If you’re like many people, ramen is a go-to choice when you need a quick, filling meal. Whether you’re powering through an all-night study session or just relaxing after a long day, it’s as filling and comforting as a bowl of chicken soup. But you’re probably also concerned about your health. You’re a grown-up, and you know you can’t eat junk food all the time.
This begs the question, though: is ramen actually junk food? The answer is that it depends. A bowl of good quality noodles and broth isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but as far as nutrition goes, it’s basically carbs, sodium, and a little iron. If you want a well-rounded meal, you’ll need a bit more than that.
Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy ramen recipes packed with vegetables, protein, and other ingredients. Here are 15 easy-to-cook healthy ramen recipes for the next time you have that noodle craving.
1. Coconut Curry Ramen
Coconut Curry Ramen provides a complex blend of sweet and spicy flavors, but it’s surprisingly easy to cook. Coconut milk makes the broth creamy and sweet, while a combination of curry paste and curry powder provide plenty of kick. Our recipe uses ground chicken as a protein, and the flavor goes well with the other ingredients. That said, vegans can easily substitute tofu and a vegetarian ramen cup.
2. Garlic Chili Oil Ramen
If you want to look for a healthy ramen recipe, look no further than Garlic Chili Oil Ramen. Garlic is known for its healthy properties, and it’s just the thing to clear your head when you’re suffering from a winter cold. If that doesn’t do the job, the heat from the chili oil surely will. Add in some sesame seeds and Chinese black vinegar, and you get a textured dish with a little bit of bite.
3. Vegan Tofu Ramen
Speaking of tofu, it’s one of the most popular proteins for ramen. Our Vegan Tofu Ramen recipe combines everybody’s favorite soy product with a spicy, savory blend of ingredients. Among other things, these include cilantro, red pepper, carrots, and sesame oil.
4. Comforting Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowl
This is the ultimate comfort food: a combination of ramen noodles and chicken soup. The Comforting Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowl starts with a chicken ramen packet. Then you add chicken, green onions, and Chinese cabbage, and top it all off with a soft boiled egg. It’s rich, filling, and good for the soul.
5. Breakfast Ramen Bowl
Ramen noodles are normally an evening food. Most ramen bars don’t even open until the afternoon. But if you’re allowed to have pancakes for dinner, who says you can’t have ramen for breakfast? The Breakfast Ramen Bowl is our take on a classic American breakfast: bacon and eggs. We also added green onions, along with cherry tomatoes that will explode in your mouth when you bite them.
6. Loaded Veggie Ramen
Loaded Veggie Ramen can be anything you want it to be. Round up any veggies you can find, fry them up with some spices, and mix them into your completed ramen. Then again, things often go better when you start with a plan. Our recipe calls for shiitake mushrooms, baby spinach, corn, red chili flakes, and green onion, topped off with a soft boiled egg. If you’re vegan, you can leave the egg out and it will still be pretty tasty!
7. Cheesy Egg Drop Ramen
Cheesy Egg Drop Ramen is a thick, gooey creation that tastes and feels far more decadent than it really is. First, you whisk up a scrambled egg, and dribble it into your broth while it’s boiling. This creates a classic egg drop broth with little lumps of egg in it. When it’s all done, you top your bowl with a couple of slices of American cheese, which melts over everything. You can use the vegetarian kimchi pillow pack if you want, or the spicy beef cup if you want something with even more heat.
8. Creamy Spicy Miso Ramen
Miso soup is a popular, savory dish all in its own. So why not replicate it in a ramen, and add some soy milk to the broth? That’s exactly what we did with the Creamy Spicy Miso Ramen. We also topped it with mushrooms, eggs, green onions, and a spicy furikake seasoning. This is pleasantly hot without being overwhelming.
9. Cold Noodle Ramen Bowl
People typically think of ramen as a hot dish, and that’s how it’s normally served. But like pizza or fried chicken, ramen can be just as delicious when it’s cold. The Cold Ramen Noodle Bowl can be made with any flavor of ramen, although we used the vegetarian soy sauce flavor. First we cooked the noodles (sans flavor), rinsed them in cold water, and put them in the fridge.
The sauce includes several ingredients, including peanut butter, sugar, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add some cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes, along with some ham, and mix it all together. The result is a complex blend of flavors that are salty, sweet, and savory.
10. Cheesy Kimchi Ramen
Most kimchi ramen recipes are complicated, but we decided to change that. Our Cheesy Kimchi Ramen only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. First, put a packet of Mike’s Mighty Good kimchi noodles on the burner. While your noodles are preparing, you’ll shred your kimchi and mix in a few other ingredients. Blend it into the ramen along with some shredded cheese, top it with some seaweed, and you’re good to go. It’s creamy, it’s tart, and the kimchi is full of probiotics.
11. Creamy Garlic Ramen
Creamy Garlic Ramen is the perfect choice for any garlic lover. If you constantly load extra garlic into recipes, this is the choice for you. We include onion with the garlic, which adds more nuance for the flavor, and we brown some fatty pork belly to add some protein and savory flavor. A bit of heavy cream, meanwhile, makes the broth incredibly smooth and rich.
12. Breakfast Sausage Ramen Skillet
This is another classic breakfast, rendered into ramen form. The Breakfast Sausage Ramen Skillet includes cheese, an egg, and a generous helping of breakfast sausage. It might not be healthy for everybody, but it’s a great breakfast if you’re embarking on a day of intense physical activity. If nothing else, you’ll get more than enough calories!
13. Spicy Miso Peanut Butter Ramen
The Spicy Miso Peanut Butter Ramen is a deceptively simple recipe that has a surprisingly textured flavor. The sauce includes peanut butter, miso paste, and soy sauce. Cook up your noodles, mix in the sauce, and you’re ready to go. The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.
14. Beef Curry Ramen
If you want a big, bold meal, you want a big, bold meat that can keep up with the flavor profile. The Beef Curry Ramen combines beef with a combination of curry paste and curry powder. It also includes white onion, green onions, and corn. It’s robust and spicy, with enough crunch from the corn to give it an interesting texture.
15. Thai Red Curry Tofu Ramen
If you want something spicy and vegan, our Thai Red Curry Tofu Ramen recipe is a great choice. The broth is both spicy and creamy, and there’s plenty of flavor to soak into the tofu. The red curry paste gives you a lot of kick, and cilantro and lime provide a crisp, almost tropical finish.
All of these recipes are unique, delicious ways to prepare your ramen noodles. But this is just the beginning! Take the time to experiment and see what you come up with. You might find that your favorite healthy ramen recipe is one that you’ve invented.
Keep in mind that no matter what ingredients you’re adding, the noodles still form the bulk of the ramen bowl. If you want a healthier bowl of ramen, you absolutely have to start with organic noodles that are steamed instead of fried.
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