Homemade Lo Mein: The Amazing One Pot Wonder!

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So, let’s talk about “One pot wonder” meals for a minute. Have you seen them on Pinterest or elsewhere? The first one I saw was from Martha Stewart (click here to view). When I first saw this recipe, I thought to myself “there’s no way that works.” But then I was thinking if it did work, what an easy meal this would be to have in my repertoire when I was out of homemade pasta sauce or just needed something easy. So I gave it a whirl, with the disclaimer to my husband that it might not work and we might be ordering pizza for dinner.

To my surprise and pleasure, it turned out great! So boom, just like that I was a believer in “one pot wonder” meals. It got me thinking that I could convert one of my favorite soup recipes into a Lo Mein dish. I picked up some Lo Mein noodles from the grocery store and gave it a try. Once again I was pleased by the ease of the recipe and flavorful result. This is the perfect meal to throw together after a busy a day or when you want a lighter alternative to Chinese take-out.

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And, I urge you to experiment with this one and swap out the veggies for different combinations or use beef instead of chicken (or no meat at all) if you like!

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Homemade Lo Mein

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh ginger, minced, about 1 inch
  • 4 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c sweet peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 1/2 c carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 c broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 c button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz (one small can) water chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 bunch of green onions, diced
  • Lo Mein noodles

Directions:

I know most of these recipes typically just throw everything in a pot and let it cook, but I had to make just one minor adjustment. There’s no way I could make a recipe with meat in it without browning it first. It makes the chicken taste better and gives the pot a better base flavor. So we’re going to start there. In a large pot heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Coat the cubed chicken with salt and pepper. Once the oil is warm and easily coats the bottom of the pot saute the chicken for 5 minutes, stirring to ensure all sides are browned.

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After 5 minutes add the minced garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add all remaining ingredients. Spread out the noodles a bit so they don’t cook in one big clump.

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Bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring halfway through.

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Most (but not all) of the liquid  should be cooked off. If it is not at this point let it continue to cook for 2-3 minutes uncovered. Be sure to stir the noodles every once in a while to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Let the noodles rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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These noodles are great with scallion pancakes, click here for the recipe.

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Want to see some more easy chicken dinners?

Click here to view Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Clicke here to view Lemon Oregano Roasted Chicken Thighs

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Homemade Lo Mein

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh ginger, minced, about 1 inch
  • 4 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c sweet peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 1/2 c carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 c broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 c button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz (one small can) water chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 bunch of green onions, diced
  • Lo Mein noodles

Directions:

In a large pot heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Coat the cubed chicken with salt and pepper. Once the oil is warm and easily coats the bottom of the pot saute the chicken for 5 minutes, stirring to ensure all sides are browned.

After 5 minutes add the minced garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add all remaining ingredients. Spread out the noodles a bit so they don’t cook in one big clump.

Bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Most (but not all) of the liquid  should be cooked off. If it is not at this point let it continue to cook for 2-3 minutes uncovered. Be sure to stir the noodles every once in a while to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Let the noodles rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Lemon Oregano Roasted Chicken Thighs

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Honestly, this dish is a staple in my house. I started making this a few years ago, when I was desperate for one-pot meals, and this one just stuck. I make this (or a variation of this) every two weeks or so. This can be attributed to a few reasons; the first being that it is quick and easy to make. I also love this recipe because it’s a building block for tons of other dinners. I often change the spice combinations and vegetables I’m roasting with the chicken so it doesn’t get boring.

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The last, and maybe most important reason we make this for dinner so often is because it’s with chicken thighs. Let me tell you, I used to think I didn’t like chicken. It turns out I was just drying out my chicken every time and that was really making my chicken dishes unenjoyable. Once I started cooking chicken thighs with this method I learned how absolutely amazing chicken can really be, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It was literally a revelation to me that I had been ignoring, in my opinion, the best part of the chicken!

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And chicken thighs are so inexpensive. I buy big packs of them at the grocery store and freeze 4-5 thighs in a bag, so that when I’m making it for dinner I put the bag of frozen chicken in a sink of hot water and they defrost quickly. After they are defrosted I trim the skin so there is just a small amount on the top of the thigh, and trim the excess fat on the bottom of the thigh.

So, as you try this recipe in your own kitchen, I strongly encourage you to experiment with different spice combinations for the chicken and which vegetables get roasted with the chicken. If you like crispy chicken that is juicy and flavorful on the inside then this recipe is for you.

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Lemon Oregano Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken thighs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c carrots, baby carrots, or cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • oregano

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pat dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel and place on a plate. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven safe pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shiny and easily coats the bottom of the pan place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the the pan. Allow them to brown for 6 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken and brown the bottom of the chicken thighs for 6 minutes.

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Toss the carrots in a small amount of olive oil and add them to the pan around the chicken thighs. Squeeze the lemon slices over the entire pan (be careful, this will splatter a bit), place the lemon slices in the pan on top of the vegetables.

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Sprinkle oregano on the chicken thighs and then place the pan (uncovered) in the oven and roast for 18-20 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken thighs).

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The chicken is finished when it reaches an internal temperature of 165.

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Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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Lemon Oregano Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken thighs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c carrots, baby carrots, or cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • oregano

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pat dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel and place on a plate. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven safe pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shiny and easily coats the bottom of the pan place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the the pan. Allow them to brown for 6 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken and brown the bottom of the chicken thighs for 6 minutes.

Toss the carrots in a small amount of olive oil and add them to the pan around the chicken thighs. Squeeze the lemon slices over the entire pan (be careful, this will splatter a bit), place the lemon slices in the pan on top of the vegetables.

Sprinkle oregano on the chicken thighs and then place the pan (uncovered) in the oven and roast for 18-20 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken thighs).

The chicken is finished when it reaches an internal temperature of 165.

Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.