Cooked right, ramen noodles make for a cheap and delicious meal

MCT Campus

Ramen has long been a staple of the university diet. You can easily pick it up from your local grocery store for as little as 10 cents per pack in a variety of flavors. Ramen recipes are a perfect choice for cash- and time-strapped students on the prowl for something simple.

But beware of those little, innocent-looking flavor packets. Ramen by itself is mostly harmless, but the instant variety popular in America is loaded with sodium. The average package is actually two servings, not one, meaning a humble pack (with flavoring) contains over 80 percent of your daily recommended sodium and almost 400 calories. Other soup flavors are even worse.

The easiest way to get healthy ramen noodles is to do away with the flavor packet.

Unfortunately, this leads to an unsatisfying dinner. But never fear; robust ramen recipes are here. Give your noodles a boost by adding chicken, frozen veggies or pre-cooked shrimp, all of which are packed with much-needed vitamins and minerals. Keep your costs down with grocery coupons and save money for some of the more obscure items, like the kelp in numbers 17 and 19.

If kelp is any proof, adventurous ramen recipes now reach near gourmet heights without requiring gourmet time. (At least as gourmet as ramen can get.)

Below are four healthy and easy recipes for ramen guaranteed to keep your culinary life simpler.

Basic Ramen Recipe


1 package of ramen noodles

2 cups water

Optional: flavor packet


Boil water in medium pot. If using a microwave, heat on high for 3 minutes. Add noodles and packet to boiling water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles separate and become soft. Drain. To fry, add 2 tsp. canola oil to pan over medium-low heat. Cook slowly until golden brown on all sides.

Traditional ramen pasta salad


1 cup light mayonnaise

2 tbsp. mustard

1 tbsp. honey

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

1 cup cubed or shredded cheddar cheese

1 package flavored ramen noodles, boiled


Cook noodles and mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let flavors mix.

Ramen chicken diablo


1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (diced)

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 cup chopped onion

2 tbsp. flour

1 cup water

1 tbsp. vinegar

1 tsp. tarragon

1 tsp. thyme

1 package of plain ramen noodles, boiled


In a large frying pan, sauté chicken breast until light brown. Add butter and stir in the onion and flour. Remove from heat and add water with vinegar, tarragon and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute. Remove from heat and stir for one minute. Pour over boiled noodles.

English ramen


1 package of flavored ramen noodles, uncooked

2 cups water

1 egg

1 medium tomato, sliced

sausage links

Optional: baked beans, toast


Fry tomatoes and sausage together in frying pan on medium heat. When done, set aside and drain grease. Boil water in frying pan. Place unbroken ramen in middle and top with tomatoes and egg. Cover and let steam until egg is cooked. Start baked beans on high in small saucepan (if desired).

Ramen tomato soup


1 can condensed cream tomato soup

1 package ramen noodles, uncooked


Cook ramen in 2 cups of water on high heat. Add one can of soup. Stir occasionally and heat until boiling. Ramen can be added in the same way to just about any condensed soup (though the creamy sort tastes better.) Grab some Campbell’s coupons for the cheapest way to pack your pantry and expand your ramen repertoire.

Quick and easy ramen noodle soup


2 cups frozen vegetables (broccoli, carrots or multiple veggie blends work best)

1 package flavored ramen noodles, uncooked

2 cups water


Boil water in large pot. Cook frozen veggies halfway over medium-high heat. Plop in noodles and flavor packet (if you want). Mix occasionally until noodles and vegetables are soft.