Paleo-friendly and Whole30 compliant Pad Thai made with spaghetti squash noodles in place of rice noodles, and a delicious cashew ginger sauce. An un-traditional yet delicious take on classic Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with cashew-ginger sauce - gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, and healthy!


Roughly 67.3% of my diet circa 2000 consisted of Pad Thai. I had the blinders on so hard, I could barely see straight, much less acknowledge other foods. I’d rate Thai restaurants based on the quality of their Pad Thai alone. Too dry? Too oily? The perfect chicken-to-shrimp ratio? Al dente noodles just the way I like? All the right sauce in all the right places? I practically had a score card.

But true to form, the high volume of Pad Thai I consumed eventually yielded diminishing returns until I basically lost interest. It had been a several-year stint since I had eaten the noods…but then one of my girlfriends made a spaghetti squash Pad Thai for dinner, and I about blew a gasket. In a good way, people. In the best way. Visualize it? Yeeeeah!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Cashew-Ginger Sauce - a healthy and easy gluten-free meal! #dinner #recipe #glutenfree #winter

Now that I’ve bared my renewed unrelenting obsession for Pad Thai, lemme just say this recipe is super inauthentic. Really great, though!

Normally, Pad Thai is made with rice noodles and includes bean sprouts, chicken, scrambled egg and a peanut sauce. So basically, this recipe bears little, if any, resemblance to the real deal. But titling it for what it is: Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Shrimp, Bell Pepper, and Cashew-Ginger Sauce just seemed to downgrade the meal from awesome status. Ergo, here is my extremely loose interpretation of the classic dish. If you are looking for a more traditional recipe using actual rice noodles, check out my 30-Minute Chicken Pad Thai recipe.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with cashew-ginger sauce - gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, and healthy!

The important features you need to know are the following:

  • Gluten-free and Grain-Free
  • Soy-free
  • Peanut-free
  • Hypoallergenic <- I kid, but seriously…unless you’re allergic to cashews.
  • Low-carb
  • Super healthful
  • Easy to prepare
  • Heaven fairies for your head hole

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Cashew-Ginger Sauce - a healthy and easy gluten-free meal! #dinner #recipe #glutenfree #winter

Preparation deets? It takes a bit of time on account of the squash roasting, but it’s fairly simple. If you’ve never roasted a spaghetti squash, follow my tutorial on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash. While the squash is in the oven, you can make the rest of the recipe. Saute the veggies, scoot them to one side of the skillet, then sear the shrimp. Once that portion is finished, whiz up the cashew-ginger sauce in a little blender. Spaghetti the squash, then add it to the skillet with the veggies and shrimp. Pour in the sauce and BINGO we’ve won the awesome meal lottery. 

Jump on it!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with cashew-ginger sauce - gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, and healthy!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with cashew-ginger sauce - gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, and healthy!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

5 from 1 vote
A grain-free Pad Thai Recipe using spaghetti squash instead of rice noodles for a veggie-centric low-carb meal!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 3 Servings


  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil separated
  • 1 small spaghetti squash roasted
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into match sticks
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashews chopped

Cashew Ginger Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup see note*
  • 1 tablespoon red chili sauce such as sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger peeled and grated


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop the tip and tail off of the spaghetti squash cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and innards with a spoon. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil over each half and rub into the flesh so that the whole surface is coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a large baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until spaghetti squash strings release easily when scraped with a fork. Allow squash to cool before using a fork to scrape from one end of the squash to the other, releasing spaghetti strings. Repeat with other half of the squash
  • Add all of the ingredients for the sauce to a small blender and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and saute, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.
  • Add the grated carrot and garlic and saute until bell pepper has softened but is still al dente, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Move the vegetables over to one side of the skillet and add the raw shrimp. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes, flip and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes until shrimp is plump, pink, and cooked through.
  • Add the cashew-ginger sauce and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spaghetti squash and stir everything together until everything is coated in the sauce.
  • Serve with fresh chopped basil or cilantro and raw cashews.


*omit pure maple syrup to make recipe Whole30-compliant


Serving: 1g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pad thai recipe, healthy pad thai recipe, spagehtti squash recipes, spaghetti squash pad thai, thai food
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai - a low-carb, paleo version of the classic dish. This easy meal is Whole30-approved and healthy!

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living,, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never eaten Pad Thai. I love that you’ve used spaghetti squash in this version. It looks so delicious and healthy!

    1. Kristine – what?!?! You need to get yourself some Pad Thai ASAP! 🙂

  2. This looks so yummy! I love this use of spaghetti squash – we always wind up eating it the same old way.

  3. I also tend to get obsessed with foods to the point where I get sick of them. Luckily, pad thai is not one of those foods. This looks AMAZE. Pinning!

  4. Well it might not be super authentic but it still sounds freaking amazing! And perfect for those who are allergic or can’t have the original version.

    The last time I had Pad Thai was at this little hut restaurant in Hana (Maui) and it was the most delicious thing EVER. Yeah, I need more of that in my life.

  5. spaghetti squash is my all time fav squash and i eat it at least twice a week! I need to try this yummy pad thai version, especially with that cashew ginger sauce 🙂

  6. Eating leftover Thai for lunch today an wishing it had some of this cashew ginger sauce on it! This looks delicious dear!

  7. This pad thai look delicious and I love how low carb it is because of the squash! 🙂 Pinning!

  8. Oh gosh I went thru a phase where I ordered pad thai alllll the time! haha and then I got so sick of it. Totally my own fault! Love this version with the spaghetti squash! Sounds amazing!

  9. Growing up there was this awesome pad thai restaurant nearby and I would eat it all the time but now I can’t remember the last time I had it! Making pad thai with spaghetti squash is probably the most amazing idea ever!!

  10. While I’m not a huge fan of spaghetti squash, I think I’ve found my new favourite sauce without even trying it yet. Cashew ginger. Yes please. On everything.

  11. I don’t give one care in the world if this is unauthentic, because dang does it look so appealing! This perfectly combines my love for Pad Thai with my squash obsession. Can’t stop, won’t stop!

  12. I love the idea of spaghetti squash pad thai! I am obsessed with all things squash so I can’t wait to try this 🙂

  13. That cashew ginger sauce sounds like it’s going to be great on all sorts of things in my near future, it’s been way too long since I had Pad Thai!

  14. Pad Thai is one of my FAVES, and I would’ve never thought to use spaghetti squash in it! Totally giving this a go soon because holy cow, we love pad thai!

  15. I made this tonight for my boyfriend and myself. It was incredible! I had to use almond butter because I ran out of my raw cashew butter…and it was still perfect. I will most definitely be making this again! Thank you 🙂

    1. YUUUHS I’m so happy to hear it, Erika! I’m glad the almond butter worked out, and thank you for your sweet note!!

  16. Made a variation of this for dinner last night and I CANNOT get over how delicious it was! That sauce is amazing! Versatile too, I used what I had on hand which was peanut butter instead of cashew, chicken instead of shrimp and shredded cabbage instead of carrots. Was a little afraid of that last substitution but it turned out so. dang. good. Thanks for the inspiration, this will definitely be my go-to spaghetti squash recipe.

  17. Made this and my family loved it! (even my 4 year old!) The first time we had it, i overcooked the squash so we substituted whole wheat spaghetti noodles and it was delicious. Love the flavor of the sauce! Making it again as we speak 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!