodles used for Pad Thai. You will know you’re eating vegetables instead of rice noodles, but I love the extra texture in this dish!

Spaghetti squash has a hint of sweetness to it, but overall it’s pretty mild in taste so it takes on the flavors of the dish. In this case there are a lot of delicious flavors happening (especially from the almond sauce) so you don’t have to worry about it tasting bland.

White rectangle serving tray full of spaghetti squash pad thai and topped with cilantro, peanuts, green onions and lime. Chop sticks are resting on the edge of the tray.

Ingredients Needed:

There are two main components of this recipe: the sauce and everything else. I’m obsessed with the chili almond sauce, which is inspired by my chili almond dressing.

Chili Almond Sauce Ingredients:

  • natural almond butter look for one with just almonds or almonds + salt
  • fresh lime juice
  • low sodium tamari or coconut aminos I love the sweetness coconut aminos add to this dish but either option works and in a pinch soy sauce works as well
  • fresh ginger – you could certainly try ground ginger if you don’t have fresh, but fresh ginger gives this sauce so much flavor
  • garlic cloves
  • maple syrup
  • sambal oelek or crushed red pepper

Pai Thai Ingredients:

  • spaghetti squash – either one large one or two small
  • olive or avocado oil – whichever you have in the pantry works
  • chicken breast – you could swap this for tofu or shrimp if you don’t eat meat
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • chopped ginger
  • chopped yellow onion
  • red bell pepper
  • matchstick carrots
  • green onions, fresh cilantro and limes, for garnish
  • salted almonds (optional)

Ingredients to make spaghetti squash pad thai in bowls: green onions, spaghetti squash, carrots and peppers, chicken and almond butter.

How to Prep Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

There are a lot of methods you could use to cook spaghetti squash, but my personal favorite is to cook it in rings. Check out my blog post for the full details, but the cliff notes are: you preheat your oven to 400º F and then cut your spaghetti squash into 1 1/2 inch thick rings. Gently scrape out the seeds in the middle of each ring, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping about 15 minutes in. You’ll be left with perfectly cooked spaghetti squash strands that are long and not watery at all.

After you cook the spaghetti squash and whip up the sauce in your food processor or blender, this recipe is straight forward – just lots of sautéing! First you’ll cook the chicken, then the veggies and then you mix everything together for serving. And if your sauté pan isn’t large enough, you can do the mixing in a large bowl.

Once everything is combined, simply serve with green onions, cilantro, lime and chopped almonds for garnish!

Hand scooping a bite on a fork of spaghetti squash chicken pad thai from a serving dish.

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes to Try:

More Healthy Pad Thai Inspired Dishes:

If you make this spaghetti squash Pad Thai, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating down below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers. 

Print
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Rectangle serving tray full of spaghetti squash pad thai and topped with cilantro, peanuts, green onions and lime. Chop sticks are resting on the edge of the tray.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This healthy spaghetti squash Pad Thai uses spaghetti squash strands instead of rice noodles for a veggie-packed dish that’s lower in carbs and super satisfying.


Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (approx. 5 cups after roasting)
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil 
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • Green onions, fresh cilantro and lime wedges, for garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped salted almonds (optional)

Chili Almond Sauce

  • ½ cup natural almond butter (no sugar added)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice 
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. Cook spaghetti squash in rings using instructions from my spaghetti squash post
  2. Allow squash rings to cool for about 15 minutes, then peel the skin away and use a fork to separate the strands.
  3. While squash is roasting, make the chili almond sauce by adding all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and set aside. 
  4. Chop raw chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 Tablespoon oil. Add chicken to the skillet and liberally season with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until all sides are golden and chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Transfer to a plate and set aside.  
  5. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the same skillet and sauté together ginger, onion, bell pepper and carrots. Cook until the veggies are starting to soften, about 5-6 minutes. 
  6. Add chicken back to the skillet with the veggies. Then add the chili almond sauce and mix everything together thoroughly.
  7. Add spaghetti squash to the skillet and mix again. If your skillet isn’t large enough, you can put everything in a large bowl to mix instead. 
  8. Serve the spaghetti squash pad Thai immediately with green onions, fresh cilantro and lime wedges for garnish. Top with chopped almonds. 
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Thai

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 456
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 607mg
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Cholesterol: 36mg

Keywords: spaghetti squash pad thai

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    69 comments
    1. Elizabeth
      January 11, 2021 AT 7:32 pm

      A top 5 Whole 30 meal and we’ve done Whole 30 at least 8x! Skipped maple syrup and carrots. 4 chicken breasts. Could use a second red pepper but slightly less cayenne. Make the spaghetti squash exactly as she says! Not soggy at all… delicious meal!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 11, 2021 AT 9:52 pm

        Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m so glad you’ve been loving this recipe. Thanks for much for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    2. Amanda
      January 9, 2021 AT 8:06 pm

      Smelled so amazing cooking that everyone was really excited to try it! Didn’t have red pepper so used cabbage, sweet onions, and carrots. Sautéed in sesame oil. Used coconut aminos in the sauce but it turned out a tad sweet so added soy at the end and also added some extra chili flakes. Topped with sliced green onions, chopped peanuts, and sriracha. Didn’t have cilantro but that would have been a perfect touch.Rave reviews from my skeptical diners- will definitely make again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 10, 2021 AT 11:55 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    3. Emily
      January 4, 2021 AT 12:57 pm

      Yum! I don’t usually take time to comment but this dish is a winner. I’ve leaned hard away from spaghetti squash in recent years because it’s time consuming. The method sighted here is a keeper, though it still takes some time. But… it’s a pandemic, so I’ve got time certainly. I made more squash than I needed so will be back for more recipe inspiration. I like a saucy & spicy pad thai so ended up increase the saucey 50% and adding more sambal. Even better the next day! Thanks for this great recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 4, 2021 AT 1:00 pm

        Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear!! I’m so glad you loved this recipe, Emily. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I SO appreciate it!

    4. Bri S.
      December 21, 2020 AT 11:05 am

      Love, love, love this dish!!! It’s one of those recipes that you make and crave it days later. I’ve never cooked with spaghetti squash until this dish, and I’m so glad I gave it a go. Great recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 22, 2020 AT 6:41 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m so glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    5. Jenn
      November 18, 2020 AT 9:57 pm

      This was a delicious meal. I’m so glad I tried it. Will definitely be making again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2020 AT 3:22 pm

        Yay!! I’m glad you tried it and loved it, Jenn. 🙂

    6. Bri
      November 18, 2020 AT 8:52 pm

      Delicious!!!!

    7. Shauna
      November 9, 2020 AT 8:33 pm

      This recipe turned out to yield a phenomenal dish. Definitely a crowd pleaser. I’d say makes for great leftovers, but there almost weren’t any left, just because of how popular it was. I just discovered this recipe about a week and a half ago, and I’ve already made it twice. Will be using this recipe for upcoming Christmas potlucks.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 9, 2020 AT 11:54 pm

        Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear!! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit, Shauna. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. 🙂

    8. Beth Anne
      November 2, 2020 AT 6:35 pm

      Turned out delicious!!! At first I thought the steps sounded pretty long and complicated, but everything went real easy! I love the different way to cook spag squash, it was like a revelation for me! Lol. And I used some fake chicken to make the meal vegan. Perfection!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 2, 2020 AT 10:20 pm

        So glad you loved this recipe, Beth!! Thanks for giving it a try and for coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    9. Dana Hall
      October 1, 2020 AT 9:54 pm

      O.M.G. This was FANTASTIC

    10. Leslie
      September 22, 2020 AT 6:27 pm

      Delicious! The “noodles” came out perfect. I usually put my spaghetti squash in the microwave, but this way led to much tastier, firmer noodles. The sauce is delicious. I’m not vegan, so I added some fish sauce and a little rice vinegar and topped with chopped peanuts. Definitely adding this to my rotation.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 1:41 am

        Yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit. And I’m pumped to hear that the spaghetti squash noodles turned out for you. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating, Leslie. I so appreciate it!

    11. Laci
      September 20, 2020 AT 6:55 pm

      Made this for dinner tonight and it’s amazing!!!! I’m so impressed and so full! Thanks for the recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 1:54 am

        Yay!! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for making it + for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Laci. <3

    12. Katie
      September 8, 2020 AT 6:49 pm

      This was SO good. I didn’t have almond butter on hand, so I used regular peanut butter, cut out the maple syrup, and added additional sambal, coconut aminos, water (to thin it out and cut some of the sweetness with more heat). Topped with some honey roasted peanuts. Seriously SO good. Going to be a regular in our house!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 9, 2020 AT 5:51 pm

        Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear, Katie. I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating and share the subs you made. It’s super helpful for other readers, so I appreciate it. 🙂

    13. Carly
      August 22, 2020 AT 9:37 am

      This recipe 🙌🏼🙌🏼 So easy to prep, absolutely delicious, and a family favorite! Seriously, the hardest part is cutting the spaghetti squash.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 22, 2020 AT 3:51 pm

        Woot woot! So pumped you’re loving this recipe, Carly. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it. 🙂

    14. Daisy Moossa
      July 20, 2020 AT 8:40 am

      We made this last night and loved it! It was just what we were craving. We’re likely going to be putting that almond chili sauce on everything now 🙂 Thank you!

    15. Amber
      June 27, 2020 AT 7:05 pm

      I have made lots of your recipes and always enjoy them. This one was my absolute favorite so far, and my husband also loved it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 29, 2020 AT 1:29 am

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Amber! So glad you guys are loving the recipes. 🙂 I really appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me.

    16. Anna
      June 25, 2020 AT 3:23 pm

      SO GOOD! I had sweetened almond butter, so I just omitted the maple syrup and added some vegetable stock to thin it a little. I don’t eat meat, but I scrambled 3 eggs and added that in and it was perfect! Definitely will be making this again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 25, 2020 AT 11:38 pm

        Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Anna. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    17. Joy
      June 24, 2020 AT 9:13 pm

      This was sooooo good. I accidentally bought sugar added almond butter which I know I could have used but I wasn’t in to it and I had regular PB and then I used Tofu instead of chicken. This was sooooooo gooooooood. I’m making it for the 3rd time in a month tonight, haha.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 24, 2020 AT 10:11 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Joy! I’m so glad this recipe has been a hit. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It’s super helpful for other readers, so I appreciate it. 🙂

    18. DN
      June 23, 2020 AT 9:53 pm

      Really tasty. Would certainly make again. I made it as directed (other than using tempeh in place of chicken, as we don’t eat meat). We added red chili flakes, as we love spice!! For the sauce proportions, we found it needed more lime to “cut” the almond butter; we would also reduce the amount of almond butter as we found it a bit too much. Rating this a 4, but really it is a 4.5. Definitely prefer it to a noodle version.

    19. Heather Martin
      June 23, 2020 AT 10:42 am

      Made this for my family for dinner last night and everyone loved it! It was even dad approved who was hesitant as soon as he heard “spaghetti squash” lol.

      Such a great recipe and healthier alternative to one of my favourite meals!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 23, 2020 AT 10:48 am

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Heather. I’m so glad this dish was a hit with your family. 🙂 Thanks so much for giving it a try and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    20. Vanessa Medina
      June 21, 2020 AT 11:37 pm

      Really good!!!! We absolutely loved it. I was a little scare about using the ginger and the crushed red pepper. But it is awesome. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 23, 2020 AT 10:43 am

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Vanessa. So glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    21. Emily
      June 16, 2020 AT 2:03 pm

      She has outdone herself again with this recipe. I can’t stop eating it. Even my meat eater man loves it!! Such a knock out of the park with this one.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 17, 2020 AT 5:33 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Emily!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it.

    22. Jen
      June 14, 2020 AT 6:49 pm

      Loved this!! Amazing flavors. I loved it with almond butter, but I want to try with PB next time to compare. Really, really good. My husband loved it, too.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2020 AT 12:51 am

        Ahh yay!! So glad this dish was a hit, Jen! Thanks for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it.

    23. Grace
      June 12, 2020 AT 6:52 pm

      I usually don’t fall in love with spaghetti squash, but this was absolutely amazing. So flavorful. 100% a make-again! I don’t even notice the spaghetti squash not being noodles. I doubled the sauce and I’m glad I did, but this was amazing.

    24. Carly
      June 12, 2020 AT 4:01 pm

      So delicious and really simple! I’d been looking for something new to try that didn’t take too much time, this was it! I love that I was able to easily prep for this meal during my baby’s nap time, then could quickly cook it up for dinner. Even the picky eaters in my family enjoyed it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 12, 2020 AT 5:02 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Carly. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    25. Jasmine
      June 10, 2020 AT 2:38 pm

      This was amazing!! I was apprehensive at first because I love pad Thai and wasn’t sure how this would compare, but it is even better! Just finished my leftovers and already planning to make it again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 10, 2020 AT 4:08 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Jasmine!! So glad this dish was a hit. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. 🙂

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