(AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

9 easy ways to class up basic ramen

Your dinner never has to know you're on a budget.

Julien Perry
May 6, 2017 7:59PM (UTC)

This post originally appeared on The Fresh Toast.

A package of ramen is everyone’s best friend for good reason. It’s calorie dense, it’s cheap and it’s easy to make. Ding ding ding! We have a winner for just about every single meal. And you don’t need to be a broke college student to appreciate its versatility. Here are 9 ways to spruce up your noodles to make you feel like royalty. Okay, maybe not royalty, but someone who can at least afford an egg and some vegetables.

Ramen ChiliAll you need for this recipe is 3 packets of ramen noodles, two cans of chili, a can of diced tomatoes and some cheese. Get ready to dig in, because dinner will be ready in a snap!Chicken Noodle SoupTwo packages of ramen and two cups of shredded chicken, along with the usual chicken noodle soup ingredients, and you’ll immediately up your instant ramen game…and get rid of any cold you may have!
Dumbed Down Food has a recipe that involves cooking a block of ramen, an then adding it to an egg mixture before cooking it all in a frying pan and topping with cheese. But really, you can add some of your own seasonings, vegetables and meat, too.
Stir Fry

Basically, your instant noodles cooked in a pan with some added meat and vegetables and anything else you want to toss in. AllRecipes has a version that calls for a single package of Oriental-flavored ramen, chicken, oyster sauce and Sriracha.

Mac ‘N Cheese

Also lovingly known as Ramencheese, this dish can be as fancy as you want to make it. Pop Sugar has the easiest mac and cheese recipe you’ll ever lay eyes on. All it requires is ramen noodles, some seasoning and cheese. A much fancier restaurant-style version from David’s Cafe in NYC requires…a lot more, but all of the ingredients are basic ones, including white wine, which will really skyrocket the classy factor of this dish if you don’t drink it first.

Faux Pho

Who can pass up 5 Minute Pho using ramen noodles? In theory, the hot broth of the ramen will easily cook raw flank steak to perfection.

Pad Thai

If you don’t make this ramen Pad Thai recipe, you hate food. Peanut butter, fish sauce, sriracha and lime juice combine to turn a package of ordinary ramen into an impressive dinner.

Egg Drop Soup

All you really need to take your noodles to the next level is an egg. Not only does it give a nice consistency and texture to ramen, it looks impressive. Any type of egg will do — hard boiled, soft boiled or  the “egg drop” method. If you have the patience to wait 3 minutes while the egg cooks, you’re halfway there.
Add Condiments

Really, anything flavorful will do: miso or Thai curry paste, fish sauce, harrisa, vinegar, peanut sauce, ponzu, kimchi or red pepper paste are all good options when seasoning ramen. Stir in some frozen veggies and you have a three-minute meal using stuff you probably already have at home.

Julien Perry

MORE FROM Julien Perry

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