CrockPot Chow Mein Recipe

July 22, 2015

originally posted in 2008. Photo and text updated via deposit photos @bhofack2 in 2015

Day 204.

I made this chow mein with chicken, but you easily could keep it vegetarian, or use your favorite kind of meat---even pork!

Debbi (who doesn't have a blog, but totally needs one) sent me this recipe in May, and I made it just yesterday.

This is a good one; I'm excited to share it with you.

PS: PLEASE read through everything before starting! This is an "advanced" slow cooker recipes!!

The Ingredients.
serves about 6

2 pounds of meat (I used chicken breast)
2 cups of water
2 chopped yellow onions
2 to 3 cups of chopped celery

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
3 tablespoon molasses
1 can (16 oz) baby corn, drained
1 can (6.5 oz) bamboo shoots, drained
1 cup bean sprouts
1 chopped red bell pepper

--salt and pepper to taste
--olive oil
--spaghetti or chow mein noodles (I used Trader Joe's brown rice spaghetti)

The Directions.

Place the meat you are going to use into the crockpot. I used frozen chicken breast tenderloins. Add the chopped onion and celery, and two cups of water.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 4. 

after it's cooked:

Shred meat carefully with two forks.

In a glass bowl, mix the cornstarch, soy sauce, and molasses. Mix to get rid of the little clumpy balls of cornstarch. 
(I ended up needing to use my fingers to really break them up--which reminds me that I should really make a batch of Ooblek for the kids.)

Set aside.

Chop up the red bell pepper, and add it to the crockpot. Open the bamboo shoots and corn, drain liquid, and add remaining content. Add bean sprouts.

Stir in the sauce mixture.

Cover your crockpot again and cook on high for about an hour, or until flavors have melded and the added vegetables reach desired tenderness.

Before serving, cook pasta according to package instructions. I heavily salted my water before adding the pasta (about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt) and added some olive oil.

When the pasta reaches the al dente stage, drain it and set aside. 

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan or wok, and add some salt and pepper, if desired (I didn't add any pepper). 

On high heat, toss the cooked pasta in the olive oil and salt, allowing it to sizzle a bit and get a tiny crust on some of the noodles.

Serve the noodles with the crockpot vgetables and meat.

The Verdict.

Oh thank you, Debbi! This was one of the best chow mein dishes I've ever had, ever. I loved how the noodles were not squishy and gross, and how the vegetables remained crisp and the sauce was SPOT ON. 

Debbi totally got it right.

We will make this again and again. My three-year-old has never had chow mein because of her gluten allergy, and gobbled up her portion, and then ate more off of my plate. 

My six-year-old was hesitant with the veggies, but ate all the chicken and pasta.

Adam ate two plates, and so did I.

My parents dropped by and I gave them each some.

Everyone really liked this meal.

I have enough meat and veggies to make another 1/2 package of pasta to feed the girls and I for lunch.


Step by step instructions on how to make perfect take out style chow mein at home. Use the slow cooker to cook the veggies and meat while you are at work, then come home to pan fry the noodles and toss with the sauce and meat and veggies.

If you'd like to have a full Chinese-style crockpot dinner at home, you could make:

Hot and Sour Soup
Chinese Lemon Chicken
Mongolian Beef

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at July 22, 2015
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  1. Hi Stephanie. Sorry to be a pest, but I need your help.
    My son too can't have wheat, and you mentioned getting the 365 bread and cooking it in your crock. I finally was able to go to whole foods (there isn't one in our town) and get a bread mix, but now I can't find where you did it.
    Could you PLEASE send me the info again. Sorry.
    I would be lost without your blog and inspiration.

  2. Hey Steph, I have to figure out a way to not be anonymous but anyway my name is Casandra and I'm from Cleveland. I have 4 challenges for you. Can you come up with crockpot flan (like the stuff from the Mexican restaurants) I have NO idea how to make that anyway, would it be done like the cheesecake? Then how about fruitcake in the CP? How about ratatouille? And finally, have you ever made those no bake chocolate/oatmeal drop cookies that you cook on the stove (I also have a microwave recipe) then just drop on wax paper to cool. I bet those would be easy to crockpotize. Love, love, love your site!

  3. Thanks for posting this dish, my daughter cant have Protein, so this is perfect for the entire family and she loves when we can eat the same thing. of course I will leave out the chicken :) thanks again! keep them coming, I have the peanut chicken in the pot now and it smells good, no kids this week so a nice meal for me by myself and lots of leftovers....thanks!

  4. HI Stephanie-
    This sounds awesome. I've been scouring your site since I saw you on a recent Rachel Ray segment. Yo go girl!!! Your receipes are awesome and I am pretty sure my picky DD will like them too! make sure you checkout my new blog (afterall you were my inspiration (

  5. o.m.g.
    I just found your blog, through a friend's blog (Tales from the FairyBlogmother) and I have to say this is incredible! I have had a nagging, guilty, twinge in the pit of my stomach for weeks for leaving my poor, beautiful, brand new crock pot down in our laundry room. I used it once to make a really yummy and super easy turkey and sweet potatoes recipe and that was it! Why? I don't know!

    Thanks for the inspiration. I will be by often now that I know you are here.

    I'm also becoming more and more vegetarian...and tips for sources of veggie crock-pot meals (I did notice you have quite a few already).


  6. emailed kris...

    Cassandra, thank you for the challenges! Flan is a good idea---I did do the creme brulee, so that is awfully similar, and I did ratatouille earlier in the year. Both recipes are found easily in the alphabetical listing on the left side of the blog, under the ads.

    Fruitcake! really?! I thought everyone hated fruitcake... do you have a tried and true recipe?

    anon, I'm glad to have been helpful to you and your family.

    shoppingbagdiva, lol, thank you! I tried to click on your blog name and I got an error message. I'll check it out again in a bit.

    norma-ann, no guilt! it's all good---I'm glad to have been a bit of an inspiration to you, and hope your crockpot will get a good workout in the months to come.


  7. mmm, I love chow meain. However, I am on a self-imposed Atkins diet for two weeks (you know, to get the ball rolling) so I am seriously salivating over here.

  8. This looks delicious! I love baby corn... and Oobleck for that matter! I haven't played with that stuff since high school science class (which was only a few years ago) haha and I also have a recipe for you, Steph. It's much better than your typical baked beans out of the can. The maple syrup gives it a sweet thanksgiving smell. It's for "Turkey and Baked Bean Stew."

    -4 slices turkey bacon, cut into 2" strips
    -1 1/2 cups chopped onion (we use red onions)
    -3/4 cup ketchup
    -1/4 cup maple syrup
    -1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    -1 tbsp dijon mustard
    -1 tsp ground black pepper
    -3 cans (16 oz each) navy beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use pinto or kidney if you prefer)
    -1 cup loose packed chopped parsley or cilantro
    - 2-3 lbs turkey strips cut into bite-sized chunks

    1. Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook bacon over medium heat until it begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes more.

    2.Combine ketchup, syrup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper in cooker. Stir in beans, parsley (or cilantro), and bacon mixture. Add Turkey, partially covering with contents of cooker.

    3. Cover. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3 1/2- 4 hours.

    I hope you try this one and let me know how it is!


  9. Oh yum, that looks great! I love Chinese food, and have a particularly soft spot for a well-made chow mein.

    There's an award for you on my food blog - check it out! :-)

  10. My day was MADE when I came home from work and found a "celebrity" (Stephanie) had posted on my blog, and now I also have another new recipe to try.

    Thank you!

  11. I just found your blog this week. I love using my crockpot. I probably cook at least 50% of my meat in the crockpot. I don't know if you are always taking recipes, but this is the best beef roast recipe!
    2-3 lb sirloin tip roast
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 small bottle A-1
    1 packet of dry mushroom gravy mix
    1 tsp of garlic powder
    2 tbs vege oil
    Brown roast in hot oil in skillet.
    Place roast in large crock pot.
    Put cream of mushroom soup, dry mushroom gravy mix, bottle of A-1,and garlic powder in crockpot on top of roast.
    Cook on low for 11-12 hours, stirring and flipping roast a few times. This roast is better if you don't cook veges in crock pot with roast. No need to add water, it makes it's own gravy. You can use any kind of roast, but sirloin tip is less fatty.

  12. Okay, so I have to say...I think I'm addicted to your site! I actually started reading it off and on a few months ago, but didn't actually try cooking any of your recipes until a few days ago. And now I can't stop!

    I made the macaroni and cheese...yum! Then I made the rice...turned out so well! Then I tried the apple dumplings...oh my gosh, bites of heaven! Next is going to be the cheesesteak soup.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! And you are absolutely hilarious, by the way. How I wish you were my neighbor. :)

  13. Girl, have I ever needed you.
    My husband is a newly diagnosed Celiac. My son is allergic to anything not in the original Garden and my daughter and I are feelin' the pain.
    YOU have been a God-Send. Your recipes, humor, honesty, humor, willingness and did I say I liked your funniness, have been a life-saver.
    This yummy-lookin' chow mein is perfect for a tasty summer meal.
    Thank you!

  14. Wow I love your blog and I love my crock pot so what a great combination. I found your blog through Stephanie (fun foods on a budget) I love hers to. My crock pot runs non stop in the summer it helps so i dont have to turn on the hot oven. I make chicken chow mein in the crock pot but yours sounds so much better especially with the molasses added. The Lemon Chicken looks good to. I am going to add you to my must see blogs. Great job.

  15. Oh. My. Gosh. Chow mein in the CROCKPOT?! YOU ARE MY HERO. I LOVE YOU.

    [my husband might love you too, now we don't have to get chow mein from the Chinese restaurant every other day!]

  16. I am really enjoying your blog. Your sense of humor is great!

    This is the first recipe I've tried off your blog; it was so good. I served it over rice, though--love that rice cooker. No mess.

    Can't wait to try more!

  17. I made this recipe on sunday. At church, some friends invited us out for a chinese food buffet and i said "actually, i have some chicken chow mein in the crock pot right now, lets go to my place!" which is a crazy stupid move when your trying out a recipe for the first time. But it was wonderful. I discovered i don't like bamboo shoots, i think i'll leave them out next time. My guests enjoyed it and so did we. thanks for the recipe.

  18. Yum yum, made this last week and it was great. Reminds me of the chow mein my mom used to make!

  19. I am currently making this and am sooo excited, however, I don't have molasses, can I use corn syrup? I have a jar of hoisen sauce too..plz let me know, it's smelling good already. As always, your'e a life saver.

  20. Hi Hampton, the molasses is actually in place of Hoisin with the other sauces. Maybe instead of a whole 3T, add 1 1/2 T?

    I think corn syrup would be much too sweet.


  21. Thanks so much cp lady!!Gotta go so the 2yr old doesnt empty a whole box of tissues. You know I almost gave up cooking, which I used to enjoy, but I have a back issue and standing and sauteeing something just brings me to tears, but this type of cooking is soooo ya...

  22. me again, this is smelling good!!We are stopping by chinese takeout for eggrolls, I know, fattening, but you have to have them. I will let you know about taste. Praise to the crock pot lady!!!!Real lady of genius, I can hear the tune already:)this is my butt growing larger ( , )lol!!!!!

  23. Okay, so I made this last night and I am IN HEAVEN!!! This stuff is sooooo good! I used angel hair pasta instead of regular spaghetti and it was so crispy-crunchy that I might just eat the noodles by themselves...if the chow mein weren't so darn YUMMY!!! My kids and husband would barely touch it, but another friend ate two giant plates of it! Actually, so did I!


  24. I am excited to try this recipe. Can you please let us know what size crockpot you used for this one? I have both a 4-quart & 5-quart and was wondering which would work best. Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  25. Hi Eliza,
    I'd go for the 4 quart. There isn't too much volume here, and you don't combine the noodles in the crock---so a 4 quart should work great.

  26. Thanks! I am psyched and have truly been enjoying using your recipes for the past few weeks.

  27. Yum, yum, yummers! Made this today, and the house smells awesome. Love that about crockpot coooking. I used pork, and ramen noodles for the pasta. The kids freaked over all the veggies, but hubby and I thought it was fantastic.
    Can't thank you enough for your site!

  28. I tried this tonight and really liked it. I added chicken broth instead of water in the first part of the recipe. Also, if you combine the cornstarch and soy sauce before you add the molasses it won't clump. I will for sure make this again. I was wondering how a little fresh garlic and ginger would be here too? Might try that next time.

    I love this blog and have posted a link on my Facebook page. Can't wait to try more of these recipes. You are very creative!

  29. I never heard of it with a spaghetti noodle..only a rice noodle.

  30. We had this for dinner last night. I thought it was going to be gross and I was sure there was no way my 3 and 6 year old would eat it. They couldnt get enough. They both asked for more twice and my husband ate a ton. I took some to my mother to try and she loved it. Everyone wants me to make it again. I made mine with beef instead of chicken and put some onion powder and garlic powder in. We will be having these at least once a month!!!

  31. I was making this and I just noticed that the Hoisin sauce I am using says it is gluten free. It is Sun Luck all natural Hoisin Sauce. It is manufactured by Allied Old English, Inc. And the ingredients are sugar, miso (water, soybeans, rice, salt, rice alcohol), water, molasses, vinegar, pumpkin, salt, garlic powder, carmel color, sesame oil, spices, citric acid, xantham gum, natural flavors. I found it at Ralph's.


  32. We had this tonight for the first time. The kids loved it! The sauce was so good.

  33. I made this with the following changes:

    A pork shoulder roast, not chicken
    Swanson vegetarian 100% fat free vegetable broth replaced water
    1½ TBS of hoisin sauce instead of 3 TBS molasses
    Rice instead of fried spaghetti

    VERY very good! Thank you!

  34. Excited to try this out! Do you thaw out the frozen chicken breast before putting it in the crockpot? Thanks!

  35. Hi Corrinne, I've done both -- -and like the simplicity of just using frozen chicken. I'd recommend slicing it with a sharp knife and adding the strips to the pot, though, instead of a whole breast piece. Enjoy!!

  36. kind thx steph, sounds like a winner, will try soon! after many yrs, i'm still crushin' on crockpot cookin', never fails me:) have a great day my friend!

  37. Yum!! Looks great:) I’ll have to try it, my kids will like it :)

  38. Could I use ground pork for the meat? Would you still cook it in the crockpot?

  39. Hi Susan, great question. Sure thing -- you might need to drain some accumulated grease before adding in the noodles. But it will cook just fine. :-)


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