Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs

Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs is a mouthful of umami flavors. This very tasty dish will remind you of Pad Thai but is much lighter and healthier. What is great about this meal is that there are less carbohydrates compared to original Pad Thai and it is gluten-free.

Thai Style Spaghetti  Squash With Chicken Meatballs
Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs

This meal gets its inspiration from several dishes that I have prepared in the past. I have made an Italian version of spaghetti squash with chicken meat balls which my husband and I loved. We made a decision then and there that spaghetti squash would be making a repeat appearance at our dinner table. Another meal that we enjoyed and inspired this dinner was Asian meatballs with vegetable “spaghetti”. Knowing how much we both like Pad Thai, I decided to create a recipe that would be a healthier version of this classic dish using spaghetti squash instead of rice noodles.

Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs

Serves 4

Thai Style Spaghetti Squash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne pieces
  • a handful of snow peas, cut on the bias into bite size pieces
  • 2 – 3 scallions, sliced
  • a handful of roasted peanuts, chopped
  • a handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 – 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • peanut ginger sauce (see recipe below)

Carefully cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle the insides with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about an hour, depending on the size of the squash, until easily pieced. Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Take a fork and scrape the flesh into pasta like strands and place into a bowl. Drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the carrots, snow peas and scallions until tender crisp and add to the squash. Drizzle the squash with a little of the peanut ginger sauce, recipe below, and carefully toss. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.  Serve with Thai chicken meatballs, recipe below.

Peanut Ginger Sauce*

  • 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame seed oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari sauce (I used San-J)
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet Thai chili sauce, more or less
  • 1 tsp. sriracha, more or less
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock, more if necessary

Heat the oils in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add all the other ingredients except the chicken stock and simmer until the peanut butter is melted and smooth. Slowly add the chicken stock a little at a time until the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Keep sauce warm. *If you don’t want to make the sauce from scratch, you can use ready-made peanut sauce (San-J is gluten-free) and thin with chicken stock.

Thai Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced fine
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon grass paste (I use Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari sauce (I use San-J)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sirarcha
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Mix all the ingredients together well and form into balls. Brown well on all sides until cooked through. Add to the peanut ginger sauce and simmer for a few minutes until the meatballs are totally coated.


Thai style spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs is so good that you will forget that it is a healthy meal. If you have never had spaghetti squash, you must give this “pasta like” vegetable a try. It doesn’t taste anything like pasta but holds sauce in a similar way. A lot of people just cook the squash and then toss it with a little butter or olive oil. I would love for you to be a little adventurous and try my version that has an Asian twist. I know that this is a vegetable that may not be available where you live and if so, you can always make my recipe with traditional rice noodles.

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155 thoughts on “Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs

  1. That recipe looks and sounds wonderful Karen and it’s perfect timing because I’ve been craving Pad Thai. The combination and balance of flavours in Thai cooking are exactly to my palate.

    1. Thank you Eva, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe. I do think that this is a dish that you would enjoy as it is full of flavor and healthy at the same time.

  2. You’ve treated yourself to a lovely meal. Love that baked spaghetti squash idea…Thanks for sharing 🙂 ela

  3. What a lovely and healthy dish. I was reading the list of ingredients and came across lemon grass paste, which I’m not familiar with. I must see if I can find it. Lemon grass is so hard to find fresh in the store. When we lived in the islands, we had a big lemon grass plant that flourished, but I suspect it was because of the warm climate. I’ve also never cooked spaghetti squash. Where have I been 🙂

    1. Hi Sam, This is a healthy dish that has lots of flavor. The lemon grass paste comes in a clear tube that looks similar to a toothpaste tube. I buy it in the refrigerated section where boxed herbs can be found in the produce department. I like it because it is always in my refrigerator whereas lemon grass stalks are hard to find. I think you and Meakin would really enjoy spaghetti squash, I know my husband and I do.

  4. Oh, but this does sound so very amazing. Husband and I are on a new heart healthy diet and this will fit right in. By the way, in just thre short weeks, I already lost 13.5 pounds! Thanks for sharing. I have many gluten free friends and I am going to pass on to them.

    1. Hi Tin Man, I appreciate your nice compliment. Congratulations on losing weight, you must be flopping around in that tin suit of yours now. 😀 I hope your friends that are gluten free will enjoy the recipe…I appreciate you passing it along to them.

  5. Gosh, years ago my very glamorous California grandmother introduced me to spaghetti squash and I remember thinking how magical it was. Its magic was confirmed when I tasted it. Love, love, love it. I can’t wait to try it with your meatballs. Great sounding recipe.

    1. Hi Karen, I agree with you able spaghettis squash being magical…I wonder how the first person came up with the idea. I’m happy to know that you like the squash as much as we do. I thank you for your compliment and I hope you enjoy the meal.

  6. We love all things wioth Thai flavor, and I especially appreciate your recipes using spaghetti squash as I’m never quite sure what to do with it. Is spring starting to show its face in NH?

    1. Hi Linda, Thai flavors are a favorite in our house as well. As for spring, it has rained for two solid days and that has melted a lot of the snow. Overnight, we had a mixed bag, a little snow, freezing rain and sleet and now just plain rain. I think it is all uphill from here. 🙂

      1. I think everyone in New Hampshire and Maine are all very tired of this winter. While New Englanders are hardy folk, this will go down as a winter we won’t soon forget.

    1. Hi Mandy, I know that spaghetti squash isn’t available everywhere but you can go the traditional route and use rice noodles to replace the squash.I appreciate your nice compliment and wish, I hope you have a great day as well.

    1. Thank you Ksenia, I’m glad you like this dish. It really does make a nice presentation, color wise. You are correct…even though it is lighter, the dish is totally satisfying.

  7. 🙂 Karen – I most certainly will try YOUR recipe once I am back home from my one-month visit to Bangkok. Off in 3 days – cant wait!

    1. Hi Carina, I know you will enjoy being back in Bangkok and I envy you for all the delicious food you will be having. I’m glad that you like my healthy thai style meal…thank you!

    1. Hi Siobhan, I’m glad that I have provided you with a recipe for some of the spaghetti squash that you will be growing in your garden this year. Good luck with the garden…our weather won’t be warm enough for me to plant anything until the middle of May.

  8. I love all of the flavors in this dish Karen! Once we get settled back in Lake Lure, I will make a run to our new speciality store to get some of the harder to find ingredients, namely lemon grass paste. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Thanks!

    1. Hi Penny, I’m happy that a you like this recipe, my husband and I really enjoyed it. Try looking in the refrigerated section of your produce department for the lemon grass paste. It comes in a clear tube that reminds you of a toothpaste tube. The company makes quite a few herbs packaged like this. I like to use the paste as fresh lemon grass stalks are hard to find in my area. I’m pretty sure you should be able to find everything since they are all carried in my rural area. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Rosemary, I believe you would enjoy the meatballs. They are a change from the more traditional Italian ones that I make often.

    1. Thank you Ronit, for your nice compliment. If you go by looks and taste, you would never guess that this is a healthy meal, I’m glad you like it. 🙂

    1. Hi Karista, I’m husband and I love Thai flavors as well. We both thought that the squash was delicious as a substitute for the rice noodles and I will be making this meal again. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  9. Beautiful presentation…I want to reach in for bite. I am always looking for new ways in which to use chicken…think I have found a winner in this recipe, Karen. Not only do we like the bright flavors of ginger and lemon grass, anything with cilantro has to be delicious! Have you ever put it in a green salad, it gives it a nice layer that makes people ask what’s in it.
    Have a great week.

    1. Hi Marigene, I’m happy you like the Thai chicken meatballs…I think they are a different and tasty way of using chicken for an evening meal. Yes, I agree with you about using cilantro in salads…it is a nice addition.

  10. Such a nice combo of flavors and ingredients! I like spaghetti squash quite a bit, although I don’t really use it as a pasta substitute — it’s great all on its own. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to use it in a dish like this! It brings its own goodness, and you’re right that the way the sauce clings to it does remind one of pasta. So IMO it raises the whole dish to a new level. This is terrific — thanks so much.

    1. Hi John, I agree with you about how nice spaghetti squash is on its own but it really is delicious with a sauce added to it. It definitely doesn’t taste like pasta but does hold a sauce really well. I appreciate your kind words…thank you for your compliment.

    1. Thank you Seana, for your nice compliment. Yes, I have made spaghetti and meatball two ways with spaghetti squash and chicken meatballs. I want people to know that you don’t have to give up delicious taste to eat healthy. I’m glad you like my recipes. 🙂

    1. Hi David, I know that spaghetti squash isn’t available everywhere but I would have thought the UK might grow them as the growing conditions are similar to New England. Of course this meal could always be made the traditional way with rice noodles instead of spaghettis squash. I’m glad you like my sauce, thank you for your compliment.

    1. Thank you Tanya, for your lovely compliment. The flavors in this dish truly are amazing. Just wondering…are Asian ingredients available at all on the mountain?

      1. It is fun when we can find ingredients and bring them home with us. When we are in Maine during the summer, we go to Portland sometimes to a market that has so many items I could never get in New Hampshire.

    1. Hi Larry, Thank you for your nice compliment…this meal is indeed colorful and delicious. This is not exactly a dish I see you preparing but I do think you would enjoy the meal if I cooked it for you and Bev. 🙂

  11. You really have created a fantastic meal here Karen. When I looked at the first photo though I never would have thought “oh let’s put this in the health food category” – it looks so elegant & well…too good to be healthy (is that ok to say nowadays?).

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Diane. I appreciate your lovely compliment. I know what you mean…this meal may not look like “health food” but it is healthy and the best part is that it is so good. 🙂

    1. Hi Raymund, I smiled when I saw that we both made meatballs. Yours being traditional Italian and mine being a tasty Thai chicken version. I love meatballs, they are so versatile. 🙂

  12. I have my first spaghetti squash in the oven baking….This post made me smile. I am discovering this new way to enjoy squash. I think what you did with it, looks amazing. Love it!


    1. Hi Velva, What a coincidence. I do think you will enjoy the spaghetti squash…especially since you are baking it. I’m glad you like how I prepared my squash…thank you for your nice compliment.

  13. I always hear people trying to turn spaghetti squash into a legit italian pasta with tomato sauce, but there’s just no fooling. But I could totally get on board with turning it into a thai meal! This sounds so yummy!!

    1. Hi Amy, I think anyone who thinks that spaghetti squash is going to taste like pasta will definitely be disappointed. Knowing that it is a vegetable whose tasty strands look like pasta and hold sauce like pasta, is another story. I believe that anyone that tries it will be very happy using the squash.

    1. Hi Darryl, I think a lot of our tastes are very similar. I’m glad to know that you like this dish…I believe you would really enjoy the meal. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

  14. Karen, hooray for this recipe! I have half a spag squash in the fridge waiting to cook. I’d microwaved the first half following other instructions, but the result was wet and soggy – baking it is a much better idea. I’ll give it a go! Thanks!

    1. Hi Celia, It sounds like my timing with this post was perfect. I do think you will like the result of baking the squash much better than microwaving it. I believe baking brings out and intensifies the flavors of the squash.

  15. Wow Karen, what a delicious dish! I used to grow spaghetti squash in a former lifetime but never came up any with anything as tasty as this! Love the meatballs too!

    1. Thank you Lizzy, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you like the way I prepared the spaghetti squash. I’m hoping that I can convince my readers to use this vegetable in interesting new ways. I thought the meatballs were a nice compliment to this dish with their Thai flavors.

    1. Thank you Donna, I’m glad that you like the looks of this dish. My husband and I really enjoyed the meal. I hope you will, as well.

    1. Hi Charlie, I really think you would enjoy spaghetti squash. It is delicious served simply or sauced up as in this recipe. I’m glad you like my Asian inspired meal…thank you.

  16. Karen, like the fusion of this dish – I have never eaten any kind of fowl meatballs … don’t know why – never really come to my mind. Turkey I don’t like in any form or shape .. chicken I love. And I like meatball made of lamb .. the Greek style.
    I like the spaghetti here and I like the sauce … but I will try it with pieces of chicken – so this is bookmarked already. *smile

    1. Hi Viveka, I think you will enjoy using chicken for meatballs…I like to use my food processor to grind my own chicken. Lamb meatballs are terrific, actually I don’t think I have every met a meatball that I have not liked. Now about turkey, I think I will be on a quest to get you to give it another try…look for some dishes in the future. 😀

    1. Hi Mary, I’m happy to know that you like this dish. I was pleased that this healthy dish was so delicious. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Jessica, for your nice compliment. I think the Thai flavors went great with the spaghetti squash…I’m glad you like my recipe.

  17. What a coincidence: a few days ago I posted a recipe turning a zucchini into a thai style dish. Love this original use of spaghetti squash – this is going onto my “to cook” list

    1. Hi Afra, We are both definitely on the same wavelength…your Thai dish with zucchini dish sounds great. I hope you will enjoy my recipe…thank you for your nice compliment.

  18. Hi Karen, looks delicious as always. I’m loving that thai meatball glaze too. I’m yet to try spaghetti squash and it seems to be a variety I just can’t get my hands on. To remedy this I’ll try growing them myself. I’ll get back to you on this one day 😉

    1. Hi Alli, I can’t wait to see if you are successful with growing spaghetti squash. I believe you would enjoy this dish…and yes, the sauce creates a delicious glaze on the meatballs. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle, I believe you will like this version of spaghetti squash…my husband and I really enjoyed it. The squash will never taste like pasta but as a vegetable masquerading as pasta, it was delicious.

  19. This looks like a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables in a meal, Karen. I love Thai flavors and pad Thai is a favorite. I like that this is gluten free as I can serve it to those in my family who are gluten sensitive.

    1. Hi Pat, I think this is a vegetable dish that most everyone will enjoy and it is a bonus that it is a delicious gluten free recipe. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  20. Thank you for putting spaghetti squash back on my radar! I’ve made a version of your meatballs and spaghetti squash before, and am keen to try it with different flavours. And I love your bright and lively photography too!

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m happy to know that my post reminded you about spaghetti squash. I’m always thrilled to know that one of my readers have made one of my recipes and enjoyed it. I think you will like this one as much as my Italian version. Thank you as always for your lovely compliments…they are much appreciated.

  21. I love the idea of peanut ginger sauce over the spaghetti squash…looks delicious paired with the chicken meatballs…yum!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Karen 😀

    1. Thank you Juliana, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you like this meal…the sauce and meatballs really made the spaghetti squash shine. I hope you will have a great week as well.

  22. It’s after 9pm here so I have already eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner but seeing the image and reading your recipe has made me hungry all over again. It looks delicious. 😉

    1. Hi B, I think that if I have made you hungry all over again then I must be doing something right. I feel like I should apologize for making you hungry…but I do thank you for your very nice compliment. 😀

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m glad you like my Thai inspired spaghetti squash and meatballs…my husband and I thought it was a delicious meal. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Sandra, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you like the recipe. Please do give spaghetti squash a try…it is a nice vegetable and fun to cook.

  23. looks absolutely delightful Karen! We grew up on spaghetti squash, however I rarely see it in the shops or markets these days, I think I might have to grow my own or hope it makes a comeback 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa, Isn’t it funny that you grew up with this vegetable but now don’t find it in the markets. You have such good luck with your garden that perhaps you might think of groaning a plant or two. I’m glad that you liked my recipe. Thank you!

  24. I made your divine excellent tasty dish, Karen & my hubby & I both loved it so much! The flavours were just perfect, so beautifully combined in here too! Next time, I am going to make these tasty chicken meatballs a bit smaller to add in my Thai soup! Yum Yum Yummm! x

    1. Hi Sophie, I always appreciate when my readers get back to me and lets me know that they have made one of my recipes and enjoyed it. I like your idea of making smaller meatballs and adding them to you Thai soup…that sounds great. 😀

    1. Hi Laila, It is nice when you can create a dish that is healthy and delicious…this is definitely one of them. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Sissi, The spaghetti squash is pale yellow to start with but once you add the ginger peanut sauce, the squash picks up a lot of its color. I’m glad you like the recipe and thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Susan, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you like my Thai style dinner. Yes, I love using the lemon grass paste as it is very hard for me to find fresh lemon grass stalks. The paste is in the refrigerated section of my market’s produce department with the boxed herbs.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Teresa. It is really nice when you can create a dish that tastes delicious but is healthy…I’m glad you like the recipe.

  25. I like your Asian twist! I am trying to get my husband to change his mind about spaghetti squash. Made it once with pesto and he was not 100% sold on it. Maybe I will give this a try and see what he thinks!

  26. Umami, I read, is very “in” in the food world right now. I love thai food and this is such a great idea to make it with spaghetti squash.. no carbs! My daughter would love that as she’s been on a craze to get in top shape these days:)

    1. Hi Jerry, I’m glad you like the dish. If you are not baking the spaghetti squash, that might be the problem. I know a lot of people cook them in the microwave and say they are watery.

  27. I don’t know why I’m not receiving your blog post. It looks like I’ve been missing out on some delicious recipes and beautiful adventures.

    I’m loving some of your recipes, your adventures and beautiful photos. Love your vintage home too. That heating bowl in the kitchen is quite a treat.

    I’ll have to prepare some of those recipes for my Dailey Bistro especially, the Thai. 🙂

    1. Hi Bobbi, I’ve been having the same problem with several blogs that I follow. I’m happy to know that you have enjoyed my posts and I appreciate your lovely compliment…thank you. 😀

    1. Thank you Christin, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you like the recipe. My husband and I thought the spaghetti squash was delicious prepared Thai style.

    1. Hi Laura, I’m glad you like the recipe. I have made different versions of chicken meatballs and they have all be good. I think you would enjoy the Thai version, I know we did.

  28. I love spaghetti squash with just a little olive oil and rosemary but I also love it as a “pasta”. I have a similar recipe using Iserno’s chicken sausage. Great reminder. I’m hoping my couple of plants do well and give us some spaghetti squashes this year.

    1. Hi Wendy, My husband and I love spaghetti squash as well…simply prepared or when used in a dish like this. Hope you have success with the squash in your garden this year.

  29. oh my…… has it been this long since since I have checked in?!! (I am embarrassed to have let so much time pass!)
    This looks delish and reminds me that spaghetti squash doesn’t just have to be used as a “stand in” for Italian pasta dishes but all kinds of noodle dishes! Thanks!

    1. Hi Carol, I know how busy you are with school, husband and life in general so never worry about the time that passes during visits to my blog. You are one of my original and most loyal followers. 😀 It is a pity that people don’t experiment more with spaghetti squash…it is very versatile.

  30. What a great idea, Karen! Thai flavors go so well with everything! I recently added a Thai Curry Mac and Cheese recipe to my blog and was thinking that these meatballs would go perfectly on top of my macaroni! I’ll have to try that sometime. Thank you so much for sharing!

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