This easy Chinese-inspired Chow Mein recipe includes noodles, vegetables and chicken with a simple chow mein sauce. It’s healthy and quick to make from home.

If you like to make take-out inspired dishes from home, check out Kung Pao Shrimp, Lettuce Wraps, or General Tso’s Chicken.

A bowl with an easy Chow Mein recipe with chicken and veggies, with chopsticks.

Why I love this recipe:

  • 30 Minute Meal – You can have this fresh chow mein on the table in less than 30 minutes!
  • Fresh – This easy chow mein recipe hits the spot every time, and I love how it includes veggies and protein.
  • Easy to Customize – I often use this recipe to help use up any vegetables lying in my fridge. You can adapt it to your liking by tossing in your favorite vegetables. See some of my favorites in the variation section below.

What is Chow Mein?

Chow mein is a stir-fry noodle dish that is made in many different variations, but typically made with noodles, cabbage, celery, green onions, and garlic. Traditional chow mein is made with fried noodles but often it is prepared with boiled lo mein, chow mein, or yaki-soba noodles. Then it is added to a vegetable stir fry with chicken or beef and a simple sauce.

I can’t call this Chow Mein recipe authentic! This is just the version I like to make from home, to mimic the flavors I love from take-out. For a more authentic version, try this recipe.

How to make Chow Mein:

Cook Chicken: Heat a large pan or wok on high heat then pour in 1 tablespoon oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to hot pan. Sauté until cooked through then remove to a plate. Whisk sauce ingredients together and set aside.

A wok with chicken sautéed until golden brown for the best chow mein recipe.

Add Vegetables: Add another tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add cabbage, carrots, celery, and the whites of the chopped green onion. Stir fry over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, then remove everything to a plate.

Shredded cabbage, carrots, celery, and green onion being sautéed in a wok for homemade Chow Mein.

Combine: Add last tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the noodles. Cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce and cook, tossing to coat then return veggies and chicken to the pan, along with fresh bean sprouts.

Two images showing a simple sauce being added to yakisoba noodles in a wok, then after chicken, veggies, and bean sprouts are added to make easy Chow Mein.

Serve immediately, garnished with green onion.

Fresh Chow Mein in a serving bowl with some of it being lifted by chopsticks.

What’s the difference between lo mein and chow mein?

Lo Mein and Chow Mein are two popular Chinese-American dishes that are very similar and often even used interchangeably. The main difference between these two Chinese dishes is in the noodles. Lo Mein is typically made with thicker noodles where Chow Mein is made with thinner noodles that are traditionally fried and crispy.

Recipe Variations:

  • Cabbage and Carrots: If you’re in a hurry, you could use bagged coleslaw mix that has shredded cabbage and carrots.
  • Vegetables: Try adding more veggies like Bok choy, bell peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, broccoli, and water chestnuts would all work well.
  • Protein: Substitute beef, tofu, or shrimp.
  • Vegetarian: Leave out the chicken, or swap with tofu or your favorite vegetarian protein source.
  • Vegan: Leave out the chicken, or swap with your favorite vegan protein source. Substitute hoisin sauce instead of the oyster sauce.
  • Chow Mein Noodles: I often use Yakisoba noodles because I can get them at my local grocery stores (discard the seasoning packet), but for the most authentic noodles, use fresh chow mein noodles from a local Asian foods market, or Dry chow mein noodles that are labeled as “hong kong” or “pan fried” noodles, which have already been par-boiled and can be added right to the pan. You could also use dry wonton noodles or lo mein noodles, but cook according to package instructions, drain well, and remove excess moisture from them before adding to stir-fry.

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Recipe

A bowl with an easy Chow Mein recipe with chicken and veggies, with chopsticks.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Save Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 14 oz yakisoba refrigerated noodles , or 16 oz chow mein noodles*
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon vegetable oil , or canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage* *
  • 1 large carrot , shredded
  • 2 ribs celery , chopped
  • 4 green onions , chopped, white and green separated
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts (optional)

Sauce:

Instructions
 

  • Chow mein sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  • Cook chicken: Heat a large pan or wok on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to hot pan. Sauté until cooked through, then remove to a plate.
  • Cook Veggies: Add another tablespoon of oil. Once hot add cabbage, carrots, celery, and the whites of the chopped green onion. Stir fry over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, then remove everything to a plate.
  • Noodles: Add last tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the noodles. Cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce and cook, tossing to coat. Return veggies and chicken to the pan, along with fresh bean sprouts.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with green onion.

Notes

Cabbage and Carrots: If you’re in a hurry, you could use bagged coleslaw mix that has shredded cabbage and carrots.
Chow Mein Noodles: I often use Yakisoba noodles because I can get them at my local grocery stores (discard the seasoning packet), but for the most authentic noodles, use fresh chow mein noodles from a local Asian foods market, or Dry chow mein noodles that are labeled as “hong kong” or “pan fried” chow mein noodles, which have already been par-boiled and can be added right to the pan. You could also use dry wonton noodles or lo mein noodles, cook according to package instructions, drain well, and remove excess moisture from them before adding to stir-fry.
Add More Vegetables like Bok choy, bell peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, broccoli, and water chestnuts would all work well.
Protein: Substitute beef, tofu, or shrimp.
Vegetarian: Leave out the chicken, or swap with tofu or your favorite vegetarian protein source.
Vegan: Leave out the chicken, or swap with your favorite vegan protein source. Substitute hoisin sauce instead of the oyster sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 563kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 34gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 1609mgPotassium: 601mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2265IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 4mg

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I originally shared this recipe March 2019. Updated July 2022 and January 2024.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Looks like a pretty easy recipe. I’m going to make this, this weekend… I really wish that people would stop referring to pasta. There is no “pasta” in Chinese food! And more specifically, chow mein! You never put spaghetti noodles in chow mein …. SMH….. You can get the proper chow mein noodles, usually in the fresh vegetable section of the supermarket…..

  2. 5 stars
    My lips are still tingling from all the Sriracha I added, but WOW, was this fantastic! I can’t wait to make it again!

  3. 5 stars
    Love the balance of flavors (not salty, and tastes great!), and the directions for how to bring it all together. Thank you!

    1. Hi Aaron, I”m interested to know what you didn’t like about it? It’s a pretty basic veggie and pasta dish.

  4. 5 stars
    I just made the recipe for dinner and it was very tasty! The only thing I modified was that I only had dark brown sugar and only used half a tablespoon. Everything else was followed to the T. My 2 year old even chowed this down! Thank you 🙏

  5. 5 stars
    What a great recipe!! You can easily customize noodles and veggies, based on personal preference, but that sauce is the bomb!! Leftovers are sooooo good too!

  6. Excellent! I didn’t add the Asian sauce – (hubby can’t do hot) and it was plenty flavorful. I liked the veggie mix and served over rice. We enjoyed the dish, simple to prep and will definitely add to our rotation!

  7. 5 stars
    The sauce makes this recipe so delicious. I used whatever vegetables I had and udon noodles. This recipe deserves more than 5 stars!!!

  8. 5 stars
    This is as delicious as it is easy! The fresh Yakisoba noodles can be just thrown right in with the sauce as directed without boiling first, which saves time & cleanup. So good and you can use any veggies you have on hand.

  9. Soft noodles = Lo Mein.
    REAL Chow Mein has Hard, Crunchy Noodles.
    Too much carrots. Not enough celery.
    Where are the: Bok choy, bell peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, broccoli, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Recipe and the result are bland, boring, uninteresting = more ingredients will get the taste buds involved. May as well open up a can of La Choy.

  10. 5 stars
    I tend to improvise a little with the ingredients, however as long as I have a base-line to follow, things turn out great! Other recipes you share here have been outstandingly helpful. Many thanks.

  11. This one is a keeper. Fast and easy to put together and really tasty. Bagged coleslaw worked well. The possibilities are endless. Next time will try shrimp, peanuts and other veggies to mix it up. Thx for giving us this recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    We used sirloin strips because that’s what we had. I also doubled the recipe making one half in the pan with meat and one pan veggies only. Both super tasty. Only advice is prechop and prep everything before starting to cook. It will simplify cooking it.

  13. 5 stars
    So very good. My husband does not like cabbage so I used red bell pepper instead. Added small can of water chest nuts and unfortunately had to use canned bean sprouts due to availability. Still very good.

  14. 5 stars
    I didn’t try the full recipe, just the sauce recipe, but I have to say – this is the best chow mein sauce that I’ve ever made!

  15. 4 stars
    Pretty Good! Our first time trying this recipe: we felt the veggies needed much more cooking than 2 minutes, even on high (about 10 minutes to get the celery cooked through before we added the pasta. We used pre-cooked chunks of chicken so we added that when we added the pasta. We used spaghetti noodles, BTW. The sauce was tasty. We didn’t add the oyster sauce to the pan, instead letting family members add oyster sauce to taste. Some love it, others not so much. Will make again!

  16. 5 stars
    oh. my. gosh. Is this recipe authentic? Absolutely not. Is this recipe delicious and wonderful and super easy to prep so you can make most of it ahead of time and just assemble in 15-20 minutes? yaaaasssssssss!!!!

    I didn’t use udon noodles – I used Pasta Zero (shiratake noodles) and added them right at the end and it was wonderful.

    In the future I will pre-chop eeeeverything so all I have to do is saute everything together and add the sauce and BAM, dinner is done. <3

  17. Sorry you guys are all crazy chow mein has made for 100 years in New York and San Francisco and Chicago does not have any pasta noodles whatsoever .
    in the last 10 years or so every Chinese restaurant I go into has to either tell me or I have to ask if they have pasta and they’re so called chow mein.
    If you want Chinese noodles that are like Italian than you want lo mein. Low mein traditionally has very few vegetables in it. Please stop confusing people

  18. I’m just wondering how this recipe can be considered authentic Chinese when it says to use Japanese noodles? Is like using Canton style noodles to make Ramen.
    There are several authentic Chinese noodles available in the markets.

  19. 5 stars
    This Chow Mein is absolutely marvelous. It is fresh, full of aromas, and my daughters absolutely love it.

  20. 5 stars
    We loved this recipe. After we got all the veges chopped and the sauce ready, everything cooked up super fast and tasted so good.

  21. 5 stars
    Super yummy chow mein ever! My husband, who is not a foodie said it was one of the best meal I’ve ever made. So good!

  22. Very good blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  23. 5 stars
    WOW! It turned out so good and tasty. I used all ingredients. I can’t wait to make it with shrimp next time

  24. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I didn’t have everything on hand so I used spaghetti noodles for the Yaki-Soba noodles and Hoisin Sauce for the oyster sauce, a small amount of ground ginger instead of freshly grated ginger. It turned out great – my husband loved it. We’re having the leftovers for lunch! This recipe will go into our rotation.

  25. 5 stars
    I’m an 80 yr old male and enjoy cooking if dish is easy and uses readily available ingredients . This recipe is not only easy but extremely tasty. Take Out Never Again. My wife loves it too.

  26. 5 stars
    Has a different taste on it that makes it unique from other chow mein. I shared the link to my co workers after they tried the chow mein I brought to work and they also would like to try the different healthy meal recipes.

  27. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!!!! I ended up using 2 packages of ramen noodles for the pasta and just so it didn’t go to waste I used the seasoning packets to season my chicken before I cooked it.

  28. The food was delicious! My boys all inhaled it, even my 4-yr-old. The recipe was easy-ish. A wok is definitely needed or a large non-stick sauté pan. Stainless steel is the devil when trying stir-fry. Also, the recipe never mentions cutting up the chicken. If you follow the recipe word for word, you’ll end up with chow mein with two big chicken breasts. I just wish some editing had been done. Would have been helpful. Other than that, I would make this again armed with this new knowledge.

  29. 5 stars
    So easy. Delicious! Kid approved will make this again. Thank you for making my weeknite easy and so good.