This hearty spaghetti squash pad Thai is an easy vegetarian dinner that uses squash instead of noodles. Garnish with cilantro and lots of crushed peanuts!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Even after writing a blog for years, it’s still hard to put your work out there. You would think that after posting hundreds of recipes, adding yet another to the vast collection in cyberspace wouldn’t be a big deal. But it’s still hard to share a recipe with the world, knowing that readers may not be quite as invested as we are. After all, we picked out the squash at the market, thought for hours about the recipe, cooked it, and then spent hours trying to capture its best angle!

All that to say, this spaghetti squash pad Thai recipe is truly one of our favorites we’ve made this year. The squash is from our local market, and we cooked it up on a whim, not realizing it would turn out an explosion of flavor. I looked forward to the leftovers for days. It even turned one of my dearest friends into a passionate advocate for eating spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash is often treated in an Italian manner by adding tomato sauce or herbs, but we loved this Thai spin on it. It’s not a traditional pad Thai by any means, just a fun variation using squash instead of noodles! It’s a fabulous fall dinner recipe. Ready to get started?

Roasted spaghetti squash

How to cook spaghetti squash

People are often hesitant to make spaghetti squash recipes at home because they mistakenly think this variety of squash is difficult to cook. That couldn’t be further from the truth! To cook spaghetti squash, you simply have to:

  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half width-wise and scrape out the seeds (see How to Cut a Spaghetti Squash for more).
  • Roast it: Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Place the squash cut side down and roast at 400 degrees until tender, about 45 to 55 minutes. See Roasted Spaghetti squash.
  • Or, pressure cook it: Go to Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
  • To make the spaghetti squash noodles, run a fork along the tender squash and scrape out long thin pieces.
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

How to make spaghetti squash pad Thai

Once you’ve tackled cooking the spaghetti squash, the rest of this recipe is a breeze! Here are the major remaining steps to this recipe:

  • Chop the veggies: carrots, red pepper, garlic and green onions.
  • Make the pad Thai sauce using sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and Sriracha.
  • When the squash is ready, heat peanut oil, then saute the garlic and green onion. Pour in the eggs and scramble them. Then add the red pepper, carrot, bean spouts and squash. Pour in the sauce the cook 2 minutes.
  • The garnish is key! Add a generous serving of crushed peanuts, and then bean sprouts, cilantro and additional sliced green onion.
Spaghetti squash strands

A few things to keep in mind…

This easy spaghetti squash pad Thai recipe is tough to mess up, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to make this dish the best it can be.

  • Make sure to buy a large spaghetti squash for the recipe. If the squash are small, use two.
  • When portioning the meals, give yourself a hefty portion of squash and top with a good amount of peanuts to make for a filling serving. You’ll want a good amount of vegetarian protein to keep you full, since the noodles are less filling than a traditional noodle.

This spaghetti squash pad Thai is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Print
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Best Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

This hearty spaghetti squash pad Thai is an easy vegetarian dinner that uses squash instead of noodles. Garnish with cilantro and lots of crushed peanuts!


Ingredients

Scale

For the spaghetti squash

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the pad Thai

  • 3 carrots
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 green onions
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 lime
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 ½ cups bean sprouts, divided
  • ½ cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed

Instructions

  1. Make the spaghetti squash: Follow the instructions in Roasted Spaghetti Squash or Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and shred the carrots. Thinly slice the red pepper. Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the green onions. Separately, thinly slice 1 green onion and chop ½ cup of fresh cilantro; set them aside for the garnish. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs. 
  3. In another small bowl, mix together the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and if desired, a few dashes of Sriracha.
  4. When the squash is ready, in a large skillet heat the peanut oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and green onions cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Pour in the eggs and scramble until almost cooked. Add the red pepper, carrots, 1 cup bean sprouts, and squash noodles. Add 3 pinches kosher salt and toss together. Pour on the sauce and stir to combine. Cook about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are heated through but still crisp.
  5. Garnish with plenty of crushed peanuts, the remaining ½ cup bean sprouts, and the reserved cilantro and green onion.

Notes

Inspired by Shared Appetite, BBC, and Alton Brown

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: spaghetti squash pad thai, pad thai recipe

Looking for more vegetarian Thai recipes?

Looking for more squash recipes?

Here are some of our very favorite squash recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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54 Comments

  1. Ahh! Where has this been all my life? I adore pad thai, but the amount of noodle-y business going on in the dish had landed it in “occasional treat” territory for me. But with spaghetti squash? That’s a total game changer. (:

    1. I wholeheartedly approve this message :) I am minor-ly addicted to Pad Thai from Thai Express, but it’s SUPER calorie-dense. This squash version makes it so I can enjoy the flavor in a way that doesn’t make me feel terrible about myself :). I smelled it when the sauce went it, and OMGGGGGG…..yum. I didn’t have peanut oil so I cooked some finely ground peanuts in olive oil :P Also added some little chunks of leftover pork chop. I ended up with lots of peppers and snap peas instead of mung bean sprouts, cuz that’s what I had in the fridge… and still super delicious!!!! GOOD JOB! I can now make the room-mates eat spaghetti squash :)

  2. I cannot wait to make this! Yesterday I randomly bought a spaghetti squash! (FYI – cilantro is not on the ingredients list.)

  3. Sounds yummy! We love spaghetti squash. Personally, I don’t really notice that it isn’t pasta :-) but of course I know it isn’t pasta. I like the little bit of an extra crunch spaghetti squash “noodles” have. Thank you for sharing!

  4. i so love the idea of this…it is nice to get a different variation of spaghetti squash then the standard marinara (which is wonderful as well) i can not wait to try this…thanks for sharing…and i know sharing is sometimes hard ;-)

  5. This sounds so great! I recently cooked spaghetti squash for the first time a month or two ago after many years of giving it the side eye. We loved it! I’ll have to try this version next.

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