Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein
This Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein is the perfect dish to make when you are craving takeout. It’s made with spaghetti squash in place of noodles and is packed with shredded chicken, cabbage and carrots. This Whole30 Chow Mein is also Paleo, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal and can easily be made Vegan or Vegetarian too!
I used to have a weakness for really greasy and packed with MSG Chinese Food. SA tells a story about our first date, when I (always the graceful one) had chow mein noodles hanging out of my mouth, it will haunt me until the day I die. It was always sooo good at the time (usually eaten post midnight) but then I would feel sick and sluggish for days after, talk about a food hangover.
I am so excited about this Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein. I experimented with 3 different types of noodles, zucchini, butternut squash and carrot, but finally settled on spaghetti squash, which had the closest texture to traditional chow mein noodles.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHOW MEIN
- It’s hard not to love this Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein. It’s packed with all of the ginger, soy and garlic flavour of chow mein, has a very similar texture, but is so much lighter! You get all of the same satisfaction as eating a traditional chow mein, but without that heavy food hangover feeling.
- It’s super quick to make and from start to finish can take less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for weeknight dinner.
- The recipe for this Whole30 Chow Mein is super versatile, you can add in more veggies or use a different type of meat
- Leftover Paleo Chow Mein are just as delicious on day 2 or 3 and reheat well
HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH
There are two ways to cook spaghetti squash, one which is much quicker (under 10 minutes!) and one that takes longer but may result in slightly dryer strings of “spaghetti”.
- If you have a microwave I would highly recommend using it to cook spaghetti squash to save time. Start by pricking the spaghetti squash all over with a fork and then microwave it for 3 minutes to soften and make it much easier to cut through. After 3 minutes cut the spaghetti squash in half widthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. Place the two halves back into the microwave cut side up and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until tender.
- If you prefer to cook spaghetti squash in the oven, preheat it to 400° Fahrenheit. Cut the spaghetti squash in half widthwise, scoop out the seeds, place it cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until tender.
WAYS TO MODIFY THIS SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHOW MEIN
- Make it Vegan or Vegetarian: Swap the shredded chicken for sauteed shiitake mushrooms to make this Paleo Chow Mein Vegetarian or Vegan. Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms and then cook them in a pan with sesame oil until they are tender and golden in colour. Alternatively if you eat soy you could add tofu to the chow mein.
- Switch up the meat: In place of shredded chicken you could add cooked slices of pork or beef or cooked ground meat such as ground chicken, ground turkey or ground pork.
- Add more vegetables: I kept the veggies in this Whole30 chow mein simple, but you can add in more vegetables such as broccoli florets, thinly sliced bell peppers, asparagus or bok choy.
IS THIS SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHOW MEIN WHOLE30?
This Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein can easily be made Whole30 by replacing the honey in the sauce with 1 medjool date. Soak the pitted medjool date in hot water for 5 minutes before placing it in a blender with the other sauce ingredients (vinegar, coconut aminos and sesame seeds) and blend until completely smooth then transfer the liquid to a skillet and bring to a gentle simmer.
CAN I MAKE THIS SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHOW MEIN IN ADVANCE?
Although cooking the spaghetti squash in the microwaves takes just 10 minutes, if you wanted to save even more time you could roast the squash 1 -2 days in advance, I find that the texture or flavour of the spaghetti doesn’t change when left in the fridge for a few days. If you chop the veggies and make the sauce in advance as well then all you have to do is toss everything together in a pan which should take less than 5 minutes.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
Leftover Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein will last for up to 4 days stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. To reheat you can warm them in the microwave or in a skillet on medium heat. If the spaghetti squash seems too dry you can add a teaspoon of coconut aminos to help loosen the strands up.
Here are a few more takeout fakeout recipes that you might enjoy…
- Black Pepper Chicken
- Crispy Chilli Beef
- Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
- Sesame Chicken
- Chicken Chop Suey
- Egg Drop Soup
- Szechuan Pork & Green Bean Stir Fry
- Thai Basil Beef
- Sweet & Sour Pork
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Spaghetti Squash Chicken Chow Mein
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 3 cups chinese cabbage napa cabbage, shredded
- 1/3 cup green onions/scallions
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tsp honey (omit for Whole30)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
To Prepare the Spaghetti Squash
- Method 1 (Oven): Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius). Cut the spaghetti squash in half widthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy middle bit. Rub the 1 tsp olive oil over the inside of each of the squash halves and then place them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until the center of the squash is tender.
- Method 2 (Microwave): Prick the spaghetti squash all over with a fork and then microwave it for 3 minutes to soften. After 3 minutes cut the spaghetti squash in half widthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. Place the two halves back into the microwave cut side up and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until tender.
To Make the Chow Mein
- Once the spaghetti squash is done cooking, use a fork to scrape out of the inside of the squash into long strands. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add in the crushed garlic and finely chopped onion and sauté until the onion has softened (4 minutes). Add in the ginger, carrot and cabbage and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes unit the carrots are tender and the cabbage has wilted.
- In a sauce pan combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let is simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the spaghetti squash, spring onions and shredded chicken to the large pan with the sautéed vegetables. Pour over the sauce and stir until well combined. Garnish with a sprinkle of green onions before serving. Enjoy!