Make Your Ramen Instant Noodles into Healthy, Hearty, Miracle Masterpieces

Whether you’re re-purposing packaged noodles, making salad with them, or even just adding some miso and an egg to your broth…instant Ramen noodles have boundless potential! You (and I) probably ate the stuff by the truckload in college, but never realized they could be so much more than the packages they came in. Give some of these cheap and healthy recipes a try!

Thai Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowl

thai chicken ramen noodle bowl

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 packages of Oriental flavored instant ramen (only 1 seasoning packet, though)
  • 3 cups of stir-fry veggies (make your own or buy them frozen!)
  • 1 ¼ cups of water
  • ¼ cup of peanut butter (so you know it’s Thai!)
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. of light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper (or more, if you’re bold!)
  • 2 cups of chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 8 ounce can of sliced water chestnuts (drained)
  • 1 8 ounce can of bamboo shoots (drained)
  • ¼ cup of chopped peanuts and ¼ cup of sliced green onions for topping/garnishing

How to Make it:

  • Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a sauce pan. Break up the instant noodles a little and add them to the boiling water, along with the veggies.
  • Bring the water back to a boil, then reduce heat slightly. Boil the noodles and veggies for three minutes before draining the water.
  • While that’s boiling, make the sauce! Whisk together the above listed water, soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and 1 seasoning packet until smooth.
  • Cook the sauce over medium heat until it’s thick and bubbling. Then cook and stir it for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add the bamboo shoots, chicken, and water chestnuts to the sauce and heat the whole thing through. Then pour this over the noodle and veggie mixture in your sauce pan.
  • Toss, pour into bowls, and garnish each bowl with peanuts and green onions! Serves 4



Crispy Bok Choy Ramen Salad

crispy bok choy ramen salad

This one’s a recipe in three parts! The ramen will be used to make crispy noodle croutons for you to top your salad with.

What You’ll Need:

For the croutons:

  • 1 packet of instant ramen noodles (Chicken is recommended!)
  • 1 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1 Tbsp. of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. of soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds

For the salad itself:

  • 1 bunch of bok choy
  • 2 sliced green onions

For the dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp. of oil
  • ¼ cup of rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. of soy sauce

How to Make it:

The croutons:

  • Melt your butter in a skillet. While it’s melting, break the package of ramen into small, bite-sized square pieces.
  • Add sugar, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and the seasoning packet from the instant ramen to your pan. Stir until the sugar has melted.
  • Add the ramen pieces and coat them in the mixture. Once they’re coated, set them aside to cool.

The salad:

  • This is simple! Clean the bok choy first – make sure there is no dirt on your stalks.
  • Chop up the bok choy, stalks and stems, as well as your onions.
  • Add these to a large mixing bowl.

The dressing:

  • Combine all the above ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar or tupperware container.
  • Make sure your jar is tightly covered, and shake it until the sugar dissolves.

To finish:

  • Only dress and add croutons before serving! The bok choy and ramen will sour after a day or two. In order to keep your croutons and bok choy crispy, add the dressing and toss just before serving.



Avocado and Cherry Tomato Ramen Noodle Bowl Salad

avocado cherry tomato ramen noodle bowl salad

This recipe involves making your own dressing, too – a lemon basil vinaigrette. But if you have your own favorite dressing already, then this recipe is even simpler!

What You’ll Need:

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp. of lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. of minced lemon basil (or 1 ½ tsp of sweet basil)
  • 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. of white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of honey or agave
  • Salt, to taste

For the salad:

  • 3 packages of instant ramen noodles (seasoning packets are not needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced avocado
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quartered in wedges
  • 1 Tbsp. of minced lemon or sweet basil

How to Make it:

For the dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly. Let this sit for 30 minutes at least so that the flavors can combine – then add more salt if you feel like it needs it, a pinch at a time.

For the salad:

  • Cook the three packages of ramen, then drain the noodles and let them cool.
  • Once the noodles are cool, toss them with olive oil and two tablespoons of the dressing.
  • This recipe serves two, so split the noodles between two bowls. Top with cherry tomatoes and avocado, drizzle the dressing over top of each bowl, and garnish with basil.



For the Advanced Chef…

Mason Jar Almost Instant “Zoodle” Ramen

Never heard of zoodles before? Well, neither had we! They’re zucchini noodles made with a special tool called a spiralizer. Along with zucchini, this recipe uses veggies like mushrooms, red cabbage, and your choice of spinach or kale. Besides being healthy, they’re the kind of veggies that don’t lose their flavor or nutritional value from being cooked in hot water! This recipe also involves making your own chicken bouillon, so next time you call your parents you can say, “Ma – I’m a real adult making my own bouillon now!”

mason jar instant zoodle ramenSource:


Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Ramen Noodle Bowl

Now here’s a hearty meal! And spicy, too – which is the only way a gourmand ramen chef should be taking their instant noodles! This will teach you that instant noodles, just the noodles and not the flavoring packet, are a bona fide culinary ingredient.

spicy shrimp saucy guacamole ramen noodle bowlSource:


20-Minute Spicy Sriracha Ramen Noodle

Any “fancy-pants” ramen noodle recipe list would be lacking if it didn’t mention sriracha at least once. This recipe has the advantage of one of my favorite spices…as well as being quick!

20 minute spicy sriracha ramen noodleSource:


Ramen: Illustration to Spread Ramen Love (Infographic/Poster)

Want to learn more about ramen? Check out this infographic that lists all the different kinds in mouthwatering detail!

inspiration to spread ramen love infographic

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