This Crockpot Lo Mein is a breeze to make in your trusty slow cooker with silky noodles, juicy chicken, crisp veggies, and a mouthwatering Asian-inspired sauce – just like the good stuff you’d order from your go-to Chinese takeout place. This dish is the definition of mealtime excitement, minus the effort. Just set it and forget it, and you’re in for a truly satisfying dining experience.
Updated November 2023
Crockpot Lo Mein: A Flavorful One-Pot Delight
If you’re a big fan of Asian food and find yourself daydreaming about the mouthwatering goodness of Lo Mein but can’t always muster up the time and energy, then this Crockpot Lo Mein recipe was practically made for you. It’s like a culinary lifesaver, offering a super-convenient way to indulge in that classic Chinese takeout experience, minus the kitchen chaos.
But that’s not all – this “set it and forget it” slow cooker magic isn’t just about convenience. It’s all about treating your taste buds to a homemade meal that’s so much tastier and fresher than your usual takeout orders. And here’s the cherry on top: it’s kind to your wallet too, helping you save some green.
Oh, and speaking of being kind – our homemade Lo Mein recipe also gives you the option to go gluten-free and make healthier choices. Say goodbye to the high-sodium, greasy stuff you find at restaurants, and hello to your own delicious, nutritious version.
The best part? Making Lo Mein in the slow cooker is an absolute breeze, so you can enjoy those Asian-inspired flavors without the stress of complicated cooking. It’s your go-to choice for satisfying your foodie cravings and spicing up your meal game.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breasts: These provide the protein base for your Lo Mein, offering tenderness and flavor.
- Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance the taste of the chicken.
- Fresh Lo Mein Noodles (or Substitutes): Noodles are the heart of Lo Mein. If you can’t find Lo Mein noodles, use gluten-free or regular spaghetti noodles to absorb the delectable sauce.
- Baby Bok Choy (or Other Vegetables): Bok choy adds a refreshing, crunchy element to the dish. You can swap it for other veggies like Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), spinach or broccoli.
- Red Bell Pepper: Adding vibrancy and a hint of sweetness, red bell pepper is an essential ingredient.
- Matchstick Carrots: Carrots bring natural sweetness and color to the mix.
- Arrowroot Starch (or Substitutes) and Cold Water: This combination creates a slurry that thickens the sauce, providing the ideal consistency. You can also use tapioca starch, potato starch, or corn starch.
Lo Mein Sauce
The sauce is the magic behind this Slowcooker Lo Mein’s flavor:
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: The broth forms the base of the sauce, providing depth and umami flavor.
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce adds richness and savoriness to the sauce. If you have dietary restrictions, Naked and Saucy Vegan Oyster Sauce is a great alternative.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or Substitutes): Soy sauce brings the classic salty element to the sauce. You can use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari as substitutes.
- Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce introduces sweetness and complexity. For dietary restrictions, try Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Hoisin Sauce or Kikkoman Gluten-free Hoisin Sauce.
- Honey (or Substitutes): Honey contributes a subtle sweetness. For healthier options, consider maple syrup, date syrup, or alternative liquid sweeteners.
- Minced Garlic and Ginger: These aromatic ingredients infuse the sauce with a delightful fragrance and taste.
- Red Chili Pepper Flakes (Optional): Add red chili pepper flakes if you enjoy a bit of heat.
- Sesame Seeds for Garnish (Optional): A sprinkle of sesame seeds adds texture and flavor.
Instructions: How to make Crockpot Lo Mein
Now that you know the ingredients and their roles, making lo mein in the slow cooker will be a breeze:
- Prep Your Slow Cooker: Lightly grease a 4-5 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
- Prepare the Chicken: Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Add boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts to the slow cooker.
- Mix the Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Cook the Chicken: Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook for 1.5 – 2 hours on high or 3 – 4 hours on low. Remember to stir the contents once during cooking to ensure the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Cook the Noodles: While the chicken is cooking, prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, set the noodles aside for later.
- Shred the Chicken: When the chicken is fully cooked, transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into cubes or shred it using two forks.
- Add Veggies: Toss the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker. Add the washed and sliced baby bok choy, thinly sliced red bell peppers, and matchstick carrots to the slow cooker.
- Thicken the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together corn starch (or your chosen starch) and water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the slow cooker to thicken the sauce.
- Final Cooking: Keep the slow cooker on high for an additional 20-30 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken up. Stir everything well to ensure all ingredients are coated with the sauce.
- Serve and Garnish: Serve your Crockpot Lo Mein hot and garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
Tips for a Perfect Crockpot Lo Mein
Creating a delicious lo mein in the crockpot is easy when you keep these tips in mind:
- Choose the Right Meat: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts. They are tender and work well in the slow cooker.
- Seasoning Matters: Don’t forget to season the chicken with salt and black pepper. It’s a small step but adds essential flavor.
- Sauce Distribution: Stir the contents of the slow cooker once during cooking. This ensures that the sauce is evenly distributed and every bite is bursting with flavor.
- Cook Noodles Separately: Cook the noodles according to the package directions separately. Adding them later will prevent them from becoming too soft and mushy.
- Tweak the Veggies: Feel free to customize your Crockpot Lo Mein with your favorite vegetables. Broccoli, snow peas, and bell peppers are great additions.
- Thicken the Sauce: If your slow cooker doesn’t thicken the sauce adequately, transfer it to a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil on high heat until it thickens, then combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
With these tips, your Slow Cooker Chicken Lo Mein will turn out perfectly, with the right balance of flavors and textures.
- Enjoy this slow cooker chicken lo mein a complete meal or pair with our easy fried rice or spring rolls.
- Garnish with extra sesame seeds for presentation.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Gluten-free: Adapt for dietary preferences with gluten-free noodles and alternative sauces.
- Protein: Swap chicken for pork or beef like our Beef Lo Mein.
- Vegetarian or Vegan: Omit the chicken or add some tofu like our Vegetable Lo Mein.
- Slow Cooker: Don’t have a slow cooker? Try our easy Chicken Lo Mein that’s made on the stove-top.
Storage and Freezer Instructions:
- Fridge: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Freezer: Freeze in labeled containers for 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat as needed.
- Microwave Method:
- Place your desired portion in a microwave-safe container. Heat on medium power for 1-2 minutes or until heated through, stirring halfway to ensure even heating. Add extra sauce if needed, and enjoy.
- Stovetop Method:
- For larger portions, you can reheat on the stovetop. Add a bit of oil to a pan over medium heat. Stir-fry the lo mein until it’s heated to your liking.
- Microwave Method:
Meal Prep for Crockpot Lo Mein
If you’re looking to save time during the week or enjoy the convenience of ready-made meals, meal prepping your Slow Cooker Chicken Lo Mein is a fantastic option. Here’s how you can do it:
- Cook the Noodles: Cook the lo mein noodles according the recipe.
- Assemble Your Containers: Get your meal prep containers ready. Make sure they are microwave-safe for easy reheating.
- Portion Out Ingredients: In each container, portion out the chicken, cooked noodles, and sliced veggies. You can keep them separate or mix them, depending on your preference.
- Add the Sauce: Pour a portion of the sauce over the ingredients in each container. Be mindful not to oversaturate, as you can always add more when reheating.
- Store and Label: Seal the containers, label them with the date, and place them in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days for optimal freshness.
- Reheat and Enjoy: When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat your Crockpot Lo Mein in the microwave. You can add more sauce or garnishes like sesame seeds if desired.
Meal prepping your Crockpot Lo Mein not only saves time but ensures you have a delicious, homemade meal ready to enjoy on busy days. Plus, it’s a great way to manage portion sizes and stick to your dietary goals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some common questions and answers to help you master the art of making crock pot lo mein:
Q1: How do I make a vegetarian version of Crockpot Lo Mein?
- For a vegetarian crock pot lo mein recipe, simply omit the meat and use tofu or load up on your favorite vegetables. Additionally, you can find vegetarian oyster sauce and hoisin sauce as alternatives.
Q2: Can I make Crockpot Lo Mein spicier?
- If you like it spicy, you can increase the amount of red chili pepper flakes in the sauce. Adjust the heat level to your liking.
Q3: Can I make the sauce less sweet?
- Yes, if you prefer a less sweet sauce, reduce the amount of honey or choose a sugar-free sweetener alternative to suit your taste.
Q4: How can I thicken the sauce if it’s too thin in my slow cooker?
- If the sauce doesn’t thicken adequately in your slow cooker, spoon it into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil on high heat until it thickens. Then combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
More Chinese takeout-style noodle recipes you will love:
This Crockpot Lo Mein is easy to make in the slow cooker with silky noodles, tender chicken, fresh vegetables, and a savory Asian-inspired sauce just like your favorite Chinese take-out style restaurant. Make mealtime exciting with this convenient and satisfying set-and-forget dish.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh lo mein noodles , you can also sub with cooked gluten-free (or regular) spaghetti noodles of your choice if you can't find lo mein noodles.
- 2 cups baby bok choy , washed and sliced. Or sub with another vegetable of your choice. Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) or spinach will work too.
- 1 red bell pepper seeded , thinly sliced
- ½ cup matchstick carrots
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch + 3 tablespoons cold water , you can also use tapioca starch, potato starch or corn starch for the slurry.
- 2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce , you can use Naked and Saucy Vegan Oyster Sauce as an alternative if you have dietary restrictions
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce , you can also substitute with coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari
- 3 teaspoons hoisin sauce , you can use Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Hoisin Sauce or Kikoman Gluten-free Hoisin Sauce if you have dietary restrictions.
- 2 teaspoons honey , you can also sub with maple syrup, date syrup, or sticky liquid sweetener of your choice such as Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup, sukrin gold, allulose, yacon syrup for a lower sugar option.
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- ½ tablespoon fresh ginger , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes , optional
- sesame seeds for garnish , optional
- Lightly grease 4-5 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add chicken and season with salt and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over chicken. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low, stirring once to distribute sauce evenly.
- Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package directions and set aside.
- Once chicken is cooked, transfer to cutting board and cut into cubes or shred with two forks.Toss back in to slow cooker along with bok choy, bell peppers and carrots. To thicken sauce, whisk together corn starch and water in a small bowl and stir into slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for an additional 20-30 minutes or until sauce has thickened up. Give everything a good stir to combine and coat with sauce.
- Serve hot and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.
Due to the lower heating element in older slow cookers, the sauce may not thicken in the slow cooker. If that is the case, spoon out all the sauce from the slow cooker into a small saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat until it thickens up. Combine with rest of ingredients and serve.
* Feel free to add in any other vegetables of your choice. Broccoli, snow peas and bell peppers would work well in this dish.
*Adding the fresh pre-cooked or cooked dry noodles JUST 20 minutes PRIOR to serving will ensure that the noodles will NOT get too soft and mushy.
**Use pork instead of chicken or extra firm or deep-fried tofu for a meatless meal. I also have a vegetarian version on my site.
If you want to find more easy & authentic Slow Cooker Asian recipes The Asian Slow Cooker cookbook is now available for SALE HERE. It was named one of the BEST Books of 2016 by The Washington Post with Ina Garten and Donna Hay.
You can find it at: