If you’re nuts for noodles like I am but hoping to eat clean before spring (read: flouncy skirts and tank top season) rolls in, this is the 5-ingredient recipe for you!
I’m a spaghetti squash addict. My obsession started in college since it was an easy meal I could cook in my microwave without feeling gross about myself. That’s right! You can cook spaghetti squash in the microwave five times faster than roasting. Steal that trick!
I’ve made spaghetti squash and meatballs, spaghetti squash Alfredo (amazing!) but one of my favorites in spaghetti squash pad Thai! It’s 100% healthier than take out and done entirely in the microwave.
This is a crazy-easy, 5-ingredient, take-out makeover…so heads up to authenticity sticklers; this is a simple riff on the real deal! What you’re left with, though, is a super-satisfying bowl of the same bright, salty, umami, crunchy goodness that comes from lots of fresh lime juice, fish sauce, shallot and brown sugar.
Serve these “noodles” plain for an incredibly light meal or as a quick side dish to serve with grilled chicken or pork. If you’re looking for something more substantial, top this bowl with chicken, shrimp, whatever you’d like! While we’re on the subject, you can go ahead and add your favorite pad Thai toppings to round things out. I happened to have some peanuts in the pantry, so I added those. You could add chili flakes for heat, cilantro for herby-ness—you get the idea.
photos by Erin Phraner
- 1 spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
- Juice of 4 to 5 limes, plus wedges for serving
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- PANTRY STAPLES: Salt
- OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Chopped peanuts, chili flakes and/or cilantro
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Prick the outside all over with a knife; generously season inside with salt.
- Place squash, cut-side down, in a pie plate or other microwave-safe dish. Microwave on High for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, shallot, brown sugar and about 1 tablespoon water in a bowl until combined.
- Scrape the spaghetti flesh into strands using a fork; transfer to a colander and press out any excess water (if desired). Toss in a bowl with the prepared dressing and more salt if needed. Top with your choice of toppings.