Throw the Ingredients into One Pot for a Practically Mess-Free Meal
To reduce stress when dinnertime nears, particularly after a long day at work, keep meals as simple and kid-friendly as possible. Take-out is often very tempting, but a one-pot chicken lo mein dish may cause the Chinese restaurant phone number to finally be deleted from the contacts list in your phone. This recipe is so simple and fast that your kids will be done setting the table as soon as you're ready to serve.
If you're getting tired of chicken, you can use thinly sliced pork in this recipe instead. For those trying to add more meatless meals, cubed firm tofu works as a substitute, too.
To save time in the kitchen – and maybe your fingers, if you're a clumsy chopper – add shredded carrots and pre-cut peppers to your shopping list.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
- 16-ounce box of whole-wheat linguini
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 medium red pepper, julienned
- 4 chopped green onions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 cups chicken broth
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, add oil, chicken, pasta, carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, broth and soy sauce mixture. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, mixing in pasta as it softens.
- Cook the lo mein for 15 minutes covered, or until most of the liquid has evaporated out. Stir occasionally while cooking.
- Uncover and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the chicken lo mein sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent for your one-pot chicken lo mein sauce. If not properly dissolved before cooking, the cornstarch may form lumpy blobs. Dissolving it in a liquid first – in this case, the soy sauce – helps ensure that it will do its job and thicken the sauce instead of ruining your meal.
Popping all your ingredients into one pot and setting it to boil makes for an easy dish for mom. But to add a little extra flavor, and help keep your chicken tender and delicious, brown your chicken first in the pan with the oil, then add all the other ingredients and start your boiling. Also, consider sautéing the onions and carrots in the oil too prior to boiling to add texture and depth to the dish.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and sharing her love of food, nutrition and health with anyone who'll listen for almost 20 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post and Diabetes Self-Management.