12 Best Ramen Noodle Recipes

bowl of spruced up ramen
bowl of spruced up ramen - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Take a look at your pantry. You probably see the typical staples: cans from recipes you intended to make but haven't gotten round to yet, perhaps some extra ketchup bottles ready for when the current one finishes, maybe some partially used boxes of pasta. Among your pasta, you might even have some instant ramen packages all set for a quick lunch or speedy dinner. The good news is that if you have instant ramen on hand, you're only a few more ingredients away from creating an absolutely delicious dish.

Ramen is one of those iconic college meals that can be prepared quickly and easily by nearly anyone, and it's one of our favorite late-night snacks. We often enjoy dressing it up with sriracha or even cheese ─ but even beyond these additions, there's so much more you can do to make your instant ramen come alive. Seeing how ramen can go from a cheap food that you have lying around your dorm room to something you make as an adult looking for a hearty meal, has a very full-circle sort of feel to it. And the thought of that, just like a bowl of ramen, warms us right up. So get your instant packets ready; here are some creative ramen noodle recipes to make your next batch that much more delicious.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

Ultimate Tonkotsu Ramen

Brothy ramen bowl with pork
Brothy ramen bowl with pork - Leah Maroney/Tasting Table

While some ramen dishes come together quickly, others take a little more time, as is the case with Tonkotsu ramen. Make this one to fully feel the impact of a deliciously prepared dish that may change your mind about what ramen can be. You'll begin by seeking out and cooking pork bones to make a broth. After these bones boil for some time, you'll cook onions, ginger, and green onions together, and let them char a little bit in your pan. While that's going, turn to your bones, now rinsed with cold water, and remove any unseemly brown spots so you're left with just the white parts you want for your broth. Once you've done a bit of cleaning, add your bones to your veggie pot.

At this point, you'll begin working on your pork belly by rolling it ─ wrapping twine around to keep it together ─ and adding it to your pot with the veggies and sauce ingredients. This will braise for a while in your oven, and then the broth will get strained before blending with an immersion blender. Before long, you'll be cooking those noodles, slicing your pork, and plating your new favorite ramen.

Recipe: Ultimate Tonkotsu Ramen

Vegan Miso Ramen

Vegan Miso Ramen bowl
Vegan Miso Ramen bowl - Alexandra Shytsman/Tasting Table

One of the difficult parts about transitioning to veganism, is realizing you can't always enjoy the same range of favorites you loved as a meat-eater. For us, that would definitely include a meaty ramen. However, with a delicious vegan ramen recipe such as this, you won't feel the loss as deeply.

This recipe begins by creating a broth with hearty mushrooms, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, and scallions in a pot. Cook these just enough for the garlic to become fragrant, then add soy sauce and tahini, followed by vegetable broth and a milk of your choosing. Almond milk or soy milk would work well here. If you happen to be a non-vegan preparing this dish, you could always use dairy milk and chicken broth instead. While that's cooking, prepare some bok choy by blanching it, cook the noodles, and heat up your corn. The last step is assembly: Begin by putting some noodles in your bowl, followed by broth, and then topping with your veggies.

Recipe: Vegan Miso Ramen

Spruced Up Instant Ramen And Fixings

Two bowls of Spruced Up Ramen
Two bowls of Spruced Up Ramen - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Nothing quite elevates a typical, inexpensive ramen packet like an egg. You have a few options here, and while we love a marinated egg, it might make more sense to opt for a quicker route if you're often short on time during lunch. If that's the case, simply cook the eggs for six minutes and then immediately transfer them to iced water for easy peeling.

As for the broth itself, sautéing green onions, sliced mushrooms, ginger root, and garlic will create an aromatic base ─ but keep it all on the right side of tender, rather than mushy. The mirin at play here will help you deglaze the pan so everything has enough time to cook. Miso and soy sauce go in at the end, and you'll want to patiently combine that miso so it melts completely. The noodles from your packet should be cooked separately, making assembly your last step with noodles, followed by eggs and broth, then a peeled, halved egg. If you so desire, chili crunch could be the final, accenting touch.

Recipe: Spruced Up Instant Ramen and Fixings

Instant Ramen Carbonara

Ramen Carbonara with egg yolk
Ramen Carbonara with egg yolk - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

We love a good pantry clean-out, and this ramen carbonara has easy ingredients that you probably already have on hand, making it a perfect quick lunch or dinner. The recipe begins with whisking pecorino Romano, pepper, and egg yolks together to form something like a thick paste that you'll later add water to. After doing that, cook those noodles and fry up your pancetta. If you don't have pancetta, bacon will work (but it won't be the same).

Once your pasta has had a little bit of time to cook, add some of that hot pasta water right into your egg mixture and whisk it at a consistent pace, taking care to keep it moving. Once it's at your desired texture, include the seasoning packets from your instant ramen and put it right on the noodles in your pan. We like adding a little bit of green onion or even chili crisp on top to make this one a little spicy.

Recipe: Instant Ramen Carbonara

Cold Summer Ramen Recipe

Chopsticks lifting ramen from bowl
Chopsticks lifting ramen from bowl - Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

It's not common to think of ramen outside the scope of a hot, slurpy noodle soup ─ but during the heat of summer, the desire to enjoy this cool, noodly dish can be too tempting to resist. In situations like this, cold summer ramen is the perfect way to have our cake (soup) and eat it too.

This one begins by preparing a broth with water, corn cobs, kombu, and bonito flakes over heat. After bringing it to a simmer, you only need to let it cook for another five minutes before straining and putting it in your refrigerator. There it stays for at least an hour until the whole thing is quite cold. We like this one with soft-boiled eggs and corn on top, so you'll want to prepare those before assembling the dish as well. While your broth is chilling, it's the perfect time to get everything ready, including your noodles. If you have a spiralizer, this one is also great with squash noodles mixed in with the ramen noodles.

Recipe: Cold Summer Ramen

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

Colorful crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad
Colorful crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

It's no secret that ramen offers incredible flexibility in terms of preparation, and we love discovering new ways to use up our supply. If you have a picnic or potluck on the horizon, this recipe is a good way to change up your normal dish to pass with a salad that bakes, not boils, noodles. It's also a great way to have any tiny chefs help in the kitchen; they'll love breaking the noodles into little pieces.

Begin by breaking up your noodles into small pieces. You can do this outside of the packages, but it's even easier to break apart the noodles while they're still contained in the bag. After they're all broken down, pop those pieces and the almonds in a pan and place it in the oven to get toasty. Then, get to chopping green and purple cabbage, carrots, and green onions. Gather everything together in a big bowl and toss the salad together. The dressing is made of crushed garlic, grated ginger, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil, mixed well. Hold off on tossing the dressing into the salad right before serving.

Recipe: Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

Chicken Katsu Coconut Ramen

Soupy Chicken Katsu Coconut Ramen
Soupy Chicken Katsu Coconut Ramen - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

When it comes to meat toppings on ramen, a few basics generally come to mind. Breaking outside of our comfort zones can sometimes be a little difficult in this regard, but with chicken katsu as the main attraction in this ramen, it's certainly worth a try for a delicious bowl.

This recipe begins by preparing your chicken katsu, which will come together with chicken cutlets that have been coated in flour, dredged in eggs, and then covered with panko bread crumbs and coconut. Fry these up in oil until fully cooked, and set aside until assembly. To prepare the soup, sauté together mushrooms, veggies, and aromatics, followed by soy sauce, then the coconut milk and chicken broth. The noodles should cook separately and be the first thing to hit your bowl when it comes to assembly, followed by broth and the sliced, crispy chicken on top.

Recipe: Chicken Katsu Coconut Ramen

Kimchi Ramen Bowl

Kimchi Ramen Bowl with chopsticks
Kimchi Ramen Bowl with chopsticks - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

We love looking for interesting ways to enjoy kimchi, and mixing it with ramen is a great way to celebrate its flavor. The best part of this recipe is that, even though it isn't as quick as instant ramen, it comes together very fast. You'll begin by sautéing and cooking your mushrooms until they reach a desirable texture. As that's happening, gather your miso paste, maple syrup, kimchi juice, and chili powder, and whisk everything very well together.

Following that, go ahead and heat up your broth until it is boiling, and then at that point, add in your ramen and the mixture of miso, kimchi juice, and other ingredients. After a couple more minutes of cooking those ramen noodles, add some edamame if you're including it, and then cook for a bit more. Assemble your bowls with ramen noodles, broth, mushrooms, kimchi, scallions, and any other toppings you would wish to include, like shredded carrots, soy sauce, sesame oil, or even some sesame seeds for intrigue and texture.

Recipe: Kimchi Ramen Bowl

Carbs On Carbs Rabokki

Carby Rabokki in saucepan
Carby Rabokki in saucepan - Rika Hoffman/Tasting Table

We love a one-pot meal. However, just because something is a one-pot meal doesn't necessarily mean that it's an ultra-quick preparation. Take this carbs-on-carbs rabokki recipe, for example. This one requires a bit of forethought in your preparation to create the best flavor possible.

You'll begin by preparing your anchovies and pieces of kelp by allowing them to sit in a large pot of water for as long as you can stand. At the very minimum, they should soak for 30 minutes, but for the best results, you're going to want to prepare this before you go to bed and allow them to sit overnight. When you're ready to cook, bring that pot of water to a boil and simmer it before removing the kelp and the anchovies. Give it another good simmer to integrate all of those flavors. Following that, a mixture of gochujang, as well as sugar and garlic, will go in the pot where you'll give it a good stir and allow it to boil before adding veggies and instant noodles as well as tteok (rice cakes). Once your noodles are tender, it's ready.

Recipe: Carbs on Carbs Rabokki

At-Home Chicken Yakisoba

At-Home Chicken Yakisoba on griddle
At-Home Chicken Yakisoba on griddle - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

When we're not enjoying sushi at a Japanese restaurant, we love ordering yakisoba. Learning to make it at home could certainly add another favorite meal to your rotation. Ideally, you'll prepare yakisoba on a large griddle, but a large pan will also work. Begin by cooking your noodles, tossing them with oil when they're finished, and setting them aside until you're ready to use them. While the noodles are cooking, go ahead and prepare a sauce with ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper, stirring that quite well with a whisk.

From there, start by cooking your chicken on the griddle or pan until it is browned, and then start to heat and wilt your bok choy, cabbage, and scallions. Once those vegetables seem tender and to your liking, add the noodles and soften them up over the griddle. Be sure to move them constantly so they don't burn. Once you notice them warming and browning, add your sauce, mix it in with the noodles, and then combine everything as best as you can, tossing until your noodles are crispy and at your desired doneness.

Recipe: At-Home Chicken Yakisoba

Meal Prep-Friendly Ramen Jars

Ramen and veg in jars
Ramen and veg in jars - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Normally, when we think of mason jar meals, we think of salads. That's why we absolutely love this dish, because it is certainly not a salad, but instead a delicious ramen cup made from fresh ingredients, and ready to enjoy when you are. It's also easy to prepare.

The first thing you'll make is a sauce made from miso, chili paste, hoisin, water, and soy sauce, heated in a pan and cooked for only a short period of time. You'll distribute this amongst your jars before topping each jar with veggies of your choice. We recommend red cabbage, carrots, red pepper, and shelled edamame. Before sealing the jar, add your uncooked ramen on top, followed by the scallions. When preparing your meal, pour boiling water over the top and allow it to stand for five minutes or until you're happy with the tenderness. At that point, stir everything together to fully integrate the sauce at the bottom of the jar.

Recipe: Meal Prep-Friendly Ramen Jars

Avocado-Miso Ramen

Avocado-Miso Ramen in bowl
Avocado-Miso Ramen in bowl - Dave Katz/Tasting Table

If you have avocados on hand that happen to be a little too ripe, this is the perfect way to use them up. Start by simply creating a broth with water, soy sauce, miso, and mashed avocado that has been combined with lemon juice, whisking, and cooking until you see a creamy sauce coming together. In a separate saucepan, fry up your tofu, and cook your bell peppers in another pan for topping.

Ramen noodles should be cooked in a separate pan according to what it says on the package. For plating, distribute the broth, and once the ramen is done, add that, as well as your cooked peppers and tofu. If you have a little avocado left over, go ahead and thinly slice it up and add it right on top.

Recipe: Avocado-Miso Ramen

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