If you love the taste of take-out Pad Thai noodles, then you’ve got to try our guilt-free and grain-free version! This easy Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai is so flavorful and delicious that you’d almost swear it’s the real thing! We’ll even show you simple swaps to make Keto Pad Thai and Paleo Pad Thai too!
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Chicken Pad Thai might just be my favorite dish on the entire planet. In fact, when I was pregnant, it was one of the few things I could eat and keep down!
Though I generally avoid wheat, I’m a self-confessed rice and rice noodle lover. However, sometimes I cut back on all grains when I start to feel my jeans getting snug.
This Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai recipe is the perfect compromise, because it doesn’t taste like a compromise at all! Seriously, this stuff is out-of-this-word amazing! The flavor is so close to traditional Pad Thai — it’s so satisfying when you’re craving comfort food!
The spaghetti squash noodles are tender and soak up all that yummy sauce. It really lets the sweet and tangy tamarind flavor to shine! Topped with tender chicken, caramelized onions, and crunchy cashews, this is a delicious meal that you’ll want to make again and again!
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- Spaghetti squash — Swapping spaghetti squash for traditional rice noodles cuts down on carbs in a big way!
- Rotisserie chicken — Saves a lot of time!
- Coconut oil — One of our favorite oils for cooking
- Yellow onion
- Pad thai sauce — We sometimes use a store-bought sauce to save time (Kroger actually makes a really tasty Pad Thai sauce); see cooking tips below for a homemade paleo sauce recipe and keto Pad Thai recipe.
- Cashews — You can also use peanuts, but we just love the taste of cashews.
- Green onion and/or cilantro
Cooking Tools Used
- Silicone baking mat — These are one of our favorite cooking tools because they are so versatile, nothing sticks to them, and you can wash and reuse them over and over again!
- Large Skillet or Sauté pan — We love these Kila Chef copper bottom fry pans because you get the benefit of cooking with copper without the hefty price tag.
There are three ways to make this recipe:
- The “OG” original recipe (my favorite!) — This version uses pre-made Pad Thai sauce to save time. It’s perfect if you’re looking to make your dinners a little healthier or cut back on grains, and you’re not worried about a little sugar in the sauce.
- Paleo — Swaps the Pad Thai sauce with a homemade Paleo alternative.
- Keto — Reduces the carb count to 10 grams per serving, which is reasonable for a full meal.
Continue reading for step-by-step instructions for each version, as well as a printable recipe card at the end of the post.
Recipe 1: How to Make Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
- Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Place face down on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat and bake for 45 minutes at 375°F. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape out the “noodles” from the squash shell.
- Slice onion and caramelize in sauté pan. When onion starts to turn translucent, add eggs and scramble together. When eggs are cooked, remove eggs and onion from the pan and set aside.
- Add pre-cooked chicken to the same pan used to cook onions and warm the chicken.
- Add spaghetti squash and sauce and stir to mix. When everything is warmed, add back in the eggs and onions and stir.
To serve, top with crushed cashew pieces and green onions.
Version 2: How to Make Paleo Pad Thai
It’s fairly easy to make our spaghetti squash pad thai paleo with the following swaps:
- Omit the cashews
- Try a Paleo Pad Thai sauce alternative like this one from Well Fed
Version 3: How to Make Keto Pad Thai
Our original recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai contains about 19 grams of carbs per serving. While this could work on the maintenance phase of a low carb diet, it might be too many carbs for a strict keto diet.
My husband and I started eating keto in 2019 and love the results, so we made a few modifications to this recipe to make it keto-friendly.
Our Keto Pad Thai recipe clocks in at around 10 grams net carbs per serving. Here’s how to do it:
- Make your own Keto Pad Thai sauce (recipe below).
- Reduce the amount of cashews by half.
- Use half an onion instead of a full onion.
Whisk together the following to make a Keto Friendly Pad Thai Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar free ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon chili paste
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Aminos or soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Swerve (erythritol)
This low carb Pad Thai sauce recipe was inspired by our friends at Sizzle & Salt – click here to see their original recipe for Shrimp Pad Thai Zoodles. If you prefer zucchini noodles to spaghetti squash, this could be just the recipe for you!
- Save money and make your own rotisserie style chicken.
- Cook your spaghetti squash in advance to save time.
- Use both halves of the spaghetti squash and double the other ingredients to serve 4-6.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Spaghetti Squash Feel Like Pasta?
Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite pasta substitutes, but it isn’t going to taste or feel exactly the same as the real thing.
That being said, spaghetti squash does have a noodle-like texture. It is also fairly flavorless on its own, making it the perfect canvas for any recipe, as it will absorb the flavors of the dish.
Because it is so versatile, spaghetti squash can be used for a variety of cooking styles, from classic marinara to this Thai-inspired recipe.
Can You Cook the Spaghetti Squash Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can prepare the spaghetti squash in advance, so you can have dinner ready in under 30 minutes. Spaghetti squash can last for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to make this dish, remove the spaghetti squash from the fridge and add to the recipe just as you would if you cooked the spaghetti squash on the same day.
What Toppings Can You Use?
Common toppings for Pad Thai include:
- Fresh bean sprouts (I much prefer these to canned for their clean flavor and crisp-ness)
- Chopped green onions
- Cashew pieces or peanut pieces
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedge
- Red pepper flakes, for some heat (Pad Thai is usually not spicy)
Feel free to use any or all of these, depending on the diet you’re cooking for (paleo vs. keto, etc.)
Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?
Since this dish is made with spaghetti squash, it might appear that it is gluten free. And it can be!
Depending on the sauce used, this recipe can easily be made gluten free. Often, Pad Thai sauce is naturally gluten free, but it is important to check labels to be sure. Soy sauce contains gluten, and some types of fish sauce may contain wheat too.
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Recipe (Printable Copy)
If you like this recipe, rate it! We’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
The Best Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
- Large Skillet
- Baking sheet
- Silicone baking mat
- 1/2 spaghetti squash (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1 onion sliced
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup pad thai sauce
- 1/3 cup cashews chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place facedown on a silicone baking mat and bake for 45 minutes.
- Once spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove from shell.
- In a medium frying pan, brown onion. (Use your choice of cooking oil; we love coconut oil). Once onion slices are caramelized, add 4 eggs to pan and scramble. Remove eggs and onion from pan and set aside.
- To the same pan you used to cook eggs and onion, add chopped chicken and stir to heat. This also allows the chicken to absorb some of the juices left in the pan.
- Add spaghetti squash, Pad Thai sauce, eggs, onions and toss to coat evenly.
- Remove from heat and garnish with green onion and chopped cashews.
Pin Our Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai on Pinterest:
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Love Spaghetti Squash? Try These Recipes Too!
We love using spaghetti squash as an ingredient substitute in gluten free cooking! It is extremely mild on its own, and absorbs all the flavors of the recipe in which you use it.
And be sure to check out our original Chicken Pad Thai Recipe (one of our most popular dishes ever!)