And when we say upgrade, we mean completely ditch them. Each package (often billed as two servings, but who only eats half?) has nearly a day's worth of sodium, 13 grams of fat, 54 grams of carbs, and are essentially nutrient-void. If we've just completely thrown shade on your favorite food, we won't apologize for it—but we will provide you with 20 ramen recipes that'll end your love affair with the processed version for good. They may not come together in fives minutes, but they'll definitely come out on top. (But hey—if easy dinner recipes are your thing, then you won't want to miss these 25 Dinner Ideas That Don't Require a Recipe!)
SWEET AND SPICY PORK RAMEN
Nutrition: 250 calories, 5.8 g fat (1.2 g saturated), 347 mg sodium, 32.3 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 17.7 g protein (calculated without ramen seasoning)
According to the CDC, we should be consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. One package of Ramen noodles provides 72 percent of that quota. Skip the seasonings and save yourself 1,953 milligrams of the salty stuff with this recipe. Bonus: It contains avocado oil, proven to lower cholesterol, quell hunger pangs, and even spot-reduce belly fat!
Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.
EASY VEGAN RAMEN
Nutrition: 282 calories, 11.6 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 610 mg sodium, 37.9 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3.3 g sugar, 7.4 g protein
Bok choy is packed with immunity-boosting vitamin A and waist-whittling vitamin C. In fact, one cup of cooked bok choy provides more than 100% of your daily quota for A and close to two-thirds for C.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
MONGOLIAN BEEF RAMEN NOODLES
Nutrition: 243 calories, 11.9 g fat (3.8 g saturated), 523 mg sodium, 17.4 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 5.3 g sugar, 15.4 g protein
Even though it was inspired by PF Chang's Mongolian Beef, this version (thankfully) doesn't contain 800 calories, 42 grams of blubbering fat, and 4,070 milligrams of sodium. Save yourself the future heart attack and expanding waistline, and make this version instead!
Get the recipe from Jo Cooks.
RAMEN VEGETABLE STIR FRY
Nutrition: 187 calories, 7.3 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 305 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2,7 g sugar, 4.7 g protein
Stir fry meals make dinner prep almost effortless. They require one pan, one cooking utensil, one burner, and minimal cleanup. And unlike the packaged stuff, this recipe contains low-calorie, fat-free, and nutrient-rich mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli. For more no-fuss meals, check out these 20 Amazing Stir Fry Recipes.
Get the recipe from The Rustic Willow.
CRUNCHY ASIAN RAMEN NOODLE SALAD
Nutrition: 364 calories, 25.6 g fat (5.1 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 27.6 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 7.4 g protein
Aside from being tossed with crunchy ramen noodles, this salad is sprinkled with edamame. The soybean "is a complete protein that also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which support the healthy development of your brain, nerves, and eyes," says Chip Goehring, Board President of the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF). Not to mention, countless research indicates consuming fibrous foods like edamame decreases the risk of obesity because it keeps you fuller longer.
Get the recipe from Gimmie Some Oven.
CHICKEN VEGGIE RAMEN BOWLS
Nutrition: 172 calories, 8.2 g fat (1.9 g saturated), 330 mg sodium, 9.8 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 14.5 g protein
As if preparing soup wasn't easy enough, rotisserie chicken makes it an absolute breeze. And for less than $10, you can have an entire bird that goes from the plastic container to the pot in just seconds. The best part? Consuming foods full of protein, like chicken, increases post-meal calorie burn by 35 percent and helps diminish hunger.
Get the recipe from Pip and Ebby.
THAI CHICKEN RAMEN
Nutrition: 249 calories, 14.9 g fat (10.8 g saturated), 245 mg sodium, 16.6 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 3.2 g sugar, 13.4 g protein
This recipe is made with coconut milk, which comes from freshly grated coconut meat. Aside from giving the soup a creamy base, it also provides a serious nutrient-boost. The white stuff is loaded with flab-frying medium-chain triglycerides, sodium-moderating potassium, and a host of fortified vitamins. Just make sure to opt for the light version and remember a little bit goes a long way; it's extremely calorically dense.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
SMOKY GRILLED CHICKEN WITH ZUCCHINI RAMEN NOODLES
Nutrition: 168 calories, 8 g fat (2.9 g saturated), 203 mg sodium, 4.1 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1.2 g sugar, 19.2 g protein
There is this amazing thing called a spiralizer and we're obsessed with it. With one simple tool, you can boost the nutritional profile, lower carb counts, ditch gluten, and/or veganize any meal; it's a dieter's saving grace! This recipe has under 200 calories, 4.1 grams of carbohydrates, and a whopping 19.2 grams of protein. Slurp, fork, and twirl away! For more inspiration with the game-changing gadget, check out these 21 Mouthwatering Spiralized Recipes.
Get the recipe from Three Beans on a String.
A FARMER'S RAMEN
Nutrition: 346 calories, 12.9 g fat (3.2 g saturated), 111 mg sodium, 36.5 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 1.8 g sugar, 19.8 g protein
If you've got a thing for the "noodle bar," we're about to bring it home to you. Eggs, free range chicken, ginger, scallions, homemade noodles, sea salt, and greens in a low sodium broth…you're welcome.
Get the recipe from Farmette.
ROASTED CHICKEN RAMEN
Nutrition: 238 calories, 10.4 g fat (4.2 g saturated), 529 mg sodium, 21.4 g carb, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 13.3 g protein
Seaweed, which is flawlessly paired with this ramen bowl, is one of the richest sources of iodine, a mineral that is essential for healthy thyroid function (the gland that regulates metabolism). If yours seems a bit sluggish, check out these 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism!
Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.
THAI PEANUT CHICKEN RAMEN
Nutrition: 233 calories, 15.1 g fat (7.2 g saturated), 628 mg sodium, 11.6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.3 g sugar, 14.6 protein
We love the peanutty addition to ramen. Peanuts fight stress, boosts energy, and increase satiety, thanks largely to the 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Factor in their high fat and fiber content and the result may be a less caloric intake later in the day.
Get the recipe from The Disaster Chef.
MASON JAR INSTANT RAMEN NOODLES
Nutrition: 229 calories, 6.8 g fat (4.3 g saturated), 70 mg sodium, 31.9 g carbs, 12.1 g fiber, 8.2 g sugar, 19.3 g protein
You had us at mason jar ramen noodles, but once we saw they were made we zoodles, we were completely smitten. This is a to-go lunch that's perfectly portioned, is low in calories, fat, and sodium, and is packed with protein. Now this is a daily meal we can get behind!
Get the recipe from Strickly Delicious.
RAMEN WITH BACON AND SOFT BOILED EGGS
Nutrition: 136 calories, 6.6 g fat (1.8 g saturated), 672 mg sodium, 7.5 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 7.4 g protein
Ramen Cobb? Clearly the foodie gods put these two together. Just be sure to use the entire egg; yolks contain the nutrient choline, responsible for cell membrane structure, protecting the liver from accumulating fat, and building healthy neurotransmitters in the brain. And according to the American Heart Association, you should consume one yolk a day!
Get the recipe from Yes to Yolks.
MEXICAN CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Nutrition: 314 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated), 680 mg sodium, 25.9 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 4.8 g sugar, 23.4 g protein
All hail the avocado, which is arguably one of the most potent
superfoods. Aside from its ability spot reduce belly fat and lower cholesterol, the fruit also increases the absorption of other food's nutrients. And when it comes to squashing hunger, avocado is your go-to. A study published in Nutrition Journal, participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward!
Get the recipe from Feasting At Home.
SPICY SRIRACHA RAMEN NOODLE SOUP
Nutrition: 222 calories, 11.6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 644 mg sodium, 22.5 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 1.6 g sugar, 6.1 g protein
This recipe will turn up the heat in more than just your mouth. It'll also boost temperatures in your calorie burning oven—and it's all thanks to Sriracha. According to researchers at Penn State, eating foods with hot sauce can boost your metabolism by up to 20 percent!
Get the recipe from Baker By Nature.
GLUTEN-FREE INSTANT RAMEN NOODLE CUPS
Nutrition: 244 calories, 1.7 g fat (0 g saturated), 311 mg sodium, 43.4 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 1.9 g sugar, 13.7 g protein
Those who cannot consume gluten or those who suffer from Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity face the struggle of missing out on the majority of their favorite foods—like ramen. Luckily, gluten-free products have flooded grocery store aisles faster than the latest fashion trends, and rice noodles are readily available.
Get the recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring.
KALE AND VEGGIE SALAD WITH TOASTED RAMEN
Nutrition: 227 calories, 11.8 g fat (3.2 g saturated), 530 mg sodium, 22.3 g carbs, 4.6 g fiber, 1.9 g sugar, 8.1 g protein
Kale salad with crunchy ramen noodles? We're intrigued. The green is a superfood celeb, packed with phytochemicals that ward off age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, health-boosting vitamins, and belly-slimming fiber. However, its robust flavor can be a tad overpowering for some. Leave it to ramen to seal the deal.
Get the recipe from Coffee and Quinoa.
HEALTHY HOMEMADE KIMCHI RAMEN
Nutrition: 249 calories, 10.7 g fat (2.9 g saturated), 601 mg sodium, 35.3 g carbs, 8.8 g fiber, 11.2 g sugar, 7.2 g protein
This recipe uses the noodles of organic ramen with kimchi, a Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings, bean sprouts, paprika, low sodium soy sauce, and red chili flakes. Translation: No flavor packets here.
Get the recipe from Divine Healthy Food.
ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Nutrition: 183 calories, 7.8 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 286 mg sodium, 11.1 g carbs, 1.4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 16.2 g protein
Chicken Noodle meets Oriental Ramen! With less than 200 calories, 286 milligrams of sodium, and 16.3 grams of muscle-building protein, this dish fits seamlessly into any meal plan.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
SPICY THAI STYLE PUMPKIN BUTTERNUT RAMEN
Nutrition: 217 calories, 9 g fat (2.8 g saturated), 531 mg sodium, 20.7 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 2.9 g sugar, 13.8 g protein
We've saved the best for last. This divine bowl is just as complex in flavor as it sounds, but pumpkins are its claim to fame. The gourd is a natural appetite suppressant and fat-burner with more fiber and protein than sugar. And it might help your gym game. After running a series of animal tests, Taiwanese researchers concluded that eating the squash helps fight off the production of lactic acid—the compound that's responsible for making your muscles ache the next day. For more pumpkin recipes, check out these 20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes for Weight Loss.
Get the recipe from Cooking for Keeps.