Best Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

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.

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Best Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)

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


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!



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 1/2 cups bean sprouts, divided
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed


  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 1/2 cup bean sprouts, and the reserved cilantro and green onion.


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?

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 7:51 am

    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. (:

    • Reply
      November 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

      You need to try it — it’s really terrific :)

    • Reply
      August 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      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 :)

  • Reply
    Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies
    November 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

    No reason to have trouble sharing this recipe — it looks awesome! I think I’m equally invested in how delicious this looks as you are :)

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I love that you went Thai with this dish!! So not typical, but SO good! And beautiful!

    • Reply
      November 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks, Tieghan!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

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

    • Reply
      November 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Perfect! Fixed (and don’t tell Sonja about the missing cilantro // I proofed the recipe)!

      • Reply
        November 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        I just ate this for dinner and it is delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe!

        • Reply
          November 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

          So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    You guys always have the coolest recipe! I can’t wait to try this – it’s so colourful and pretty!

    • Reply
      November 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Katrina! Let us know if you try it! :)

  • Reply
    Elana @ The Inventive Vegetarian
    November 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Whoa. This actually just blew my mind. Brilliant use of spaghetti squash!

  • Reply
    angela @ another bite please
    November 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    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 ;-)

  • Reply
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    November 7, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    This is genius! Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes and I love spaghetti squash. It looks amazing!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Haha! Thanks :)

  • Reply
    November 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Carolyn B.
    November 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Do you ever find the egg to be too done?
    I have made pad thai with spaghetti squash many many time and tend to do my egg as one of the last things because there’s nothing worse than a tough dry egg!
    Additionally, for a really country/traditional thai twist, use tamarind paste. You can get lots of places, usually in the Ethnic foods aisle.
    My sauce ends up being soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, tamarind paste, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar.

    • Reply
      November 11, 2013 at 11:51 am

      We don’t usually have trouble with the egg, but thanks for the tip! We have used tamarind paste before and it is delicious. Your version sounds great!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Sonja and Alex, thanks for this recipe! It was easily one of the best things we’ve made and eaten in a while. Dinner and a couple of work lunches later, it was gone too soon…we may have to make this again next week :)

    • Reply
      November 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Glad you liked it! Thanks for letting us know; we always like to hear that a recipe works out :)

  • Reply
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)
    November 16, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Oh gosh! I want this so badly! Amazing!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    We made this for dinner tonight and loved it, so glad you guys shared the recipe! This one is a keeper, although I say that about almost every recipe I have made from your website!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Yay! Glad you liked it :)

  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Going to try this tonight! Any suggestions for a substitution for bean sprouts or should I really try to find them at the store?

    • Reply
      November 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      I don’t think there’s really a substitute — if you can get them, they’re pretty great crunch for the meal!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I’ve made this twice in one week now.. SO amazingly good!!!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Oh, so glad you enjoyed this! This is one of our favorites too :)

  • Reply
    January 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I wonder if using my black sesame oil plus a bit of peanut butter might be a good substitute for peanut oil. It’s worth a shot!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Seems like it would be good :)

  • Reply
    February 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    My hubs just made this for me for v’day. All I can say is holy shit! It’s heaven. Don’t even feel guilty have a super large portion!!!! Thank you thank you for this. Will def become a staple in our home…

  • Reply
    Nathan Clark
    January 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Hey There! I just wanted to give you guys a major shout out for making me feel like a rockstar chef last night :) My partner, Andrew, is more experienced at cooking and tends to do more of it in our house. I had saved this recipe as soon as I saw it, thinking Holy Yum I Have To Try This! Went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and got everything I needed. I put on some groovy music and made some hot tea and went to town in the kitchen last night. I had so much fun making it and was more than impressed with the way it turned out. Andrew ate a 2nd serving and even had a mini 3rd serving. If you knew him you’d know how unlike him that is. He is all about portions. He raved and raved, telling me that I have to make it again soon. I was even told that I need to make this when we have company over. :) I was so proud and honestly couldn’t believe how delicious it was. We try to eat healthily and this is now on our regular meal list. Thanks so much Alex and Sonja! Sorry this is so long winded. If you’re thinking about trying this yourself a favor and stop thinking. Make it! 5 stars. Peace and Love.

    • Reply
      January 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Nathan – thank you for sharing this with us! It makes us SO happy to know that this recipe worked out for you, and especially that you were able to impress the cook of the house as a new cook! This makes our day. Thank you so much for writing and I’m so glad you found this recipe delicious! Keep in touch and we’d love to hear if you make more recipes!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2015 at 2:46 am

    is there any way to make this vegan – sans eggs?

    • Reply
      October 28, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Tofu would work fine as a substitute :)

  • Reply
    November 19, 2015 at 3:46 am

    I am so excited to try this recipe! I have almost OD on spaghetti squash spaghetti… Well almost. I’m in love with spaghetti squash for its delicious taste and texture. I have been wanting to do an Asian version and this will end perfect! Thank you

  • Reply
    Sue Ann Gleason
    January 3, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    OMG, stellar dish!! I’m in the grocery store thinking there MUST be a Pad Thai recipe with spaghetti squash so I ‘Google it.’ And all the usual suspects show up. I tend to avoid the usual suspects and then I see ‘a couple cooks,’ yes, my kind of site. (Nice branding.) I gathered together the ingredients, added shrimp because my husband would need that to try something like ‘spaghetti’ squash. We loved it. Passing this link on to my community. Eager to check out more of your recipes.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I tried this recipe out and it was delicious! I am going to share it on my blog next week (you will be credited of course!) Thanks for sharing, was so good!


    • Reply
      January 31, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Sounds great — thanks for trying it out, and so glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    OH my gosh, this was incredible! Followed the directions exactly and my husband who loves regular pad Thai, said it was amazing!! He doesn’t ever eat spaghetti squash and he said he didn’t miss the noodles at all! This is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing?

  • Reply
    Amber Taylor
    November 5, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    This was incredible! I made this a few days ago and am making it agan today! Loved it!

  • Reply
    Fatima Shere
    January 24, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Probably the best spaghetti squash recipe I have made so far.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    This was excellent! Had only bad prior experiences with underseasoned spaghetti squash and was at a loss when one ended up in my CSA this week. Really fantastic recipe. Thanks!

    • Reply
      September 3, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      Oh I’m so glad this one was a hit! We weren’t quite sure on spaghetti squash at first too. Thanks for making it!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I heard you guys on A Feel Good Effect podcast and have been trying your recipes ever since. I made this last night and absolutely loved it! I have a friend, who also has a food blog and uses a different technique for getting the noodles out of the spaghetti squash. I HIGHLY recommend it – :)

  • Reply
    February 10, 2018 at 1:10 am

    THE MOST AMAZING RECIPE. It’s been circulating around the office and we’ve all made it by now. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Wow what high praise — THANK YOU!!! We’re so glad this was a hit. And please tell your office mates that we are so happy they’ve enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Made this recipe for dinner and LOVED IT! Highly recommend! It will definitely be a new staple in my house. I added broccoli and baked tofu because I love them both in Pad Thai. :)

    • Reply
      March 23, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      So so glad you loved it! Thank you so much! Tofu is a great addition.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2018 at 8:49 am

    My whole family loved this! What a great recipe. We love spaghetti squash and I was looking for a new way to prepare it. Perfecto! I added baked tofu with peanut sauce on the side for more protein.

    • Reply
      December 8, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Oh we are so glad this was a hit! Baked tofu with peanut sauce sounds like a perfect accessory!

  • Reply
    Jen C.
    March 6, 2020 at 11:06 am

    How has it taken me this long to try out this recipe? We had this for dinner last night and it was FANTASTIC :) I followed the recipe as written and it was just bursting with fresh flavor. Definitely add in the sriracha to the sauce if you are a spicy-lover like us. I had a small issue with the spaghetti squash coming out a tiny bit watery, but I think I just overcooked it slightly and next time I will cut down on the baking time. And there will definitely be a next time :) Thanks for another inventive and easy recipe- you guys can do no wrong, I swear.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed!!

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