There’s No Need for Takeout When You Can Make Chicken Chow Mein in 15 Minutes

There’s no need for takeout when you have this chicken chow mein recipe in hand.

Vertical image of a black bowl filled with a sausage, snow pea, and noodle dish, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

It’s one of those takeout-fakeout recipes that I love to whip up, especially on a weeknight when I am tempted to order delivery.

This is one of the most popular stir fried noodle dishes at our house, and my husband asked me to make it again three days after I made it for the first time. He is absolutely obsessed, and I don’t blame him.

All the flavors in this dish are so savory and delightful. Personally, my favorite aspect of this dish is that it’s made with chicken sausage.

Since the sausage is already cooked, you are essentially just warming it up and browning it lightly in the skillet – no raw poultry to deal with, no raw messes to clean up, and this cuts down on the total cook time significantly.

That’s right, you can prepare this meal in just 15 minutes flat. How easy is that?

Vertical top-down image of two black bowls of vegetable chow mein next to a pot of the same dish, a gray napkin, a blue napkin with polka dots, and chopsticks.

There’s just the right amount of spice from the red chili pepper, and the crisp snow peas burst with flavor in each mouthful.

The Asian-style sauce is made with hoisin so it’s sweet and savory, with a hit of soy sauce that’s added at the end.

Honestly, you probably already have most of the ingredients for this recipe in your pantry, aside from the chow mein noodles.

Now, let’s talk about these noodles. I found dry chow mein noodles in the Asian section of my local grocery store that came in a 16-ounce package. They cook really quickly, so you don’t have to worry about taking a big chunk of your time to do this step either.

Vertical image of two black bowls with a snow pea and sausage chow mein mix on top of two napkins, one gray and one blue with polka dots, with chopsticks on the side.

I don’t have any brand loyalty when it comes to this kind of noodles – you can honestly grab whatever looks best from the shelves. You can also head to your local Asian supermarket if your local grocery store doesn’t carry enough of a variety of Asian ingredients.

If you can’t find chow mein noodles, there are other options you can use. Yakisoba noodles are a great substitute, plus they are usually available fresh in the refrigerator section, so you don’t even have to boil them.

After you make this recipe once, you are going to want to add it to your weekly rotation because it’s so flavorful and so stinking simple to prepare. Honestly, there aren’t that many 15-minute meals out there that are truly delicious and satisfying, but this one has everything you could ever want.

Vertical image of chopsticks holding snow peas and noodles over the entire dinner bowl of chow mein.

If you have any leftovers, I think these noodles are outstanding straight out of the refrigerator without reheating them.

I know that might sound weird, but I was in a rush for lunch and had to eat something. Then I made this discovery, and I’ll stand by my claim that the chilled noodles are actually fantastic.

It’s just what you need if you are in a hurry, or if you’ve had a particularly rowdy night. It’s even better than cold pizza. Trust me, I’ve tested this, and all of the above is 100% accurate.

Print
Horizontal image of a large black bowl with a snow pea, sausage, and noodle mixed dish.

Chicken Chow Mein


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This chicken chow mein is just like the dish you’d get from your favorite Chinese restaurant, and you can make it in 15 minutes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock 
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb cooked chicken sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and diced 
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8 ounces Chinese egg noodles, yakisoba, or gluten-free angel hair noodles, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free tamari, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage and use a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces. Cook until heated through, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet and add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add snow peas and chili pepper and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add orange juice and stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the chicken sausage, noodles, and chicken stock mixture. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally until ingredients are warmed through and sauce has thickened slightly. Add soy sauce, and stir to combine. 
  5. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Pile onto a plate and serve.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine.

  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: chicken sausage, ginger, egg noodles, snow peas, garlic

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of measured ingredients in various bowls for a chicken sausage chow mein recipe on a black surface.

Cut the chicken sausages into 1/2-inch pieces.

Peel 3 cloves of garlic and mince them.

Peel a 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger and grate it.

Remove the seeds from a red chili pepper and dice it. I used a red jalapeno pepper, but you could also use a Fresno chili for a more mild flavor.

Cook 8 ounces of chow mein noodles in boiling water. Chinese egg noodles, yakisoba, gluten-free angel hair, or your choice of long, thin pasta can also be used.

There’s some difference in what you might think of as “chow mein” depending on what part of the world you live in, so you do you. If a thicker noodle makes you think more of “lo mein,” (hello, East Coasters!) choose a thinner one for this dish.

If you’re using fresh, refrigerated noodles, you don’t have to boil them. Just remember to give them a little longer to come up to temp when you add them to the pan.

Chop enough basil leaves until you have 1/2 cup total.

Step 2 – Make the Sauce

Horizontal image of a tan sauce in a glass small bowl.

Add the chicken stock, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch to a small bowl. Whisk together until combined, and set aside. The cornstarch will act as a thickener for the sauce.

Step 3 – Heat Sausage Through

Horizontal image of cooked crumbled sausage in a wok with oil.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Once it’s hot, add the sausage and cook until it’s heated through and lightly browned in some places. Stirring occasionally, break it up into small pieces.

Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 4 – Finish Dish and Serve

Horizontal image of cooking finely chopped garlic and ginger in oil in a wok.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet. There’s no need to wipe it out or anything first.

Horizontal image of cooking whole snow peas in a seasoned oil mixture in a wok.

Once it’s hot, add the garlic and ginger. This is the part where your kitchen will fill with a delicious aroma, and your housemates and family members will come running! Cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, for about 1 minute.

Stir in the snow peas and chili pepper. Cook for another minute while stirring occasionally, then stir in the orange juice and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Horizontal image of noodles, snow peas, and other seasonings mixed together in a wok.

Add the sausage, noodles, and chicken stock mixture to the pan. Stir occasionally, coating everything with the sauce and cooking for another minute or so, or until the ingredients are warmed through and the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the soy sauce.

Horizontal image of a large black bowl with a snow pea, sausage, and noodle mixed dish.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve immediately.

What Kind of Chicken Sausage Should I Use?

Chicken sausage obviously comes in many types, and there are all kinds of exciting flavor combos out there. But which one should you use to make this recipe?

First, make sure it is the pre-cooked variety and not raw. This will speed up the cooking time.

Personally, I like garlic chicken sausage because it has a fantastic flavor to it. You can also choose one that has basil in it, for an extra oomph of herbal flavor that will be complemented by the fresh chopped herbs added to the dish just before serving.

Horizontal image of two black bowls with chicken chow mein on a black surface with a gray napkin and chopsticks.

Another option is to select an Asian flavored sausage to match the dish, and Chinese style chicken sausage in particular is a sure winner. But again, remember to read packages carefully and cook the chicken fully if it is not pre-cooked.

As an alternative, if you happen to have some leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, you could also use that in lieu of the sausage. Just make sure to chop it up first. Leftover Mongolian Beef? Those meaty chunks would be perfect in this dish!

Do you need more Chinese recipe options to make at home when you’re craving takeout? Try these Foodal favorites:

What’s your favorite dish to order at your local Chinese restaurant? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe after you’ve tried it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 25, 2011. Last updated: March 22, 2020 at 16:24 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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