Healthier Ramen Recipes
Posted on 02 Jan, 2017
If thinking about ramen summons images of styrofoam cups and seasoning packets with enough salt to make you dry up like a prune, you haven’t lived—when it comes to noodle soup consumption, anyway.
Ranging in flavors from bacon and egg to spicy Sriracha to vegetarian miso, these ramen recipes outdo any packaged variety and are almost as easy to make. Bonus: It’s a heck of a lot cheaper to go DIY than splurge on $10 noodle bowls. It’s time to start noodling around.
1. Winter Chicken Ramen
This seasonal recipe is broken down into 6 simple steps, with everything cooking in the broth for maximum flavor. Add in a healthy dose of cabbage, spring onions, and hard-boiled egg, and you've got yourself a protein-packed, feel-good weeknight meal.
2. Mason Jar “Instant” Ramen Zoodles
Taking a cue from the OG Cup Noodles, these elevate the form to whole new heights. And with fan favorites zoodles, coconut oil, and all of the vegetables, these guys are a make-ahead meal you'll feel better after.
3. A Farmer's Ramen
We're definitely not farmers, yet our love for this farmer's ramen is no less. Loaded up with bitter greens (hello bok choy, hello kale), carrots, ginger, and leeks, this is the perfect dinner to balance out those office days when we're lucky to see a nutrient. There's a recipe for noodles from scratch, and if you're feeling ambitious, obviously go for it—but no pressure, store-bought is also acceptable.
4. Chicken Yakisoba
Ketchup isn't just for fries. Here the condiment plays surprisingly well with Worcestershire, soy sauce, and sriracha for a sweet, spicy, umami sauce. No shortage of flavor here.
5. Thai Peanut Chicken and Ramen Noodle Soup
You no longer have to make the difficult choice between ordering Japanese or Thai food, thanks to this amazing Asian fusion dish. Made with plenty of veggies (like sweet potato, cremini mushrooms, and red peppers) and doused with just the right amount of peanut butter, your taste buds won’t know what hit 'em—but they will know that they like it, a lot.
6. Smoky Grilled Chicken With Zucchini Ramen Noodles
We’re in love, we’re in love, and we don’t care who knows it! (With zoodles, that is.) A delicious gluten-free and low-carb alternative to regular ramen noodles, zucchini helps totally load this recipe with veggies. This one’s super easy to make vegetarian too: Simply sub tofu for chicken and use veggie stock in place of the chicken.
7. Miso Ramen With Shiitake and Chicken
The optional jalapeño slices give this one an unexpected twist, but don’t worry, it also has key staples like bok choy, scallions, shiitake mushrooms, and plenty of miso paste. Tip: Experiment with meats like pork and beef or vegetarian proteins like tofu to keep things interesting.
8. Vegetarian Miso Ramen With Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Another dish that brings out the best of both (noodle) worlds, this recipe is gluten-free and chock-full of healthy ingredients like shiitake mushrooms, and sweet potato. Bonus: Miso makes an awesome hangover cure, so drink away on those painful days.
9. Healthy Homemade Kimchi Ramen
Kimchi tastes great on its own, but tastes even better mixed in a bowl of piping hot noodles. Made with DIY kimchi (we love this recipe) or a store-bought variety, this meal is as easy to pull together as blending a smoothie. The toughest part is finding the ingredients, but most Asian speciality stores should have them—and we promise you’ll find plenty of reasons to use them again.
10. 20-Minute Spicy Sriracha Ramen Noodle Soup
This recipe can be ready in half the time it takes to decide on dinner, order delivery, and wait for its arrival—ideal for those hangry nights when spending your life savings on delivery feels worthwhile. To bulk up the veggies contents, add ingredients like mushrooms, broccoli, and kale.
11. Easy Vegan Ramen
Basic isn't always bad, and this ramen is proof positive. Spinach, carrots, and mushrooms play nice (how could they ever not) in this quickie recipe, while freshly grated ginger and garlic get your sinuses flowing. Just what we look for in a soup, really.
12. Gluten-Free Instant Noodle Cups
Even though instant noodles are often overloaded with sodium and lacking in nutrients, there’s something comforting about having a hot meal ready in less than five minutes. This recipe solves the insta-cup woes with DIY seasoning and plenty of healthy additions (baby spinach, carrots, and chicken or tofu). And best of all: You can pre-make these bad boys and store them in heat-safe jars. Is it just us, or did lunch just get way better?
13. Mexican Chickpea Noodle Soup
How's this for a twist on chicken noodle soup? Sub chickpeas for the chicken, and ramen for the linguini, and you have a perfect vegetarian-ramen for cold winter nights. We love how the Mexican flavors (Mexican oregano, cilantro, green chilies, lime, and avocado) give this recipe a fun kick.
Beef and Pork
14. Homemade Ramen With Bacon and Soft-Boiled Eggs
Bacon and eggs shouldn’t be limited to breakfast—though you can definitely replace your go-to morning meal with this recipe! Here, the crispy breakfast favorite tops a hot bowl of miso broth and ramen noodles, which is accompanied by a soft-boiled egg to create the ultimate combo of carbs, protein, and warmth. Tip: For the perfect soft-boiled egg, check out our handy egg hacks.
15. Slow Cooker Pork Ramen
If your mouth wasn't watering by this far down on the list: Ready, set, go. This recipe includes easy-to-follow directions (only 30 minutes in the cooker) and it's packed with succulent braised pork, so it's both simple and delicious.
16. Crock-Pot Beef Curry With Ramen Noodles
With a prep time of 10 minutes and a pretty short ingredient list, this dish looks way more complicated than it is. Just throw this one the Crock-Pot in the morning, Instagram like you slaved over it, and watch the likes come in.
17. Beef Ramen Noodle Soup
This one is packed with veggies (carrots, celery, green onions) and sliced steak. But if you think of it like turning on the stove and waiting, things get less intimidating. Hidden bonus: There's also some Sriracha tucked inside this brothy goodness.
Our Favorite Ramen Books
by Amy Kimoto-Kahn
by Ivan Orkin
by Clifton Collins Jr.