Veggie Chow Mein | Cheap Plant-Based Meal

BY : PUBLISHED : March 16th, 2022 UPDATED: September 1st, 2022

This one-pan Veggie Chow Mein is a delicious medley of fresh veggies and Asian-style noodles bursting with savory and umami goodness! It is easy to make, super versatile, and is definitely cheaper to make at home rather than ordering it at a restaurant. It is perfect when you need a quick yet healthy and filling dish. This recipe comes from my cookbook, Plant-Based on a Budget! You can buy it on Amazon.

completed bowl of Veggie Chow Mein in a white bowl against a white background with two chopsticks in the bowl

Easy Homemade Veggie Chow Mein

When I see my spinach starts to droop or the carrots get a bit bendy, I always make sure to make use of them before they fully expire. And since I love ordering Veggie Chow Mein every time I go to a Chinese restaurant, I decided to feed two birds with one scone by making this quick and easy, homemade version.

I love how I can clear out my fridge by subbing in any vegetables I need to use up. Also, I use the instant ramen that’s super accessible and made by the brand Nissin with the flavor called “Soy Flavor” – it’s vegan! With that said, I don’t use the flavor packets. And if you don’t like instant noodles, no worries! You can change out most of the ingredients and use rice noodles or wheat chow mein noodles, too. Yum! If you do like instant noodles, here's a ramen dish that you might also enjoy!

What You’ll Need

When you’re making it, please feel free to sub in any vegetables you need to use up, although if you make it by the book, this veggie chow mein will be delicious.

  • Asian-style noodles – You can use rice noodles, udon, or ramen. Make sure to check on package instructions for the recommended cooking time.
  • Canola or vegetable oil - For stir-frying the veggies.
  • Vegetables - We used celery, yellow onion, green cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, and garlic. We love how well the taste, texture, and colors work well together. However, feel free to use other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
  • Vegetable broth - You can also use veg bouillon/stock dissolved in water.
  • Soy sauce - To give the noodle dish a savory and umami flavor!
  • Hot sauce – This is optional, but you can drizzle it over the Chow Mein to give it a fiery oomph!
ingredients for Veggie Chow Mein measured out against a white background

How to Make Veggie Chow Mein

1) Cook the Noodles. Boil water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the noodles as per package directions. Make sure to keep it al dente as I will be stir-fried with the veggies later on.

2) Saute the Veggies. While you are waiting for the noodles to cook, start preparing your veggies. Heat oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat and sauté celery, onion, cabbage, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the celery and onion are soft and transparent.

process of adding veggies to black pan

3) Add the liquids. Pour in the broth and soy sauce, and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and simmer for five more minutes.

process of veggies being cooked in black pan with sauce ingredients on the side against a white background

4) Add the noodles and bean sprouts. Toss until everything is evenly coated with the sauce. Let it cook for 5 more minutes while occasionally stirring to ensure it does not burn or dry out too much.

process of adding noodles to pan of veggie chow mein

Recipe Tips

  • If you like your veggie Chow Mein a little saltier, add more soy sauce. Add in small amounts to make sure you do not overdo it.
  • I recommend frying it a little longer until the noodles dry up a bit. Cook them for 2 extra minutes, then flip the noodles and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • If you don’t like grating carrots, finely diced or thinly julienned carrots work just fine. We have a Complete Guide to Carrots if you want more guidance!
  • You can switch it up by adding some peanut sauce to this dish. Also, you can try adding a splash of sesame oil to give it a nuttier and more Asian flavor.
  • You can make this dish even more substantial by adding some crunchy fried tofu.
  • If you are using other veggies to make your Chow Mein, take note that the cooking time may vary. Always remember that harder veggies should always be cooked first.
  • Make a gluten-free version by using rice noodles and tamari instead of soy sauce.
completed bowl of Veggie Chow Mein in a white bowl against a white background

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is Chow Mein different from Lo Mein? While these two popular Chinese noodle dishes are often interchanged, they are actually different from one another. In English, Chow Mein means “stir-fried noodles” while Lo Mein means “tossed noodles.” Their primary differences are how they are cooked, and the noodles used to make them.
  2. Can I make my Chow Mein a little saucier? That is entirely up to you. We prefer our Chow Mein on the drier, almost crisp side. However, if you prefer it with more sauce, just cook it less or add more vegetable broth and season to taste.

Storing Leftover Veggie Chow Mein

Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to let it cool down first before transferring to a lidded container. You can reheat using a microwave or stovetop. If it is too dry, add a bit of vegetable broth to bring it back to life!

completed bowl of Veggie Chow Mein in a white bowl against a white background

Try these Other Yummy Noodle Dishes!

  1. Sesame Noodle Salad - This fresh and seriously delicious Sesame Noodle Salad is definitely for keeps!The amazing flavors (sesame oil, soy sauce, cilantro, lime, and Worcestershire sauce) of the sauce are beyond good.
  2. Chap Chae-Style Soba Noodles - These delicious Korean-inspired noodles are a perfect family dinner! Feel free to add other veggies or use another type of noodle!
  3. Warm Soba Salad with Cucumbers - The silky soba noodles and crisp zucchini and cucumbers coated in an umami-rich dressing from the Japanese-inspired cucumber dish are absolutely amazing!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

PBOAB cookbook ChowMein 060818 2 scaled 1

Veggie Chow Mein | Cheap Plant-Based Meal

Toni Okamoto
This one-pan Veggie Chow Mein is a delicious medley of fresh veggies and Asian-style noodles bursting with savory and umami goodness! It is easy to make, super versatile, and is definitely cheaper to make at home rather than ordering it at a restaurant.
5 from 46 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 486 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package of Asian-style noodles 8 ounce, (like rice noodles, udon, or ramen)
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 ribs of thinly sliced celery
  • ½ of a yellow onion
  • 1 cup of chopped green cabbage
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 2 small garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • Hot sauce optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, boil water and cook the noodles according to directions on the package.
  • While the noodles are cooking, prepare the vegetables. In a large pan or wok, heat the oil (or water). Add the celery, onion, cabbage, carrots, and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the celery and onion are tender and the onion is translucent.
  • Add the broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked noodles and bean sprouts and mix thoroughly. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Video

Notes

  • If you like your veggie Chow Mein a little saltier, add more soy sauce. Add in small amounts to make sure you do not overdo it.
  • I recommend frying it a little longer until the noodles dry up a bit. Cook them for 2 extra minutes, then flip the noodles and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • If you don’t like grating carrots, finely diced or thinly julienned carrots work just fine. We have a Complete Guide to Carrots if you want more guidance!
  • You can switch it up by adding some peanut sauce to this dish. Also, you can try adding a splash of sesame oil to give it a nuttier and more Asian flavor.
  • You can make this dish even more substantial by adding some crunchy fried tofu.
  • If you are using other veggies to make your Chow Mein, take note that the cooking time may vary. Always remember that harder veggies should always be cooked first.
  • Make a gluten-free version by using rice noodles and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 17gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 668mgPotassium: 494mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2893IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Toni Okamoto

"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways...
we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez

View all posts by Toni Okamoto

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Valerie says

    5 stars
    This is my favorite stir fry! I used Korean buckwheat noodles, added broccoli and mustard greens, and left the celery out. Will for SURE be making again.

    • Andrea White says

      Love the noodle sub!

  2. Jay says

    Perfect and simple homemade chowmein!

    • Andrea White says

      A staple!

  3. Gina House says

    The best, best! I can't believe how close this tastes to real take-out. Yum!

    • Andrea White says

      Right?! So good!

  4. Tina G says

    I love chow mein! Can't wait to make my own.

    • Andrea White says

      Same! It's such a winner!

  5. Michelle Cehn says

    I just need to find chow mein noodles!!

    • Andrea White says

      You dooo!

  6. Amanda Meth says

    I love chow mein! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Andrea White says

      So delicious!!

  7. Teodora Grujic says

    This is delicious!

    • Andrea White says

      Never need to buy takeout again!

  8. Andrea White says

    Sooo good!

  9. Nancy Wu says

    that's an easy toss i'd make again!

    • Andrea White says

      Love how easy this one is too!

  10. Bobbie says

    Love the stir fried veggies in this dish!

    • Andrea White says

      Right?! Nothing like a good stir fry!

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