Coupon Sherpa Blog

25 Easy College Student Ramen Recipes

They both share reputations as college classics, yet ramen noodles are noticeably missing from John Belushi's plate during the (in)famous Animal House food fight scene.

Bluto gave it a pass, but ramen has long been a staple of the university diet. You can easily pick it up from your local grocery store for as little as 10 cents a pack in a variety of flavors. Ramen recipes are a perfect choice for cash- and time-strapped youngsters on the prowl for simple college student fare.

But beware of those little, innocent-looking flavor packets. Ramen by itself is mostly harmless, but the instant variety popular in America is loaded with sodium. The average package is actually two servings, not one, meaning a humble pack (with flavoring) contains over 80 percent of your daily recommended sodium and almost 400 calories. Other soup flavors are even worse.

The easiest way to get healthy ramen noodles is to do away with the flavor packet. Unfortunately, this leads to an unsatisfying dinner. But never fear; robust ramen recipes are here. Give your noodles a boost by adding chicken, frozen veggies or pre-cooked shrimp, all of which are packed with much-needed vitamins and minerals. Keep your costs down with with grocery coupons and save money for some of the more obscure items, like the kelp in numbers 17 and 19.

If kelp is any proof, adventurous ramen recipes now reach near gourmet heights without requiring gourmet time. (Or, at least as gourmet as ramen can get -- which, apparently, is quite a bit in Japan.) Below are 25 healthy and easy college student recipes for ramen, guaranteed to keep your culinary life from being placed on double-secret probation.



Ramen Noodles

Basic Ramen Recipe
Ingredients
1 package ramen noodles
2 cups water/package
Optional: Flavor packet

Directions
Boil water in medium pot. If using a microwave, heat on high for 3 minutes.
Add noodles and packet to boiling water.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles separate and become soft.
Drain.
To fry, add 2 tsp. canola oil to pan over medium-low heat. Cook slowly until golden brown on all sides.

SALADS AND SNACKS

Ramen Noodle Salad
Dressing Ingredients
2/3 cups canola or extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar

Salad Ingredients
1 package cole slaw mix
2 bunches of green onions, chopped
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 packages flavored ramen noodles, uncooked and broken into medium chunks
Optional: Handful raisins, craisins, sliced grapes, sliced apple or other favorite fruit

Directions
Mix dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and let sit overnight. (Don't refrigerate.)
The next day, mix all salad ingredients except noodles.
Add dressing, toss and let stand for several hours.
Add noodles minutes before taking to the toga party or frat pledge meeting.

Greek Ramen Salad
Dressing Ingredients
1/4 cup citrus juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Salad Ingredients
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup red peppers
1/2 cup onions
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup onions
2 packages plain ramen noodles, boiled
Salt and pepper

Directions
Mix olive oil and citrus juice in a bowl
Adding salt and pepper to taste. Set aside dressing.
Cut vegetables and feta into small cubes.
Place boiled noodles in a bowl with vegetables and cheese.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to mix.

Traditional Ramen Pasta Salad
Ingredients
1 cup light mayonaise
2 tbsp. mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 cup cubed or shredded cheddar cheese
1 package flavored ramen noodles, boiled

Directions
Cook noodles and mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let flavors mix.

Ramen Trail Mix
Ingredients
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried apricots
1 package ramen noodles, fried
Optional: Chex, pretzels, peanuts, cashews, chocolate chips, raisins, etc. (most anything you'd find in trail mix)

Directions
Fry noodles and let cool.
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
Find something to do with the rest of your day, since that took about 5 minutes.

SOUPS

Quick and Easy Ramen Noodle Soup
Ingredients
2 cups frozen vegetables (broccoli, carrots or multiple veggie blends work best)
1 package flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
2 cups water

Directions
Boil water in large pot
Cook frozen veggies halfway over medium-high heat.
Plop in noodles and flavor packet (if you want).
Mix occasionally until noodles and vegetables are soft.

Ramen Vegetable Soup
Ingredients
2 packages ramen noodles, uncooked
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Toss chicken stock in a crock pot and add carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and garlic.
Add salt and pepper to taste then head out to class
Cook on high for 4 hours.
Throw the noodles in when you get back and let cook for 3 minutes.
Eat while studying up on your WWII history.

Ramen Tomato Soup
Ingredients
1 can condensed cream tomato soup
1 package ramen noodles, uncooked

Directions
Cook ramen in 2 cups of water on high heat
Add one can of soup.
Stir occasionally and heat until boiling.

Ramen can be added in the same way to just about any condensed soup (though the creamy sort tastes better.)
Grab some grocery coupons for the cheapest way to pad your pantry and expand your ramen repertoire.

CHICKEN

Ramen Lo Mein
Ingredients
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into strips)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, halved
3 green onions, sliced diagonally
1 package plain ramen noodles, boiled
Optional: 1-1/2 tsp. minced ginger root, 1 tsp. minced garlic

Directions
In a large frying pan, place canola oil and soy sauce on medium heat.
Sauté chicken strips until light brown and add vegetables and chicken stock.
Cook until vegetables are tender.
Stir in ramen.
Simmer for several minutes.
Place leftovers in old Chinese take-out box so your roommates don't make fun of you for cooking.

Chicken Ramen Salad
Ingredients
2 packages ramen noodles, boiled
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (diced)
1/2 cup croutons
1/4 cup shredded bacon
1/2 cup caesar dressing (or other creamy variety)
1 tbsp. canola oil

Directions
Place canola oil in medium-sized frying pan over medium heat.
When oil begins to smoke, add chicken and cook.
Combine boiled noodles, croutons and bacon in medium bowl.
Add chicken strips and drizzle with dressing.

Ramen Chicken Diablo
Tastes just like mama used to make...when she was in college.

Ingredients
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (diced)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup water
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. thyme
1 package plain ramen noodles, boiled

Directions
In a large frying pan, sauté chicken breast until light brown.
Add butter and stir in the onion and flour.
Remove from heat and add water with vinegar, tarragon and thyme.
Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute.
Remove from heat and stir for one minute.
Pour over boiled noodles.

SEAFOOD

Quick and Easy Shrimp Ramen Soup
Ingredients
12 pre-cooked shrimp
1 package flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
Optional: 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/8 tsp. black pepper mixed in bowl for spicy sauce

Directions
Sauté or re-heat shrimp as desired.
Cook ramen according to direction on package
Stir in shrimp during final minute.

For a spicy alternative, toss shrimp in optional mixture and let stand for 20 minutes before sauteing.
Add extra mix instead of flavor packet to broth for healthier seasoning.

Ramen Catch-of-the-Day
With all the Omega 3 and protein in seafood, this one is perfect for the health-conscious date. It's also infinitely more effective than a cheesy acoustic guitar song.

Ingredients
2 packages plain ramen noodles, boiled
2 tilapia filets, raw or cooked
1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup shrimps, cooked
1 can clam chowder
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Directions
In large pot, sauté onions in 1 tsp. vegetable oil high heat.
Reduce to medium and add clam chowder, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water and tilapia filets.
Simmer until tilapia skin becomes opaque.
Add shrimp and lemon juice, then let simmer for five minutes.
In frying pan, add 1 tsp. vegetable oil and fry boiled noodles.
When finished, remove from heat and ladle seafood on top.

Ramen Shrimp Salad
This recipe is a bit more expensive, so cut your costs with a Safeway coupon. If it's your first time, Safeway will even throw in a free case of water to drown the fish taste. Drowning a fish -- kind of an oxymoron, huh?

Ingredients
2 packages ramen noodles, boiled
12 shrimp, raw or cooked
1 cup fish stock
2 small onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small lemon OR 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup scallions
1 cup water
Salt and pepper

Directions
In large frying pan, sauté shrimp in oil.
Coat with soy sauce and lemon juice.
Cook for one minute.
Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
In large saucepan, mix onions, garlic, sugar, scallions, fish stock and water.
Cook over medium heat until simmering.
Add shrimp mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for 10 minutes and place over boiled noodles.

BREAKFAST

Ramen Breakfast Burritos
Ingredients
1 package flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
2 cups water
1 egg
1/4 cup shredded cheese
Hot sauce (grab the mild but delicious green Tabasco -- its a favorite on breakfast burritos)
Flour or corn tortillas
Optional: Green chiles

Directions
Boil water in small saucepan on high heat.
Beat egg in separate bowl.
Add ramen to water and slowly pour in beaten egg.
Mix and cook until noodles are soft.
Drain, leaving a small amount of water for seasoning.
Mix seasoning with cheese, hot sauce and green chiles (if desired).
Wrap in warm tortilla.
Marvel at the fact you're eating ramen for breakfast and, holy Jose, it's delicious.

English Ramen
This is the least healthy dish here, but in keeping with the spirit of hearty English meals, still a bloody good breakfast!

Ingredients
1 package flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
2 cups water
1 egg
1 medium tomato, sliced
sausage links
Optional: Baked beans, toast

Directions
Fry tomatoes and sausage together in frying pan on medium heat.
When done, set aside and drain grease.
Boil water in frying pan.
Place unbroken ramen in middle and top with tomatoes and egg.
Cover and let steam until egg is cooked.
Start baked beans on high in small saucepan (if desired).

VEGETARIAN

Summer Ramen Salad
Ingredients
2 packages plain ramen noodles, boiled
5 baby carrots
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cauliflower, whole
1 cup eggplant, in chunks
1 tomato
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 can chick peas
1/4 cup sliced garlic
1/2 tsp. curry powder, turmeric powder or crushed ginger
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper

Directions
Put chicken stock in large pot with stock and heat to simmer.
Add chick peas and spices.
Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add all vegetables, cover and let simmer for 30 more minutes.
Add boiled noodles and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Imperial Veggie Ramen Soup
Ingredients
1 package plain ramen noodles, boiled
1/2 cup of scallions, sliced
1/2 cup of bamboo shoots
1/2 cup of green peppers, sliced
2 or 3 shiitake mushrooms, halved
1 boiled egg, peeled and halved
4 cups of water
Optional: Dried kelp

Directions
To make the broth, soak shiitake mushrooms in water for 30 minutes.
Heat over medium until water comes to a boil.
Turn off heat and let stand for 30 minutes.
Remove mushrooms and set aside.
Broth can be refrigerated and saved for several weeks for use in other soups, recipes or chugging contests.

To finish soup, pour broth over boiled ramen.
Add scallions, bamboo shoots, green peppers, mushrooms and kelp.
Top with egg. Eat. Lick lips. Repeat.

Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage) Ramen
Don't worry about eating bok choy raw. Unlike European cabbage, bok choy is more like celery and rarely tastes bitter without cooking. 

Ingredients
1 package of ramen noodles, crushed and fried
1 head bok choy, sliced thin
1 green onion
1/2 cup almond slices
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. light soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar

Directions
To make vinaigrette, place olive oil, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar in medium pot.
Heat over high until boiling, stirring regularly.
Mix bok choy and fried ramen in bowl and cover with vinaigrette.
Toss all ingredients together and enjoy.

ASIAN INSPIRED

Authentic Shiitake Ramen Soup with Plum Pork
This version may not seem much different than the vegetarian version but the plum pork makes all the difference.

Ingredients
1 package plain ramen noodles, boiled
2 to 3 pork slices
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup bamboo shoots
1-1/2 tsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 boiled egg, peeled and halved
4 cups water
Dried Kelp
1 tsp. plum sauce
Pepper

Directions
To make the broth, soak shiitake mushrooms in water for 30 minutes.
Heat over medium until water comes to a boil.
Turn off heat and let stand for 30 minutes.
Remove mushrooms and set aside.
Broth can be refrigerated and saved for several weeks.

In a medium frying pan, heat soy sauce, sesame oil and plum sauce over medium heat.
Fry pork, covering both sides evenly with sauce.
When cooked, drop to low heat and add mushrooms.
Pour heated broth over boiled ramen.
Add cooked pork (without fry sauce), mushrooms, scallions, bamboo shoots, kelp and egg.

Hot and Spicy Ramen Chicken Nuggets
Ingredients
2 packs flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons of Wok oil or Spicy oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1 bag sliced frozen bell pepper and onion mixture
14 Tyson Breaded Chicken nuggets OR 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into strips)
Optional: 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil (for chicken strips)

Directions
To make nuggets, heat in toaster oven or stove according to package directions.
For chicken strips, place olive oil in pan and heat over medium until lightly smoking.
Add strips and cook until white in middle.
Remove from heat.
In large pot, boil ramen.
Add frozen pepper and onion mix.
Cook for 6 minutes.
While cooking, thoroughly mix wok oil, canola oil, red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and orange juice.
Add nuggets or strips to sauce and coat fully.
When ramen and pepper combo is finished, strain and toss in bowl with chicken and sauce.
Mix well and serve to a grateful girlfriend.

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry Ramen
Ingredients
1 package flavored ramen noodles, boiled
1 pound beef steak strips
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups broccoli, cut up
1 cup green onions, cut in strips
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Optional: 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions
In large frying pan, brown beef over medium heat.
Add oil, broccoli, onions and 1/2 flavor packet (if desired).
Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
Add soy sauce and red pepper.
Let simmer for five minutes.
Serve over boiled noodles.

DESSERTS

Ramen Jell-O
For a last minute brain boost before speech class, try this unusual tasty treat.

Ingredients
1 package plain ramen noodles, crushed and fried
1 package of Jell-O (85g)
1 cup cold water
1 cup hot water

Directions
Put Jell-O in a medium bowl.
Heat one cup of water and add to Jell-O powder, stirring until completely dissolved.
Add 1 cup of cold water along with fried noodles.
Place in fridge and wait 3 to 4 hours for Jell-O to set.
The sooner you eat it, the crispier the ramen stays. (Definitely don't leave it sitting for a couple weeks!)

Ramen Sorbet
Since this desert contains alcohol, these instruction are easy enough to follow even after a few helpings have made you hazy. Just remember -- 21 means 21.

Ingredients
1 package plain ramen noodles, fried
1-1/2 scoops cherry or strawberry sorbet
Chocolate, in chunks or
Optional: 1/2 cup rhum (also known as white rum) or other light liquer

Directions
Place sorbet in bowl.
Add chocolate and fried ramen.
Top with white rhum.

Chocolate Fudge and Ramen Cakes
A bit on the fatty side, sure, but indulgence in moderation is key to a healthy diet.

Ingredients
1 package plain ramen noodles, fried
1 to 3 small dessert cupcakes
1/2 cup fresh or maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chocolate dessert fondue or syrup
1 scoop plain vanilla frozen yogurt

Directions
Place cupcakes upside down on a plate.
Cover with cherries and fried ramen.
Drizzle chocolate over top.
Garnish with ice cream.

One Last Thought
Ramen is a dorm-ready (translation: microwavable) substitute for almost any traditional pasta. Just preheat your favorite spaghetti, pesto or alfredo sauce and pour over boiled ramen. Tastes so good, you'd almost be willing to take advice from Bluto.

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