Easy One Pot Chow Mein – Better than Panda Express

Easy One Pot Chow Mein

I absolutely adore the lack of cleanup that comes with cooking dinner all in one pot, and it doesn’t get any less messy than this recipe for easy chow mein! We’ve been loving chow mein for a while, but I don’t make it as often as my kids would like because it leaves me with more dishes than I like to do: A big pot and colander for the pasta, cutting board and knife for the cabbage, bowl, whisk, and pot for the sauce, frying pan and spatula for the cabbage, big bowl to serve it in at the table . . . dishes are seriously the bane of my existence. Enter this yummy vegan easy chow mein – a one pot recipe that’s perfect for a quick evening dinner!

Easy Chow Mein

Naturally, after a very successful One Pot Spaghetti experiment and a lovely Thai vegan curry that’s also a one pot recipe, the logical next step is one pot everything. I’m working on getting everyone to eat right out of the pan so there are no bowls to wash – it’s good to have goals, right?

Easy Chow Mein

The magic of this one pot idea isn’t about having less to cleanup – that’s just an awesome bonus! When the pasta is cooked with all the other ingredients it soaks up all those flavors and leaves some starch behind in the sauce, so you get more intensely delicious food, thicker sauces with no extra effort, and fewer messes to cleanup.

Easy Chow Mein

A couple of notes before you dive in:

  1. Coating the inside of the pot with oil and heating it to smoke point is what keeps the pasta from sticking while cooking – don’t skip this step.
  2. Use an oil that can survive high temperatures like canola oil.
  3. If you don’t have PB2 Powder you can use peanut butter instead, or omit this entirely if you have a deep dislike for peanut butter – or a peanut allergy.
  4. Do not turn the heat down. If you do, the pasta isn’t going to cook. The liquid has to be boiling when the pasta is added, and has to continue to boil throughout the cooking process.
  5. Wear an oven mitt while stirring – the steam is really hot.
  6. Don’t panic when the pasta looks like a mess. Once it starts to soften and bend, which I promise it will as long as the heat is still on high, it’s 75% done. Take deep breaths and keep stirring.
  7. I have only used semolina pasta for this recipe – the wheat based stuff. I have no idea if gluten free pastas will work or how to adjust the recipe for them. If you try it and it works for please come back and leave a comment!

Yields 6 servings

Easy Chow Mein

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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4 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons pb2 powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 tablespoon garlic powder

3/4 cup stock

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 head red cabbage - shredded

1 lb uncooked spaghetti


  1. Shred the head of red cabbage. Set aside.
  2. Coat the inside of the pot or pan with cooking oil. Heat on high until the oil begins to smoke, then immediately add all ingredients except uncooked spaghetti and shredded red cabbage.
  3. Whisk quickly until combined, then add uncooked spaghetti first, and add the cabbage on top of the spaghetti. Make sure the spaghetti is in the liquid or it will not cook properly.
  4. Stir continuously until spaghetti is fully cooked, then remove from heat.
  5. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions if desired. Serve immediately
  6. Enjoy!


One Response to Easy One Pot Chow Mein – Better than Panda Express

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Hello! Welcome to Addicted to Yum!

I'm Jen, and yes, I look guilty. See that lovely jar of salted caramel sauce to my right? Yeah, that one. I've hidden a secret stash in my pantry. Wow it feels sooooo good to say that outloud!