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Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

This Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe tastes just like the restaurant! These delicious noodles are read in just 20 minutes and taste great with chicken, shrimp, or steak!

Be sure to pair this with some Chicken Fried Rice and Crab Rangoon!

A white plate on a marble cutting board filled with chow mein and a hand holding chopsticks twisting up the noodles.

Panda Express Chow Mein

I have dozens of copycat recipes at this point, and I think this chow mein recipe wins the award for the quickest one of them all.

It’s hard to believe that this recipe takes less than 30 minutes! Does it really get any better than that?!

I love all of the things that you can add to this recipe too. There are endless vegetable options as well as meat for added protein.

Types of Chow Mein Noodles

  • Panda express uses Stir Fried Wheat Noodles similar to these.
  • I used these Chow Mein noodles for this recipe. You can find them in your local grocery store where they have a dedicated section for Asian ingredients.
  • You could also regular spaghetti noodles for this recipe, just adjust the cooking times for the noodles accordingly.

What You Can Add

  • Seared chicken, shrimp, or steak
  • Carrots, water chestnuts, green onions, bok choy, snap peas
  • Chow Mein noodles, sesame seeds, roughly chopped peanuts

white plate filled with panda express chow mein with chopsticks and soy sauce in the background.

Chow Mein vs. Lo Mein

“Mein” is simply a Chinese word for noodles. The major  difference is simply how the noodles are cooked and what they are served with.

Lo Mein: Typically made with fresh egg noodles that are boiled for 2-3 minutes. They soak up sauce better than Chow Mein does and it’s not usually accompanied by add-on’s such as vegetables or meat.

Chow Mein: Made with fresh or dry egg noodles and boiled for 5-6 minutes and served with stir-fried vegetables and/or meat.

That’s the gist of it, but this source can tell you more!

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A white plate with Panda Express Chow Mein being twisted up with chopsticks.

Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

5 from 3 ratings
This Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe tastes just like the restaurant! These delicious noodles are ready in just 20 minutes and taste great with chicken, shrimp, or steak!


  • 6 oz. dry Chow Mein stir fry noodles


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil, can sub canola


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce*, See Notes
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger


  • Boil the Chow Mein noodles in a large pot for about 3 minutes. Drain, then rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside.
  • In a large pot on medium heat, combine the onions, celery, cabbage, and peanut oil and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients and add to the vegetables. Stir in the Chow Mein noodles, and serve.


*Oyster sauce is not necessary,  I had it on hand and it gives it a nice flavor. A little goes a long way so don't overdo it.
Additional ingredient options: Carrots, Broccoli, Bean Sprouts, Water Chestnuts, Seared Chicken, Beef, or Shrimp.
Use leftovers as a cold work lunch!


Calories: 275kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1245mg, Potassium: 284mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5470IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!


This Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein tastes just like the restaurant version and is quick and easy to make right at home. In just 20 minutes you can enjoy this restaurant classic. Add seared shrimp, chicken, or beef to make it a protein-packed meal! | The Cozy Cook | #chowmein #copycat #pandaexpress #meatless #sidedish #chinesefood #restaurantcopycat #chinese #comfortfood #dinner #noodles

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7 comments on “Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein”

  1. An optional ingredient you forgot is snow peas, I had them and added a generous handful

  2. best chow mein has bean sprouts (not noodles), your favorite veggies & strips of pork or your favorite meat .. served over crispy Chinese noodles …just my favorite .. love bean sprouts & whatever extras .

  3. I’ve made this recipe several times now using different variants of vegetables and noodles top ramen noodles actually work great if you’re on a budget thanks for the recipe

    • Hey David! That’s so great to hear! Thank you so much for sharing that, makes my day- you have no idea! -Stephanie

  4. I made this tinight and finished it off with a drizzle of sesame oil, OMG. Beats P E by a mile. Thank you for sharing

    • I am SO happy to hear that Suz!! I loved and too and I loved reading your comment even more 🙂 Thank you!!

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