This Vegan Chow Mein with Vegetables comes together in just 20 minutes for a quick and easy dinner that is made entirely in one pan! This Chow Mein is also customizable and you can add any vegetables you like to it!

Two bowls of vegetable chow mein with a small bowl of green onions and a napkin on the side

Vegetable Chow Mein

I’m a big fan of Asian Noodle Recipes for quick and easy dinners. They’re a great way to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes and usually only require one pan to make, which means minimal clean-up.

Chow Mein has always been one of my favourite Chinese noodles dishes that I would always order in restaurants. This homemade version of Vegan Chow Mein is much lighter and healthier than one you’d get in a restaurant, plus this recipe is filled with vegetables!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Ready in 20 minutes. When you need dinner on the table quickly, this Vegetable Vegan Chow Mein has your back! It’s quick and easy to make with minimal clean up.
  • Easy to customize. Add in whatever vegetables you like to this recipe, or give it some protein by adding some tofu.
  • Healthier than takeout. We all know that restaurant chow mein is loaded with oils and heavy sauce and isn’t the most healthy option. This homemade version is much healthier and lighter.

Chow mein vs Lo Mein

Chow Mein and Lo Mein are two popular Chinese noodle dishes that are often confused. But there are a few distinct key differences between the two.

Chow Mein noodles are different than Lo mein noodles and are often slightly thinner. Chow Mein noodles are also usually pan-fried in a wok or pan, giving them charred crispiness. And lastly, the sauce for these two dishes is often different.

Ingredients to make Vegan Chow Mein

a flat lay of ingredients for vegan chow mein
  • Chow Mein noodles: these types of noodles are generally wheat based and can sometimes contian egg-so make sure to check the packaging to choose an egg-free Chow Mein noodle. You can also use spaghetti or gluten-free spaghetti noodles instead if you prefer.
  • Cabbage: green cabbage or nappa cabbage work best. Don’t substitute with red cabbage.
  • Red bell pepper: this adds some great flavour, texture and colour to the chow mein. You can add it in slices or in small cubes if you prefer smaller bites.
  • Carrots: shredded carrots crunchy and flavourful and perfect to add to chow mein!
  • Green onions: rather than using a regular onion, this recipe only uses green onions. We use the entire part of the green onion. (the bottoms and the tops)
  • Garlic: can you really make an Asian noodle recipe without garlic?
  • Stir fry sauce: the stir-fry sauce for this vegetable chow mein is made with dark soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar and coconut sugar.

How to make Vegan Chow Mein (Step by step instructions)

Step 1

Heat some oil in a large pan then add the onion, garlic, pepper, carrots and cabbage and sauté  until all the veggies are tender.

Step 2

Cook the chow mein noodles according to package directions, then add the noodles to the pan with the veggies. Mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together and pour into the pan.

Step 3

Mix everything together until the noodles are evenly coated. Then let the noodles sit for a minute or so, so they begin to slightly crisp up on the bottom. Then remove from the stove and serve immediately.

Chow Mein recipe variations

Make it gluten-free: if you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use any gluten-free pasta (like gluten-free spaghetti) or rice noodles in place of the chow mein noodles. You will also need to substitute the dark soy sauce for gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

Make it high protein: if you want a little more protein in this Vegan Chow mein, try adding in some tofu or crumbled temeph.

Make it with more veggies: use any type of vegetables you love to use in a stir-fry. Try adding some broccoli, Chinese broccoli, bok choy, bean sprouts or snow peas to this dish. This recipe is great to use whatever type of vegetables you have in your fridge!

How to store chow mein

Store leftover Vegan Chow Mein in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Tips for makingt this Vegan Chow Mein perfectly

  • Use fresh onions and garlic. For the best flavour, don’t substitute these with dried or powdered versions. The onions and garlic are what contribute big flavour to this dish!
  • Don’t overcook the noodles before adding them to the stir-fry. The chow mein noodles will continue to cook slightly when being stir-fried, so make sure they are just slightly undercooked before adding them to the pan.
  • Mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together. While you can technically add each sauce ingredient directly to the pan separately, by mixing the sauce ingredients together you’ll get more evenly coated and seasoned noodles.

Chow Mein FAQ

Are chow mein noodles vegan?

You’ll have to check the label of the chow mein noodles to make sure they’re vegan. Some chow mein noodles will have eggs in them, while some do not.

What should I make the chow mein in?

A wok is best for making chow mein, but if you don’t have a wok at home a large pan will work just fine!

Is vegetable chow mein healthy?

While takeout chow mein often isn’t the most healthy option, this homemade chow mein is much lighter and healthier!

What is chow mein sauce made of?

Chow mein sauce is made with a mix of oyster sauce, (vegetarian version if needed) soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. This gives the sauce a salty, tangy and sweet taste.

A bowl of vegan chow mein with chopsticks on top

More noodle recipes to try

If you tried this Vegan Chow Mein or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

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A bowl of vegan chow mein with chopsticks on top

Vegan Chow Mein

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Vegan Chow Mein is packed with vegetables and ready in just 20 minutes for an easy dinner!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Stir fry

  • 250 grams vegan chow mein noodles (can sub spaghetti noodles)
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage (or nappa cabbage)

Stir fry sauce


Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to package directions in a pot of boiling water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. Heat the avocado oil in a large pan on medium-high heat, then add the green onions, garlic, carrots, pepper and cabbage and saute for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  4. Lower the heat to medium then add the noodles and the stir fry sauce to the pan mixing everything together until combined. Let the noodles cook for 1-2 minutes to become slightly crisp on the bottom.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Notes

This recipe makes 2 large servings or 4 smaller servings. 

Store leftovers in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Don’t overcook the noodles before adding them to the stir-fry. The chow mein noodles will continue to cook slightly when being stir-fried, so make sure they are just slightly undercooked before adding them to the pan.

Mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together. While you can technically add each sauce ingredient directly to the pan separately, by mixing the sauce ingredients together you’ll get more evenly coated and seasoned noodles.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 300
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fat: 10.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 6.8g

Keywords: vegetable chow mein, vegan chow mein, chow mein with vegetables