Vegetable lo mein is the perfect meal to clean out the fridge, and a quick last minute dinner everyone will love.
Vegetables are stir fried with a rich and easy sauce (that we use on most stir fries), then tossed with noodles to create a one pan dinner that the entire family will love.
To pack in some extra protein, we love adding some chicken breast, shrimp, or tofu!
Why We Love It
We call this the clean out the fridge lo mein, because it is fool proof, fast, and almost any vegetable combination works perfectly.
When you don’t want to pay for take out but would love an easy noodle dish, this is your answer!
A perfect last minute dinner for the kids on a weeknight, something to throw together when friends show up unannounced, this lo mein recipe takes nothing more than a quick vegetable prep.
How To Make Vegetable Lo Mein
Here’s how to make a vegetable lo mein:
- PREP: For lo mein, like most quick fried dishes, it’s important to have everything prepared before you begin cooking. We like to put out bowls of all of the prepared ingredients so we can grab them as needed.
- HEAT: Heat your wok or saucepan, cook the vegetables, add the sauce. Once thickened, toss in the prepared noodles. Dinner is served!
- SERVE: We love garnishing lo mein with sesame seeds, as well as cilantro or green onions.
Our Favorite Additions
These vegetable ingredients are our favorites, but vegetable lo mein is such a fun dish to get creative with. Below, I have added our most common additions and general cook times.
Any additions you add may need to be adjusted based on the size of your dish and heat.
- Prepared tofu – saute 3-4 minutes over medium high then add vegetables
- Sliced chicken – add fully cooked, heat 1-2 minutes
- Shrimp – saute 2-3 minutes over medium high before adding vegetables
- Diced pork chops (fully cooked) – add while adding vegetables to pan
- Carrots – Julienned carrots will cook with similar timing to cabbage, so add them during the cabbage step
- Bok choy – blanched, steamed, or boiled bok choy is a favorite in this recipe. Ensure it is precooked so the cooking times work out
- Zucchini – as a quick fry favorite, sliced zucchini works well in lo mein. Add it towards the end to avoid losing too much moisture, and losing the consistency of the sauce
- Mushrooms – white chestnut mushrooms are delicious, add them once the rest of the vegetables are tender, for about a minute before adding the sauce in
- Black sesame seeds – These are mainly for presentation, they look amazing and offer a stronger sesame flavor than white seeds. Fun fact: black sesame seeds have their hull intact which doesn’t affect texture, but affects flavor!
- Chili oil – If you happen to have this on hand, it adds a delicious kick. If not, mix 1/8 teaspoon of chili flakes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil together during prep. While it doesn’t have time to infuse, it’s definitely delicious
- Green onion (scallions) – we add these for garnish, but adding 1 sliced green onion into chow mein tastes amazing if you’re a fan
Tips For A Perfect Lo Mein
- For cookware, a wok is ideal. We often use a cast iron pan as well, We love how even the heat is while making vegetable lo mein. Anything non stick works just as well!
- If using a cast iron dish as above, add the stir fry to a serving dish once ready. Cast iron retains heat, and will continue to cook the vegetable lo mein when removed from heat.
- Toss constantly. This dish cooks quickly, and keeping the ingredients moving while they cook will ensure the garlic, sauce, or other ingredients have a chance to cook properly without burning.
- PREP, PREP, PREP. Stir fries, chow meins, and lo mein cook in about 5-6 minutes from the first ingredient. It is very important to ensure you have everything ready to go, so you don’t take an eye off of the dish. It’s cooked on a high heat.
- If omitting oyster sauce, we opt to use dark soy sauce rather than regular. The deeper flavor can help offset the missing umami flavor of oyster sauce. Dark soy sauce can be higher in sodium, so adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.
- We like to buy lo mein noodles that are already cooked. These are usually found in the fresh pasta section of the grocery store. Dried can usually be found in the asian section, ensure they are cooked according to package directions for beginning.
How To Store Vegetable Lo Mein
Vegetable lo mein will last stored in the fridge for up to 1 week, in an air tight container.
If protein was added, it will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
If you plan to use this recipe for meal prep:
- Prep the proteins separately, and cook and store the proteins separately.
- Add your
While you can freeze lo mein noodles, we have found with this recipe that they clump, and the vegetables change in texture. We suggest planning to enjoy this vegetable lo mein for the 5 days!
More Easy One Pan Dinners
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Fried Cabbage and Sausage Skillet
- Easy Italian Chicken Cacciatore
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
Vegetable Low Mein
For the Sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce low sodium
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce see note
- 1 ½ teaspoons ginger freshly grated
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the Stir Fry:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pacakgage lo mein noodles 8 ounces
- 1 ½ cups cabbage finely shredded
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 1 medium carrot julienned, 1 cup
- 1 ½ cups broccoli florets chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
For Garnish (optional):
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 green onion sliced
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro chopped
- Preheat a wok or large pan over medium high heat with olive oil. If dry, cook lo mein noodles accoring to package directions. Drain, set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk togehter all ingredients for sauce. Set aside.
- When the wok is hot, add cabbage, onion, carrots. broccoli. Cook for 2-3 minutes, turning constantly until vegetables become tender and vibrant.
- Add prepared chow mein sauce, simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened, whisking constantly.
- Add the lo mein noodles. Toss to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until hot.
- Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, or cilantro.
- Diced tofu
- Chicken breasts
- Diced pork