This Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai is quick and easy to make completely in the Instant Pot!
Looking to make healthy choices, but craving comfort food? This Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai is the answer! Same great taste, with spaghetti squash noodles for a healthy boost!
How do you cook a spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot?
When cooked, spaghetti squash becomes soft and stringy, which is why it’s a popular, healthy substitution for pasta. Like all squash, raw spaghetti squash has a very hard texture. To cook it you can bake it in the oven, but that takes 45 minutes to an hour… in the Instant Pot it only takes 7 minutes to cook through on high pressure!
To cook a spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, first you will want to slice it into 2 even halves the long way. Next, use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. To prepare the Instant Pot, insert the stainless steal steaming rack and then pour in 1 cup of water*. Place the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash onto the rack, make sure they are positioned so they won’t impede the Instant Pot top from closing shut. Once the top is locked on the Instant Pot, make sure the vent is set to “sealing” and then set the Instant Pot for “pressure cook” high for 7 minutes.
When the Instant Pot beeps indicated it is done you can either fast release the pressure or allow it to natural release on it’s own. Once the pressure has been released and it’s safe to do so, open the top of the Instant Pot. The Spaghetti Squash will be hot and fragile now that it is cooked. Careful remove it and place it face up on a cutting board. Use a fork to gently shred the squash into “noodles”. It should be very easy to do with a fork and the skin should separate completely leaving you with a perfect little bowl to serve the Pad Thai in if you choose to.
*Whenever you cook in the Instant Pot it is important that there is enough water, otherwise there will not be enough steam for it to properly pressure cook and you will get that pesky “burn” notice on your Instant Pot.
Grocery List for Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
1 Spaghetti Squash – keep in mind the size of your Instant Pot, an average sized spaghetti squash will fit fine when halved so don’t pick the largest one.
Peanut Oil – If you don’t already have it and you would rather not buy it just for this recipe, you can use any mild oil like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
1 White Onion – you only need 1 cup chopped so a medium sized onion will work fine.
4 Large Cloves Garlic – the fresher the better for the best flavor.
Brown Sugar – dark or light works, it’s for sweetening the sauce
Fish Sauce – important for flavoring the sauce – look for it in the international section of most grocery stores
Lime Juice – buy limes and squeeze it fresh if you can! Pick up about 6 limes so you know you’ll have enough – the amount of juice in a lime can vary. If you have extra, serve the dish with lime slices.
Rice Wine Vinegar – balances out the flavors in the sauce
Red Chilis – These can be difficult to find at a regular grocery store, international markets should have them. If you need a substitute you can also use red pepper flakes or even a teaspoon of sriracha to give the sauce a little kick!
Shrimp – preferably fresh, raw, peeled and deveined. Don’t like shrimp? You can substitute for other proteins like chicken, pork, beef or tofu (you will need to adjust the cook times accordingly).
Eggs – easy enough to find! We scramble them into the dish at the end to give it some more body and flavor.
Bean Sprouts – Add texture and are a nice garnish, feel free to omit if you cannot get your hands on them.
Green Onion – Add a nice fresh flavor, easy to find in most grocery stores.
Crushed Salted Peanuts – These are a must! They should be very easy to find and they add a lot of authenticity to the dish as well as crunch and flavor!
1 spaghetti squash
1 cup water
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 cup white onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp red chilis, chopped
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large eggs
3/4 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
Extra green onion, bean sprouts and peanuts for garnish, if desired
Carefully slice spaghetti squash in half the long way
Scoop out the seeds
Insert the steaming rack into the bottom of the Instant Pot
Pour in the water
Place the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash onto the steaming rack, make sure they fit so the top can close
Lock the top in place and switch the vent to “sealing”
Set the Instant Pot to “pressure cook” high for 7 minutes
While the spaghetti squash is cooking, mix together the sauce
In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and red chilis, set aside
When the Instant Pot beeps, fast release the pressure*
When it is safe to do so, open the lid of the Instant Pot, allow spaghetti squash to cool to a point where it can be handled safely
Remove the spaghetti squash halves (be careful they will be cooked and fragile) and place them on a cutting board
Using a fork, shred the spaghetti squash into “noodles” and remove it from the skin (set aside skin to use as bowls if desired)
Place the cooked and shredded spaghetti squash in a colander to drain any excess water
Switch the Instant Pot to “sauté” mode high
Add the peanut oil to heat
Add onions sauté 3-4 minutes
Add the garlic, sauté 1-2 more minutes
Add the spaghetti squash noodles to the Instant Pot
Pour the sauce over the noodles, mix
Add in the shrimp, mix
Quickly crack the eggs into a small bowl and scramble with a fork
Add the scrambled eggs to the Instant Pot, mix well
The eggs and the shrimp will cook quickly, only sauté about 2 more minutes so you do not overcook the shrimp
Once the shrimp is cooked, carefully remove the pot of the Instant Pot from the base
Mix in the green onion, bean sprouts and peanuts
Serve the pad thai in the spaghetti squash skin “bowl”, top with more green onion, bean sprouts and peanuts if desired
If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can bake the spaghetti squash in the oven (slice in half, remove seeds and bake face down for 40-45 minutes at 400°F) and use a sauté pan on the stove to cook the rest.
*If you have time you can also allow it to naturally release. Be careful with the fast release, the steam comes out hot and fast
Keywords: #instantpot, #spaghettisquashpadthai, #padthai, #spaghettisquash
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When you make this Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai, let me know how you like it! Leave a comment here and/or give it a star rating! If you snap a photo I’d love to see it – share it over on Instagram and tag me @sprinklesandseasalt!