Paleo Pad Thai

Sometimes you just want a pile of something spicy-creamy-comforting… like Pad Thai.

But the original dish includes rice noodles (fail), soy sauce (fail), peanuts (fail), and sugar (fail). To make it safe for dino-chow consumption, I replaced the noodles with spaghetti squash, used coconut aminos instead of soy, recruited Sunbutter sauce as a stand in for the peanuts, and added snap peas for sweetness that also bumped up the veggie count.

THIS is Pad Thai you can feel good about emotionally and physically. I think it does a damn fine job recreating the taste and experience of eating the real deal. The mouth-feel of the spaghetti squash and sunshine sauce is pretty damn close to tender rice noodles – without the troublesome grain-poisons.

My recipe is based on a few already-cooked ingredients, so it’s pretty easy to throw together on a week night. I recommend grilled chicken thigh or breast because the char is a nice balance to the sweet, nutty flavors… but if all you have around is roasted chicken or even a store-bought rotisserie bird, go ahead and throw that into the pan. (This would also probably be tasty with shrimp but I haven’t tried it yet because of Dave’s allergies.) I experimented with different vegetables (broccoli, cabbage), but the snap peas were our hands-down favorite. We also thought it tasted best with regular onions cooked into the dish and scallions sprinkled on top at the end. Grab your chopsticks!

NOTE: The ingredient quantities listed below are for two servings, so be sure to multiply accordingly.


Paleo Pad Thai

Serves 2 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 5 minutes | Whole30 compliant

Ingredients, serves 2:
  • 1 batch Sunshine Sauce

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons coconut aminos or homemade substitute

  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 cup snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

  • 6-8 ounces cooked chicken, diced

  • chopped toasted cashews or almonds

  • sunflower seeds

  • sliced scallions

  • minced cilantro

  • squeeze of lime juice


Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and use a fork to scramble them with the coconut aminos. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons coconut oil  to the skillet, and when it’s melted, pour in the eggs and let them spread like a pancake. Reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid, letting the eggs cook until they’re set and beginning to brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and lightly brown the other side. Remove the eggs from the pan and cut into strips with a sharp knife.


Using the same pan, increase heat to medium-high and add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to the pan. Sauté the onion and snap peas, stirring with a wooden spoon, until they’re crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spaghetti squash, chicken, and cooked egg to the pan and, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.


Add the Sunshine Sauce to the pan and stir-fry until everything is well-blended and hot. Divide among two plates, sprinkle with garnishes, and dig in.

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  • Cheryl says:

    OMG, this is going to fill a major vacuum in my comfort food category!

    • Mel says:

      I think you’re really gonna like it. Crispy, sweet, spicy, chewy… it’s got everything!

      • Chris Penfield says:

        I make this ALL THE TIME!!! It’s my new favorite, go-to meal, and I usually make a ton of it because the leftovers are even better…
        I’m going to try shrimp in place of chicken next time.

    • susan says:

      I am going to top with the nuts and some basil and maybe add some water chestnuts…

  • Carla W. says:

    Mel!! Sean and I had Thai food on Saturday. I wish we saw this first! Definitely would have felt better eating this vs. what we had. Will have to try it soon!

    Miss you!

  • snazzygina says:

    LOVE the new look of your site, Mel!! Fabulous!!

    Also, I think I’m going to get all the ingredients for this today and make it for the family for dinner! YUM!! Thank you!!

  • Windy says:

    I made this last night. I needed some food therapy. I’ve been trying to eat really well but I just wanted something filling and good. This was doubley good. It was absolutely delicious, and I felt good about eating it!

  • Tali says:

    Just made this for dinner… was A-mazing! We couldn’t get spaghetti squash at such short notice here in London – but used zuccini shredded instead – was Soooooo delish! My Fiancee suggested this for supper, and I must say… I’m pretty convinced I’ll be experimenting some more with these Paleo ways! p.s. Sunshine sauce is Awesome!

    • Mel says:

      Zucchini is a great substitute for spaghetti squash, but I TOTALLY recommend you find yourself one sometime so you can try it. It really is noodle-y.

      And yes, sunshine sauce is one of my proudest achievements. So glad you like it!

      Sending food luv from Texas to the UK!

  • Carla says:

    I tried this recipe for the first time tonight. Subbed red peppers for the snap peas. Overall it was great. The sunshine sauce is key. I want to do it again and not cook my squash so long. Also, add more chili paste. This is a keeper!

    • Mel says:

      Yum! I bet red peppers and snap peas together would be awesome, too. Great idea!

      I’ve been trying to cook my squash more al dente lately, but most of the time, I forget it’s in the oven and it comes out pretty soft. But yeah, a little more bite to the “noodles” is good.

      Glad you like it!

  • Brittany says:

    OH MY GOD. I thought this would be great, but when I started haphazardly throwing ingredients together in my kitchen, I began to doubt my technique.

    So when I finally sat down with a steaming bowl of Paleo Pad Thai topped with chopped cilantro and scallions, and ate the first spoonful, I was blown away. Mel, this is SERIOUSLY good stuff. The creamy sunshine sauce! The chewy eggs! The sauteed snap peas!

    I, too, substituted zucchini (julienned) for spaghetti squash ’cause Trader Joe’s didn’t carry squash and I was too impatient to hit up another store.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your creative, playful, and healthy recipes! I can’t wait to buy your cookbook!

    • Mel says:

      HOORAY! Glad you were happy with your results. It’s pretty hard to mess it up when Sunshine Sauce is involved 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! Love that you guys are experimenting.

  • Lindsay says:

    Mel – this looks fantastic! I make a similar paleo pad thai and I love topping it with a little toasted sesame seed oil as well for an additional depth of flavor. Can’t wait to try your version!

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Lindsay! I hear ya on the sesame oil… I sometimes drizzle a little on top of mine, but Dave has a strong aversion to sesame, so I didn’t include it in my recipe. What else do you do to yours? Share your secrets!

  • Vanessa says:

    As soon as I saw this post I was drooling:D I just had to make this. Anyway made it last night but used Almond butter for the Sunshine sauce because I couldn’t find Sunflower butter made without sugar at my grocery store:( Maybe I have to do some extra searching for this. Can’t wait for lunch time so I can indulge:)

    • Mel says:

      You have to let us know how the almond butter tastes. Send news!

      • Vanessa says:

        The Pad Thai was excellent yummy:D It was great with the almond butter just in case anyone runs out of the sunbutter.

    • Anett says:

      I’ve made the sunshine sauce with almond butter instead of sunflowerseed butter and half a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar in place of coconut aminos (hey, it’s the same colour!), as I can’t find those two ingredients where I live. It was my favourite sauce EVER! I’m making a double batch for next week, and I’m cooking the pad thai as well. Keep up your amazing cooking work, Mel! You are a saviour to us less adventurous cooks who need a recipe to eat yummy food.

  • Annette says:

    Ditto for delicious! I made the sauce this morning before CF and couldn’t wait to get home and make lunch.

    I’ve never had pad thai … so I can’t compare, but this was yummy, comfort food on a cool, rainy, spring day.

  • Melissa M says:

    Yay! I LOVE Thai noodle dishes, so I was stoked to see this. We tried a version of this at home a few weeks back but used sauteed cabbage strips and onions as our “noodles” and that was delicious. You should give that a shot too!

  • Lizzie says:

    gasp …. this looks awesome !! can’t wait, I have had the coconut aminos sitting there – just weren’t sure how to use them !!
    You are Goddess of YUM !

  • Kiltman Dave says:

    Thanks, Mel. For whatever reason, I’d never made the connection between thai food and spaghetti squash. I blame the vegans…

  • kevin says:

    thanks for the recipe! looks great. where do you get your spaghetti squash from?

    • Mel says:

      You should be able to find spaghetti squash in a regular old grocery store in the product department. It looks like a yellow football in its natural state.

  • Sam says:

    This was awesome and I’m adding it to my “regular” pile…not that it was regular – it was A-mazing with a capital A but it will now have a permanent home in my paleo repertoire. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just made it and it is deeee-licious! I almost couldn’t even tell it was Sunbutter, which I was very surprised about since it has a pretty strong taste. Plus with the spaghetti squash it was very filling but not heavy at all. A new favourite, thanks again!

  • Chrysokomes says:

    I love Pad Thai. I’d love a Paleo Pad Thai even more. So, where’s the tamarind paste and the fish (not soy) sauce? Those are the two essential components of a Pad Thai sauce. The Sunbutter is way off– the peanuts in Pad Thai are for crunch, not to make a creamy sauce. This sounds like a great paleo hack for peanut noodles, just not Pad Thai. I don’t know what you started with, but I’d find Chez Pim’s recipe for Pad Thai, and try to tweak that instead. I’m sure this is a great recipe, I’d just mourn if I had to call it Pad Thai.

    • Mel says:

      You’re right… on the scale of authenticism, this recipe scores low, but that wasn’t my goal. My goal was to create a close-enough representation that recreates the FEEL and taste of pad thai to me… and it had to be made easily on a weeknight with ingredients that I usually have in my kitchen. For me, this recipe hits that goal.

      In case anyone is curious about why I did what I did…

      I eliminated the tamarind paste because it’s high in carbohydrates but doesn’t add nutritional value…

      Until this week, I didn’t have access to fish sauce that didn’t include unwanted, garbage-y ingredients so I left it out. (I’ve since gotten a bottle of Red Boat Fish Sauce so I’ll be experimenting with that additional ingredient in my next batch of this recipe.)

      Peanuts are OUT because they’re legumes and not healthy.

      Yes, it’s always a balancing act between what’s authentic, what tastes good, and what’s healthy. I tend to err on the side of tastes good and healthy because I want to be around, eating delicious food, for a long time.

      I like this recipe because it makes me feel like I’m not missing out on tastes that I can’t enjoy in restaurants anymore. Would I put this on a menu at a Thai restaurant? Nope. Am I glad it’s on the menu at my house? YES!

      • ValerieH says:

        This tasted like Pad Thai to me. Every Thai restaurant makes it differently.
        I made this yesterday as a side dish to go with pork chops. I added red bell peppers, omitted chicken and used organic tamari. One batch of sunshine sauce coated a whole spaghetti squash. I garnished with scallions, cilantro and chopped almonds. It was REALLY good. The egg really makes this dish. Spaghetti squash just doesn’t replace noodles for me. I’ve tried it with tomato sauce. It just doesn’t work. However, it was perfect in this dish!
        The next time I make it, I will use pea pods instead of snap peas because the larger pods sometimes are too fibrous and not that edible. I have red boat fish sauce. I’m unsure how to use it and how much to add to this dish. I think I’ll try adding like 1/4 – 1/2 tsp into the sunshine sauce.
        Thanks so much for putting this recipe online!

  • Lee says:

    What do you think about trying it with kelp noodles?

    • Mel says:

      Hi, Lee! I haven’t ever tried kelp noodles myself, but I bet they would word great. It you experiment with them, let me know how it tastes!

      • Lee says:

        I think I’ll give it a try this weekend. Kelp noodles aren’t tooooo far removed from the real deal. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!

  • cAptaintom says:

    Mel, this is too freaky! I just texted M&D saying Sunshine suace + al dente spagetti squash + chopped jalapeños kicked butt tonight. I had envisioned and researched Pad Thai with SS but didnt have all the stuff. Susan suggested using Sunshine Sauce by itself. It was outstanding.

    Melissa texted back that you just posted a Pad Thai using the same stuff. Great minds I guess 😉 _

  • Janna Lukens says:

    Have you tried making sunshine or “peanut” sauce with almond or cashew butter?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I know some readers have and the reviews were great. If you give it a go, let me know how you like it!

      • Janna Lukens says:

        I made this with almond butter(no sugar)
        and it was awesome! I also garnished with dry roasted, unsalted almonds and green onion…..soooooo perfect. I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand so I went a little heavier on the lime and coconut aminos and added some yellow curry powder. Not pad thai, I know, but just what I felt like I was missing out on.

    • Jules says:

      I couldn’t get Sunbutter at my local Giant; did an even mix of almond butter & tahini, turned out great!

      • Mel says:

        Nice mod, Jules! I rediscovered my adoration for tahini this weekend with my cucumber sesame noodles. The combo of nut butter and tahini is ridiculously good… glad it worked for the pad thai, too!

  • Angela says:

    Delicious!!! thank you for this recipe

  • Angie says:

    WOW!!! This is delicious!!! thanks for sharing

  • Kerry says:

    Made this last night from the Whole9 recipe supplement. It was GREAT. My kids, who usually turn up their noses at spaghetti squash, ate mounds of it. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I always feel like it’s a double compliment when kids like a recipe. Thanks so much for letting me know! I have a few recipes in the cookbook that are definitely kid friendly. Can’t wait to share them!

  • Molly says:

    Good lord girl!!! You have some serious skills! This is one of the BEST THINGS I’VE EVER EATEN! Thank you! Have you put a cookbook yet? If haven’t yet, please do!!! You are insanely talented!

    • Mel says:

      Oh! You are so nice to say all of that!

      I’m working on my first cookbook right now, and it will be ready the first week of December… ebook and softcover. Can’t wait to share it with all of you!

  • Adam Crafter says:

    Made this for the first time tonight…. With shrimp! Absolutely wonderful!

  • Rachael says:

    I’ve just cooked this, and it’s amazing! I haven’t been able to get hold of the Coconut Aminos here in London yet, but this was even delicious without them! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Charlotte says:

    like this but can’t do eggs. What do you think it would be like without eggs?

    • Mel says:

      Charlotte, it will taste just fine without the eggs. You might want to bump up the amount of chicken a little bit to replace the protein of the eggs, but flavor wise, it will still be awesome.

  • Tina says:

    Made it, LOVED it. You are the bomb. I will be making this again and again.

  • Shawna says:

    Seriously?! YUM! Made this tonight and devoured it. 🙂 I made the sauce with almond butter I had on hand and it was delicious. I found the recipe on pinterest and so glad I tried it out, it will definitely be in my weekly rotation of goodness. Thanks!

  • Audrie says:

    I don’t know if you could feel the adoration, but my family and I were just on our knees paying homage to your culinary genius. Oh my goodness this was amazingly, unbelievably delicious! My husband, teenage son, and I are day 5 into Paleo eating and this recipe has sealed the deal. We will make it. I can’t wait to try another of your recipes. Thank you for sharing your awesomeness!

  • Jessica says:

    Had to drop you a note. I’ve been a fan of your blog & recipes for a while although I’m not really paleo, I just like good meat and veggie recipes. I made this for three of us, including a houseguest, and we all licked the plates! Actually, I’m eating the leftovers for breakfast right now.

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Jessica! Thanks so much for taking the time to write! I love that you use my recipes and “aren’t paleo”… real food is good stuff. YAY!

      I’m with you: pad thai for breakfast totally rules.

  • Melissa says:

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! I’m not fully paleo yet but will be in January, thanks largely to your recipes. I was a little intimidated by the Whole 30 — OK, a lot intimidated — but recipes like this one make it actually feel do-able. Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      YAY! Glad you liked it… and you will be just fine when you go 100% in January. It’s not too hard, just takes a little more planning and a few seconds to be thoughtful before you start eating. You’ll be great! I’m doing a Whole30 in January, too, so we’ll be doing it together.

  • Lisa says:

    That was stupid good… and congratulations: 3 year old boy approved!!! lol. can’t wait to try EVERYTHING else 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! I loved it and so did my kids – Spaghetti squash is something they’ll usually tolerate, but they asked me to promise to make this again and again. It doesn’t get better than that with kids and food!

  • Ah, Melissa,
    At it again! Thanks for the inspiration to eat something different this new year. Of course, since I blog for SunButter I love the sauce substitution, but as a fellow cook, I love continuing to follow your great posts. Take care.

  • April says:

    When I moved in with my now husband a year ago, he had 9 boxes of cereal in the pantry. Fast forward . . . we are both now paleo (me hardcore and him mostly) and I made this for dinner tonight. It was awesome!! My husband raved about it. He said, “if this is Paleo, count me IN!” Made your chocolate chili last night and it was also fabulous! I can’t wait for my copy of Well Fed to get here — hurry up Amazon!

    • Mel says:

      I love stories like this. AWESOME! Hope you have lots of fun cooking from Well Fed and that your husband continues to love the paleo adventures!

  • Tina (Mama 2 Sk8tes) says:

    Mel, I stopped by your sight to drop you a quick note to let you know your kindness and support to my Emerald City Jr Gem, Mini 2 Skates a couple of years back made a huge impact on her life. She still talks about you on a regular basis and has even pinned the “Melicious” cutout from your shirt to hers on many occasions. Mini is at a point in her derby career where she is focused on fueling her body with healthy food and becoming the best athlete she can. I cannot express how sad I was to find an error when I tried to get to your “Rollergirl; True Stories from the Track” webpage. I didn’t think I was going to be able to send you a message. What a treat it was to find this page. After checking it out a bit, I was really excited because now Mini can refer to your page for help with healthy eating and cross training. So my message to you not only includes a Thank you for taking the time to make Mini feel worth while and special a couple of years ago with your inspiring message and gifts to her, but also a Thank you for continuing to share your experiences online as I know she is going to LOVE this page!!!! She has a bout this afternoon and I am sure she will have a silent conversation with you prior to hitting the track. She reaches out to you often for inspiration and support. I am also pretty sure she will be whipping up some of this Pad Thai for dinner tomorrow. Pad Thai is one of her favorite dishes!!!! What a treat to have a healthy version.

    Thanks again for all you do!

    Mini’s mom

    • Mel says:

      TINA! Thank you so much for tracking me down and writing this incredibly thoughtful message. You really made my day.

      It’s lovely to know that Mini is kicking butt at Roller Derby and that she enjoyed the note and encouragement. I can’t find the words to express how moving it is for me. Thank you.

      Definitely tell Mini to shoot me an email if she has any questions about paleo, training, anything really… I’d love to hear from her.

      And if I didn’t say this before: you must be a great mom to have such a cool kid. Hugs to both of you!

  • Caitlin says:


  • Rose says:

    awesome. thank you, Mel, for satisfying all our unhealthy/poisonous cravings with recipes such as this. I’m glad I tripled the recipe, so we could still eat deliciousness all weekend while our friends chowed down on poisons.
    Also, I made a few adjustments considering what I had in the house/ what was on sale at the store. For example, I used summer squash instead of spaghetti squash. However, people, don’t attempt this until you have purchased a beautiful julienne peeler (I had to go on a little hunt to find one, but I’m a better person now that I have one, ha). definitely making this regularly.

  • Michelle says:

    WOW!!!! Just made this and it is sooo good. I love Pad Thai so was a little unsure but this is a great recipe. Thank you!

  • Stevie says:

    This recipe is AMAZING! My husband is always wary of when I get new recipe books and try them for the first time. we love, love, love this one and have made it a few times. All of your recipes have been a great addition to our paleo arsenal!

    Thank you so much!

  • VSkribble says:

    My evening went a little something like this… “Hmmm whats for dinner… Oooh look! A spaghetti squash!” Turn to roasted spaghetti squash recipe in Well Fed, notice Paleo Pad Thai listed as a suggested recipe in the sidebar… “Pad Thai sounds great! But since I don’t have snap peas or chicken, I’ll substitute Broccoli and Shrimp!” Turn to sunshine sauce recipe, which I made with almond butter & lemon juice since thats what i had on hand… 3 Recipes out of Well Fed in one fell swoop, and a flippin delish meal to boot (with plenty of leftovers even)! Thanks Mel!!!

  • JennF says:

    I’ve been doing this paleo thing for a couple years now and last night I made your pad thai for the first time (from Well Fed – my new fave cookbook!). This has got to be one of the top five recipes I’ve ever made. I’ve got leftovers for lunch today, but it’s not even 9:00am yet and they are already calling my name….

  • Mel says:

    Thank you SO much for the enthusiasm for this recipe. Someone dissed it pretty hard in an Amazon review the other day, and it broke my heart a little. I’m so grateful to you guys for taking the time to comment and let me know that you like the recipe. You guys are the awesomest.

  • Tammy says:

    I’m so excited to make this. We’re doing a paleo tour of Asia this week! 🙂 I’ve made your cinnamon beef stew and the chocolate chili both of which were FANTASTIC!! My husband loves pad Thai food and has missed that since we went paleo. Do you know how/if tamarind paste (usually used in pad thai) fits into the whole 30 or even paleo in general? It seems to me like it would, the only ingredient is tamarind… just wanting to check with someone who’s been paleo longer than us! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipes… YAY!

      Tamarind, the fruit, isn’t too bad.

      I looked up Tamarind paste, which is in traditional pad thai, when I was developing my paleo pad thai recipe, and it’s fairly high in sugar (nutrition info here – I don’t feel like it’s in the spirit of the Whole30, so I skipped it. If you’re not being super strict, I don’t think it would be a problem unless it sets off your sugar demon.

      • Tammy says:

        Thanks so much! My sugar demon’s pretty trigger happy so this might be a problem. Will skip it during our Whole 30 which we just started today and go from there.
        Thanks again.

  • Alice says:

    Whoever dissed this recipe must be kind of strange! This is quite possibly one of the best Paleo recipes I’ve ever made, I agree that this Pad Thai seems more like a stand-alone recipe than a substitute; I actually preferred it to traditional Pad Thai because not only is it totally delicious, but it didn’t make me feel gross afterwards. I used half sunflower, half home made almond butters for the sauce and topped it with lots of lime and fresh coriander – wonderful, thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Oh! You’re the awesomest. Thank you! Really glad you liked the pad thai — and love that you did half-and-half in the sauce. I bet that was tasty!

  • JenniferC says:

    Made your Pad Thai last night and I knocked everyone’s socks off and we didn’t feel like crap in the morning realizing all the empty calories we consumed! I think I could put the local Thai restaurant down the street out of business with this recipe! YUM! My husband, kids (6yrs & 3yrs old) loved it as well as did a fellow Pad Thai loving friend who I took dinner to last night! Thank you for your creativity and for sharing your talents with the rest of us so we can all be Well Fed.

    I got your book via Amazon last week and can’t get enough of it. Coco Chili is in the crock pot now! YUM!

  • Bonnie says:

    Found your blog via Pinterest and that led me to the Whole9life website. I’m on day 15 of my Whole30 (started 2 days after reading about it).

    I want to thank you! Love your blog and how authentically you shine in your writing. I hardly know you, but you have a super approachable style and your recipe’s are killer. I’ve tried 3 of them so far and am attempting this Pad Thai tonight. I’m a little concerned as to how it will turn out as I looked in 4 different stores and still have not been able to find chili-garlic paste. I have everything else, so I’m hoping it’s still good.

    I have plans to buy your cookbook soon. I think it’s awesome that out of 3 recipes I’ve tried we have loved them all. Pretty good odds right there!


    • Mel says:

      Wow! What a fun path from food pictures to Whole30… love that! Congratulations on 15 days of eating super clean. Hope you’re feeling awesome!

      Thank you so much for your sweet words about my blog and the recipes. I’ve updated the recipe above to match my cookbook Well Fed (this recipe is old; the version in the book is updated) because it eliminates the chili-garlic sauce. Definitely get your hands on Well Fed — lots of good stuff in there, esp. as you’re doing a Whole30.

      Good to ‘meet’ you!

  • Sara says:

    This was awesome! I inadvertently mis-measured the amount of soy (haven’t laid in a supply of coconut aminos yet) that went into the eggs (used 2 tablespoons… fail!) and had no coconut milk on hand for the Sunshine Sauce, but it was still great–spicy and creamy and just sweet enough. Yum!!

  • Katarina says:

    Holy cow, woman!!! If it weren’t for the fact that the butternut squash was already roasting away in the oven I probably would have eaten that entire batch of Sunshine Sauce all by itself! That stuff right there is of another world! I can see that it’s going to be a staple in my kitchen. I must whip up another batch tomorrow!

    My belly is still full from delicious Pad Thai as I write this! I’m having the scant bit that’s left over (I had to stop myself from eating it all) for breakfast and I can’t wait!!!

    Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let one little diss spoil yer day. And, if it starts to just come back here and read all the positive goodness from the people who love you! Thank you, Mel!!!

    • Mel says:

      YAY! Glad you enjoyed it. And I agree: Sunshine Sauce is super yummo. I used to eat a ton of peanut sauce, so it’s nice to have this healthy alternative for dipping.

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, too!

  • Ann says:

    This recipe seriously almost made me cry with happiness. I’m a reformed noodle/pasta addict, and spicy Thai noodles were the one thing I missed SO MUCH.

    This might be the best paleo meal I’ve ever eaten.

    THANK YOU! I will be buying your book!

    • Mel says:

      Oh… hooray! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and don’t have to miss your noodles any more. There’s another noodle recipe in Well Fed that I think you’ll really like, too. Happy cooking and eating!

  • Alma says:

    I’m making this for dinner and have a question. why the rice vinegar in the sunshine sauce. Isn’t rice non paleo? I appreciate all the resources I have that keep me excited about cooking with fresh ingredients. Thank you, Thank you , Thank you.

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Alma! You’re right — rice is a no-go for paleo, but rice vinegar is given a thumbs-up by Whole30/Whole9, which are the guidelines I follow. They’re the strictest…

      “Vinegar. All vinegar, with the exception of malt vinegar (which generally contains gluten), is allowed during your Whole30. This includes white, apple cider, balsamic, red wine, rice, and other non-malt vinegar varieties.”

  • Natalie says:

    yum this looks amazing….but any advice on how to make this for someone allergic to eggs?

  • Rebekah Benson says:

    I’m newly Paleo and was lamenting that I could never have Pad Thai or California rolls again- my favorite foods in the whole world. My sister told me about this site and Well Fed and I was SO EXCITED to find both recipes! Made them both and loved them (in fact I just made myself some more Pad Thai for breakfast this morning). I can’t tell you how excited I am to find you- everything I make now comes from your recipes. I think I’m going to have to try every recipe in Well Fed! Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      YAY! I’m so glad you found me and that your taste buds are happy again. The paleo versions of both of those are SO good — and good for you. WOOT!

      Thanks for stopping by. Keep us posted on how you’re doing from time to time!

  • Kim H. says:

    Hi there! I made this last night as my non-Paleo hubby LOVES pad thai. He was a little unsure when he saw it as he said the noodles are his favorite part, but after he was done he scooped up some leftovers for his lunch today! He added a bit of chili sauce for a bit more bite. Thanks for an awesome recipe, can’t wait to try more from your site!

  • lil milo says:

    all hail the spaghetti squash! i make a Singapore Mai Fun with Spaghetti Squash. i was making it for gluten issues – tho hadn’t reworked it since going Primal. i’ll look for coconut aminos now. thanks for the inspiration, oh Yum one.

  • stacy says:

    Made this tonight and it was soooo good! My hubby and twin 3 years liked it too! Thank you so much!

  • Jackie says:

    LOVE IT!! Seriously, every recipe I make from your book and website keeps getting better and better. This is amazing! I made this using your zucchini noodle recipe and it is awesome. I love your book. Your recipes have an amazing depth of flavour that is often not found in cookbooks. Thank you for all your hard work and testing!!!

    • Mel says:

      Oh! You are so nice, with the compliments. I’m really glad you’re enjoying the recipes. And I can’t really take credit for zucchini noodles; the veg is doing all the heavy lifting there. And Nom Nom Paleo introduced me to the magic of the julienne peeler.

      Thank you so much for stopping by to say lovely things.

  • Jenn says:

    What did I do wrong? Compared to your photo, my Pad Thai was a “glob.” Very saucy. I used all the right proportions, but also thought my sunshine sauce was a little thick. It it supposed to be kind of thin? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Without being in the kitchen with you, it’s impossible to know. If the sauce seemed too thick, next time, try thinning it with a little water — start with 1 tablespoon at a time. Also, when you’re heating the vegetables and sauce together, if it seems too thick, you can add a little water then, too. Hope next time goes more smoothly!

      • Jenn says:

        lol. Maybe it’s ridiculous, but I think it was just my mood. I brought leftovers to work for lunch and it was fine. A new day and a squeeze of lime made all the difference.

  • Tracey says:

    This was SO good! Even my un-adventurous hubby liked it! I doubled the coconut-milk but other than that it was incredible!

  • Kate says:

    This was fantastic. I had never had spaghetti squash until today and it was outstanding. This is going in regular rotation.

  • Clara says:

    I make this recipe ALL THE TIME. I find it to be a bit labor intensive, but totally worth it. Everyone who eats it loves it.

  • Kristen says:

    Oh goodness, I just made this–first time using spaghetti sauce or sunflower seed butter–and it was totally awesome. I agree that I would probably describe the taste as something closer to peanut noodles than pad thai, but know what guilty pleasure food I love? Peanut. Noodles. (My roommate used to make them with peanut butter, ketchup, and angel hair pasta–horrifying but delicious.)

    Seriously, this is really, really good! I never really believed that spaghetti squash could take the place of wheat pasta, but it makes so much sense as a rice noodle substitute. Creamy and delicious! I made it with previously frozen shrimp, which I tossed in raw right before I added the noodles. Mmm.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Kristen says:


    • Mel says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! And yes, it’s not super authentic, but it really can’t be. The traditional pad thai sauce is made from three sources of sugar that form a syrup and are then sprinkled with peanuts… no way to paleoize that 🙂

  • Ali says:

    HOLY COW!!!!! THIS WAS AMAZING! Awesomest Paleo recipe EVER. And a good portion too! I wish I could eat this every day!!!

  • Riss says:

    Oh, my… made this for the first time last week and I just can’t get enough! And it tastes even better the next day (if you can actually wait that long to eat it).

    When it comes to thai food, I’m a HUGE veggie girl, so I probably doubled the vegetable content–an entire onion, twice the snap peas, and a red bell pepper. And it still tasted amazing using the same amount of sunshine sauce.

    This one is going on my weekly rotation. =)

    Can’t wait to try my own spin on it using green curry and coconut milk instead of the sunshine sauce.

    • Mel says:

      Right on! I’m glad you liked it, and I’m delighted that you’re making it your own. That’s the best part of cooking!

  • Hannah says:

    O….M….G!!!!!! This is AMAZING. You rocked my socks off Mel. Regular Pad Thai is/has been my weakness, but no more! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • Katie says:

    Wow, this is really yummy! My first time making it, and first time with sunshine sauce, which I have been dying to try. The rest of it in the pan is calling to me, so I’d better go stick it in the fridge before I go eat the rest of it! 🙂 Thanks! Am enjoying Well Fed on my iPad. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Thank you, Katie! I’m so glad you like the recipe — and yes, Sunshine Sauce comes in VERY handy! We just had some at lunch with raw veggies. Glad you’re having fun cooking with Well Fed. Happy eating!

  • Christie says:

    This is THE best thing that has ever come out of my own kitchen!! Thank you so much Melissa! Well Fed has been making my transition to Paleo so much easier and eating this dinner last night confirmed the fact for me that things can be super tasty AND good for you!!!

  • Emma Lee says:

    We tried this tonight and it was delish! I subbed nut butter for the sunbutter because that is what I had on had (but I am so excited to see this recipe using sunbutter as my mom is allergic to nuts). I don’t do browned eggs, so I just cooked them until set and then sliced them, added a thinly sliced red bell pepper for some color, some thai basil for “thai-ness”, and served it over cabbage noodles! Amazing, the whole pot is gone, my kids even loved it!!

  • Amira says:

    Melissa, your blog is awesome! I made this last night but had to use snow peas because I could not find snap peas. Any suggestions as to where to find them? i checked the produce aisle and the frozen veggies. Secondly, when you cook the egg and then cut it, is it supposed to be hard? I couldn’t get my egg to harden without being burnt and didn’t know how much “burn” would disrupt the taste. Thank you!!

    • Mel says:

      Or store sells the snap peas right next to the snow peas in the produce department — sorry I can’t be more help, but snow peas should taste just about the same.

      I like my egg thin, cooked through and browned, but that’s totally personal preference. My advice is to make the eggs the way you like them best. There is no “right” way.

  • Jen says:

    This looks incredibly delicious and I can’t wait to make it! I’ve never made spaghetti squash before and I was wondering how you cook it, and is that one of the things you can have pre-cooked (like, can it sit in the fridge for a couple of days after it’s cooked or you should cook right beforehand?)? Thank you for this wonderful blog!

    • Mel says:

      The easiest way to make spag squash is to roast it in the oven, and yes, you can make it in advance and store it in the fridge ’til you’re ready to eat it.

      Cut the squash in half, and remove the seeds.

      Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water on the baking sheet.

      Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until it’s tender. Take out of the oven, and flip the squash cut side UP until it’s cool. Use a fork to scrape into spaghetti strands.

  • Danielle H says:

    Oh my goodness. Made this today and am eating it for dinner at work right now. Holy Pad Thai Batman, this stuff is sooooo good!!! Seriously I’m pretty sure I’m going to be licking the bowl clean! HA! It’s spicy, but oh so good!!I made my own sunflower butter because I couldn’t find any Whole30 compliant, probably cheaper that way too, lol. Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!

  • Kaydee says:

    I made this this weekend (but from your cookbook, which I now want to make everything out of!) and it was sooo yummy!

  • Melds says:

    Lucky I bought spaghetti squash from Fresh and Easy yesterday. I love pad thai and been looking for a recipe without noodles cause I am diabetic.

  • Allison says:

    Awesome and so easy to make! I’m going to add mushrooms next time. This even got a thumbs up from my non Paleo hubby.

  • Allison says:

    question: are there any paleo substitutes for the snap peas & rice vinegar? I’m thinking a balsamic or apple cider vinegar could work, but I’m not sure what to sub for the snap peas – maybe julienned carrots or zucchini? any way you slice it, this recipe is great!

    • Mel says:

      Cider vinegar will work — it’s not quite the same, but it’s mild enough that it should taste just fine.

      For the snow peas, I recommend very thin slivers of red bell pepper. They’ll add the sweetness and if you don’t overcook them, they’ll keep their snappy texture. Have fun with it!

  • Linnea says:

    Made the pad thai tonight. You are amazing! This is awesome! Well done and thank you.

  • Kim says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing!!! Thanks for creating this awesome dish!!!

  • Ashley says:

    I just wanted to say thank you sooo much for this recipe. I just made it and it is delicious. Fantastic addition to my Whole30!

  • Heather says:

    Made this tonight! Fabulous!!!! I am mad there are no leftovers for lunch tomorrow….as my husband loved it as much as I did!

  • Kathy says:

    Made this to bring to my girl’s night where they were getting Chinese takeout (yuck!)…guess what…they ate it too and loved it! It’s now 2 days later and I’m eating leftovers for lunch and it’s still delicious!!! Love this dish!

  • Kathy says:

    Forgot to mention in my previous comment…LOVE LOVE LOVE Well Fed! Got it for Christmas and the pages are staying in (in case you were wondering!)

  • Sarah McD says:

    Oh. Sweet. Jesus. Mel, you are a GODSEND. I don’t remember how I stumbled across your blog but I’ve been reading your archives on and off for a while now (ATX represent!) Asian takeout food is my guilty pleasure. I’m about to embark on my first Whole30 and I just about squealed when I read this post. I’m already predicting Sunshine Sauce will be making an appearance once or twice a week during my Whole30. This combined with your recent post about zucchini noodles has me excited to start my Whole30 instead of dragging my feet! Now I can’t wait to go grocery shopping to get the ingredients for this recipe.

    Internet hugs from a fellow (but currently transplanted) Austinite!

    • Mel says:

      I’m glad you found me… YAY! And congratulations on tackling the Whole30. Almost all of my recipes are Whole30-approved (except for the ones in the “treats” secion of my recipe index).

      If you haven’t gotten the free preview of my cookbook yet, you should grab it! There are lots of tips for cooking Whole30 style, and some recipes.

      Hope you have an awesome Whole30 experience!

  • Kathy says:

    “This would also probably be tasty with shrimp”

    Stop whatever you are doing and make this with shrimp. The chicken version is great, but with shrimp it is completely out of this world. Conceding to your hubby’s allergies, maybe wait until he is out of town, but for everyone else… do it now!

    I never got in to real Pad Thai when I was in Thailand, but my tastes have evolved a lot since then. That works in my favor now though as I don’t feel like the spaghetti squash is a “substitute” for noodles which I sometimes struggle with when trying italian style pasta sauce over squash. The texture just isn’t right. But I don’t have any pre-conceived texture notions for this dish… and because I never loved Pad Thai I wasn’t expecting much, but wow that sauce is just damned good and I think it blew my mind a little.

    • Mel says:

      WOOT! Glad you like the recipe, and I’m especially glad you tried it with shrimp. Next time my man isn’t home and I’m cooking for just me, I’m trying it that way!

      I agree that spag squash isn’t as good with tomato sauce, but I do really like zucchini noodles with tomato sauce. Maybe you should give that a try!

  • Amber says:

    made this on sunday from your cookbook, love it <3 thank you

  • I am SO glad I found your blog. And this recipe! I am allergic to soy AND I’m currently on the Whole 30 journey. I miss awesome things like pad thai. This makes me so happy and I can not wait to make it. You’re my hero!

    • Mel says:

      Congratulations on Whole30ing! I’m glad you found me, too. Hope you enjoy your pad thai — coconut aminos are a meal saver for those of us who can’t eat soy. Happy cooking!

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  • Liane says:

    Hi, Im from Australia and we dont sell spaghetti squash anywhere, can you please give me an alternative as i want to stay on paleo. Thankyou.

  • Emily says:

    Yum!! I was craving pad thai and this really hit the spot! I couldn’t find coconut aminos (there was a big whole on the shelf where it should have been and I was too lazy to go to another store), but used liquid aminos instead – it seemed to work.

    • Mel says:

      Glad you liked it! YAY!

      Liquid aminos like Bragg’s will definitely work flavor-wise. But Bragg’s is still soy, so if you’re aiming for paleo, Bragg’s are out.

  • Katrina says:

    Hi Mel. First, let me say, I don’t normally post on any websites, I just don’t feel that my opinion would matter much to anyone beyond people I know personally, so I just mind my own business and move on. HOWEVER, your site is AMAZING, and whether or not my opinion matters is moot, because I think you should be aware of the positive impact you’ve made on my family’s life. You are an inspiration, and I really appreciate all the work and dedication your bring to this website, as well as your cookbook.

    I bought your book last week, and that’s all I’ve been thinking about. In just 5 days, all I’ve had were meals from your cookbook…each one is amazing! From the snack packs to Pad Thai, you make is so simple, it’s crazy! For that, I appreciate all you’ve done to help people you don’t know.

    I’ve struggled with hypothyroidism for over 10 years, with med adjustments, weight gain, weight loss and various other side effects that just make life miserable. I’ve tried every diet imaginable and they’d work for a time, then old habits would kick back in and the roller coaster would continue. Recently, I’ve begun a workout routine, and have concentrated on changing my eating habits; in due course, I have been trying to make better changes in my children’s eating habits, and your recipes are just what was needed. They love your recipes as much as I do! For teenagers, that’s saying A LOT!!!

    I tried this Pad Thai recipe tonight, and it was a hit! I’m so excited! For my kids to devour any vegetable, is a feat…to not have to argue, to convince, bribe, bargain or throw my hands up in frustration is a miracle that I would not have expected. To actually enjoy meal time with family around the table…well, some things just bring tears to the eyes and praise to God!

    Thank you so much for all you’ve done here!

    • Mel says:

      Thank you very much for taking the time to comment — it means a lot to me! I’m so glad you find my site helpful. Truly.

      Oh, man. Hypothyroidism. So NOT fun. Congratulations to you for taking charge of your health. It’s not always a pleasant experience, but even making the attempt always makes me feel so much better. And how great that you’re setting a good example for your kids! Glad they like the pad thai.

      Sending you good wishes and gratitude. XO

  • Susannah says:

    Jeez, dude. This was incredible. So, I’ve been sharing the paleo love with my coworkers, and this dish had people offering me money for it. No joke.

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  • Olivia says:

    This was seriously an amazing meal!!! I love that I can trick people into thinking they are eating noodles by serving this over the spaghetti squash. Once you go paleo you should never go back!

  • Ashley says:

    I just made this tonight and it was a hit! We are happy campers!

  • Ruth says:

    I will sing your praises for all of time. All hail the Well Fed!

  • Jennifer says:

    I just left a review under your “sunshine sauce” post. I made this for dinner the other night and it is INSANELY delicious! I used zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti squash. Let me just say that this is probably one of the best meals I have ever made! I ate it with your chicken thigh recipe from Well Fed (this book rocks, btw). Then I ate the leftover veggies with some ground beef and fried eggs for breakfast with a drizzle (ok, a lot) of sunshine sauce on top. Can’t wait to try more recipes from your book! Thank you for sharing your amazing dishes!

  • Patty says:

    Hey! Has anyone figured out the nutrition info for this dish? It’s AWESOME but I always like to know a ballpark of how much energy I’m consuming! No biggie, just wondering!

  • Renee says:

    This is just fantastic.. I could drink the sunshine sauce.. We add some jalapeno and extra cayenne to it.. You are from Texas.. you get it. 🙂 We made the sauce last night and I can hardly wait to get home to put the meal together.

    • Mel says:

      Hope you enjoy every bite!

      • Renee says:

        Definitely did enjoy. With the leftover sauce (I made a little extra) I put it over chicken breast, chopped sweet potato, fresh green beans and red onion.. wrapped in foil and popped it in the oven for 20 min. at 450. Delish! My friend says you could put the sauce on a shoe and it would taste good.. I have to agree. Ha!

  • Arianna says:

    Simply scrumptious! I love low key cooking and this recipe was super easy and delicous! Yum! Thank you so much! xoxo. Arianna

  • Lori says:

    I am just starting on my wheat-free, Paleo journey, and am thrilled to have found your site. Tonight I made your Pad Thai recipe and it was a super-big HIT. That is saying a lot with a family of 4 teenagers! Thanks!

  • katherine says:

    Just made this w/ Kelp Noodles. DELICIOUS. The kelp really takes on the flavor of the sunshine sauce.

    One tip: boil the kelp noodles for at least 10 minutes to get them a bit soft, and then mix in w/ all other ingredients. YUM!!

  • I stumbled upon this recipe in search of the best paleo Pad Thai, and I am so glad this was on there! This is honestly the best Pad Thai ever! Now that I am semi-paleo, it has really been difficult to cure my Thai food cravings and this was the CURE 🙂
    Thank you for posting this recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Hooray! I’m really glad you found me — and super glad that you liked it. Congrats on being semi-paleo. Welcome to the Meat+Veg+Fat club 🙂

  • Stacey says:

    This recipe is genius!! I doubled it and made a huge amount…and three of us finished it off with just a small bowl left over! Thanks so much for introducing me to the marvels of spaghetti squash. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Spaghetti Squash is pretty great! Well Fed 2 has a new Spag Squash recipe that I’m super excited to share. Glad you liked this recipe!

  • Joanna B. says:

    My boyfriend and I made your Pad Thai for dinner tonight, and it was great! We were especially impressed with the sauce–totally a believable stand-in for peanut sauce! We’re going to make the sauce again sometime and do chicken satay on the grill. Nom.

  • Kamila Edwards says:

    OMG, the sunshine sauce is heaven in a bowl. I used raw almond butter in place of the sun butter and subbed out the spaghetti squash for more snap peas and zucchini noodles and it was fantastic! I doubled the recipe and it was enough for 4 large servings. Perfect for leftovers. Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s going in my regular rotation.

  • Pam Reed says:

    Stopped mid bite to post on Pinterest!! You and your amazing recipes are making it so much easier for me to change my life!!!!!
    Thank you!!!!!!!

  • danielle says:

    have egg allergy…anyway to make without eggs?! thanks!

  • Kao says:


    Is there an alternative to coconut aminos in the Sunshine sauce? Don’t have it on hand. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Coconut aminos are the paleo substitute for soy sauce, and there’s nothing that’s really an exact replacement.

      – if you not being strict paleo, you could use gluten-free soy sauce which is still SOY, but at least doesn’t include gluten

      – use fish sauce that doesn’t have any added and/or mystery ingredients

      Hope this helps!

  • Christine says:

    I don’t know about everyone else, but in the midwest our spaghetti squash is HUGE! I cooked a full squash and had a lot of left overs, like twice as much as it called for. I literally hacked the squash open as if I was using a machete in the jungle. So I wasn’t feeling the full efforts of making the whole dish over two night later with my leftovers. Creativity stuck, instead I remade just the sauce… added a little extra coconut milk and some water, plus the lever over spaghetti squash, and presto! I got me some easy “ramen noodles”. I know not the perfect meal, balanced and all, but it was a late night snack fix instead of a walking across the street for a bag of chips and whatever else tempted me (*cough* chocolate haagen dazs *cough*)…so I’m proud! Next time I’ll just double the sauce and just store it, as it’s really what I love about this whole recipe! Hope this helps someone else out 🙂

  • Candice says:

    This was stupidly delicious. I made my with zucchini noodles. So yum. I’ll never go another day without sunshine sauce in my fridge!

  • Jennie says:

    This was wonderful! Thank you so much for this recipe. And double thank you for your post on preparing for Whole30…basically you’ve saved my life. <3

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  • Sara Grace says:

    This recipe was so completely delicious that I had to post a thank you–and exhort others to make it!! I have one of your cookbooks but hadn’t made anything yet – now I have a feeling that your recipes are going to be on the table every single day of my Whole 30.

    My husband, skeptical of any “healthy take on a traditional classic,” LURVED it as well.

  • Hazel says:

    All I can say is ‘WOWSERS that was lush’! Had to wait to make this as my coconut aminos took forever to arrive, but it was worth it! I used almond butter for the sauce as sunbutter is not easy to come by in the UK (if it’s available at all). I also had to sub zucchini noodles for spaghetti squash as I couldn’t find it anywhere. But it was still yummy. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow I think 🙂

  • Marc says:


    Thanks for posting this. Made it with Zucchini noodles and some different veg, and it was incredible. Easily on par or better than “real” pad thai.
    Got Well Fed 2 for Christmas and have made about 9 recipes so far – all amazing. Thanks so much for your posts as well.

  • Alison says:

    I used celery and daikon radish and this dish was very good. It will be a regular around here now. I made my own sunflower seed butter because I refuse to pay the price for commercial. It came out super thick, I just added a little water. You are a talented cook. Still working my way through WellFed 2.

  • Bethany says:

    Holy cow, this is good! I did the Whole30 week one cook up and tossed this together tonight for my hot plate. I’m guilty over how good it is when it took so little effort. Talk about ROI! I would serve this dish to company.

  • betty says:

    this is by far my favorite paleo recipe. It’s definitely now a staple in my weekly meal plan. You rock Melissa! I can’t get enough of your recipes!

  • Nyenyezi Siameja says:

    I love your recipes! Can’t wait to try this one. I’m all the way down in little ol’ New Zealand so I often have to order a few of the ingredients from overseas, but I’ve got to say it has been worth it. You have re-injected flavour back into my life 🙂 I feel like thank you isn’t enough!

    • Mel says:

      Hello, New Zealand! I hope you like this recipe, and I’m glad the ones you’ve tried so far have been to your liking. Hugs from across the pond.

  • Michelle Steele says:

    Man,this dish was the bomb dot com! I loved everything about it. Thanks for creating this culinary masterpiece and sharing it with the world!

  • Bridgette says:

    Oh my goodness!! I’ve been wanting to try this for my entire Whole 30 (day 26 now), and finally had it today after tracking down some organic snap peas. It was PHENOMENAL, thank you so so so much!

  • Sheila says:


    I am completely new to this Whole30 thing and don’t want to screw it up so I am just curious…. Is coconut milk allowed? The only ones I can find after being to 3 stores including Whole Foods has Carageenan in it.. I thought that was a no no… Please help as this sauce seems really yummy!

    Thanks for all that you do. Bought Well Fed and my whole family including the picky 2 yr old is loving the food. 🙂

  • Sarah Massey says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and my hubs and I both loved it! I’m going to make it every week while we are on whole 30, and several more times after that. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  • Barbara says:

    Hi There!

    This looks great but I am considering omitting the chicken. Do you think that will affect the flavor? Or maybe I could use chicken tenders instead of thighs?

    • Mel says:

      You can omit the chicken, but it won’t include any protein. You can substitute chicken breast, shrimp, white fish, pork, or beef for the chicken thighs and it will taste great!

  • Catherine says:

    Hi Mel,
    I want to make your Pad Thai recipe and have all ingrediants but coconut aminos. Any ideas on a substitute? Alternatively I’ll wait.

    Thank you!!!

    • Mel says:

      The coconut aminos are a paleo-friendly substitute for soy sauce. If you don’t care about being 100% paleo, you can use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari. You can also use fish sauce that has no added sugars, like Red Boat brand, if you have it. You can also just omit it — it will just lack a little bit of Asian flair but will still taste good. Same goes for the coconut aminos in the Sunshine Sauce.

  • Jenny says:

    Mel, my partner and I are on Day 13 of our first Whole30 and have been enjoying your recipes (Spinach Meat Muffins and Chocolate Chili are favorites) but I just had to thank you so much for this one.

    Simply divine! Our favorite Whole30 meal so far. Licked the plates clean. We live down the street from a phenomenal Thai restaurant, but I know I can resist temptation with this recipe. THANK YOU!

    • Mel says:

      Congratulations on 13 days of Whole30ing! That’s awesome. And I’m happy to know my recipes are making it a little tastier. Wishing you a delicious rest of the month!

  • Pam says:

    Your recipes are fabulous! Especially this one. My husband and I love Pad Thai and have tried tons of recipes and have hated all of them! We had to go Paleo to find a good Pad Thai!!! We did the Whole30 last October and we would have never been able to make that change without Well Fed. Thanks for that!

    • Mel says:

      Hooray! I’m really glad you like this one. Congratulations on tackling the Whole30 — happy that Well Fed made it a little easier.

  • Stephanie says:

    Holy YUM! I have had this recipe bookmarked for probably a year and FINALLY made it tonight and wow, it’s a keeper! I threw together a makeshift pad thai a few days ago and I felt something was missing…so I revisited this recipe to figure out what would give it some punch and IT’S IN THE SAUCE!!! That sunshine sauce is legit– I made a whole batch and will be eating it on everything!!!

    I made mine with ground turkey instead of chicken and added mushrooms and I love that it’s so versatile! This will become a regular staple in my life- thanks so much!

  • Kim says:

    OMG – YUM YUM YUM I wish I had more. I used Zucchini because I like it more and added shrimp and hot sauce. It was amazing. My belly is super happy.

  • Lauren says:

    I LOVE this recipe and have made it several times already. Has anyone made a big batch and frozen it for later? Wondering how it keeps after being frozen??

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t had success freezing spaghetti squash on its own. It gets really watery and mushy when it defrosts. But… you might try freezing just a small amount of the complete pad thai — sauce, chicken, etc. — then defrosting it to see how it fares. If you did, like, 1/4 cup that would give you an idea and wouldn’t waste much food.

  • Debbie says:


    I have been reading and making lots of wonderful things from your site for a couple of months now. Everything I’ve tried has been absolutely delicious! I made this last night and it was out of this world. I thought you should know. Wait, you do already know.

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve made this recipe twice now with a little change. I don’t like spaghetti squash so I julienned carrots and zucchini and cut red cabbage very thin, then added all of that 2 minutes before turning the heat off. So good.
    I love the sunshine sauce, it is totally addictive.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Sabrina says:

    Love your recipes! Most especially this one. My husband is pretty picky but he loved this…..might be that he loves eggs and cooked like this made him want more! We have enjoyed several of your recipes and it has helped me stay on track. Thank for what you do!

  • Heather says:

    WOW! I just finished off my second helping of this pad thai and had to thank you. I started paleo only a few days ago, and I am so glad that I found your website and this recipe. My husband is eating paleo for breakfast and dinner (since I cook!) and he’s loving it too. He said “this recipe is a keeper” and proceeded to clear his plate. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!!!!

  • Nessa says:

    My husband and I love this recipe! He said it is one of the best things he has ever eaten. I’ve made it 3 times now and I think the only change I will make is coming up with a lime marinade since we really love that flavor in it.

  • Caroline says:

    I just started the Whole30 challenge today (well, last night for dinner was my first official meal..) and spent my afternoon in the kitchen following your guide for meal prepping. It was unbelievable. I cannot believe how much I got accomplished 🙂 I set my self up for an incredible week of meals. After i took a breath, I realized I had all the ingredients DONE for pad thai. This was awesome and I cannot cannot cannot wait to have it for breakfast tomorrow morning! Along with the Whole30 book, I bought both of your cookbooks. You inspired me 🙂 Thanks! Can’t wait to try more!!

    • Congratulations on tackling the Whole30! I hope you have a fantastic month — and I’m so glad the meal prep guidelines were helpful. Enjoy your pad thai! 🙂

  • Mic says:

    Thank you so much for creating this recipe. Yesterday was my 4th day of my Whole30 and I was in hangover (withdrawal) mode. Anyway, this has been the best meal ever. My daughter and I enjoyed it so much, I’ll make it again today. Btw, didn’t have sun butter, but almond butter was good too.
    Lots of love from Princeton NJ!

    • Congratulations on Whole30ing! I’m glad this recipe made your tough day a little bit easier. Hang in there! About halfway through the month, you should start feeling awesome. I’m on Day 2 of my “clean up from eating like a crazy woman during your move” Whole30, and I have a pounding headache — but I now it will be gone in a few days if I can just muscle through it. Blech.

      Have fun during your month of awesome!

  • Marciamelo says:

    I was short on time, so I used the main ingredients, but added a jar of Trader Joes Green Curry Simmer sauce and it was delish. The yummy eggs were the best. And I used shredded zucchini as I have an abundance in my garden right now. I will make it with your sauce next time!

  • Denise says:

    I love Pad Thai, so I was skeptical, but trusted all the rave reviews. I made exactly per the recipe, and love love love it! And so did my husband, who doesn’t like very many vegetables. The spaghetti squash is a perfect substitute for the normal delicate noodles in Pad Thai.

  • Holly says:

    Just made a double batch, so if have leftovers. It was delicious. I used half tahini, half sun butter. Also added red bell pepper and had way too much sauce and too little spaghetti squash. Apparently, a medium squash has less than I thought, lol. Regardless, still tasty, and I’ll just make more veggies to sop up the yummy sauce tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipes.

  • Anita Wheaton says:

    This recipe is amazing. I’m loving your week 1 meal plan so far. Thank you so much for sharing it. Next stop off the bookstore to get Well Fed.

  • Magdalena Volk says:

    This has been one of the best meals I have ever had. I made everything according to the recipe and it was absolutely amazing. My 2 year old ate two bowls. I am a vegetarian and even without the meat, the food was perfect. The husband said he wants me to make it at least once a week.

  • Cary Chambers says:

    I bought Well Fed two weeks ago and I’ve been loving every single thing I’ve made. My husband even had me grill enough chicken so that he could take lunch to work this week! This Pad Thai is so good! I had to put the leftovers in containers in the fridge so I wouldn’t eat it all!! Now my husband can have all that chicken & veggies to himself-the pad thai is MINE! 🙂

  • Teresa says:

    Melissa Joulwan…you are crazy awesome! 🙂 Bought the books, organized my fridge, did week one cook up and had pad thai tonight. So good even my veggie-phobic husband gobbled it up (oh, and did the same with the Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup this afternoon after his football game). Great resource…fantastic pillar of inspiration. THANK YOU!

  • Rachel says:

    Wow, this is delicious! I will be making this again and again and again. Thank you 🙂

  • Gretchen says:

    Made this today with zoodles instead of spaghetti squash. Also added some broccoli/carrot slaw to up the veggie and crunch factors. So good! I haven’t made sunshine sauce in a while, and I forgot how delicious it is! Need to put it back in the rotation. Thanks for all your fantastic recipes.

  • Mairéad says:

    My god, I have the happiest whole30 belly in the world. This is incredible…buying your books right now! Thanks!

  • kristin says:

    Girl. I almost cried when I ate this last night! Whole 30’ing up in here and have dealt with my daughter’s peanut/soy allergies for the past 2 years. I thought we’d never get Asian flava again! So delish – love your site!!!!

  • Tiffany says:

    SO, I tried this the other night and was so excited about it. And then was sorta disappointed by it after my first bite right out of the pan. I kept telling myself it needed more of a peanut flavor or something. It was just missing … something.

    I read your explanation WAY up top in the comments about how it’s more of a feel rather than mimicking the flavor Pad Thai. I get that. Totally. It definitely has that mouth feel which is very comforting during winter days. But man was I missing the peanut butter… or whatever garbage sauce restaurants put on it. Actually, I was craving my homemade pad thai, really….

    Anyway, I ate it b/c it was what I made dinner. Experiment, right?

    Then I had the leftovers the second night and it was much better. Kinda like leftover take-away – always better the next day.

    By the way – that Meatza Pizza – Holy… I could have eaten that whole thing in one sitting.

    (can you tell I just purchased Well Fed I?)

  • Tara says:

    I made this for lunch today. It was so super easy having done all the prep days ago per your instructions. I was actually… amazed at the flavor. I am a food lovah and never expected this much luxurious taste from whole food meals. My husband was home from work and ate half of it (he is not on the plan… not at all), he loved it too! He asked for more.. so I’ll be whipping up another batch of sauce (that’s all I have to do– huge thank you to your planning). Really really good. Mmm… I can still smell it on my clothes..mmm. 😛

  • Stacie says:

    This stuff is legit. I’m following your Week 1 Meal plan for the Whole 30, and omg, what a life saver. It’s making our first week such a breeze!

    I didn’t realize I was supposed to use the spaghetti squash for this and we already had it in another meal (oops!), BUT I improvised with some cabbage by shredding it. It worked really well! Still gave it that noodle-y texture. I don’t think I quite got the sunshine sauce right since I was missing the vinegar and powdered ginger…next time though.

    Thank you so much for the pad thai and the Whole30 meal plans. They are exactly what my boyfriend and I needed to make this successful for both of us.

  • Suna says:

    I am new to Paleo and on day 2 of my first whole30. Your site has been a godsend! I’ve been prepping (and studying) like mad to get started and finally got to try out this recipe yesterday. Made the mistake of assuming that the sunbutter I had lurking about was compliant, but when I grabbed it I realized it had cane juice! Ugh. Thankfully I had some tahini also in hiding, so I used that. Oh wow!!! Each bite was more heavenly than the last. Still, am looking forward to trying with sunbutter and am also having visions of sunshine sauce with curry in it. I could seriously eat this daily. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

    • I’m so happy it worked out! Tahini is good stuff.

      The organic Sunbutter doesn’t include sugar, so that’s good for Whole30 time — and the kind with sugar is fine when you’re not Whole30-ing. The sugar is very minimal.

  • Amber says:

    We are on day 2 of our first Whole 30 and I made this for dinner tonight. The whole family loved it, including my 3 and 5 year olds, who cleaned their plates! I was expecting to like it as substitute for all naughty food I can’t have. Instead, I think it might be one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made and I love it! I’m so glad I found your blog – it may be the only way we survive this adventure!

  • michelle says:

    Made this today and it was delicious! I went vegetarian and used the 2 eggs as my protein. Next time I am going to try it with other nut butters – I think cashew would be perfect! Love your website and your book!

  • Erin says:

    I’m on day 18 of Whole30 and made this tonight–it was the best thing I’ve eaten in weeks! Absolutely amazing. I used shrimp and otherwise followed the recipe. Thank you so much! I am elated tonight!

  • Jenna says:

    Whole 30, Day 19, and this is on the menu!! Made it last night, halfway through making a double batch of the sunshine sauce with my sunflower seed butter (haven’t used in awhile), I read the label and there was evaporated cane juice in there! Gah! Even the most seasoned label readers can be surprised I suppose! So I quickly made a new batch with almond butter and lemon juice because the first batch took all my limes, and it’s freaking awesome. Fiance loved the sunbutter option as well. Cannot wait for lunch today. We doubled the batch and it made so much, so I think we might have it for dinner too! Haha. Thank you for this recipe!! I have been craving spicy thai food for a LONG time and this totally filled the void. YUM.

  • Julie Botsford says:

    We are on day 20 of our third Whole 30. Always looking for new meals to add to the meal plans. Made this tonight and it was amazing! I made the sunshine sauce with homemade cashew butter instead of sunbutter and it was so delicious! Added some broccoli and orange bell peppers to the mix too. This totally satisfied the “take out food” craving, and will for sure be going into rotation! Love it!

  • Sarah says:

    I am making a batch of this recipe for the second time. It’s so delicious! I’m new to the whole 30 thing and I really like this as a substitute for noodles! I’m wondering, can it be made and then frozen? Does it taste as good when it’s all mixed up but defrosted?

  • Danielle says:

    Im new to this. What are coconut aminos exactly? And ive read on the whole30 website to not use Paleo friendly substitutes for things, so is it still ok to cook with coconut aminos.. thoughts? Also, can these be found at stores like Trader Joes or Whole Foods?

  • Samantha says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Just wanted to say that this recipe was awesome! I just picked up Well Fed a couple weeks ago and had my first weekly cook up from it yesterday! Added this to my that mix and made it with half char siu and half chicken thighs. AWESOME!

    I love to cook and this book is really doing an awesome job of expanding my working cooking know how with paleo deliciousness.

    Do you have a recommendation on a food processor to use for the size of batches of sauce in your book. I have a Ninja, which I think would be too big, and I also have a mini chopper. Would a hand blender work? Thanks!

    • I’m really glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Thanks for letting me know!

      You can use a stick blender for the sauces. Just plop the ingredients in a mason jar and go for it.

  • lynne says:

    Do you know the calorie in take for this? I am doing a whole 30, and I never count calories.but with me body lifting now I need to keep track for a few days.


    • I don’t calculate the nutrition info for my recipes because I usually follow the “eyeball it” system, based on the meal template found here

      But you can always plug my recipes into a recipe calculator like this one if you prefer to know specifics.

      I’m food logging right now, too, and it’s really fascinating seeing the calorie and nutrition breakdown. I use Fitday and plug in the individual ingredients, rather than calculating the recipe.

  • This looks absolutely delicious. I am making this tonight. Thank you!!

  • Robin says:

    I am pretty new to doing the Whole30 thing. I’m in the early part of my first round. And I was thinking: How am I going to keep doing this? I like food too much! Then I discovered your recipe for Pad Thai (through NomNom Paleo, which is also great for recipes) & made it tonight. It was insanely delicious (only deviation I made was subbing red cabbage for spaghetti squash). I’m now thinking: I’m going to eat way tastier AND healthier than before. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

    Thank you from a very grateful foodie!

  • Melissa Sivels says:

    Hi Melissa! I have a rotisserie chicken to use up and was searching for recipes. This sounds so good! Love your stuff!

  • Lauren Garfunkel says:

    This was DELICIOUS!! Loved that it was fully compliant on the Whole Life Challenge. I subbed “zoodles” (spiralized zucchini) for the spaghetti squash and it was fab!! Do you have any suggestions for other things to use the sunshine sauce on? Thanks!!!!

  • Leah S says:

    I have been cooking my way through Well Fed and Well Fed 2, and somehow just made this for the first time – OMG delicious!

    • I love that you’re making your way through the cookbooks! I’m glad you gave this recipe a shot — it’s definitely one of my most popular. So happy you liked it!

  • Christina says:

    Totally A-M-A-Z-I-N-G recipe. Absolutely LOVE the sauce, and the entire recipe was completely DELICIOUS. I became interested in paleo recipes after doing my first Whole30. Not only is this the best paleo recipe I’ve tried, it’s perhaps the best recipe I’ve EVER made. So good. It’s completely satisfying, without all the pain and regret that comes from the classic dish. Thank you!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    Wow is this good! I was a little skeptical while making it since I am not a fan of spaghetti squash, however, it really is similar to rice noodles. Even my husband loved it!

  • Noelene says:

    So I google search Paleo Pad Thai and of course you come up. What am I thinking ? Have to do this tomorrow night. Saying to myself, Just get the books.

  • Angela Ward Bailey says:

    My house full of young adult snowed in boys (all 4 of them) LOVED this. I am making it again tonight due to popular demand. I received complaints that I didn’t make enough the first time and I made 4 times what the recipe called for along with several of your other recipes. I just thought you might get a kick out of knowing how popular it was!!!

  • ChristaTimil says:

    I made this this morning and I’m eating it for lunch and its sooooo good. It’s a really reassuring recipe as I was extremely nervous about giving up my pasta, rice, and bread. I was scared I wouldn’t be satisfied (physically and mentally) without it (I’m doing the Whole30). But I’m really happy with this meal!

  • Marissa says:

    I know this recipe has been around for awhile, but just wanted to comment to say thank you! We made this with butternut squash noodles instead of spaghetti squash and shrimp instead of chicken. So delicious!

  • Brandy says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I didn’t have sunbutter, but did have sunflower seeds so I just put a heaping 1/4 cup of those into my food processor with the other ingredients and it worked out great for the sunshine sauce. I don’t like snow peas, so I used mung bean sprouts as a replacement. I also used sweet potato noodles, which are a great replacement for rice noodles. I find them at my local Asian market – two ingredients: Sweet potatoes and water. Yum!

  • Sheila says:

    Delicious! I made it exactly as written and it turned out perfectly. I think I am in love with the sunshine sauce! My husband and I were fighting over the leftovers the next day. Thank you for sharing such great recipes.

  • Nancy B says:

    I think I am going to have to start doubling this recipe, and it’s just for me…I need more leftovers! Thanks so much for this and all your other wonderful recipes,, they have helped me successfully complete a Whole30 and continue to eat that way 95% of the time. I have Well Fed 2′ thinking I will also need 1!

  • fyggs says:

    This is an amazing recipe. So much so that I’m kind of irked that it’s been around as long as it has and *I* only found it this year! Seriously, I like it more than our local Pad Thai, and by a long way.

    Your site’s amazing, I’m working my way through your recipes and heeding your advice as I navigate my first Whole30 (day 12!). So thanks for that.

    Got a recipe for cashew chicken?? 🙂

    • I’m glad you tried it now! Congratulations on 12 days of Whole30-ing! Good for you!

      I have a recipe for Cashew Chicken in my new cookbook ‘Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less’ — out on November 1!

  • fyggs says:


    And good choice of recipe. 😉 (It’s already pre-ordered, can’t wait!)

  • Melodie says:

    I made this recipe tonight for the first time. Came out great. I used miracle noodles and shrimp, but that was the only change I made. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  • Christa says:

    Sunshine sauce makes the world a better place … thank you for creating it! I wanted to ask a question about noodles – are you familiar with the Korean noodle, dangmyeon? I know it’s a gluten free noodle, and the only ingredient is sweet potato starch. Would that be acceptable for Whole 30? If so, it would be delicious with this pad Thai!

  • Shannon says:

    Delicious! Added1/2 tsp fish sauce and subbed zucchini noodles. Even qualified for “drunk food”!

  • Lauren says:

    I just started my Whole30 and was feeling pretty bummed about my food options until I discovered this dish. Wow! Delicious. I did have to use Almond butter in place of the Sunbutter because I couldn’t find a Sunbutter without sugar added. It tasted great. I was hoping there would be leftovers for lunch the next day, but every last bit was eaten.