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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Chow Mein

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Vegan chow mein is an easy dinner that the whole family will love! Fresh vegetables and noodles are stir-fried with a delicious sauce that is loaded with flavor. This wholesome, healthy meal will quickly become a new favorite recipe. The best part? It takes just 30 minutes to make!

Healthy vegan chow mein noodles with vegetables served in a white bowl with chopsticks.

Chinese takeout is total comfort food in our house. And chow mein is one of my favorite dishes! But I don’t love all the unhealthy fats and additives that come with takeout, and sometimes it’s hard to find a true vegan friendly chow mein.

That’s why I decided to create this vegan chow mein recipe! It’s delicious, healthy, packed with flavor, and so easy to make!

Adding vegetables to stir-fried noodles is a great way to get extra nutrition into your diet. The yummy sauce infuses flavor into the cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and snow peas for an irresistible bite every time!

This tasty recipe for vegetable chow mein is a healthy makeover of the classic Chinese noodle dish. It’s a a great option for anyone who’s looking for a meatless meal that’s both filling and satisfying.

It also happens to be incredibly versatile – you can customize it however you like! Feel free to add in your favorite vegetables or swap out the noodles for a different type of noodle. Or, for additional protein, make this a tofu chow mein recipe! Adding an extra source of protein will keep you full and satisfied even longer.

If you love Asian food, then you definitely have to give this veggie chow mein a try! It is such an easy meal for those busy weeknights when you need something quick. For a bigger meal, try pairing it with vegetarian wontons or some vegan egg rolls!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Vegan and can be made gluten free
  • Easy recipe for weeknight dinner
  • Clean ingredients
  • Made with healthy vegetables
  • Super versatile – can be made with different veggies & proteins!
  • Best vegetable chow mein recipe ever!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

You can find all the ingredients for this healthy chow mein recipe at your local grocery store or Asian market! See recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact measurements.

Ingredients for vegan chow mein recipe on a white background.

For The Stir Fry

  • Olive Oil: To keep these Chinese vegan noodles as healthy as possible, use olive oil or avocado oil! Avoid using palm oil or canola oil as these can be inflammatory.
  • Red Onion & Garlic: Sauteed onion and garlic adds the best flavor to this vegan chow mein! I like to use red onion in this dish, but any type of onion will work fine and taste great.
  • Cabbage, Carrots, & Broccoli: You will add cabbage, carrots, and broccoli to the large skillet once the onion and garlic has sauteed for a couple minutes. These bright veggies add color and health for a nourishing meal! You can add bell peppers here too!
  • Snow Peas & Bean Sprouts: Snow peas and bean sprouts are both very popular vegetables in Chinese food, amongst other Asian cuisine. If you have trouble finding snow peas, it is perfectly fine to use snap peas.
  • Chow Mein Noodles: If you are unable to find vegan chow mein noodles, you can use any long/thin noodle of your choice. For a quick and easy meal use instant ramen or other instant noodles.
  • Green Onions: Green onions add the perfect boost of flavor to this veg chow mein recipe. For a bolder taste you can use spring onion!
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: While toasted sesame seeds are completely optional, I recommend them! They add a perfect touch of classic Asian flavor! Plus, sesame seeds add a healthy fat to this chow mein with vegetables.

For The Sauce

  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is the base of the vegan chow mein sauce. Other options include liquid aminos, coconut aminos, or hoisin sauce. Using a dark soy sauce will give this recipe a richer taste that is slightly less salty.
  • Sesame Oil: Sesame oil adds a slightly nutty and earthy taste to the sauce. It is very common and popular for Asian dishes, bringing a sense of comfort and familiarity to this vegetarian chow mein recipe.
  • Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar adds a touch of sweetness to the sauce and tones down the boldness of the sesame oil. Brown sugar can also be used if you want to keep this sauce as close to traditional as possible.
  • Sriracha: Adding sriracha to the sauce is optional and you can use different amounts depending on spice preference. If you prefer other flavors or spices, feel free to use whatever you want.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar is sweet and acidic, similar to apple cider vinegar. You can also use a Chinese cooking wine, which typically has cinnamon and nutmeg in it, along with amino acids. 
  • Corn starch: Using cornflour helps to thicken the sauce so that it can fully coat the veggies and noodles.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Chow Mein

Healthy chow mein noodles are easy to make at home! With a few simple steps you will have this vegan recipe mastered. It tastes just as good as dining in at a restaurant, but way healthier and cheaper! Here is how to make vegetable chow mein:

Mix Sauce Ingredients: In a small bowl mix together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Vegan chow mein sauce stirred together in a white bowl.

Cook Noodles, Saute Onion & Garlic: Boil water and cook the chow mein noodles according to the package directions until “al dente.” Drain and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil in a large pan or wok on medium heat. Cut onions into thin slices and crush garlic cloves. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Onions sauteeing in a pan.

Add Veggies: Add the cabbage, carrot and broccoli florets. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat until cooked and tender. You may need to add 2-3 tbsp water to the wok to help cook the vegetables.

Broccoli, cabbage and carrots sauteeing in a pan.

Add Additional Veggies: Next, add the snow peas and bean sprouts. Sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the sauce and cooked noodles.

Add Noodles And Sauce: The last thing you’ll do add the noodles and sauce, and cook everything for 2-3 minutes while the sauce thickens. Add half of the sliced green onion and toss to coat all ingredients.

Vegan Chinese noodles being cooked in a pan with vegetables and sauce.

Serve: Serve these healthy Chinese noodles immediately, topped with remaining sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Vegetable chow mein sauteeing in a large pan on the stove.

💭 Expert Tips

  • For more sauce, add an additional ¼ cup water to the sauce ingredients and increase the corn starch to 1 tbsp. 
  • To stop noodles from overcooking, you can rinse them under cold water and drain. This is especially important for rice noodles to yield the best result!
  • Prepare ahead. All vegetables can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.
  • Make sure the noodles are vegan. Check that the noodles are vegan friendly and cook them as described on the packaging before adding to the cooked vegetables.
  • Do not freeze. Chow mein isn’t suitable for freezing as the stir-fried noodles will not reheat well.
  • Speed up the cook time. Use a high heat when cooking to ensure the veggies cook quickly.

📖 Variations

  • Add Protein: Make a tofu chow mein or chicken chow mein for extra protein. To make a crispy tofu, press the tofu block with a clean kitchen towel to drain excess water. Saute with a little oil or speed up the process with this air fryer tofu. You can also add soy curls for an easy vegan chicken chow mein, as it has a very similar texture!
  • Spicy Chow Mein: Turn up the heat on this vegan chow mein recipe by adding your favorite spices or doubling up on the sriracha. Try it with chili crisp, red pepper flakes, or jalapenos.
  • Try Different Veggies: The next time you make these vegan Chinese noodles switch it up with different vegetables. Red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, or green beans would all taste delicious!
  • Make It Gluten Free: Use vegan, gluten free chow mein noodles instead of regular chow mein noodles, or just use any gluten free spaghetti or gluten free noodles you like! Also, use coconut aminos or tamari instead of the soy sauce.
  • Adjust The Sauce: This vegan chow mein sauce recipe is very versatile and can be seasoned however you’d like. You can add white pepper, minced ginger, or fresh garlic!

🍽 Serving Suggestions

Serve these vegan asian noodles topped with fresh green onion and toasted sesame seeds. You can serve individually or family style in the center of your table. This dish pairs perfectly with any Asian side dishes as well! Here are some of our favorite ways to serve these vegetarian Asian noodles:

  • Asian Appetizers: Vegetable spring rolls, wontons, dumpling, egg rolls and more taste great with this dish!
  • Rice: Feel free to keep it simple by serving some steamed white or brown rice on the side, or for a more flavorful option, try this tofu fried rice.
  • Protein: If you don’t want to add protein directly into these Chinese vegetable noodles, serve it alongside this air fryer tempeh, or these tofu skewers!
  • Stir Fried Vegetables: Looking for even more veggies? Serve this frozen vegetable stir fry or this Thai basil eggplant on the side!

🫙 Storage, Freezing, And Reheating Directions

Store In The Fridge: Let the vegan chow mein cool to room temperature and place in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also set aside some of the sauce and veggies, and make fresh noodles the next day.

To Reheat: Reheat on the stove top or microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.

❓Recipe FAQs

Is chow mein vegan?

No, if you order chow mein from a restaurant or even places like Panda Express, it is likely not vegan. Often chow mein is made with oyster sauce or fish sauce, along with potentially being cooked in chicken broth. The noodles themselves are typically egg noodles, too. Make sure to check with your server or read the nutrition facts if you have strict dietary needs! 

The good news is making healthy chow mein at home is so easy! You can easily customize the ingredients to make it vegan – like in this recipe!

Is chow mein the same as lo mein?

Chow mein and lo mein are similar but not the same! Both are delicious noodle dishes that can be made with vegetables, protein, and sauce but the preparation is different. Chow mein refers to fried noodles, while lo mein refers to tossed noodles. Lo mein noodles are boiled for 2-3 minutes and tossed with sauce. Chow mein noodles are stir-fried with veggies or proteins along with the savory sauce. While fresh egg noodles are best for lo mein, you can use a fresh or dry noodle option for chow mein.

If you want to make an easy veggie lo mein, you can follow along with this recipe but leave the noodles out on step 5. Heat the sauce with veggies, and toss with the vegan lo mein noodles. Serve and enjoy!

Is vegetable chow mein healthy?

It depends on how you make it! If you use healthy fats (and don’t overdo the oils) and you load up your veggie chow mein recipe with lots of fresh vegetables, then it can be a very healthy choice for lunch or dinner! Including vegetables in chow mein is a great way to stay nourished with nutrients and vitamins. Plus, you can get a good variety of veggies into your diet which is important for gut health. For an even more balanced meal, make this vegan chow mein with tofu for some plant based protein to keep you full and satisfied.

What is chow mein sauce made of?

A traditional chow mein sauce is a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, brown sugar, and corn starch. You can easily make a vegan sauce by leaving out the oyster sauce. It is up to you whether or not you add anything else! For these Asian vegan noodles, I add red wine vinegar for a boost of flavor!

Do I need a wok to make chow mein?

No you don’t need a wok to make this recipe! If you have a large flat saute pan, that will work just as well.

What type of noodles is best for chow mein?

Using thin, long noodles is best for this vegetarian chow mein! You can typically find special chow mein noodles at an Asian market but other noodles work too. For an easy option, use ramen noodles, spaghetti noodles, or linguini. For a vegetable chow fun or tofu chow fun, try this recipe out with thick rice noodles. To keep this vegan, make sure you find eggless noodles.

Easy vegan chow mein served in a white bowl with chopsticks.

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/hkSZ8Svq4fA
Healthy vegan chow mein noodles with vegetables served in a white bowl with chopsticks.
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Vegan Chow Mein

Vegan chow mein is an easy dinner that the whole family will love! Fresh vegetables and noodles are stir-fried with a delicious sauce that is loaded with flavor. This wholesome, healthy meal will quickly become a new favorite recipe. The best part? It takes just 30 minutes to make!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Vegan
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 549kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

For The Chow Mein

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • ¼ head of cabbage shredded
  • 1 carrot sliced into thin strips
  • 1 head of broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 cup snow peas sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 14 oz chow mein noodles
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds optional

For The Chow Mein Sauce

Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, mix together all of the sauce ingredients, set aside.
  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large wok, sauté the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, carrot and broccoli florets. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes until cooked and tender. You may need to add 2-3 tbsp water to the wok to help cook the vegetables.
  • Next, add the snow peas and bean sprouts, sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the sauce and noodles.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes while the sauce thickens, add half of the sliced green onion and toss to coat all ingredients.
  • Serve immediately topped with remaining sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Stored cooked vegan chow mein in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • If you prefer more sauce with your noodles add an additional ¼ cup water to the sauce ingredients and increase the cornflour to 1 tbsp.
  • All vegetables can br prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.
  • Try adding sliced red bell pepper, fresh sliced chili, or sliced zucchini to add some additional color and flavor.
  • Check that the noodles are vegan friendly and cook them as described on the packaging before adding to the cooked vegetables.
  • Chow mein isn’t suitable for freezing.
  • Use a high heat when cooking to ensure the veggies cook quickly.

Nutrition

Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1732mg | Potassium: 817mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 11g

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