7 Ramen Pack Hacks for Easy Dinners
Lauren Cooper

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Just when you’ve taken your first deep breath after racing home from work, your daughter’s dance class, or picking the baby up from daycare, your other kid walks through the back door and shouts, “What’s for dinner?”

Maybe you find yourself standing in the kitchen, blankly staring at various cans and boxes. Your family is getting restless; you must act quickly. And then you see it, high up on top shelf behind the organic fire roasted tomatoes: the six-pack of ramen noodle soup that you bought for emergencies. Hey, it was only $1.89, after all.

Ramen can feel like a dirty little secret, but it doesn’t have to. With simple additions, like lean protein and vegetables, it can be an easy, quick, and healthy dinner.

basic-ingredients-to-add-to-ramenSo here is the solution. You are pretty much guaranteed to have the ingredients for a least one of these recipes in your kitchen right now. And they are fast! You can have dinner from the stovetop to the table  in 30 minutes or less.

These ramen pack hacks are so good, they are even worth planning ahead for.

Jewish Penicillin

2 packages chicken ramen
5 cups water
olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
½ teaspoon dried dill or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 chicken breast, thinly sliced

Sauté carrot, celery, and onion in olive oil until onion is transparent. Add water, ramen seasoning packet, and chicken, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add dry noodles and dill and simmer for an additional 5 minutes until noodles are tender.

West African Peanut Soup

2 packages chicken ramen
5 cups water
olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 handful kale or spinach, julienned
¼ cup peanut butter
pinch cayenne pepper

Sauté ginger, garlic, and sweet potato in olive oil until garlic is transparent. Add water, peanut butter, and ramen seasoning pack and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add dry noodles, chopped tomato, spinach or kale, and cayenne pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes until noodles are tender.

Greek Avgolemono (egg and lemon soup)

2 packages chicken ramen
5 cups water
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring water and seasoning packet to a boil. Add dry noodles, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes until noodles are tender.

While noodles are cooking, whisk eggs and lemon juice until combined. Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-lemon mixture, whisking to combine. Add the mixture back into the simmering pot. Stir until soup thickens and becomes opaque, 1-2 minutes

Thai Coconut Soup

2 packages chicken ramen
vegetable oil
2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon red chili paste
4 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
10-12 shrimp (optional)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Sauté ginger, lemon grass, mushrooms, and red chili paste in vegetable oil for one minute. Add water, coconut milk, seasoning packet, brown sugar, and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add dry noodles and shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until noodles are tender and shrimp is cooked through. Stir in lime juice. Serve garnished with basil and cilantro.

Italian Wedding Soup

2 packages chicken ramen
5 cups water
olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped onion
1 carrot peeled and thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
8 frozen meatballs
1 cup packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

Sauté garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and hot pepper flakes in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add water, seasoning packet, and meatballs, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add dry noodles and spinach and cook for an additional 5 minutes until noodles are tender and spinach is wilted.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho)

2 packages oriental-flavor ramen
5 cups water
3 slices fresh ginger root
1 star anise pod
1 tablespoon fish sauce
½ lb top beef sirloin very thinly sliced
basil leaves, sliced scallions, lime wedges, and bean sprouts for garnish
hoisin sauce and/or sriracha sauce for serving

Bring water, seasoning packet, ginger, and star anise to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add dry noodles, sliced beef, and fish sauce. Cook for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender and the beef is cooked through. Remove ginger and star anise. Garnish each serving with basil, scallion, bean sprouts, and lime. Serve hoisin and sriracha on the side.

chicken-tortilla-ramen-soupChicken Tortilla Soup

2 packages chicken ramen
5 cups of water
olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chili
1 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon lime juice
tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, and sour cream for garnish

Sauté garlic, onion, cumin, and chili powder in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add water, seasoning packet, canned tomatoes, corn, and chicken breast and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove chicken, shred it, and return it to the pot. Add dry noodles and cook for an additional 3 minutes until noodles are tender. Stir in lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, cilantro, and sour cream as desired.


Photo Credit: Morgan Loosli

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These 7 ramen soup recipes will save you during a busy week. Whether it is dinner or lunch, these are simple recipes for any home cook.


This post was written by Lauren Cooper exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.

Lauren Cooper is a mother of three, owner of Aspen Street Cakes and blogs about food and Jewish culture at The Food Jew.