You know the first time you cook a new dish and you’re so incredibly excited by the outcome that it immediately becomes a go-to? Well, this Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai recipe is one of those recipes for me! I love the rich flavors and textures of a great Pad Thai.
I rarely used to order it at restaurants or make it at home. The carb-filled rice noodles always left me with uncomfortable belly bloat. That is until I started recipe testing for my first cookbook, FOOD YOU WANT For The Life You Crave and decided to get flexible. By simply swapping the noodles for cooked spaghetti squash, and making a few slight adjustments to the sauce, you too can enjoy the indulgent flavors of this classic dish without the post-dinner guilt.
Dare I say this lightened-up Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai recipe is even better than the original?! Plus the cilantro really adds flavor and all the ingredients really come together in one bowl. It’s a great way to sneak in vegetables to your family’s food without them ever having a clue! Plus it isn’t as heavy as noodles so it’s a nice way to feel full without feeling heavy. If you’re looking for more ways to sneak in the good stuff while still serving up tasty meals check out how I sneak vegetables into my kid’s plates!
Watch: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Recipe
In this video, I show you just how simple this dish is to throw together. Made in just one pan, you’ll be amazed how little effort this dish really requires:
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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
FOR THE PAD THAI
- 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium (3-pound) spaghetti squash
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 scallions, greens cut into 1-inch pieces, whites chopped
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
- 3 teaspoons hot chile oil
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges
- Red pepper flakes, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Arrange the tofu on a prepared baking sheet, and season it generously with a tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Slice the squash lengthwise in half; use a sharp knife and use caution, as the squash is hard to cut through. Place the halves flesh-side down on a prepared baking sheet.
Slide the tofu and the squash in the oven. Remove the tofu after 20 minutes, or until it is firm, crispy, and lightly browned on the edges. Set aside. Bake the squash for 10 to 15 minutes more, for a total cook time of 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is tender and separates into strands. Do not overbake or it will be mushy. Remove the seeds from the center. (Seeds are way easier to remove once the squash is cooked rather than attempting it raw.)
Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.
While the onion is cooking, scramble the eggs in a separate small frying pan coated with oil over medium heat until cooked, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cooked tofu, spaghetti squash, and garlic to the wok with the onions, stirring to combine. Stir in the sauce, and cook until incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cooked eggs, scallions, and bean sprouts, just to heat through. This whole cooking process should take only minutes on a medium-high flame. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, garnish with cilantro, peanuts, and drizzles of chile oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for more spice, if you like. Arrange lime wedges on the side. Eat immediately!
Use zucchini noodles: Spiralize 3 to 4 zucchini, enough to make 4 cups. Squeeze out excess water with a cheesecloth before adding them in step 8. This is vital or it will be mushy—trust me, I made it without squeezing, and it turned into pad thai soup!