Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Boats (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-Free)

Pad Thai is hands down my favorite Thai dish. I love the combination of the savory and nutty flavors intertwined with the springy noodles. Honestly, the first time I tried Thai curry, I was not a fan, but with one bite of Pad Thai, I was totally sold. 

Every now and then my husband and I will order in Pad Thai, but man, we do not feel great afterward. I still eat it because it's so darn delicious, but with every delicious bite I know my stomach will rebel very soon thereafter. That's why I had to come up with this recipe. This recipe, which my husband proclaimed as one of the best things I ever made, is so simple yet incredibly flavorful and delicious.

The first time I made this, I had overcooked the spaghetti squash a bit in the beginning, causing the dish to get too mushy. I remade this dish using a smaller spaghetti squash and reducing the cooking time a bit so that the "noodles" were a bit al dente and it was perfect. Honestly, we did not miss the regular noodles at all because the spaghetti squash "noodles" absorbed so much of the delicious sauce so that each bite oozed of savory umami flavor. And the sauce, made with coconut milk and almond butter, packs in so much flavor without any of the MSG and other bloat-inducing ingredients typically found in Pad Thai. Plus, the addition of the egg baked into the spaghetti squash boats seriously takes it up a notch - when you dig in and mix the runny yolk with the pad thai, it adds an incredible depth of flavor that will have you forgetting about traditional Pad Thai in no time. Thai take out woes be gone, because this healthy recipe has come to (spaghetti) squash your take out cravings. 

spaghetti squash pad thai boats (paleo, whole30, gluten-free)

Servings: 2 - 4 (it served only 2 in our house, but we're very hungry people)

Time: 40mins

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 small/medium spaghetti squash
  • 4 tbsp of avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch thin strips
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped cashews (for garnish)
  • 1 scallion, chopped (for garnish)

For the pad thai sauce (adapted from Mel Joulwan):

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (Red Boat brand)
  • 1 tsp apple cider veingar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast in preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes until tender. Once cool, use a fork to pull the squash fibers away from the outer peel, working in the direction of the squash noodles so that you get longer noodles. Set the squash noodles aside.
  2. Make the sauce: put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until blended and smooth.
  3. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Working in batches, cook the chicken breast strips until lightly browned (about 2 minutes) and flip to brown on other side. Once browned on both sides, transfer cooked chicken to a separate bowl or plate. Continue with the rest of the chicken and set aside. 
  4. In the same skillet (with the chicken removed), heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the carrots and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have softened (but still should have some bite). Add in the squash noodles, bean sprouts, and browned chicken breast to the skillet and stir until the ingredients are mixed. Pour the pad thai sauce over the mixture and toss until well distributed. 
  5. Place the spaghetti squash peel or "boat" on a baking sheet and divide the pad thai in half and transfer each half into the boat. Using a spoon, make a well in the center of the pad thai boat and break and egg directly into it. Bake at 375 degrees for 14-18 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. 
  6. Garnish with chopped cashews and scallions and enjoy!