16 Quick Dinners That Start With Instant Ramen Noodles
Ramen to the rescue! Pressed for time or short on cash? Turn inexpensive packs of quick-fix ramen noodles into satisfying meals with a few simple add-ins. Bonus: It's a great way to turn leftovers into entirely new meals. Here are 15 quick and easy ideas to get you started.
Fast and Easy Tofu Lo-Mein
Ready in 30 minutes. A block of tofu and fresh or frozen stir-fry vegetables are all you'll need. Add a splash of sesame oil or chili sauce for extra flavor. "Wow this was really good!" says SNUGLEBUGLS. "I used chicken flavored ramen and added splashes of sesame oil and and some red pepper flakes to spice it up a bit. I also froze the tofu which I always do when I buy tofu then defrosted it the night before in the fridge as another reviewer suggested. I think it gives it a 'meatier' texture. Also be sure to drain the tofu REALLY well or it won't brown up quite as nicely. what I do is just squeeze out all the water by hand after slicing it into strips."
Spicy Beef Ramen
Ready in 20 minutes. You can use leftover steak, or any protein of your choice, to make these quick and satisfying noodles. "Wonderful! Ridiculously Easy ! I seasoned the beef with 1\2 of the Ramen seasoning before dropping it in," says ewefluffy.
Easy Chicken Skillet
Ready in 30 minutes. Perfect way to use up leftover chicken. Just add any vegetables you want, and you've got dinner in minutes. "This dish can be adjusted using any vegetables and still come out great," says Deb C. "I didn't have any red peppers but substituted carrots and used fresh parsley from the garden. I loved that it was fast and easy and so very tasty perfect for a busy day."
Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry with Chicken and Vegetables
Ready in 30 minutes. Another 30-minute meal starring chicken and a load of vegetables. The sauce is a flavorful mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chile-garlic sauce (think Sriracha). "I didn't have quite 2 cups of broccoli so I used asparagus to make up the difference. Didn't put the single wedged roma tomato in at the end b/c I thought it would just get lost in the all the other stuff (plus I don't think tomatoes really jive w/ stir-fry flavors.) I'm not a fan of ramen on its own (well since college days that is) simply b/c the flavor packet is just soooo SO strong but it mellowed out when mixed w/ all these great veggies and chicken! And wow it all came together wonderfully." —Rock_lobster
Quick Tofu Stir Fry
Ready in 25 minutes. Tofu, onions, and bell pepper get fried up with a sweet yakisoba-style sauce. "Great recipe!" says Diana71. "In Japan we call this yakisoba. Great idea to use ramen noodles. I added some chicken to the dish — sautéed the chicken strips first then added onions peppers and finally tofu before adding the ramen noodles."
Chinese Fried Noodles
Ready in 40 minutes. Just like the fried rice you get in Chinese-American restaurants, but with noodles. The sautéed shrimp is strictly optional. Reviewer Mrs. C offers these time-saving prep tips: "So good, but no need to take so many separate steps. Just cook the carrots and pepper first, push to the outsides of the pan and add meat. Boil noodles at the same time, then add to pot when meat is cooked. Add green onions and stir. Make a hole in the center and pour in the beaten eggs, scrambling as they cook. Stir it all together, add desired seasoning and you're done."
Beefy Italian Ramen Skillet
Ready in 25 minutes. Asian ramen goes Italian for a cross-cultural skillet supper. Erika says, "I love how this recipe uses ingredients I already have. I looked for something with ground beef and ramen noodles. This was a great recipe to get me started with a ramen/ground beef combo."
Quick Asian Beef Noodle Soup
Ready in 30 minutes. This quick and easy soup can be made with any kind of protein and your choice of ramen flavor. Caren says, "This was quick and easy with items on hand. I used onion powder and ginger powder and, instead of bok choy I used romaine. It came out more of a noodle dish then a soup. It was great."
Ramen Noodle Frittata
Ready in 20 minutes. As you can see in the photo, Allrecipes community member jartiv customized the heck out of this easy egg and noodle dish, saying, "Very flexible recipe. I use 1 package of ramen and 3 eggs. You can get pretty creative with mix-ins and other toppings, here is my favorite: Mix in 2 tbsp of green salsa and 2 tbsp of sliced green onion. Top with kernel corn, squeeze of lime, cilantro, and Parmesan."
Ready in 20 minutes. "Carbonara is known as a quick-to-fix meal," says recipe creator Betty Soup. "Get dinner done even sooner by using ramen instead of traditional pasta." Dale comments, "Fast and very tasty! Followed the recipe but I did add another strip of bacon...will make this again. This would be a great recipe for the camp stove. Thanks for sharing!"
Shrimp Noodle Bowls
Ready in 20 minutes. This refreshing noodle bowl tastes best when you serve it cold, making it perfect to pack for lunches. Sally Ann Ball says, "Daughter is a Pescatarian, so I’m always looking for a Seafood based recipe that goes beyond the basics. This recipe is FANTASTIC!"
Cheesy Ramen Noodles
Ready in 5 minutes. Two ingredients are all you'll need to make this super quick meal. Add fresh herbs, chopped vegetables, cubed ham, crumbled bacon, or whatever else you have on hand.
Chinese Chicken Soup
Ready in 35 minutes. Spice up your noodles with turmeric, chile paste, and fresh ginger. Sesame oil and soy sauce deepen the flavor, and chicken adds protein. Be sure to slice the celery very thinly so it has time to cook.
Pea and Pancetta Ramen "Risotto"
Ready in 20 minutes. Instant ramen noodles stand in for the rice in this easy take on risotto. Kim's Cooking Now says, "I was pleasantly surprised by this as was my Italian husband. When he saw me making the peas and pancetta mixture he said, 'You're making penne with that right?' He was leery of the ramen noodles but you know what? It works! My son thought it was 'weird' but both my husband and I agreed that it was something that we'd make again. I just happened to stumble across this recipe as I was looking for a way to use up some pancetta that I had in the fridge to use up. Glad I found this!"
Spicy Thai Steak and Vegetable Stir Fry
Ready in 35 minutes. This is a clean-out-your-fridge recipe that can use up odds and ends of vegetables, along with less than a pound of steak, to make dinner for four. Reviewers suggest cooking the noodles for a little less time than the recipe calls for, otherwise they could turn out a little mushy. Every brand will cook up differently, so just keep an eye on it.
Italian Bean Ramen
"Beans, veggies, and instant ramen--this is the easiest meal you never knew you wanted," says Kempstr.