For many kids, noodles and pasta are a favorite dinner option. This quick Stir Fry Noodles is a family dinner that plays off of that familiar starting point and introduces potentially new flavors in a safe way. It’s fast, delicious, and so versatile!
Stir Fry Noodles
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. (I say that as kindly as possible…that time of the day can be a hot mess.)
The beauty of this simple 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 can also use spaghetti.)
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.
You can use any type of noodle in this recipe, including rice noodles, spaghetti, egg noodles, and the like. And the options for veggies are really wide—including pre-cut and frozen veggies to cut down on the amount of prep time.
Contents hide 1 Stir Fry Noodles 2 Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here! 3 Ingredients You Need 4 Step-by-Step Instructions 5 How to Store Fresh Ginger 6 Stir Fry Noodle Sauce 7 Vegetable Stir Fry Noodles 8 Stir Fry Noodles with Chicken, Beef or Shrimp 9 How to Store 10 Best Tips for Success 11 Related Recipes 12 20-Minute Stir Fry Noodles 12.1 Teriyaki Sauce
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Ingredients You Need
To make this recipe, this is what you’ll need from the store so you know what to look for. (The full specifics on amounts are at the end of the post in the recipe.)
- Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in cooking, though you can make this gluten-free if needed with reduced-sodium tamari.
- Toasted sesame oil: This flavorful oil adds depth and nuttiness.
- Maple syrup: Using a little sweetness in the sauce helps to round out the flavors. You can use honey (for kids over age one) if you prefer.
- Ginger: You can grate fresh or frozen ginger or use dried ground ginger.
- Garlic: You can grate fresh garlic or use dried ground garlic powder.
- Noodles: You can use “stir fry noodles”, which are made from rice, “Chinese noodles”, ramen, or spaghetti.
- Shredded or chopped vegetables: You can choose from carrots, bell peppers, bok choy, sugar snap peas, or broccoli. A mix works or you can do just one option.
- Crushed peanuts and lime slices, optional for topping each serving.
Here’s a look at how this recipe comes together so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full recipe.
- Chop the veggies (or buy them precut!).
- Stir together the simple sauce.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the vegetables, stir, and cover.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour over noodles placed in a heat-safe bowl. Let sit.
- 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: I like to grate the ginger and garlic on a fine microplane to ensure that they blend in well.
How to Store Fresh Ginger
Since using fresh ginger might not be something you do every week, here’s a quick tip to prevent it from going bad: Simply tuck it, skin and all, right into a small freezer bag. 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, tastes great, and lasts for 4-6 months.
Stir Fry Noodle Sauce
This recipe uses toasted sesame oil and soy sauce for flavor, as well as fresh garlic and ginger. But it’s still good without both if you don’t want to fuss!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of noodles do you use for stir-fry?
You can use stir fry noodles, which are typically rice noodles, Chinese-style noodles, ramen noodles, or spaghetti or linguine. The only difference is that some of these need to be boiled and some just need to be soaked, so check the instructions on the package.
Do you boil the noodles before stir-fry?
If using stir fry noodles made from rice, you typically just soak the noodles in very hot water, drain, and rinse. If using another type of noodles, yes, you will need to boil them first and add them to the pan after they are drained.
How do you make stir-fry with noodles?
The basic method for making stir-fry with noodles is to prepare your noodles, cook the vegetables in a pan, add the cooked noodles and sauce, and stir together.
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.
Stir Fry Noodles with Chicken, Beef or Shrimp
If you’d like to add chicken to this recipe, simply brown one pound of diced chicken, thinly sliced beef, or peeled shrimp in the pan at the start until fully cooked. Remove it from the pan, proceed with the recipe, then stir it in before serving.
How to Store
Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Heat to serve. You can also chop the vegetables up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook. This is a nice way to cut down on prep time when you’re ready to cook on a busy weeknight.
Best Tips for Success
- To make everything easy for younger toddlers to eat, snip the noodles and vegetables with kitchen shears into smaller pieces.
- Cut the vegetables to similar sizes to help them cook at the same rate.
- Add chicken, shrimp, beef, sauteed tofu, edamame beans or peas as desired for additional protein.
- Use Thai-style rice noodles, or spaghetti, egg noodles, Ramen noodles or any other similar noodle.
- Prepare noodles according to package directions.
- Store fresh ginger in a freezer bag in the freezer and grate it frozen right into the pan (and future recipes) to get the most use out of it.
- Top with fresh lime juice, additional soy sauce, and/or chopped peanuts if desired.