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I was introduced to Pad Thai by a couple of friends in my late teens, and it instantly became one of my favorite Asian dishes. When I switched to a low carb lifestyle almost a decade ago, I yearned for keto Pad Thai where I could still enjoy the same flavors. It sure took a while to get around to developing an easy spaghetti squash Pad Thai recipe, but I’m so glad I finally did!
This spaghetti squash Pad Thai is packed with all the same flavors you’d expect from a Thai restaurant – but without the high-carb rice noodles or sugar in the sauce. The spaghetti squash pasta is just as delicious. And, it’s much easier to make than you might think!
What Is Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai?
Regular Pad Thai is a common street food stir fry in Thailand, but it’s also probably the most popular Thai food in the US.
What’s in Pad Thai?
There are many variations, but typically Pad Thai is made with rice noodles, eggs, tamarind (paste or concentrate), fish sauce, garlic, and chili flakes. Sometimes other veggies, like bean sprouts or peppers, are added. It’s common to add a protein, most likely either shrimp or chicken. (This spaghetti squash Pad Thai recipe includes chicken.)
So, what is spaghetti squash Pad Thai?
It’s the same dish, but it’s made with spaghetti squash instead of rice noodles! It’s naturally low carb, keto friendly, and gluten-free. If you skip the peanut butter and peanuts, it’s also paleo and whole30 approved.
Keto Pad Thai Sauce
Spaghetti squash Pad Thai is already healthier and low in carbs than the regular kind, but I also wanted to make a low carb Pad Thai sauce. The regular kind is not.
How do you make authentic Pad Thai sauce?
Authentic Pad Thai sauce is made with sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, tamarind paste, and sometimes soy sauce.
How do you make Pad Thai sauce keto (and easy)?
Fortunately, making keto Pad Thai sauce is actually really easy. I just replaced a few of the problematic ingredients with very similar ones:
- Sugar – Pad Thai sauce typically includes sugar, or at least palm sugar. You really don’t need it, so I just skipped it. But, feel free to add a bit of your favorite sugar-free sweetener to taste if you’d like.
- Rice vinegar – This is fine to use for keto or low carb, but not if you are grain-free. I used white wine vinegar instead, which works just as well. You can stick with rice vinegar if you’d like!
- Soy sauce – Soy is low carb and keto friendly, but an be estrogenic so some people prefer to avoid it. This spaghetti squash Pad Thai recipe uses coconut aminos instead, which provides just about the same flavor, but also offers some sweetness. This is nice since we are skipping the sugar.
- Fish sauce & tamarind paste – These ingredients are fine to use and necessary for any Pad Thai sauce, including keto Pad Thai sauce. The only issue is sometimes they have sugar in the ingredients. I have links below to the brands that don’t.
- Peanut butter – Peanut butter is a delicious addition to Pad Thai sauce, and naturally low carb. Just make sure there is no added sugar. If you do include peanut butter, you’ll need to use a blender to make the sauce, so that it’s smooth. Skip it (alond with the peanuts) if you want paleo Pad Thai or whole30 Pad Thai, since peanuts are legumes and not allowed on these diet plans.
How To Make Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash
How do you make easy Pad Thai that’s also low carb? Now that we know how to make keto Pad Thai sauce, it’s quite easy to make the dish.
Cook the spaghetti squash
Check the guide for how to cook spaghetti squash the fastest way here.
Make the keto Pad Thai sauce
Meanwhile, whisk together the keto Pad Thai sauce. This includes coconut aminos, vinegar (either white wine vinegar or rice vinegar), fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, crushed red pepper, and optionally, peanut butter.
If you can’t find tamarind concentrate, you can use tamarind paste instead, but would need to triple the amount. (Use 1 tablespoon paste instead of 1 teaspoon concentrate.)
You can make the sauce using a whisk in a bowl, but if you’re including the optional peanut butter, you’ll want to blend it to get it to incorporate.
Saute the chicken
Heat oil in a large wok, add some minced garlic, and after that saute the chicken pieces.
The chicken will cook pretty quickly since the pieces are small. Try to avoid moving them around to get a nice sear. It will take about 90 seconds per side.
Be careful not to overcook the chicken. We want it to brown but not be completely cooked through, so that it doesn’t dry out as we continue to cook the egg in the next step.
Cook the eggs
Push the chicken to the side, add the eggs and scramble for a couple of minutes, until cooked through. Mix it with the chicken and make sure that is also cooked through at this point.
Add the squash, sauce and garnishes
Finally, add the spaghetti squash and Pad Thai sauce to the pain, and toss to coat everything.
Remove from heat and add any desired garnishes. I recommend roaasted peanuts, chopped green onions, and lime wedges.
More Low Carb Asian Recipes
If you like this easy spaghetti squash Pad Thai recipe, try these other low carb Asian recipes:
- Egg Roll in a Bowl – The quickest low carb dinner ever!
- Hunan Beef Stir Fry – Pairs perfectly with cauliflower rice and sauteed broccoli.
- Cauliflower Fried Rice – All the same flavors, minus the carbs.
- Spicy Thai Noodles – Great recipe made low carb with a couple easy swaps! Use spaghetti squash instead of the regular noodles, and swap the brown sugar with Besti Brown.
Tools To Make Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Blender – For making the keto Pad Thai sauce, if you’re including the peanut butter. This one is very affordable and I love that the jar is glass.
- Baking sheet – For roasting the spaghetti squash. Any kind you have will do, but if you need one, this one is super affordable.
- Wooden cooking utensils – This set doesn’t have any artificial coating or glues.
- Wok – Love the quality of this one.
- Fish sauce & tamarind concentrate – These brands don’t have sugar in the ingredients.
Keto Pad Thai Recipe:
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Keto Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Recipe
The best spaghetti squash pad Thai recipe ever! This low carb keto Pad Thai is super EASY to make, with loads of flavor and no sugar.
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Pad Thai Sauce:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Cook spaghetti squash according to instructions here. You can use avocado oil instead of olive oil to reduce the number of different ingredients.
Whisk together the sauce ingredients. (If you're including the optional peanut butter, you'll need to blend it in a blender instead.) Set aside.
When the spaghetti squash is done cooking, use a fork to release the strands. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for about 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the chicken pieces. Cook for about 90 seconds on each side, until starting to brown and almost cooked through (but not fully).
Push everything to the side of the pan. Add the egg to the other side and scramble to cook, about 1 to 2 minutes, then mix with the chicken. Heat to make sure the chicken is cooked through.
Add the spaghetti squash and Pad Thai sauce to the pan. Mix everything to coat in sauce.
Remove from heat. If desired, add roasted peanuts, chopped green onions, and garnish with lime wedges.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Video Showing How To Make Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai:
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