Easy Ramen recipes for broke living

Shea James

A 12-pack of Ramen noodles costs $1.96 at Walmart. Photo by Shea James
Shea James

Between cramming for tests, doing extra credit assignments and working 20 hours a week, students have to figure out a way to feed themselves. What better way to fix our hunger on a budget than with a package of noodles that likely has a longer shelf life than the average college student? Face it — we are all broke, and the college go-to food has always been Ramen noodles, especially because a 12-pack is $1.96 at Walmart.

While most people just add water to the package and eat it plain, here are some easy recipes to spice up the broke-college-student-Ramen life. Enjoy.

Not Your Mama’s Chicken Noodle Soup

For a good, home-cooked meal, this is the soup to try. It’s cheap and has that comfort feel when homesickness hits hard. Best of all, it’s simple and tastes delicious.


  • Cooked chicken
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Ramen noodles

Let’s get started.

Poor the Ramen noodles into a pot of boiling water, add the cooked chicken, cabbage and carrots. Let it cook for three minutes. Enjoy.

For an Asian-inspired kicked to the chicken soup, add ginger shavings and a splash of soy sauce.

Ingredients for the Healthy-to-Go Ramen recipe. Photo by Shea James

Healthy-To-Go Salad

This is the perfect meal after a workout when hunger strikes and class starts in 15 minutes. This meal is affordable and gives students a healthy alternative.


  • 1 (8 ounce) bag coleslaw mix (half of a 16-ounce bag)
  • 1 package Ramen noodles, raw & crushed
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds (dry roasted)
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar (six packets of Splenda)

Let’s get started.

Pour the bag of coleslaw mix into a big mixing bowl, then add the packet of crushed Ramen. Next mix in sunflower seeds, oil, vinegar and sugar. Toss the ingredients until evenly mixed. Enjoy.

Eat Your Veggies

Starving and need a quick hearty meal? This might be nice on those colder winter nights when students want to get cozy after a long day of classes. It’s filling and provides key nutrients we all need.


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup beef broth, divided 1 (3 ounce) package beef Ramen noodles
  • ½ pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can baby corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • ½ cup diced sweet red pepper
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 2 green onions cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup peanuts

Let’s get started.

First, get a small bowl and mix together the cornstarch and broth. Cook noodles according to package directions. Then, stir-fry beef in oil with a skillet. Add soy sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Drain the noodles, then add to the beef. Mix in the corn, broccoli, red pepper, carrot and onions. Sprinkle seasoning packet over all of it.

Cook for 4-6 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture into skillet. Bring to a boil, then cook and stir for two minutes. Lastly, sprinkle the top with peanuts. Enjoy.

Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey

This is the perfect quick breakfast to get the morning started. It provides all good breakfast items in one bowl — plus, it’s cheap.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece peeled fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded American cheese
  • add Kosher salt
  • 2 packages instant ramen, flavor packets discarded
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 soft-boiled eggs, sliced in half
  • 4 scallions, chopped

Let’s get started.

Heat the butter on medium heat, then add onion and Kosher salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger. Cook for one minute — make sure to stir constantly. Mix in flour, then whisk vegetable stock and whole milk until mixture is combined with no clumps.

Simmer until thickened (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.

While it’s simmering, cook Ramen noodles according to package directions. Strain the noodles. Sprinkle the noodles with chopped bacon, soft-boiled eggs and scallions. Enjoy.

These are just a few easy Ramen recipes to change up such a plain dish.

Shea James is an art freshman.