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Frugal Dinner Recipes Using Ramen Noodles

Updated on September 14, 2015

Creating Great Budget Friendly Meals

Ramen noodles are inexpensive, and there are a million ways to cook them to make delicious frugal dinner recipes. Noodles are not only great in cheap recipes, but can also be eaten for lunch or as a midnight snack while studying.When you think about ramen noodles, you think, blah! But with a little creative imagination you can create some delicious meals or snacks using these cheap noodles. College kids practically live on these. Coming up with some great recipes isn't hard, here are some yummy recipes to make your noodles a gourmet feast.

So why Ramen Noodles ?

1. Ramen Noodles are inexpensive. Your grocery store will usually sell these in packs of 6 for $1.50 or separately for 25 cents each. Add anything to them like meat and cooked vegetables and throw on some of your favorite sauce and you have a quick, cheap meal.

2.These are cooked in less than 5 minutes so you can make a fast meal.

3.Customize them the way you want. Leave the water in for a soup, or drain it and mix the sauce packet with a little butter and make it more like chow mein. Add your own toppings like chicken or beef, some veggies and a cooked egg on top.

4. Noodles are the perfect meal for vegans and vegetarians, just skip the meat and add more veggies and a salad.

5. Kids love noodles and they make a quick dinner after soccer practice.

To fry noodles as an alternative to boiled noodles:

Cook your noodles first just until they can be broken up. Drain and fry in a little sesame or peanut oil in skillet Add 1/2 packet of seasoning and some soy sauce and a little water to sauté. Add veggies and meat. Gives the dish a slightly different flavor.

Look-alike recipes are great to make at home. If you love Chinese food like I do, you'll love making these.Being on a budget can sometimes limit your choices, that is why these little noodles are so good. You can make frugal dinner recipes that taste just as good as a takeout meal. Add your favorite meats, vegetables and sauces to them to make them taste different and delicious.

For a good copy-cat Chinese meal:

1. Boil some white rice and set aside.

2. Put 2 packages of any flavor Ramen in boiling water and cook just until you can break them up with a fork.

3. Slice some onion, green pepper and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat until soft. Add cooked, sliced chicken or beef (use leftovers) heat through for 5 minutes or so. Add the flavor packet and a little soy sauce and ground ginger to the skillet and mix well. Add in 2 cups of hot water and heat for another 5 minutes.

4. Pour mix over noodles and mix well.

5. Add some rice on the side and your favorite condiments.


Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish served in noodle stands all over Japan. Ramen is made from wheat noodles, meat- or fish-based broth, soy sauce or miso, and sliced pork, dried seaweed, kamaboko, green onions, and other vegetables. Sometimes it is topped with a cooked, sliced egg.


You Will Need:

  • 2 packages of ramen noodles
  • 1/2 lb. of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of pineappple (sliced or chunks)
  • 1/2 cup of red peppers (sliced)
  • 2-3 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 cups of water

Season your hamburger with salt, garlic powder, worchestershire and shape into balls. Cook meatballs until done and set aside. Cook the red peppers in oil until soft and add pineapple to heat through. Make noodles last to keep them from being too gummy. Strain the noodles and add seasoning packet and a little water, add meatballs, pineapple and peppers and mix together. Serves 2 to 3 people.


Seafood Ramen:

Add a little variety to your ramen recipes

You will need:

- 2 packages of ramen noodles

- 1 cup of shrimps (cooked)

- 1 can of clam chowder (the brand you like best)

- 1/2 cup of onions

- 1/2 cup of milk

- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil (cooking)

- 3 cups of water

1. Put 2 cups of water in a cooking pot and bring to a boil.

2. Add your ramen noodles.

3. Wait 2-3 minutes until the noodles are tender and separated.

4. Drain the water with the strainer.

The recipe:

5. Cook the onion in the oil in a cooking pot.

6. Add the clam chowder.

7. Add 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of water.

8. Put everything in a baking pan and put in the oven and heat them until brown on top.

9.Take them out and add your seafood on top.

10. Enjoy!

Creamy Ramen Noodles
Creamy Ramen Noodles

Try a Budget-Friendly Meal of Creamy Ramen and Eggs

College students will love this cheap, tasty meal for lunch or dinner

Boil water for noodles in a medium size pan. Add one to two packages of ramen noodles depending on how hungry you are. When the water is boiling, add noodles and break up. Crack one or two raw eggs directly into the boiling water but do not stir. Cook for 3 minutes, stir carefully so as not to break the eggs. (basically you are poaching the eggs) Drain the water when the noodles are done and add the chicken flavor pack, a tbsp of butter and a splash of milk. Stir everything together and add any additional seasonings or condiments to taste. The eggs add a creamy sauce that is just fabulous. I make this all the time and it is one of my favorite recipes for ramen.

Some quick add-ins to make a good snack or fast lunch:

Here are some quick additions you can use to make a quick meal when you do not have the time to be creative.

1. Cook noodles and add top with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

2. Add a can of Alfredo sauce and cooked chicken to cooked noodles.

3. Top hot cooked noodles with chili and onions

4. Add some cooked broccoli and leftover meat for a quick Broccoli Beef dish.

Asian Cooking Accessories

Tools to help you make creative budget-friendly meals.

What Do You Think

Budget-friendly ramen noodles
Budget-friendly ramen noodles

There are many brands of ramen noodles, which ones do you like or dislike? Vote below and tell us why that brand is your favorite.

What is your favorite brand of ramen?

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Resources for more cheap meal ideas

Here are some more resources for cheap meal ideas.

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    • PatriciaJoy profile image

      PatriciaJoy 4 years ago from Michigan

      I love to make ramen stir-fry dishes. Thanks for more tips.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My kids love ramen. Thanks for the recipe ideas to spruce it up!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      I have eaten Mannnnnnnnny Ramen noodles over my life. Thanks for the tips on dressing them up into real meals. COUNTRYLUTHIER blessed.

    • nonaweeks profile image

      Nona Weeks 5 years ago from Florissant, CO

      I have learned to try new things with Ramen. They are something that is inexpensive, and experimenting with recipes make it easier to eat them a lot. Great lens!

    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 5 years ago

      I actually have eaten more of these over the past few months than I care for. Thanks for the wonderful ideas of how to change it around a bit! Great lens!

    • anaisfraiche profile image

      anaisfraiche 5 years ago

      Yes ramen is versatile. I love to add all kinds of thing whenever I prepare a ramen dish and I prefer soupy dish more than stir fried ones. I usually add tofu/egg/beef/chicken/fish/lots of vege including bitter gourd and sweet corn.

    • Darla Dixon profile image

      Darla Dixon 6 years ago

      Happy "Happy Ramen Noodle Day" -- Yep, that's not a real holiday but I'm making it one.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 6 years ago

      This is one of my favorite dishes and I like to add vegetables to my noodles.

    • CherryTriggerCola profile image

      CherryTriggerCola 6 years ago

      Nice article. Ramen is more versatile than most realize. I just made my own ramen and veggie bowl for lunch today! Keep writing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Ooh, those look delicious! Thanks for the recipes, I will try them out.

    • profile image

      phoenix3423 6 years ago

      We are definatelly a ramen family we always have packs in the cabinet. The kids love them and they are the go to after school snack more often than not a great lens!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are great ideas to make ramen noodles a little more interesting. I like them once in a while. In fact, I just bought the chili flavor (17 cents!) yesterday. Yum!

    • Rhidawn profile image

      Rhidawn 6 years ago

      Great lens! Perfect for those of us on a tight budget!

    • N Beaulieu profile image

      N Beaulieu 6 years ago

      Great ideas! As a college student I definitely ate plenty of Ramen Noodles. They're also good tossed with spinach and crispy bacon.

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      As you already know I have an interest in ramen noodles. Thanks for visiting my lens.

    • profile image

      marsha32 7 years ago

      Ramen noodle fans in this house. One time at a church we were served ramen noodles with canned pork and it was oh so good! I think I should buy some.