You won’t believe how delicious these instant ramen noodles are with some tweaks and substitutions. Here are some of the best cheap ramen noodle recipes that will surely satisfy your hunger!
Instant ramen noodles are a cult favorite among college students and young adults who haven’t quite mastered their cooking skills. Even those who already know how to cook also resort to ramen noodles when their budget is tight or when they need something fast and easy on a busy day.
But let’s admit it, ramen noodles aren’t the healthiest option, which is why many experts advise against consuming them regularly. Instant ramen noodles typically have low calories but are also low in protein and fiber. Also, most instant ramen noodles have high amounts of MSG and sodium, which can be harmful when taken in frequent and high doses.
So while instant ramen is not the healthiest thing to eat, you can still hack and upgrade it and turn it into a delicious, healthy meal. You can just take the pack of ramen noodles and tweak the broth, flavor, and toppings by using healthier alternatives.
Don’t know how? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! Here are cheap ramen noodle recipes to turn instant ramen into a hearty and complete meal.
Easy And Cheap Ramen Noodles Recipes
Are you ready to level up your instant noodles? Here are cheap ramen hacks you could try right now!
1. Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles
Source: The Wholesome Dish
This Thai-inspired, easy and cheap ramen noodle recipe brings life to your instant ramen noodles. Just cook your ramen noodles, but don’t include the flavor packet. Mix your sauce, consisting of peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil and more, and dress into your cooked noodles. Top it off with sesame seeds, chopped green onions, and chopped nuts for that nice crunchy flavor. Get the full recipe here.
2. Egg Roll Noodles
Source: Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Adding fresh vegetables and meat to your instant ramen is a great way to make it a healthier dish. The egg roll noodles feature lean ground pork as your source of protein, plus chopped cabbage, red bell pepper, and chopped carrots. Instead of using the flavor packet and boiling water, use your own homemade savory broth flavor (from boiled-down chicken, pork, or beef bones). Cooking this is very easy, the ingredients are cheap and accessible, and it has everything you need in a complete meal! Get the full recipe here.
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3. Ramen Noodle Salad
I bet you never thought about turning ramen noodles into a salad, but this recipe might just surprise you! This is an expensive way to enjoy a healthy salad with refreshing ingredients like almonds, cabbage, carrots, mandarin oranges, sesame seeds, and more. Get the full recipe here.
4. Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl
Source: Simple Healthy Kitchen
This ramen dish is the perfect way to concoct a bowl of satisfying, filling ramen that doesn’t feel guilty! You start off by cooking soft-boiled eggs in one pot while making the chicken broth soup in another. You also cook some chicken breasts and shred them for later. Now cook your instant noodles in the broth, and add shredded chicken, cabbage, carrots, and soft-boiled eggs. Top with chopped green onions, and get ready to slurp! Get the full recipe here.
5. Ramen Carbonara
Source: Cooking for Keeps
Ramen carbonara is one of the cheap ramen noodle recipes you can make in a jiffy! You can replace the usual spaghetti or rigatoni noodles with — you guessed it, ramen noodles! Now add in your carbonara ingredients like eggs, pancetta, and parmesan cheese, and it’s a dish that both adults and kids love! Get the full recipe here.
6. Roasted Chicken Ramen
Source: How Sweet Eats
Chicken and ramen go well together, making a delicious and cheap meal. You’d love how everything in this ramen goes together — butter-cooked corn, sauteed spinach, chicken stock, shredded chicken, soft-boiled eggs, and ramen noodles! It’s a wonderful dish that bursts with flavor. With the addition of vegetables and no added salt, you don’t have to feel bad about enjoying a tasty meal like this. Get the full recipe here.
7. Spicy Ramen Tofu
Source: 40 Aprons
If you like your ramen noodles spicy, this will be one of the best cheap ramen noodle recipes you make! Tofu is a healthier protein source, while ramen noodles are cheap. It strikes the balance between budget and healthy! This recipe calls for fresh ginger, low-sodium soy sauce, miso, garlic, sesame oil, and vinegar to make the broth. Top it with soft-boiled eggs, tofu, togarashi, and nori for that Asian twist.
8. Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles
Source: Now Cook This
This is is also one of the best ramen noodle recipes you can easily replicate in your kitchen. It features spicy, savory sauce made of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, sriracha and more! Get the full recipe here.
9. Cheese Ramen
Source: Pups With Chopsticks
If you both like ramen noodles and cheese, why not combine both? This ramen noodle recipe is almost similar to Mac N Cheese, so you can just imagine how easy and yummy this is! Aim for thicker noodles, combinations of cheeses, and cream cheese. Top it off with green onions, sesame oil, garlic oil, crushed chips, or seaweed, and you get a bowl of yummy extra cheese ramen noodles. Get the full recipe here.
10. Kimchi Ramen Noodles
Source: Live Eat Learn
You can hack your instant ramen and turn it into a delightful dish filled with flavors! You put in tons of vegetables for fiber, mushrooms cooked in olive oil, avocado, scallions, egg, and sriracha. But what really makes this ramen noodle recipe stand out is the kimchi that gives it a yummy, spicy kick!
11. Beef Broccoli Ramen
Beef and broccoli always make the perfect pair, but you’d be surprised when you add ramen noodles into the mix. This Beef broccoli ramen is one of my recommended top ramen noodle recipes just because it has protein, vegetables, and carbs in one amazing dish. You use beef bone broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, flank steak or sirloin, broccoli and garlic, ginger, and chili sauce (if you like it spicy). The ingredients are readily available, the cooking process is quick and easy, and you get a bowl of goodness that warrants a second serving. Get the full recipe here.
12. TikTok Ramen
Source: Insanely Good Recipes
If you spend a lot of time on social media, chances are, you’ve stumbled upon a couple of these instant ramen noodles recipes on TikTok. What we love about these recipes is that they offer an instant upgrade to your regular brown ramen noodles. In this ramen noodle recipe, you ditch the flavor packet and make your own sauce made of melted butter, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic. You stir in a scrambled egg, too, for some protein. It tastes fresh, a little sweet, with a hint of saltiness — something different but definitely good! Get the full recipe here.
13. Chicken Ramen Stir Fry
Source: Foodies Terminal
This is easily one of the easiest ramen noodle recipes you can make on a busy weeknight. Featuring your plain instant noodles but boosted up with bite-sized chicken, fresh vegetables, and yummy homemade sauce, who knew this filling could be this cheap but just as yummy? This cooks in the instant pot, so it saves you time and energy for cleaning up too! Get the full recipe here.
14. Pad Thai Ramen Noodles
Source: Devour Dinner
Pad Thai can be quite elaborate to make from scratch. So if you don’t have the time or money to spend on authentic pad Thai, you can use instant ramen and create a cheap and simplified version without skimping on the flavor. It’s quicker to make in an Instant Pot because you just dump all the ingredients there — mushrooms, noodles, garlic, cut vegetables, and liquid sauce. This amazing dinner or side can be made in less than 10 minutes! Get the full recipe here.
15. Creamy Mayo Garlic Ramen
Source: Jam Hands
Here’s another cheap yet exciting way to eat ramen, and this dish has been making the rounds on TikTok. Just cook your favorite ramen brand, and add your own sauce made of kewpie mayo, egg, and minced garlic. Tossing the noodles into the sauce, top with chopped scallions and chili oil if you want a spicy taste. Get the full recipe here.
16. Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles
Source: Build Your Bite
If you ever find yourself hungry in the middle of the night and can’t be bothered to make a decent meal, then this ramen dish can fill you up. But instead of using the original flavor packet, you make your own ramen sauce by cooking minced garlic in sesame oil, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Toss in the cooked noodles and top with sesame seeds and green onions. This is a super simple dish, but it never fails to satisfy! Get the full recipe here.
17. Breakfast Ramen Noodles
Source: Now Cook This
Instant ramen is an “any time” food, so there’s no stopping you from eating them as your first meal of the day. And this breakfast ramen recipe is exactly what you need to enjoy ramen first thing in the morning! Filled with fresh vegetables, sliced ham, and beaten eggs, this makes such a filling power breakfast that’s bound to start your day right!
18. Garlic Shrimp Ramen
Are you drooling over a vision of garlicky shrimp tossed in cooked ramen noodles, plus chopped onion and broccoli coated in olive oil? Yes, broccoli, shrimp, and instant ramen make an amazing combination. This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, and you can cook it in your Instant Pot, so cleanup is easier for you. Plus, the ingredients are healthier and more wholesome; you might get seconds!
19. Easy Spicy Pork Noodles
Source: I Am Homesteader
Yes, this is a super easy instant noodle recipe, yet it’s also super yummy. So you cook the ramen noodles as per instructions, but you won’t use the flavor packet. Instead, you’ll cook some pork loin in a sauce made of brown sugar, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Once that’s done, stir in the ramen noodles! This is a wonderful, filling meal with a cooking time of less than 10 minutes! Get the full recipe here.
20. Ground Ramen Beef
Source: The Travel Palate
Dress up your instant ramen in Asian flavors at a cheap price and in less time with this ground ramen beef recipe. Just brown some lean ground beef, add in some mushrooms, stir fry sauce, and some water, then dunk in your instant ramen. Garnish with chopped cabbage, sliced green onions, and sesame seeds. You can even add whatever extra veggies you have for more flavor and texture. Get the full recipe here.
21. Vegetable Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry
Source: The Woks of Life
One of the best ways to use ramen is on Meatless Mondays when you just want to stay away from meaty protein sources and enjoy more veggies. And this is the perfect recipe for that! You just need to cook the noodles as per instructions and make your own sauce made of sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and more. Stir fry your vegetables — carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and cabbage, then combine them with the sauce and noodles. So easy, right?
Instant ramen noodles are some of the cheapest things you can stock in your pantry. It’s sure to save when you’re too rushed or tired to make dinner or when cravings strike at ungodly hours. But cooking instant noodles in boiling water is not your only option.
You can make instant ramen more delicious, satisfying, and even healthier by doing a few upgrades. In most cases, you can ditch the flavor packet and make your own sauce or soup base, consisting of healthier alternatives like bone broth, fresh herbs, vegetables, and seasonings. If you’re willing to explore or experiment, perhaps you could also develop your instant ramen upgrade!