Chicken chow mein is full of tender chicken, wilted cabbage, matchstick carrots and crunchy chow mein noodles. This restaurant fave is easy to make at home in just 20 minutes!
Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday party and tomorrow is her actual birthday. She’s turning 11. She finishes up 5th grade this week and will be on to middle school in the fall. Next month, she’ll be away at camp for 2 1/2 weeks.
My baby girl is growing up! And I’d maybe be a little more sad if she weren’t such a sweet, funny, smart girl who still loves a snuggle, adores the color pink and reads any chance she gets. (However, I am only human and fully expect to be half bawling at her 5th grade graduation ceremony this week. 😭)
Anyway… moving on…
Today I’m excited to share yet another takeout fakeout favorite that we make at home.
(See easy chicken pad Thai, sweet and sour chicken, quick chicken curry and healthy orange chicken for some other favorites I’ve shared previously. Oh and easy moo shu chicken, which takes just 20 minutes.)
Today it’s this easy chicken chow mein that will have you feeling like a rock star in the kitchen.
It’s full of tender pieces of chicken, wilted cabbage, matchstick carrots and crunchy chow mein noodles. Everything is coated in a delicious soy and hoisin sauce based sauce that adds big time flavor.
You’ll be diving in with your fork so fast you won’t have time to come up for air.
Plus, this absolutely scrumptious dish can be ready in your kitchen in 20 minutes, start to finish.
You can’t even order and pick up takeout that quickly!
We’re also using easy-to-find ingredients from your local store. I’m sure this makes it less than authentic and traditional, but it sure makes it more accessible!
And since we’re going homemade, this is much healthier than what you’d get from a restaurant. And we’re controlling the ingredients, so we know exactly what’s in it.
First, let’s call out one of the most popular questions.
What’s the difference between chow mein and lo mein?
– Chow mien noodles tend to be crunchier because of the way they are cooked, compared with lo mein noodles.
– Chow mein also has less or no sauce, compared to a more saucy lo mein.
Otherwise though, yes, they are very similar dishes and have similar flavors.
Speaking of, you should check out this easy chicken lo mein for another takeout fakeout dish to add to your repertoire.
OK, let’s get cooking so you can enjoy this deliciousness too.
(You can also check out my Google web story for this chicken chow mein recipe.)
Now, I’ve got those notes and tips coming up below on how to make chicken chow mein. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making easy chicken chow mein:
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to for this recipe, but you could also substitute chicken thighs. They are cut into thin slices, so they’ll both cook in the same amount of time.
- Cabbage: Feel free to use a bagged shredded cabbage or to slice it yourself from a head of cabbage. You’ll need 3 cups total.
- Chow mein: I buy the can of chow mein noodles that are cooked, crispy and ready to use. Feel free to get fresh chow mein noodles if you can find them and cook according to package directions before using in this recipe; you’ll need closer to 10-12 ounces.
- Hoisin: You can use hoisin sauce or oyster sauce for the sauce part of the recipe, whichever you have on hand or use more often (for me it’s hoisin sauce).
And this is really an easy dish to prep.
You cook the chicken pieces in the pan and then remove them. Next, you cook the veggies — cabbage, carrots and green onions — then start adding the aromatics.
Then you add back in the chicken, add the chow mein noodles and add the sauce. Toss to combine and you are ready to eat!
Such an easy meal and such amazing flavor!
As for serving, this is really an all-in-one kind of dish, and you’ve already got the green onions for topping.
You could certainly set out some extra soy sauce or some sriracha for heat if you’d like, but this dish doesn’t need much else.
Although, I will say, I try to reserve some of the crunchy chow mein noodles for my kiddos to enjoy on the side. They are big fans.
Last thing, let’s talk about leftovers.
Leftover chicken chow mein does not keep well because those crunchy chow mein noodles will soften in the refrigerator and they do not get their crunch back after that.
So… eat it all! Get seconds and use it all up. (Or if you are making this for two people instead of four, be sure to halve the recipe.)
There you go! Takeout has nothing on you. 😉
I hope you give this a try soon and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
And if you do, please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut in 1/2 inch strips
- 3 cups sliced green cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 (5 oz.) can of dry chow mein noodles
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (or oyster sauce)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and stir fry until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil then add the cabbage, carrots and the white and light green parts of the green onions. Cook until crisp tender, about 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Next, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Return the chicken to the pan, add the chow mein noodles and add the sauce. Stir well to ensure everything is well coated and cook 2 minutes, until heated through.
- Serve immediately, topped with reserved green parts of the sliced green onions.
Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to for this recipe, but you could also substitute chicken thighs. They are cut into thin slices, so they’ll both cook in the same amount of time.
Cabbage: Feel free to use a bagged shredded cabbage or to slice it yourself from a head of cabbage. You’ll need 3 cups total.
Chow mein: I buy the can of chow mein noodles that are cooked, crispy and ready to use. Feel free to get fresh chow mein noodles if you can find them and cook according to package directions before using in this recipe; you'll need closer to 10-12 ounces.
Hoisin: You can use hoisin sauce or oyster sauce for the sauce part of the recipe, whichever you have on hand or use more often (for me it’s hoisin sauce).
Leftovers: Leftover chicken chow mein does not keep well because those crunchy chow mein noodles will soften in the refrigerator and they do not get their crunch back after that. So it's best to enjoy right when you make it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 913mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 40g