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Top 5 ramen recipes for the student budget

Posted on January 28, 2013 | by Mary Hornak

A bowl of ramen noodles is the quintessential meal for college students on a budget, but the conventional packaged version can get old easily. With a few extra ingredients and some creativity, you can transform packages of ramen from salty to spectacular.

Lettuce wraps

After cooking a package of ramen noodles, drain any excess broth. Add chopped carrots and sliced onions to the noodles and let the residual heat soften the vegetables. Once softened, wrap the noodles and vegetables in leaves of iceberg lettuce and garnish with sesame ginger dressing. To add protein to the meal, serve with a side of edamame.

Spring salad

Create your favorite mix of greens and vegetables using uncooked noodles. As an alternative to croutons, break up the noodles and sprinkle them over a bowl of spinach or romaine lettuce. Mix three tablespoons of apple juice and two tablespoons of oil with the ramen seasoning packet to create a simple salad dressing. Drizzle the mixture over the salad for a refreshing twist on a once-boring bowl of greens.

Lo mein

Discard the seasoning packet in this recipe to avoid a high sodium intake. To keep the noodles flavorful, use low-sodium vegetable broth in place of water when cooking. Toss in microwave-steamed broccoli, bagged spinach and grated carrots for healthy nutrients. For a balanced meal, add slices of grilled chicken to the lo mein noodles.

Crispy chicken tenders

Combine Ramen noodles with flour to make delicious baked chicken. Break apart the noodles and combine with crushed croutons and half of the seasoning packet. Mix beaten egg and flour with the noodle mixture. Roll chicken tenders in the Ramen breading before placing in the oven. After the coating has browned and the chicken has cooked thoroughly, serve with mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables.


To create a skillet noodle pizza, cook and drain a package and a half of any Ramen noodle soup. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add noodles to the skillet and cook until browned. Spread one-third of a cup of tomato sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with cheese, oregano and your choice of toppings. Let the pizza cool for five minutes before cutting it into slices.

A version of this article appeared in the Jan. 28 print edition. Mary Hornak is a staff writer. Email her at 


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Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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