Learn how to make La Choy chicken chow mein and La Choy beef chow mein in this review and recipe! La Choy Chow Mein in a can is an 80s classic and an easy way to enjoy Chinese take out at home. It’s true that the best chicken chow mein doesn't come from a can. However, if you need a cheap and convenient way to have an Asian-inspired family meal, La Choy Chicken Chow Mein with vegetables and crunchy chow mein noodles have got your back.
Does La Choy still make chow mein? Yes! La Choy did not go out of business, but the company was bought by ConAgra Foods in 1990.
You may not have seen your favorite canned Chinese food in stores recently, due to a supply chain/pandemic-related shortage. However, you can still find La Choy chow mein noodles and other products in stores if you look around.
We’re going to focus on La Choy Chicken Chow Mein and La Choy Beef Chow Mein today. Here are some other popular La Choy products to keep an eye out for:
- La Choy Chow Mein Noodles
- Canned La Choy Chop Suey (AKA La Choy Stir Fry Vegetables, a great substitute if you want La Choy Vegetable Chow Mein)
- La Choy Soy Sauce
- ❓ What is chicken chow mein?
- 🔪 La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Recipe
- 🍲 La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Ingredients
- ⏲ La Choy Chow Mein Microwave Directions
- 📋 La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Calories
- ⭐ La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Nutrition
- 🌡️ Can you freeze La Choy Chow Mein Noodles?
- 👪 What goes with La Choy Chow Mein?
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Canned Food Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
❓ What is chicken chow mein?
Chicken chow mein in American Chinese restaurants is a dish of chicken, noodles, onions, and celery with Asian-inspired sauces. You can also find a version of chicken chow mein that is more similar to a chop suey-like stew served over rice. Canned La Choy chicken chow mein contains no noodles, and is most similar to this second version.
Is chow mein actually Chinese?
Chow mein is based on the Cantonese dish chaomian, which was brought to the U.S. by Chinese immigrants. Changes have been made to the dish over time to be better suited to the American palate.
Why is chicken chow mein different in New England than the rest of the country?
There are actually regional differences across the U.S. in how chicken chow mein is prepared. In New England, the chow mein gravy tends to be more similar to gravies in the cooking of the region.
Where is La Choy Chow Mein made?
La Choy chow mein is made by ConAgra Brands, an American packaged food company.
🔪 La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Recipe
La Choy chow mein comes in a “bi pack can,” or basically two cans stuck together. The larger can holds the veggies while the smaller can contains the meat and sauce. Begin by separating the cans.
Open the can of veggies and drain them over the sink with a colander. Rinsing the veggies well will help to reduce the high sodium content in this food.
Empty the smaller can into a cast iron skillet. Stir in the drained vegetables.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally. It should only take a few minutes to get hot.
Serve La Choy chicken chow mein or beef chow mein over rice. Top with something crunchy, such as La Choy chow mein noodles, or chopped nuts. Enjoy!
🍲 La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Ingredients
What is in La Choy Chow Mein? Here are the ingredients for La Choy Chicken Chow Mein:
Vegetables can ingredients:
- Bean sprouts
- Red bell peppers
- Water chestnuts
- Baby corn
- Less than 2% of: salt, sugar, ascorbic acid, citric acid, flavoring
Sauce can ingredients:
- Chicken (white meat chicken, water, modified rice starch, isolated soy protein, salt, sodium phosphates)
- Modified corn starch
- Soy sauce (water, salt, hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup, caramel color)
- Less than 2% of: salt, ginger puree, sesame seed oil, flavorings, chicken broth
The major allergen listed on the can is soy. La Choy chicken chow mein contains ingredients that are GMO. However, there are no artificial flavors and no artificial colors.
I find La Choy chow mein heavy on the bean sprouts, with very little chicken or beef. Though the can lists 3 servings, I think it will more realistically serve 2. The savory sauce in La Choy beef chow mein reminds me of beef stew (by smell).
⏲ La Choy Chow Mein Microwave Directions
In case your packaging is damaged, here are the directions for microwave La Choy chow mein. Begin by separating the cans.
Open the can of veggies and drain them over the sink with a colander. Stir the contents of the can of sauce and meat with the drained veggies in a microwave-safe bowl.
Heat the mixture on high for 4 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir again, and serve with rice and crispy chow mein noodles (or nuts).
IMVHO, La Choy chow mein is salty but otherwise rather bland in the taste department. I think it’s fine to keep some cans on hand for emergencies, but I wouldn’t use this for an everyday pick.
📋 La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Calories
La Choy Chicken Chow Mein provides 90 calories per serving. There are 3 servings per can, so you could eat the entire thing for under 300 calories.
⭐ La Choy Chicken Chow Mein Nutrition
Here is the nutrition info for La Choy Chicken Chow Mein (per serving, 3 servings in a 42-ounce can):
- Calories: 90
- Total fat: 1.5g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 15mg
- Sodium: 1270mg
- Total carbohydrate: 14g
- Fiber: 2g
- Net carbs: 12g
- Total sugar: 6g
- Added sugar: 4g
- Protein: 5g
- Potassium: 120mg
- Iron: 0% DV
- Calcium: 0% DV
Additionally, it is an excellent source of vitamin C, because ascorbic acid was added.
La Choy Chicken Chow Mein can fit relaxed low carb diets and dairy-free diets. It is extraordinarily high in sodium, thus not a good fit for low sodium diets. Nutrition information for La Choy Beef Chow Mein is in the recipe card below.
Keep in mind that this nutrition information was correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change. Check the nutrition facts panel of the product you buy for the most current information.
🌡️ Can you freeze La Choy Chow Mein Noodles?
Yes, you can freeze La Choy crunchy noodles in an airtight container or a freezer bag with the air pressed out. They will keep for 2-3 months (or even longer).
👪 What goes with La Choy Chow Mein?
What goes with La Choy chicken chow mein? I like to serve La Choy canned chow mein with rice plus something crunchy on top. La Choy chow mein noodles are the traditional choice for crunch, but I prefer using chopped cashews.
Here are some other things you could add to La Choy chow mein from a can for flavor:
- Water chestnuts
- Bell peppers
- Baby corn
- Red pepper flakes
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). La Choy chicken chow mein and La Choy beef chow mein are both mostly vegetables. Because of this, they are low calorie foods. In both cases, you could eat the entire can of food for under 300 calories.
My biggest complaint with these products is that they are extremely high in sodium. If you were to eat the whole can, you’re consuming 3810-4260 mg of sodium (depending on whether you choose chicken or beef). That’s far above the recommended daily limit of 2300 mg for sodium (per the Dietary Guidelines).
Additionally, it’s not likely a 270-calorie can of La Choy Chow Mein will be all the food you eat in a day. So your sodium intake for the day is going to be much higher (it naturally occurs in foods even if you don’t add salt).
You can reduce some of the sodium in these products by rinsing the veggies well. However, there is still a significant amount of sodium present in the can of meat and salt. This product is not appropriate for those on low sodium diets.
Adding something crunchy to La Choy chicken chow mein can really improve the meal. The La Choy chow mein noodles are a classic choice, but these can add a lot of empty calories. For some whole food crunch, I recommend adding a sprinkle of nuts or seeds instead.
La Choy Chicken Chow Mein has no gluten-containing ingredients. However, it is produced in a facility that makes products with gluten, so cross-contact may occur. La Choy Beef Chow Mein and La Choy Chow Mein Noodles are not gluten free; both contain wheat.
Yes, there was a recent La Choy Chow Mein recipe change. According to ConAgra Brands, “The LaChoy bi-packs have been reformulated to now include all-white meat chicken breast, less bean sprouts in the vegetable mix, and more Asian flavors such as ginger, sesame, and orange. The gravy is now a darker color which may cause the meat to appear darker.”
Are La Choy Chow Mein Noodles healthy? The crispy chow mein noodles from La Choy are mostly made of white flour and added fat with little protein and fiber. They’re definitely not my top pick for a nutritious food that supports healthy weight management.
Yes, La Choy Chow Mein Noodles are 100% plant based and vegan diet friendly.
LaChoy Chow Mein Noodles often have a “sell by” date on the packaging. Though they’re a non-perishable item, there may be some deterioration in quality if consumed far past the listed date.
Where to buy La Choy chow mein noodles? La Choy crispy noodles can be found at many major grocery stores in the United States. Use La Choy’s store locator here to find a location near you, or buy them on Amazon.
👩🏻🍳 Other Canned Food Recipes
Looking for more easy recipes using canned foods? I’ve got you! After making La Choy Chow Mein, try these:
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All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
La Choy Chow Mein in a Can (Chicken or Beef)
- 1 can La Choy Chow Mein (chicken or beef)
- La Choy Chow Mein Noodles (or chopped cashews, optional)
- cooked rice (optional)
- La Choy chow mein comes in a “bi pack can,” or basically two cans stuck together. The larger can holds the vegetables while the smaller can contains the chicken or beef and sauce. Begin by separating the cans.
- Open the can of veggies and drain them over the sink with a colander. Rinsing the veggies well will help to reduce the high sodium content in this food.
- Empty the smaller can into a cast iron skillet. Stir in the drained vegetables.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally. It should only take a few minutes to get hot.
- Serve La Choy chicken chow mein or beef chow mein over rice. Top with something crunchy, such as La Choy chow mein noodles, or chopped cashews. Enjoy!
Deirdre Pearson says
You don't even have to add the beef and vegetables, just the sauce. I can add the other stuff, but the sauce would help tremendously! Please?
Deirdre Pearson says
I can only find the chicken. It doesn't begin to compare to your beef chow mean, which I haven't been able to find anymore. Where can I get the beef?!
Summer Yule says
Hi Deidre, Amazon currently has 3-packs of the beef chow mein, but they are quite expensive! https://amzn.to/3GWEM20 I don't think LaChoy sells the sauce in the cans separately. The Walmarts with grocery stores may also carry beef chow mein. If you call your local grocery stores, you may find one that will order it for you. Good luck!