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10 Best Cheap Ramen Noodle Recipes You Totally Can Do

Easy to prepare and inexpensive, ramen has become a student favorite because of its convenience and affordability. However, with more people staying at home and looking for low-cost meals, ramen is suitable for everyone. You can't go wrong with ramen noodles when you're trying to save money on your food budget. Ramen noodles are not only enjoyable to eat, but also incredibly filling. Unfortunately, eating plain, boxed ramen day in and day out might get a little monotonous after a while. It's time to update your ramen if you're still eating it straight from the packet. The curly noodles are so simple to dress up that they quickly become a substantial supper. Are you looking for more noodle dishes? We've got you covered. Prepare to be smitten with our favorite Asian noodle and stir-fry dishes. Standard instant ramen noodles may not be the best choice if you're attempting to eat a balanced diet. If it helps, the bulk of these ramen noodle recipes don't use the flavor packet and instead use other ingredients (which are often loaded with sodium and MSG).

You can make any instant ramen noodles healthier by doing the following:

  • Any other fresh or frozen Asian noodles can be used in place of the noodles.
  • Choose reduced-sodium brands when adding protein and fresh or frozen vegetables.

When purchased in bulk online or on sale, packed instant ramen noodles can be as cheap as 25 cents, and the price is roughly the same when substituting the same amount of dried spaghetti noodles or rice noodles. This leaves 75 cents for toppings and broth flavorings to replace the sodium- and chemical-laden flavor packets that come with instant ramen noodles. Natural flavorings like soy, veggies, and herbs, along with a bit of cheap imagination, give this cheap one-pot meal a lot of variation. So, without further ado, here are some best cheap ramen noodles recipes ideas to ramp up your ramen dinner.

Easy Chicken Ramen

Chicken ramen w/ egg & scallions
Chicken ramen w/ egg & scallions

An easy recipe using the staple chicken. Combine that with other great ingredients and you will make something else from the old ramen.

This easy chicken ramen is a flavor-filled bowl that takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
  • 4 garlic cloves pressed or finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 pounds baby bok choy sliced into quarters lengthwise
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 packages of fresh yakisoba noodles

For the ramen egg:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water

Additional toppings:

  • sliced green onion
  • cilantro
  • chili garlic sauce
  • sesame seeds
  • lime wedges

Get the steps here.

Slow-cooker Pork Shoulder Ramen

Pork ramen w/ egg & chili sauce
Pork ramen w/ egg & chili sauce

A weeknight-friendly version of traditional Japanese tonkatsu ramen in a slow-cooker, this ramen is still full of pork and chicken flavor.

Ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 3 to 4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups Progresso™ chicken broth (from two 32-oz cartons)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons yellow or white miso paste
  • 4 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce
  • 2 packages (3.5 oz each) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1(2-inch) piece peeled gingerroot
  • 2 packages (3 oz each) ramen noodle soup mix (discard flavor packets or reserve for another use)
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs halved
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced on the bias

Learn the steps here.

Beef And Broccoli Ramen

Ramen w/ beef, broccoli & sesame seeds
Ramen w/ beef, broccoli & sesame seeds

There is nothing better than beef and broccoli noodles if you are a beef and broccoli aficionado. I increased the sauce and added plenty of noodles to my favorite Beef and Broccoli recipe. The noodles are my favorite part!

You can make this Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry in a single skillet. My favorite way to prepare this dish is to marinate the beef overnight and then toss it all together just before dinner time. Dinner is ready after 15 minutes of preparation.

Ingredients you will need are:

  • 2 tablespoons oil divided
  • 1 pound flank steak or skirt steak thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cups broccoli
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 packets ramen noodles seasoning packet discarded (3 ounces each)

And for the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Sriracha depending on how spicy you would like it
  • sesame seeds for garnish if desired

Learn the steps here.

Vegan Ramen With Roasted Red Miso Veggies

While great ramen comes in a wide variety of styles and flavors, the rich, creamy, porky version is the most well-known. This vegan version uses umami-packed flavor layers to approximate the depth and complexity of regular ramen, as well as edamame for added protein. It all comes together in about an hour if you can multitask, making it a great nighttime go-to. This dish is mainly a spiced vegetable stock with nicely cooked noodles and roasted veggies, but there are many ways to amp up the flavor. More fragrant vegetables and kombu, dried sea kelp, are added to the vegetable stock. Dried kombu can be bought alongside other dried veggies at an Asian store. It's preferable if there's a lot of white powdery stuff on the surface. The white powdery substance is going to add a distinct flavor to our broth. Water evaporates when kombu dries, leaving powdered, glutamic umami behind, giving the broth a deep depth of flavor in a short length of time.

The roasted vegetables provide the next taste layer. Fresh veggies can be roasted to provide a concentrated, deep flavor. A brief toss with salty red miso paste, garlic, and ginger will help the ramen brown and provide another depth of flavor. Roasting is also a terrific way to cook without having to use your hands, which saves you even more time.

The final layer is unavoidable. Last but not least, a salty soy sauce paired with sweet, acidic mirin completes this warm earthy, slurp-worthy noodle bowl.

The ingredients you will need are:

For the broth:

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
  • 1 4" piece ginger, cut into 1/4" slices
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms (stems removed, caps reserved for later)
  • 2 3" segments kombu (the more dusty, white powder, the better!)
  • 1/2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, quartered
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

For the roasted red miso veggies:

  • 6 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, quartered, stems removed and discarded
  • 5 oz. shiitake mushrooms (reserved caps only)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1/2 c. shelled edamame
  • 1 tbsp. red miso paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, whited minced, greens thinly sliced and reserved
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

And to finish it:

  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. mirin
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 (10 ounces) pack dry ramen wheat noodles
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions

Follow the steps here.

Ramen Noodle Salad

Rames as a salad? Blow your family or friends’ minds with this unexpected twist This picnic classic is always the first thing to go.

You will need these ingredients to make this:

  • 2 3-ounce packets chicken-flavored ramen noodles, one seasoning packet reserved
  • 1/2 c. chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1 10.7-ounce can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 avocado, diced

Read the easy steps here.

Ramen Snack Mix

There's a lot more to instant ramen than soup. It can be used to make ramen burger buns, a decadent ramen carbonara, and now a highly snackable savory party mix that's perfect for a midday snack and even better with beer at cocktail hour. Another mind-blowing recipe for your hard to please guests or family members

Ingredients for this simple recipe are:

  • 3 packs of dried ramen noodles, crushed into bite-size pieces
  • 1 c. cheddar Goldfish
  • 1 c. pretzels
  • 1 c. unsalted nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
  • 1/2 c. wasabi or dried peas, optional
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)
  • 2 ramen seasoning packets
  • Kosher salt

Read the steps here or watch the video.

Ramen Carbonara

Give instant ramen noodles a very classy makeover with this recipe.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 3 ramen packs (seasoning packets discarded)
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Find the steps right here.

Kimchi Ramen

Adding a zingy and delicious flavor as well as probiotic health benefits, kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage dish, is a perfect complement for ramen. The flavor of the pungent liquid that kimchi is packed in will lend depth to the soup. Toss the cooked noodles and broth with 2 heaping tablespoons of kimchi (60 cents) and as much soy sauce as needed (10 cents).

Ramen Burgers

Combine your love of burgers and ramen with this recipe. Your tummy will thank you.

Ingredients are:

  • kosher salt
  • 2 packages of ramen, seasoning packets discarded
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 Monterey Jack slices
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • Sriracha, for drizzling (optional)

Follow these easy steps here.

Haley Dunphy's Ramen Pizza Hack

With just four ingredients, this Ramen dish from The Modern Family Cookbook will change the way you think about ramen. I have been watching Modern Family for years and now, I’m sure to re-watch it again while enjoying this particular dish.

You will only need four ingredients:

  • 1 package instant ramen, seasoning packet discarded
  • 1/2 c. prepared tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 10 slices pepperoni

Find the super easy steps here.

About The Authors

Katya Ryder

Katya Ryder - School teacher, earned National Board Certification in 2013 I have a passion for science and majored in biology at Arizona State University, where I also earned teaching certificate and Master of Education.

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