We all love the convenience of instant noodles. They are easy, difficult to mess up and best of all, they’re in our budget. But, what about when you’re tired of that same old salty flavor? Now, I’m not judging people who love the “chicken” ramen packets… I’m just saying, there are options for when you start to desire a healthier and more filling meal! You can keep your same old grocery shopping staples and just spice them up a little! There is nothing wrong with taking something simple and making it your own. The best part about ramen noodles is that they take little to no time to prep! So, let’s look into some simple recipes that use ramen noodles as their main ingredient but are healthier and more filling than the original salty chicken flavor packet!
Crunchy Ramen Salad
What you need: olive oil, slivered almonds, coleslaw mix, green onions, red bell peppers, cider vinegar, sugar, pepper and good ol’ ramen noodles!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Check out the full recipe at Taste of Home. While this specific recipe uses coleslaw mix, you can use any leafy green of your choice. This recipe can be used as a starting point and then you can make it your own! The concept itself is a great way to add some texture to any salad!
General Tso’s Chicken
What you need: soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, shaoxing wine, cornstarch, dried red chilies, minced ginger, garlic cloves, chicken broth, chicken, broccoli and ramen.
Prep time: 35 minutes
This recipe will help you get a better idea of what flavors to combine to make your ideal sauce! There are a few ingredients added in this recipe that really make this a bold dish! Don’t be afraid to try a new ingredient or two. Changing it up a little is how you can create an amazing recipe of your own. Don’t forget… you can always mix-up your protein sources that help bulk up your dish! Consider options like tofu or egg!
Chicken Noodle Soup
What you need: olive oil, bell peppers, carrots, green onions, garlic, chicken broth, shredded chicken, cilantro and… you guessed it, ramen noodles!
Prep time: 15 minutes
What is really great about this recipe is that, while it is a classic, it is completely customizable. It’s always great to use ramen that’s been in our pantry for months to make a last minute craving-inspired dish! Don’t forget, you can always switch to vegetable broth and substitute the chicken for another protein source to make this a vegetarian or vegan option.
Spicy Shrimp Bowl
What you need: olive oil, vegetable stock, medium shrimp, sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, vegetables of your choice and ramen!
Prep time: 20 minutes
This is a great bowl to help you step outside of your flavor-profile comfort zone. Many of us are used to simple recipes with basic flavors, but this bowl has a punch to it! Using fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch is a great skill to have as a young adult. I know many of us aren’t used to eating a lot of fish or shrimp but adding the spicy component is often all it takes for the dish to be less fishy and more flavorful!
Thai Peanut Chicken Ramen
What you need: chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, peanut butter, curry paste, chicken, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and yep, ramen!
Prep time: 30 minutes
I know what you’re thinking, “wow that’s a few things I’d have to buy! What if I don’t like it?” While this is an amazing recipe, if it isn’t your favorite meal, the majority of these ingredients are versatile and have a long shelf life, so you can use them for other recipes too! I really enjoy this flavorful dish because it is filling but it isn’t something that makes me feel weighed down! This is another recipe where you can absolutely switch the chicken broth for vegetable broth and replace chicken with tofu!
So, What Do You Think?
I know these recipes might be unlike your usual cooking, but remember that it is important to have fun with your food! Cooking can be very relaxing and mixing up your routine can be a fun way to try new things.
Remember that you can always substitute ingredients for a variety of flavors and textures. This is especially true for those with food allergies or specific food preferences! If you have a food restriction or are vegetarian/vegan there are several ways you can substitute other ingredients to replace those that you cannot have. So, skim through these recipes and see what you think! And just remember, don’t knock it until you try it!