Instant ramen noodles have gotten a bad rap, labeled as college dorm dinners and the only thing those dining on a shoestring can afford to eat. But packets of ramen noodles are a great base for a variety of dishes that are not only delicious but also quick and easy to make. All the recipes in this list use instant ramen noodles, which are precooked and just need to be rehydrated with some boiling water or stock. The noodles can also be used right out of the package to add crunch to salads and sandwiches.
01 of 09
Thinly sliced steak, vegetables, and beef broth take a packet of instant ramen—seasoning and all—to the next level. In this skillet recipe, the steak is browned and tossed with some of the seasoning while the vegetables are stir-fried. The dried noodles, broth, ginger, and more seasoning are added and simmered together until the noodles are soft, and the beef is returned to the skillet and stir-fried until warmed and combined.
02 of 09
When dinner needs to be on the table in a snap and the pantry is somewhat bare, this chicken and broccoli ramen recipe is your mealtime solution. Calling for a packet of ramen with seasoning, chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and soy sauce, this dinner comes together quickly. The chicken is cooked, the vegetables, water, soy sauce, and flavoring packet are added along with the noodles, and all is brought to a boil and then simmered until cooked through.
03 of 09
A perfect summertime side dish, this crunchy cabbage salad has wonderful flavor, color, and texture. In this recipe, the ramen noodles are left uncooked and are combined with toasted sesame seeds and almonds to add a nice crunch to the cabbage and vegetable mixture. The dressing is made of one seasoning packet, oil, vinegar, sugar, and water.
04 of 09
A Korean street food specialty, rabokki is the combination of ramen noodles and dukboki, spicy rice cakes, both of which are prepackaged. The cakes are cooked in stir-fried onion and carrot, simmered with soy sauce, kochujang (red pepper paste), and sugar until the sauce is thickened, and the ramen is added. Once cooked through, scallions and hard-boiled eggs (if desired) are placed on top.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
When the family is craving Chinese food but you don't have the right ingredients, this pork and vegetable dish is your remedy. Ramen noodles take the place of lo mein, the seasoning packet, soy sauce, and teriyaki add flavor to the recipe, and pre-cut stir-fry vegetables make for easy prep. You will have a take-out favorite on the table quicker than delivery.
06 of 09
A perfect recipe to get the kids involved in the kitchen, this simple ramen stir-fry takes a packet of instant ramen and pumps it up with the addition of chicken and vegetables. The seasoning packet provides the flavoring, so no other ingredients are required.
07 of 09
Although it is preferred that fresh noodles are used in this ramen soup recipe, the packaged ramen is a fine substitute when in a pinch. The broth is flavored with miso paste, giving the soup a bit of creaminess and rich flavor, and the ground pork and vegetables provide a heartiness and welcome texture. In place of the traditional dashi (Japanese broth) is chicken bouillon powder, making the recipe even more accessible.
08 of 09
This recipe comes together quickly with packaged ramen noodles, cole slaw mix, and a few ingredients for the dressing, making for a simple side dish for summertime meals. Canola oil, rice vinegar, honey, and the ramen seasoning mix bring saltiness, tang, and sweetness to the slaw while the vegetables and noodles add a nice crunch. Sprinkle with peanuts for another layer of texture and flavor.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09