This easy gluten-free lo mein recipe is made with delicious gluten-free pasta, colorful vegetables, and a savory sauce that brings umami back! It only takes about 15 minutes to make and tastes like it came from your favorite Chinese restaurant. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Do you love Chinese food but miss your favorite dishes since going gluten-free? I feel your pain. Going to a Chinese restaurant and ordering whatever I wanted on the menu is something I wish I could do, but alas, since being diagnosed with celiac disease more than a decade ago, most Chinese restaurants are off the table, so to speak.
One of the dishes that is always off-limits when you can’t eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is lo mein. Lo mein is made with chewy wheat noodles, which are not gluten-free.
If you miss this flavorful dish, I have some good news. In this post, I’ll show you how to make it at home with a few simple ingredients. I’ll even share some gluten-free pasta recommendations that work well when making gluten-free lo mein at home.
This recipe offers a colorful array of fresh veggies and al dente gluten-free pasta tossed in a savory and delicious sauce. It’s easily customizable and offers variations for adding protein (chicken or scrambled eggs) and whatever vegetables you have in your vegetable drawer.
Whether you’re managing celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or are simply embracing a gluten-free lifestyle because you feel better, this gluten-free vegetable lo mein recipe will help you feel whole again without compromising on taste or texture. And dare I say, it’s better, and better for you, than Chinese takeout from your favorite restaurant.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this wonderful gluten-free vegetable lo mein dish:
Pasta: You’ll need 8 ounces of uncooked gluten-free pasta. I made this lo mein noodle recipe with Rice Ramen from Lotus Foods. Alternatively, you could use an excellent gluten-free spaghetti or gluten-free linguine instead of rice ramen.
Jovial and Barilla gluten-free spaghetti will both work well. Banza is a chickpea-based pasta, and it holds up well, too. Another noodle option for your lo-mein is rice noodles, which are widely used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking and are usually naturally gluten-free.
Choose the brand and type of noodle you like best. You can typically find these brands at Walmart and at your local grocery store, such as Sprouts or Whole Foods.
I was making this lo mein for someone with a soy allergy, so I used half coconut aminos and half no-soy soy sauce. Together, they were the perfect balance of richness, sweet, salty, and umami. I used two tablespoons of each.
Seasoned Rice Vinegar: Seasoned rice vinegar (also known as rice wine vinegar) is sweeter and more flavorful than plain rice wine vinegar. I used one tablespoon of seasoned rice vinegar in this recipe. If you don’t have seasoned rice vinegar, add an extra teaspoon of sugar to the sauce.
Sugar: I add one teaspoon of white granulated sugar to enhance the sauce’s flavor. You could also use honey or maple syrup or omit it altogether.
Ground Ginger: I recommend using ½ teaspoon of ground ginger, which you’ll add to the sauce. If you have fresh ginger, use ½ teaspoon of grated ginger instead. I like using fresh ginger; it’s just hard to keep in the pantry.
Sesame Oil: You’ll need one teaspoon of sesame oil for the sauce. Sesame oil enhances the Asian flavor of this dish and is a must!
Vegetables: You’ll need various vegetables for this recipe. Overall, you want to aim for about three cups of vegetables. I used the following:
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned (use any color of bell peppers you like)
- 1 carrot, julienned
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup snow peas
You can add or swap these vegetables for other vegetables; the vegetables included in this recipe are just suggestions. Mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, or any other vegetables you like will work, and this recipe is a great way to use up whatever’s left in your produce drawer.
Scallions: I like to sprinkle slices of green onion on top. It looks pretty and adds flavor and texture. I recommend chopping about 3-4 green onions.
How to Make Lo Mein
Start by cooking the noodles al dente according to their package instructions. Drain and set them aside.
Whisk together the gluten-free soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil to the hot pan over medium-high heat, then add the carrots and onions. Saute for 2-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the red pepper and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook for only two more minutes so they stay bright green. Reduce the heat to low.
The idea is to cook the veggies so they are crisp, tender, and not overcooked. To do that, first cook the vegetables that need the most time, like the carrots and onion, and then add the vegetables that cook very quickly, like the snap peas, which I add last.
Add the cooked gluten-free lo mein noodles and soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Saute until heated through, another 1-2 minutes.
Serve immediately while the veggies are still crisp and tender, preventing the pasta from getting overcooked. Garnish with green onions (optional).
As mentioned, you could add or swap any of the vegetables in this recipe. The vegetables I used are only suggestions, but this recipe is highly customizable.
You could also add chicken, eggs, or shrimp to add protein to the lo mein to make it a hearty weeknight meal.
- For chicken lo mein, cut up 1-2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs into small, bite-sized pieces and saute the pieces in oil for a few minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the heat and set it aside, then proceed with cooking the vegetables. Add the chicken when assembling the pasta, vegetables, and sauce.
- To add eggs, I recommend scrambling 2-4 eggs, setting them aside, and adding them back in when assembling the pasta, vegetables, and sauce.
- For shrimp lo mein, prepare the shrimp ahead of time, then set it aside and toss it with the other ingredients before serving.
For additional garnish and texture, sprinkle the top with sesame seeds before serving. You could also add a sprinkle of fresh lime juice on top.
Please note some lo mein recipes might call for fish sauce or oyster sauce. It adds umami, but I don’t generally use it, even in Asian cooking. You could absolutely add it for additional flavor.
More Asian Recipes
If you love Chinese food, you’ll love these gluten-free Asian recipes:
- Crispy Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken – Easy Recipe
- Easy Gluten-Free Orange Chicken Recipe – Tastes Like Take-Out
- Easy Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Asian Meatball Bowls
- Better-Than-Takeout Gluten-Free Pad Thai
- Extra Crispy Tofu Stir-Fry with Garlic-Ginger Sauce
15-Minute Gluten-Free Vegetable Lo Mein
- 1 large pan
- 1 medium pot
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta, uncooked see notes for pasta recommendations
- ¼ cup gluten-free soy sauce or tamari see notes for recommendations
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar also known as rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 1 carrot julienned
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup snow peas
- 3-4 green onion tops sliced, for garnish (optional)
- Cook the noodles al dente according to their packaged directions. Drain and set them aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the gluten-free soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and ginger. Set aside.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil to the hot pan over medium-high heat, then add the carrots and onions. Saute for 2-4 minutes until the vegetables just start to soften. Add the red pepper and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook for only two more minutes so they stay bright green. Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the cooked gluten-free lo mein noodles and soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Saute until heated through, another 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately while the veggies are still crisp and tender and to prevent the pasta from getting overcooked. Garnish with green onions (optional).