Our Instant Pot lo mein recipe can help you make a flavorful Chinese staple in less than 25 minutes.
What Is Lo Mein?
Lo mein is a stir-fried dish of noodles, meat (typically beef), and vegetables paired with a savory, glossy sauce. The meal looks colorful and smells super fragrant.
Any type of meat can be used to make lo mein, and sometimes, none is used at all. Known as veggie lo mein, it’s just as satisfying as the classic.
Is Our Recipe Healthy?
Lo mein is a healthy meal due to its harmonious blend of many ingredients. It contains carbs, proteins, healthy fats, fibers, and loads of micronutrients.
However, like many Chinese foods, a typical lo mein has plenty of soy sauce that packs tons of sodium. Experts suggest that we lower our sodium intake to reduce the risks of heart diseases and kidney stones.
With this in mind, we used a moderate amount of soy sauce to keep the sodium level within the recommended range. If you wish to learn more about this range, check out our dietary guidelines.
Lo Mein vs Chow Mein
Both of these noodles have similar ingredients but they are made differently. While chow mein noodles are only soaked before stir-frying, lo mein noodles are cooked through, making them not as dry as chow mein noodles.
Lo mein is also coated in a special brown sauce that makes it shiny. This is due to a special ingredient that we’ll mention in the next section.
This sweet, salty, fragrant sauce is made with soy sauce, hoisin, cooking wine, and sesame oil. In the right ratio, they can be really addicting.
For that glossiness, we added a cornstarch slurry of just cornstarch and water. This cheap ingredient adds a luxurious look to the Chinese staple.
Keep in mind that the cornstarch needs to be mixed with plain water first before the other ingredients are added. If you mess with this order, there will be lumps of starch in your sauce.
After the sauce is thoroughly mixed, we set it aside and begin the cooking.
Lo mein calls for ginger and garlic, two popular aromatics in Chinese cuisine. Garlic builds the flavor base while ginger gives a compelling and lingering warmth to dishes.
As you turn on the Instant Pot, sauté these aromatics first so that they release their fragrance. After that, add the mushrooms.
Mushrooms should always be the first vegetable to cook. The longer they’re seared, the shinier and chewier they become.
Next is the classic veg trio of lo mein: green bok choy, red bell peppers, and orange carrots. You can swap bok choy with any crunchy green vegetables you love (we used broccoli).
These three vegetables should be cooked briefly to preserve their crunchiness. Instead of adding them after the mushrooms, sear the chicken first.
When it comes to using chicken, you can go for the easy option (boneless chicken breast) or the one that requires more work (chicken thighs). We went for chicken breast, for said reason. You can find more ways to incorporate it using our perfectly-cooked chicken breasts recipes.
As the sauce is already flavorful, we needn’t season our chicken. However, we did want our chicken to have a kick, so we added a flourish of paprika while it’s searing.
Once the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are briefly sautéed, we set them aside and moved on to the next step.
The beauty of our Instant Pot lo mein recipe is that we don’t need to cook the noodles in another pot. They get to absorb all of the flavors that have been built inside the Instant Pot.
Authentic lo mein uses lo mein noodles, a type of egg noodle that looks like spaghetti but is softer. You can use spaghetti noodles or any pasta you prefer, but the texture won’t be as satisfying.
We added the raw noodles along with some unsalted chicken broth into the pot and scraped the bottom to release the stuck bits of flavors. As the strands didn’t fit inside the pot, we had to break them in two.
As they finished cooking, we added the chicken and veg back with the sauce and allowed them to mingle until the sauce thickened.
6. Finishing Touches
On top of the noodles, we sprinkled some chopped scallion for freshness, red pepper flakes to make it spicy, and some nutty sesame seeds. You can skip the pepper flakes, but the other two are a must, especially for a Chinese dish.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
Keep this dish inside the fridge and it’ll stay for only a week. If you wish for it to last for three months, place it in the freezer.
We often divide our foods into small air-tight containers because they’re more convenient to reheat. If your fridge is too crowded already, Ziploc bags can work as well.
To reheat, add one portion to a skillet with 1-2 tbsp water, and heat the skillet over medium heat. Stir the noodles around for 5-6 minutes and they’re ready to eat.
Dishes like lo mein have a variety of textures and flavors, so it really doesn’t need to be complemented. Well, that’s what we thought until we tried the noodles with miso soup — it brings a unique savory note to the meal.
To round off the meal, we picked out this sweet and sour passion fruit juice. It’s simply fresh and delicious.
One Pot Meals Packed With Flavors
Full of hearty flavors and warmth, this chicken and rice soup is an easy dinner, you can rely on during busy times. It’s also the best thing to offer to your friends and family who are battling sniffles or having a hard time with the cold nights.
This simple Instant Pot Thai chicken curry recipe is loaded with lean protein and vegetables, allowing you to make a standard, nutritious dinner at home in just 15 minutes. To enhance the signature flavors of Thai cuisine, the chicken is simmered in a spicy, creamy coconut-infused curry sauce.
7 oz uncooked pasta (lo mein noodles or spaghetti)
4 oz brown mushrooms (sliced)
4 oz broccoli (cut into florets)
4 oz carrots (julienned (cut into matchsticks))
2 oz red pepper (julienned)
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp cooking mirin
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp water
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ginger (minced)
2 tsp garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
2 tbsp scallion (thinly sliced on a bias)
In a small bowl, stir 4 tbsp water with 2 tsp cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves, then add 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp hoisin, and 1/2 tbsp mirin. Mix well and set aside.
Select “sauté” mode on the Instant Pot. Heat 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil and stir in 1 tsp minced ginger and 2 tsp minced garlic for 1 minute.
Tip 4 oz sliced mushrooms into the pot and stir to cook for 2 minutes.
Add 16 oz sliced chicken along with 1/2 tsp paprika and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add 4 oz broccoli, 4 oz julienned carrots, and 2 oz julienned red peppers. Stir to cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot and set aside.
Add 7 oz uncooked pasta (broken in half if not fitting the pot) along with 1 cup chicken broth. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon and close the lid. Turn the steam handle to “sealed”, select “meat stew” mode, adjust the timer to 7 minutes, and let the machine automatically cook.
Place a kitchen towel over the vent and with a spoon, turn the steam handle to “venting”. Wait for the steam to escape, open the pot, and add the cooked chicken, vegetables, and sauce. Select “sauté” mode again and stir to cook for another 3 minutes.
Sprinkle on top 2 tbsp scallion, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds. Plate the noodles and enjoy!
Instant Pot Lo Mein
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 505Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Vitamin A 5592IU
Vitamin C 46mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
This Instant Pot Lo Mein was delicious and so easy to make in an instant pot! The sauce was flavorful and the noodles cooked perfectly.