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Cook Fast, Live Young: Six Ways to Spice Up Ramen Noodles

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by JulianaWeissRoessler)
at 8:55AM Wednesday March 30, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

Image by Ron Dollete via Flickr

For people on a budget, pasta noodles are one of the cheapest--and tastiest--ways to fill up an empty stomach. But what if you're tired of making spaghetti with marinara or Kraft dinner every night? Well, there are many ways to spice up those old pasta recipes.

In fact, noodles are more versatile than you think, even one of the most derided: ramen noodles.

Since the dawn of time, hungry college students everywhere have been singing the praises of ramen noodles. This ridiculously cheap noodle is also one of the easiest to prepare. But if you're just using the package directions, you're missing out.

Did you know that some people actually enjoy ramen as an uncooked snack? Uncooked ramen is crunchy and salty, like potato chips, but a lot healthier than many other snacks. Try it for yourself. It's a little messy but quite good!


Try making a quick ramen casserole by adding some cooked meat and assorted veggies. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to the mix, and you've got an Asian dinner!

Chicken Ramen Soup

Add chicken broth, some cubed cooked chicken, and some sliced carrots to a package of chicken-flavored ramen. Heat through, and you've got a delicious chicken soup.

Rice is Ramen, and Ramen is Rice

Okay, not really--but by picking a recipe that normally calls for rice and replacing it with ramen noodles, you'll give your meal some extra spice.

Ramen Lo Mein

This one's a bit more ambitious, but if you sauté some shrimp in garlic, ginger, and sesame oil, you can add it to shrimp-flavored ramen noodles for a great, cheap lo mein. Don't forget the soy sauce!

Dessert Ramen

Like mixing salty and sweet? Ramen can give you some unique desserts by mixing it with caramel or chocolate. Or break up some thin mints and add them to the ramen for a "Ramen Noodle Cookie."

Naturally, ramen noodles aren't the only kind of pasta you can dress up in interesting ways. Be creative and add noodles to your favorite recipes!

Juliana Weiss-Roessler has ten years of professional writing and editing experience. For four years, she managed the web content for the star of an Emmy-nominated reality series. Currently, she is an editor for the geek girl e-zine, a contributor to the career blog at, and owner of the food blog Follow her @cookfast on Twitter and learn more about her work at