Delicious and easy vegetarian lo mein noodles recipe perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Loaded with fresh vegetables and tossed in a flavorful sauce, this is sure to be a hit with the whole family!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy (optional), peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame (optional), mustard, lupin, sulfites, nightshades, tomatoes, and more
This gluten free and vegetarian lo mein is a fantastic, easy-to-make dish that is ready in no time. It’s a great option for busy weeknights.
Traditionally, lo mein is made with fish sauce and another meat protein. This version uses an oyster sauce substitute that still makes the sauce special.
The simple sauce for the lo mein is the highlight of the dish, made with simple ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, and a touch of brown sugar. It is sweet, savory, and flavorful, bringing the perfect amount of umami to the noodles.
With just a few ingredients, some quick stir-frying, and a delicious sauce, you will have a satisfying and flavorful gluten free lo mein in no time!
Want more quick noodle recipes? Check out my gochujang noodles and my easy garlic butter noodles without oyster sauce!
Note: This recipe was modified in January 2023. The original sauce recipe is listed in the notes section of the recipe card. This veggie lo mein recipe was updated to include a quicker sauce.
Why You’ll Love this Lo Mein
- Quick and flavorful
- Perfect for weeknight cooking
- Loaded with fresh vegetables making it super healthy
- Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, with soy free and fish free options!
This recipe uses a lot of pantry staples and is a great way to use up some leftover veggies you have floating around in the fridge - or maybe that’s just me! Here is a quick rundown of what you will need:
- Rice Noodles: While traditional noodles are made with eggs and wheat, I found that brown rice noodles taste amazing here. This is my favorite brand! You can also use any kind of spaghetti or fettuccine noodles if you have those in the pantry.
- Vegetables: I love to use a combo of broccoli, bok choy (or baby bok choy), red bell pepper, and carrots. But you can use any veggies that you happen to love. Mushrooms, sugar snap peas, snow peas, or bamboo shoots are also super yummy.
- Soy sauce: Use a Tamari to keep things gluten free. You can also use coconut amino acids to make it soy free.
- Hoisin sauce: This is my favorite oyster sauce and fish sauce substitute. To find another swap, check out this oyster sauce substitute list here.
- Maple syrup or Brown Sugar: Either sweetener works for this recipe.
- Garlic and Ginger: These are classic ingredients that really make the dish sing.
- Optional ingredients: Spring onions, roasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes
If you want to make this soy free, use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce/Tamari.
Here is a rundown of how to make this lo mein. For the full instructions, complete with ingredient measurements, please see the recipe card below. You can also use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page.
First up, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. For the brown rice noodles I use, it takes about 16 minutes to get them al dente, but your timing may be different. Before you drain the noodles, make sure to reserve up to a ½ cup of this cooking water to make more sauce at the end.
While the noodles are cooking, make the veggies and sauce.
Next up, the sauce! In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and brown sugar (or maple syrup).
Now for the veggies. Add the chopped veggies to a large pan or skillet and add the garlic and ginger with a ¼ cup of water. Give this a good stir and cover to let them steam.
When the noodles are done, add them to the skillet along with the sauce. Mix and let it cook for about 1 minute. To make the sauce a little saucier, you can add ½ cup of reserved cooking water from the noodles.
Serve and enjoy!
What makes lo mein so versatile is that you can use any number of combinations of vegetables to use in your lo mein. Here are my top favorite veggies to add to lo mein:
Broccoli, bok choy, baby bok choy, carrots, red bell peppers, edamame, green beans, onions, baby corn, sugar snap peas, snow peas, and mushrooms.
Any long noodle works great for lo mein. I love brown rice noodles but you can use any noodle like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. Soba noodles or ramen noodles can also be used if you have those on hand. If you prefer fresh noodles, please use those! They will cook up even faster than the dried noodles.
Yes, if you want to replace the maple syrup or brown sugar with coconut sugar you can.
- Wash and chop all the vegetables while the water for the noodles is coming to a boil. Then, when the noodles go in, you can start making the sauce and steaming the veggies. This multitasking makes the cooking go by quickly!
- Use toasted sesame seed oil if you are adding it. The toasting adds this amazing depth of flavor that untoasted just can’t compete with.
- Garnish it up! Add green onions and red pepper flakes to make it spicy.
- Add any protein with this that you like, even something as simple as some frozen chicken tenders baked in the oven.
How to Store
Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For the best results, you may need to make a little extra sauce to pour over top as the noodles tend to soak up the sauce over a few days.
How to reheat: You can either warm up leftover lo mein by the bowlful or in the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
More Noodle Recipes to Love
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- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- Pots / pans
- Cooking spoons
- cutting board
- ⅓ cup soy sauce see note for wheat free and soy free
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce see note for swap
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar swap for maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil optional
- 12 oz brown rice noodles or other noodles
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup bok choy
- 3-4 carrots sliced
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1-3 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1-3 teaspoon ginger minced
- 2-3 green onions garnish
- Red pepper flakes optional for topping
- Cook the noodles. In a large pot on the stove, bring water to a boil. Cook the noodles you are using according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of cooking water for the sauce. Drain the noodles when they are done cooking but do not rinse the noodles.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and the brown sugar (or maple syrup). Set aside.
- Steam the veggies. In a large pan or skillet on the stove over medium-high heat, add your chopped veggies, ginger, garlic, and a ¼ cup of water. Cover and let steam until done.
- Finish the noodles. Add the drained noodles to the skillet. Pour the sauce over top. Add the reserved cooking water. Mix until it is all combined. Garnish with spring onions or red pepper flakes as desired. Serve and enjoy!
- Allergy Substitutions
- If you want to make this soy free, use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce/Tamari.
- How to Store
- Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For the best results, you may need to make a little extra sauce to pour over top as the noodles tend to soak up the sauce over a few days.
- How to reheat: You can either warm up leftover lo mein by the bowlful or in the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
- Original sauce recipe:
- 1 cup veggie broth, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1-2 tablespoons ginger (fresh and minced, or about 1 teaspoon ground ginger), 3 garlic cloves (minced), 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch (swap for tapioca starch), ¼ cup date molasses or brown rice syrup.
- In a small sauce pan, combine and whisk all sauce ingredients. Heat over medium heat until first boil, or when you see a good bubble form in the center of the sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer one minute, stirring constantly. Set aside until rest of dish is finished.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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A few questions:
In the quick sauce recipe, can I substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar?
For the original recipe
Is it 2 tbl freshly grated ginger or 2 tbl ground ginger? If ground that seems like a lot.
Can blackstrap molasses be used in place of the date molasses?
Yes! You can totally use coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar in the recipe. I find that coconut sugar is less sweet than cane sugar, so you may need to add a pinch more if you like a sweeter sauce.
And oops, that is a typo in that original sauce. You are right, that is a lot of ginger! Thanks for catching that! It is 2 tablespoons fresh ginger that has been minced. Or if you only have ground to use about a teaspoon.
I don't know that I would use blackstrap molasses in place of the date molasses. I would suggest maple syrup or a few spoonfuls of coconut sugar. It's just to sweeten the sauce to balance it out.