Reinvent this dirt-cheap meal into something you can feel good about. These easy ramen noodle recipes are so good, you won't believe they came out of a package that cost you less than $0.50!

Bowl of ramen with chicken and eggs from Shelf Cooking.

Ahhh, the classic ramen noodle—a favorite midnight snack of noodle-craving adults and broke college students, alike. This pantry staple is more than just a salty noodle soup, though. We're going to show you how to take ramen to the next level and make it a meal you can feel good… no, great, about serving to your family!

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Toss that little foil packet to the side and watch the magic happen with these easy and cheap ramen noodle recipes. We'll show you all the possible add-ins and some super basic ways to prepare the ramen so you'll have a tasty (and dirt-cheap!) weeknight dinner on the table in a flash.


The key to a good ramen noodle recipe is the add-ins! Sure, those little packets of salty goodness are tasty, but they often leave us longing for something, well… more. Here are some of our favorite add-ins to take that bowl of ramen to a whole new world! *Cue Aladdin song.*


Hand pouring soy sauce into bowl from Shelf Cooking.

We think a good sauce is key for the BEST bowl of ramen. Here are some that pair well with this cheap, staple noodle!

Any of these sauces will make a basic bowl of ramen scream with flavor!


There are so many ways you can dress up your ramen. These are some of our favorite ways to mix it up! Try one or try a few together to make your own concoction.

  • Garlic seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Italian seasoning
  • Chili powder
  • Coriander

Really, any spices can kick your ramen up a notch so don't be afraid to go rogue. This is shelf cooking after all, right?!


While any vegetables will do, some veggies just beg to be in a bowl of ramen! These are our tried and true, go-to choices.

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Shredded carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Leeks
  • Corn
  • Snap peas

This is not a comprehensive list, so go crazy with it! Use up whatever veggies you have shoved waaaay back in your freezer before they go bad. There's no shame in that game, mama.


Cooked bacon on a plate from Shelf Cooking.

These additional add-ins are perfect for tossing on top of your bowl of ramen for an extra dose of yumminess!

Mmm hmmmm. Is your mouth watering yet? Same!


Okay, now that you know all the best ramen noodle add-ins, fancy up those babies up with these incredible ramen noodle recipes! So easy and quick to make, they're the perfect weeknight dinner. Trust us, the whole family will be begging for more!


Italian-style ramen? Oh yes, we went there… and so should you! This spin on ramen noodles is as delicious as it is unconventional. It's so easy to make, yet it feels absolutely gourmet! Who knew a packet of noodles worth pennies could taste so dang good? Seriously, try it!

  1. Cook some corn, garlic, and thyme in a pan with butter or oil for about five minutes, or until the corn begins to brown on the edges.
  2. Toss in some cooked, crumbled bacon.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat two eggs. Add a half cup of parmesan cheese and a half cup of fresh basil to the beaten egg mixture.
  4. Next, cook three squares of ramen, per the package directions.
  5. Once tender, drain the noodles, reserving one cup of liquid for later use.
  6. Place the cooked ramen noodles into the beaten egg mixture and toss quickly to coat the noodles without scrambling the eggs. (If you need to thin the mixture a little, use the reserved liquid you saved.)
  7. Mix in your corn and bacon mixture and you have a ramen meal everyone will love!

Pro Tip: To add even more flavor, cook your ramen in chicken broth instead of water!


Stir fried ramen on a plate with veggies from Shelf Cooking.

This stir fry variation is ah-ma-zing!! Not only does it taste great but it's also so simple to throw together, even your kids can help you make it! Here's how we do it:

  1. Cook your noodles according to the package, but leave out the seasoning packet.
  2. In a saucepan, melt one tablespoon of butter or oil and toss in your cooked noodles.
  3. Slide the noodles to one side of the pan and fry an egg or two on the other side of the pan.
  4. Break up the egg with a spatula and mix in with your noodles.
  5. Toss in your favorite sautéed veggies and cooked meat (shredded chicken is always easy!).
  6. Season with your favorite spices and sauces. (Our favorites are mentioned above!)
  7. Enjoy!

Feel free to make this recipe your own and use what you have on hand. We have a great shrimp and broccoli stir fry that would be incredible with ramen, too. Give it a try! These stir-fried ramen noodles are seriously so, so good.


Don't feel like standing over a hot stove to prepare your ramen? No worries! Let the Instant Pot do the work for you. This recipe makes enough for four people, but you can double or triple the amounts with no issue!

  1. Place 2-3 chicken breasts in the Instant Pot with four cups of chicken broth. (Use whatever broth you have on hand!) Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  2. Once the time is up and the pressure is released, shred the cooked chicken in the pot and add three packets of ramen noodles without the seasoning packets.
  3. Use the sauté function to bring the pot to a boil until the noodles are tender.
  4. Toss in your favorite add-ins and gobble this delicious bowl of ramen up!

This ramen noodle recipe is so versatile and can be made with virtually any flavors or seasonings!


If you're like us, and you hate to waste anything in the kitchen… don't just toss that seasoning packet. Instead, put it to good use! Here are some super creative ways to make use of that flavorful little packet if you just can't bear the thought of trashing it.

  • Popcorn Seasoning – Make your popcorn drool-worthy with a sprinkle of this magical foil packet.
  • Flavorful Rice – This seasoning takes bland rice to the next level! (Don't miss this post on the best way to cook your rice!)
  • Potato Seasoning – Sprinkle it on potatoes before roasting for an explosion of flavor.
  • Add it to Batter – Add it to the batter before frying up chicken tenders or corn dogs.
  • Chip Dip – Toss it in sour cream for a delicious chip dip.

If you need a quick, easy, and dirt-cheap meal… these ramen noodle recipes really fit the bill! A pantry staple, these little packets of noodles cost almost nothing and cook up into a delicious, gourmet meal with just a few simple add-ins. Give it a try!

Do you have a favorite ramen noodle recipe or add-in? Share it with us in the comments below!

Ramen noodles in a bowl from Shelf Cooking.

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Have a souper day!