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20 Fresh & Flavorful Ramen Noodle Recipes to Try Now

Even if you rejected ramen years ago, these healthy recipes will convince you to give this humble noodle bowl a second (and third…and fourth) chance.

If you think ramen noodles are just for broke college students, think again.

There’s a good reason ramen has been making a comeback of late, with world-renowned chefs taking it to new heights. There are even entire restaurants devoted exclusively to ramen.

So if you ditched noodle soup the day you graduated school, you should really give ramen another try.

And don’t worry–these ramen recipes don’t involve microwaveable Styrofoam cups or powdered flavor pucks. Instead, they feature fresh ingredients such as vegetables, chicken, tofu, and homemade broth.

They’re also packed with flavors ranging from spicy chili bean paste to bacon, kimchi, miso, sesame, and garlic, which means they can satisfy a range of diet preferences, from the devout carnivore (think Mongolian Beef with Ramen Noodles), to the seafood lover (see: Stir-Fried Ramen Noodles with Fish Cakes), to the meat- and dairy-free (check out the Easy Vegan Ramen Bowl).

Enjoy!

Ramen ‘n’ Cheese

Serves 4

Enjoy two go-to convenience foods in one with this bowl of ramen. Rather than using the powdered flavoring it comes with, make this quick sauce to disguise your ramen as mac ‘n’ cheese.

Begin by mixing melted butter and flour together, stir in the milk, and then slowly add your favorite kind of shredded cheese. Stir in salt and other seasonings like Sriracha to taste, and dig in.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

641

Calories

28 g

Protein

59 g

Carbs

31 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 packages (3 oz. each) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups (about 8 oz.) shredded reduced-fat pepper jack cheese

2 Tbsp. Sriracha

1/2 tsp. salt

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Mongolian Beef with Ramen Noodles

Serves 4

When you have a hankering for beef, the suggestion of meat flavor from the ramen seasoning packet is not going to cure the craving.

Thinly slice some flank steak, coat in cornstarch, and brown it in a hot skillet. The same pan can be used to sauté the bell pepper and make a spicy garlic soy sauce while the noodles cook

You’ll get dinner on the table in about a half hour with this recipe, not much more time than it takes to go out for Chinese food. And like takeout, these are monster portions, so you may end up with leftovers.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

971

Calories

60 g

Protein

80 g

Carbs

46 g

Fat

Ingredients

Beef Ramen:

1 1/2 lbs. flank steak

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

3 packages (9 oz.) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

3 green onions, chopped

 

Sauce:

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

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Kimchi Ramen

Serves 1

With only 15 minutes in the kitchen, you can have this awesome Korean take on ramen. With spicy kimchi, it’s flavorful enough to replace the seasoning packet, or to use just half to cut back on the sodium and MSG.

To make, slice the mushrooms, tofu, and green onion first. Then put it all in a pot of boiling water to cook for less than 5 minutes. Serve with extra kimchi.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

524

Calories

24 g

Protein

56 g

Carbs

23 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 large egg

1 package (3 oz.) instant ramen noodles

1/4 cup prepared kimchi (or more to taste)

3 oz. fresh tofu

1/4 tsp. Asian chili powder (or cayenne)

1 tsp. chopped green onion

1 Tbsp. wakame (shredded seaweed)

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Spicy Beef Noodles

Serves 6

This ramen is perfect for a chilly or rainy weekend when you want to curl up with a comforting bowl of soup.

This beef brisket will take some patience to prepare, but it’s worth the wait. And once you get the brisket in the pot to braise, you’ll be able to leave it to do its thing for two to three hours.

You can get this on the stove to cook all afternoon, but the soup is even better when prepared the day before. Just reheat, and add the noodles for just a few minutes until they’re cooked through.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

588

Calories

34 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

39 g

Fat

Ingredients

Beef:

2 1/4 lbs. beef brisket, cut into chunks

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Tbsp. chili bean paste

2 Tbsp. chili-fermented tofu (optional)

4 Tbsp. granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

2 Tbsp. chili flakes

3 Tbsp. Chinese wine

3” fresh ginger

2 leeks, sliced into 2” lengths

1 clove garlic

 

Herb Bag:

1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorn

1 tsp. fennel seed

1 Tbsp. Szechuan peppercorn

1 tsp. whole cloves

5 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

3 pieces orange peel

3 large bay leaves

 

To Serve:

1 bunch bok choy

Chinese pickled cabbage

Handful of fresh Chinese parsley (or cilantro)

1 lb. Chinese egg noodles (or wheat noodles)

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Easy Vegan Ramen Bowl

Serves 1

To make a filling vegan ramen dinner, you don’t have to do much different except leave out the meat and soft-boiled eggs. That leaves plenty of delicious ingredients to choose from.

This bowl of noodles is packed with broccoli, kale, tofu, and seaweed. And to cut out the need to make a labor-intensive ramen broth, a little miso paste is mixed with water to make the soup base.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

680

Calories

35 g

Protein

75 g

Carbs

27 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 package (3 oz.) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

2 cups water

2 Tbsp. miso paste

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup chopped kale

2/3 cup (about 6 oz.) medium-firm tofu, cubed

1 Tbsp. chopped green onion

1/4 cup dried seaweed

1 tsp. sesame seeds, for garnish

Sriracha to taste

Get the Recipe

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Budae Jjigae

Serves 4

This Korean stew has it all, including ramen. That’s because it was first cooked up on U.S. army bases, so there’s a mix of familiar ingredients like hot dogs and spam combined with kimchi and Korean rice cakes.

If you can’t find packaged rice cakes, called garaetteok, in an Asian grocery store, you can make a dough from rice flour and steam them. The other option is to leave rice cakes out of the stew altogether, which won’t affect the flavor.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

697

Calories

34 g

Protein

67 g

Carbs

31 g

Fat

Ingredients

Ramen Stew:

4 cups chicken stock

7 oz. Spam, thinly sliced

4 cocktail sausages (about 5 oz.), thinly sliced

2 cups (about 7 oz.) enoki mushrooms, stems removed and separated

2 cups (about 7 oz.) king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup (about 3 oz.) shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced

1/2 cup kimchi

1 1/2 blocks (4.5 oz.) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

1.8 oz. sliced Korean rice cakes (optional)

Sliced green onions

1 oz. sliced cheddar cheese (or American cheese)

 

Sauce:

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 Tbsp. Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Zucchini Noodle Ramen Soup

Serves 2

This veggie-packed bowl replaces instant noodles with zucchini, but even if you’d rather use the original thing, this has great toppings to round out any ramen soup.

The star of the bowl is a quick tofu, which is baked and then quickly pan-fried to a crisp.

While it’s in the oven, you can sauté veggies like bok choy and get everything simmering in a saucepan. Just as the zucchini noodles go in the broth to cook, add the crispy tofu to a hot skillet so they’re ready to serve at the same time.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

309

Calories

18 g

Protein

26 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu:

1/2 package (about 7 oz.) firm tofu, dried

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 Tbsp. oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

1/4 cup chopped green onion

 

Zucchini Ramen:

2 tsp. sesame oil, divided

1 Tbsp. miso paste (white or yellow)

2 baby bok choy, ends trimmed

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1” fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 medium zucchini, spiralized

1 large egg, soft-boiled

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Ramen Burger

Serves 4

It might look like the noodle “buns” of a ramen burger are uncooked, crunchy bricks, but they’re actually pan-fried – similar to how you’d cook the burger patty itself.

Although you have to boil the noodles first, the extra effort to make a ramen burger is worth more than the novelty.

Believe it or not, this is a low-carb option compared to the typical baked hamburger bun.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

296

Calories

21 g

Protein

13 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 pack (3 oz.) instant ramen noodles

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. vegetable oil

8 oz. freshly ground beef

2 slices cheddar cheese (or Swiss cheese)

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Cold Ramen Noodle Salad

Serves 2

Ramen can be a great cheap meal. But what about when it’s too hot out for soup?

Prepare a ramen salad with cold noodles, and fill it up with cabbage, carrots, and other toppings that you’d add to the soup like sesame seeds or seaweed.

If you want more protein, almost any kind of meat will be tasty including shredded ham, diced chicken breast, crab meat, or prawns.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

293

Calories

6 g

Protein

48 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

Noodle Salad:

1 package (3 oz.) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

1 cup shredded cabbage

1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage

2” carrot, cut into strips

Chopped scallions, for garnish

1/4 tsp. white and black sesame seeds

 

Dressing:

1 1/2 Tbsp. Japanese ponzu

1 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce

1 Tbsp. pure honey

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

1/4 tsp. sesame seeds

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Cleansing Ramen Noodle Soup

Serves 2

Ready for a bowl of ramen that’ll help you get in your veggies? Leave the plastic-wrapped packages of noodles behind at the grocery store, and head to the produce section for some zucchini to make this miso soup.

If you don’t have a mandolin slicer or spiralizer to turn the summer squash into noodles, use a sharp knife to slice them into thin, long matchsticks. They won’t twirl on the fork the same way as ramen noodles, of course, but the hand-cut technique will make it easier to practice your chopstick skills.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

278

Calories

12 g

Protein

62 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 medium zucchinis, julienned

8 cups water

1 large onion, quartered

2 large carrots, cut into thirds

2 large carrots, thinly sliced

1/2 small acorn squash, cut into large cubes

2 cups chopped kale (or other greens)

2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup sliced cabbage

2” fresh ginger, quartered

2 cloves garlic, cut into thirds

1 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste

1 scallion, green part chopped

Fresh lime wedges, to serve

Fresh cilantro and/or parsley (optional garnish)

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Breakfast Ramen

Serves 3

Ramen isn’t just good for an easy dinner. Turn it into breakfast with this bowl of bacon, egg, and cheese ramen. Altogether, it’ll only take about 15 minutes out of your morning.

The hardest part of making this quick dish is the most rewarding – cooking bacon. After that, toss the boiled noodles in the hot skillet with the bacon drippings, and coat the ramen is with the cheesy egg mixture before it’s transferred to a bowl.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

482

Calories

25 g

Protein

37 g

Carbs

26 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 packages (3 oz. each) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/2” pieces

2 large eggs

1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar

2 scallions, sliced

Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Healthy Ramen with Rice Noodles, Tofu & Veggies

Serves 4

Instead of filling up on noodles, pack your ramen bowl with vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms. A flavorful broth can be made from simple ingredients like soy sauce, hot sauce, and mirin rice wine.

And you’ll also need miso paste, a must-have for ramen lovers, which can be ordered online if you aren’t located near an Asian grocery store.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

436

Calories

28 g

Protein

46 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 oz. shiitake mushrooms

7 oz. tofu

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

4 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)

1 tsp. sesame seeds (plus more for garnish)

2 tsp. hot sauce

6 Tbsp. dark miso paste

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups unsweetened soy milk

2 Tbsp. mirin

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 cloves garlic

3 slices fresh ginger

1 hot chili pepper

4 bok choy

4 large eggs

3 1/2 oz. rice noodles (or 1 package instant ramen)

2 medium carrots

1/2 leek

1/3 Chinese red cabbage (or napa cabbage)

Lime wedges to serve

Handful of spinach

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Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl

Serves 2

Chicken is the original instant ramen flavor. Those powdered flavorings may taste great enough to have created a global demand, but it’s better to toss away the seasoning packets and doctor the bowl of ramen yourself.

It won’t take as long as you think to boil chicken breast in broth and soy sauce, about 10 minutes, and then it can be sliced or shredded for the soup. That’ll get you about as much protein per serving as carbs – plenty to maintain a high-protein diet.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

696

Calories

61 g

Protein

63 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 large eggs

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast (about 6 oz. each)

2 packages ramen noodles (3 oz. each), seasonings discarded

1 cup sliced cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

2 green onions, chopped

Hot chili oil or Sriracha to taste

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Miso Ramen

Serves 2

Upgrade miso soup into a full meal with this bowl of ramen, which is delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The hard-boiled egg provides a bit of protein, the noodles will fuel you up, and cabbage offers nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.

No matter what ingredients you want to put in your ramen soup, this miso broth will make it extra delicious. Instead of soy sauce, this ramen is flavored with chili bean paste and rice wine.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

395

Calories

12 g

Protein

35 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups cabbage, shredded

1/3 cup carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

3 scallions, finely chopped

2 packages (3 oz. each) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

4 cups chicken stock

2 large eggs, boiled

1 tsp. Korean chili bean sauce

1/4 cup red miso paste

2 Tbsp. sake

3 Tbsp. mirin

1 tsp. sesame oil

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Basic Ramen Broth

Serves 6

If you want homemade ramen ready in a hurry, prepare this broth ahead of time.

Whenever you make a whole roast chicken, save the bones after they’ve been picked over for meat, and throw together this ramen broth in a stockpot. Then on even the busiest weeknights, you won’t have to chow down on instant ramen.

Boil the broth to cook the noodles, and add any sliced veggies and greens that you have in the kitchen. Keep your freezer stocked with not only this broth, but also shredded chicken, and can make a quick high-protein ramen anytime.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

99

Calories

10 g

Protein

2 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

12 cups water

3 lb. chicken carcass

1 medium carrot

1 stalk celery

1 leek

1/4 cabbage

5 cloves garlic

1” fresh garlic

1 piece konbu

1/2 cup sake

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Miso Pork Ramen

Serves 2

Adding flavor to the included ramen seasoning packet can be easy and requires just a few ingredients.

To start, add ground pork to the pot to brown, which will boost the macros by over 20 grams of protein per bowl.

Then mix in a spoonful of miso or, if you don’t have any, try sesame paste like tahini. To garnish, try dried seaweed and – for something slightly different than chives – sliced leeks.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

520

Calories

27 g

Protein

54 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 tsp. vegetable oil

1/3 lb. 95% lean ground pork

1 Tbsp. Japanese white miso paste

4 1/4 cups water

2 packages (3 oz. each) instant ramen noodles

Salt to taste

2–3 wakame leaves (shredded seaweed)

3/4 cup fresh button mushrooms, quartered and sautéed

Sliced leeks, for topping

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Stir Fried Ramen Noodles with Fish Cakes

Serves 4

Replacing the seasoning packets that come with instant ramen doesn’t have to be hard.

This recipe relies on familiar ingredients: garlic, onions, and a mix of light and dark soy sauces. The difference between the two sauces is how long they’re aged, giving the darker one more time to develop a slightly richer, sweeter flavor.

So if you just have one kind of soy sauce on hand, don’t stress buying another bottle. And instead of hunting down fish cakes, called kamaboko in Japanese, you can use another protein like sliced chicken breast, pork loin, or tofu.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

496

Calories

17 g

Protein

77 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 packages (3 oz. each) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, sliced

1 packet (6 oz.) fish cakes, sliced

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

1 Tbsp. light soy sauce

Dash of sesame oil

Dash of ground white pepper

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Slow Cooker Shio Ramen

Serves 4

The different names for ramen, like shoyu for soy sauce and miso for fermented bean paste, refers to the broth.

In this case, shio simply means the main seasoning is salt – can’t get simpler than that. In fact, this easy chicken ramen is so convenient that you can make it in a Crock Pot.

This recipe also includes instructions to make chili oil. Once you have the concept down, it’s a no-brainer to make some whenever you’re having ramen.

Heat oil with some red chili pepper flakes, and after letting it simmer with the lid on for five minutes to infuse, strain out the pepper pieces. Extra chili oil can be kept in a bottle or jar at room temp.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

250

Calories

7 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 carrots, cut into 1/2” chunks

1 onion, diced

1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

Leftover chicken bones

8 cups water

2 packages (6 oz.) instant ramen noodles, seasonings discarded

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Ramen Cabbage Salad

Serves 20

Next time you need something easy to prep for a potluck, toss together this ramen salad with shredded cabbage, almonds, and sesame seeds.

You don’t even have to cook the noodles. Crush them in the instant ramen bags and throw them into a bowl with everything else, but leave the seasoning packets in the trash.

The salad only needs a quick vinaigrette with shoyu, AKA Japanese soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

184

Calories

4 g

Protein

13 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

Ramen Salad:

3/4 medium cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch green onion, chopped

2 packages (3 oz. each) instant ramen noodles, crushed

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups almonds, chopped

1/3 cup sesame seeds

 

Dressing:

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. shoyu (or soy sauce)

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Homemade Ramen Noodles

Serves 4

Making your own fresh ramen noodles isn’t hard, although it certainly helps to have a pasta maker to roll it out and cut it into thin strands. The pasta dough itself is simple, requiring just three ingredients. And one of them is water.

What gives the noodles a yellow color and springier texture compared to something like spaghetti is the kansui, an alkaline solution.

If you can’t get your hands on that, simply use baking soda instead. Since it’s powdered sodium bicarbonate, one of the two minerals in kansui, it’ll affect the dough in a similar way.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

228

Calories

7 g

Protein

48 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups bread flour

1/2 cup water

1 tsp. kansui

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