For many kids, noodles and pasta are a favorite dinner option. This quick Stir Fry Noodles with Veggies family dinner plays off of that familiar starting point and introduces potentially new flavors in a safe way. Dinner time win!
We love these stir fry noodles because the whole recipe takes about 20 minutes to make and you can vary it based on what you have on hand in the house. It’s one of the family dinners I turn to when I’m short on time at 5 pm and the kids are losing their minds!
Easy Stir-Fry Noodles
The beauty of this simple family dinner is that you actually don’t need to cook the stir fry noodles at all if you use the Thai-style ones. (I like these stir fry noodles from Thai Kitchen a lot.)
You simply let the noodles sit in very hot water until they soften. And in about the time that takes (which is about 10 minutes) you can cook up the rest of the veggies for this recipe. My girls are equal-opportunity noodle eaters so we sometimes use spaghetti, ramen noodles, or even egg noodles. Pick what you like!
How to Make Stir-Fry Noodles Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at how this recipe comes together:
- Chop the veggies (or buy them precut!).
- Stir together the simple sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger. I like to grate the ginger and garlic on a fine microplane to ensure that they blend in well.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the vegetables, stir, and cover. These will cook as you soften the noodles.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour over noodles placed in a heat-safe bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse with cold water. This prevents them from becoming gummy.
- Toss the noodles in the skillet with the veggies. Top with crushed peanuts and fresh lime juice, if desired.
Tip: How to Store Fresh Ginger
Here’s a quick tip to make the most of buying fresh ginger: Store it in a freezer bag in the freezer for 4-6 months. When you need ginger for a recipe, pull it out and grate it (skin and all!) on a microplane. It’s easy and it dissolves right into the food AND tastes great.
Making Delicious Stir Fry Noodles at Home
Similar to lo-main, stir fry noodles are satisfying and flavorful, but making them at home offers the chance to provide similar flavors with better nutrition stats. If the noodles are softened according to package directions and you add in enough sauce, this is a very simple recipe to make successfully!
(Which is totally key when you have little ones clamoring for your attention at 5 pm..surely that doesn’t just happen in my house?!)
Stir Fry Noodles Sauce
This recipe uses toasted sesame oil and soy sauce for flavor, as well as fresh garlic and ginger—with a simple trick for ensuring that there aren’t little bits of anything for the kids to worry about. (But it’s still good without both if you don’t want to fuss!)
Vegetable Stir Fry Noodles
This recipe has lots of veggies so it’s colorful and filling—and so the kids can choose what they want with their noodles. My oldest usually picks one veggie out of the assortment that I include and I love that she’s able to choose something that makes her happy from what’s on the table.
Chicken Stir Fry Noodles
If you’d like to add chicken to this recipe, simply brown one pound of diced chicken in the pan at the start until fully cooked. Remove it from the pan, proceed with the recipe, then stir it in before serving.
Beef Stir Fry Noodles
Similar to chicken, you can also turn this vegetable stir fry noodle recipe into beef stir fry noodles. It works best if you thinly slice a cut like tri-tip or flank steak and quickly brown it in the pan at the start of the recipe.
Shrimp with Noodles
My oldest is a nut for shrimp so we often have shrimp for family dinners. Shrimp cooks in about the same amount of time as sliced or cut up veggies, so I often add it in right with the veggies at the start of this recipe. So good!
I make this recipe with about a half pound of noodles, which is typically a half of a package. This is a good amount for a family of four. If you’d rather make more, you can make a whole pound of noodles if you’d like, which will serve 6-8. Simply add an extra tablespoon of both soy sauce and sesame oil to ensure that there’s enough sauce.Print
Try this quick family dinner the next time you’re craving healthy comfort food—and want to please the entire family!
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1-inch grated ginger, optional
- 1 grated garlic clove, optional
- 8 ounces stir-fry noodles (or spaghetti), prepared according to package directions.
- 4 cups shredded or chopped vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, bok choy, sugar snap peas, or broccoli
- Crushed peanuts, lime slices, optional
- Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, stir, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until soft. Remove the lid and stir in the sauce for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.
- Toss in the noodles and serve warm topped with peanuts and fresh lime juice, if desired.
To make everything easy for younger toddlers to eat, snip the noodles and vegetables with kitchen shears into smaller pieces. This is quick and efficient and helps to prevent noodles from getting stuck in little mouths.
Cut the vegetables to similar sizes to help them cook at the same rate.
If you use Thai-style rice noodles and they don’t soften enough for your toddler when prepared according to the directions, place the bowl with the noodles in the water into the microwave for 2 minutes. That will do the trick!