Loaded with vegetables and tons of flavor, this Vegetable Chow Mein is just like take-out but much healthier! Ready in just minutes, this is a perfect quick and easy stir-fry recipe for busy weeknights, and a great way to clear out the fridge.
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Easy Vegetable Chow Mein Recipe
I make stir-fries every week right before I go to the grocery store to clean out the fridge! It’s an amazing way to give new life to veggies that look maybe a little past their prime. This Vegetable Chow Mein recipe is so simple and easy to throw together and tastes just like take out!
To make this veggie chow mein recipe, all I have to do is prepare the noodles, stir-fry the vegetables, whip up the sauce, and stir-fry everything together. It comes together in just a matter of minutes, and it’s perfect for busy weeknights when I haven’t gotten around to cooking during the day.
I love that I can use whatever vegetables I have on hand, even frozen, and this dish still turns out deliciously. I also like to serve it with a little protein like honey garlic salmon or teriyaki chicken to make it even more filling. This is a great idea for meal prep and work lunches as well! Make a double batch and separate it into containers, with some protein on the side. It’s just like eating out, but much healthier with fewer calories and fresh vegetables!
Serve this Vegetable Chow Mein with my Beef Fried Rice!
What is in Veggie Chow Mein?
- Noodles: Chow mein noodles are cooked and added to this recipe. Chow mein-style noodles tend to be thin compared to lo mein which are flat and wide.
- Oil: You can use olive oil or sesame oil to add a deliciously nutty aroma. There is sesame oil in the sauce as well!
- Vegetables: This time I stir-fried onion, carrot, yellow bell pepper, bok choy, and mushrooms. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand – even frozen veggies will work in vegetable chow mein! This is a great way to clean out the fridge. I’ll include a list below of my favorite stir-fry vegetables.
- Onion, ginger, and garlic: These 3 ingredients go into every stir fry I make! They are a must because they add a ton of flavor!
Chow Mein Sauce
- Soy sauce: I like to use low sodium soy sauce as regular soy sauce is super salty, however, regular is perfectly fine to use in this recipe too!
- Oyster sauce: The oyster sauce is sweet, salty, and tangy. If you need a substitute for oyster sauce, hoisin sauce is my go-to, or in a pinch, you could add more soy sauce and a little extra sugar to taste.
- Sugar: Simple brown sugar adds sweetness and balance to this vegetable chow mein recipe. Feel free to add honey instead!
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil is a rich, nutty oil used in many Chinese recipes. I love it! You can find it in the international aisle at the grocery store.
- Rice wine vinegar: To add a little acid, I mix in some rice wine vinegar. Mirin can be substituted, or even a dry sherry is perfect!
How to make Vegetable Chow Mein
Begin by cooking the noodles according to the directions on the packaging, and then place them in a strainer to get rid of all of the excess water.
Next, heat the oil in a skillet or wok over high heat and add in the onions, carrots, and bell peppers. Stir fry the vegetables for about 3 minutes, until they begin to get some color on them.
After that, add in bok choy, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry until the bok choy begins to wilt. The garlic and ginger will start to smell deliciously fragrant!
Now we’ll add in the mushrooms and stir fry them until they are just tender.
To finish off the vegetable chow mein recipe, stir fry the chow mein noodles and the sauce with the vegetables until everything is mixed well together.
What is chow mein sauce made of?
There are just 5 ingredients in this vegetable chow mein sauce: soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar. Whisk all of the ingredients together before adding them to the vegetables and noodles. This flavor combination is absolutely delicious and so easy to whip up!
Storage & Reheating Instructions
- Store vegetable chow mein in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat it in a wok on the stove by stir-frying it until it is heated through, or you can microwave it. You may need to add a little water if the noodles have absorbed all of the sauce.
Tips for Success
- Make sure the wok is hot! Stir-fries work best over high heat. You want the vegetables to still be a little crunchy, but have some color on the outside when the vegetable chow mein is ready.
- Use pre-chopped vegetables: This makes cooking a breeze! I like to add in either pre-chopped fresh vegetables or even frozen vegetables. You can buy stir-fry blends of both frozen and fresh vegetables from the grocery store. I also like to use pre-minced ginger and garlic. It’s so handy, and I just have to add a teaspoon or two from the jar for an incredible flavor!
- Add in protein: Tofu, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and fish all work really well in this vegetable chow mein recipe and make it super filling. Cook the protein before adding the vegetables apart from the shrimp. It can be tossed in 5 minutes before you’ve finished cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I make this chow mein recipe vegan or vegetarian? To make this chow mein recipe vegan, substitute the oyster sauce for hoisin sauce. You could also substitute it for a little more soy sauce, but be sure to add some sugar or honey as well, as the oyster sauce is a little sweet.
- Can I add protein to this recipe? Yes! Try my chicken chow Mein recipe if you want extra protein. You can also add in tofu, beef, pork, shrimp, or fish. I cook the protein before adding in the vegetables apart from the shrimp! You can add the shrimp in towards the end, right before adding in the noodles.
- Is vegetable chow mein healthy? It really is! It’s packed full of fresh vegetables that get stir-fried quickly. The veggies retain a lot of their nutrition as they aren’t cooked very long. Also, some of the key ingredients: garlic, ginger, and onion, are known for being extremely healthy and good for you!
My Favorite Stir-Fry Vegetables
Here is a list of vegetables that are great to swap into this vegetable chow mein recipe! Onion, garlic, and ginger are a staple and should be included every time you make a stir fry to add amazing flavor to the dish, please don’t skip these 3! You can buy pre-peeled garlic to save time, or even minced garlic and minced ginger, just toss them in! Other than that, I like to stick to about 4 more vegetables, and I like to try and add a leafy green in there as well!
- baby corn
- bamboo shoots
- bean sprouts
- bell peppers (any colour, I like red, yellow and orange the best)
- bok choy
- snow peas
- sugar snap peas
- water chestnuts
- yellow squash
More Stir-Fry Recipes You Will Love
- Honey Chicken Stir Fry
- Rainbow Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry
- Zucchini Noodle Stir Fry
- Easy Chicken Stir Fry
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Thai Stir Fry
Vegetable Chow Mein
- 8 ounces chow mein noodles
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 3 heads bok choy, cut into quarters
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- green onions for serving, if desired
- sesame seeds for serving, if desired
- Cook the chow mein noodles according to the package instructions.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add in onions, bell peppers and carrots. Saute for about 3 minutes stirring constantly or until the vegetables start to get some color on them.
- Add in bok choy, ginger and garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the bok choy starts to wilt.
- Add in mushrooms and cook for another minute or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the cooked noodles and chow mein sauce and toss to coat the noodles and vegetables in the sauce.Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.