Okay, I’ll admit it. Once I moved into a college dorm that had its own kitchen, I did not frequent the campus Dining Hall, but I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money on food. Enter: ramen.
True, the noodles can get old if you don’t do much with them, but if you check out these DIY recipes for ramen, you’ll have a much wider variety of ways to eat on the cheap.
First: a life hack
Say you don’t have a kitchen in your college dorm. You can still avoid the dining hall if you’re allowed to have a coffee maker in your dorm room. You can put that packet in your coffee maker and use that to boil the water. Simple, right? According to Max Eddy on The Mary Sue in “10 Foods You Can Allegedly Make in a Coffee Maker,” posted February 3, 2011, there are several other foods you can make in your coffee maker (as long as you wash it carefully afterwards).
Spicing it up: simple ramen variations
If you do have a kitchen or a microwave and don’t want to get too complicated, consider trying some of these recipes for ramen:
- Coconut curry ramen: instead of using water, use 1 cup coconut milk, and add some curry powder to the seasonings when you stir in the seasoning packet.
- Ramen & meatballs: make the ramen as instructed in the directions, then drain it. Grab a jar of pasta sauce and some frozen meatballs and heat those up in a stove pot, then add them to the noodles.
- Chili ramen: prepare ramen as normal, drain, and add some cooked chili and cheese to the top. You can also chop up a hot dog to add to this one if that’s your thing.
- Crunchy salad: if you like a little crunch to your salad fixin’s, you can leave your ramen uncooked and add them to a salad of your choice for a little extra texture.
- Ramen trail mix: for something on the go to eat between classes, consider frying your noodles and adding them to some dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots) and nuts (almonds, cashews) or salty snacks (pretzels, Chex cereal) for a trail mix.
- Ramen tomato soup: combine your cooked-as-directed ramen noodles with a can of tomato soup (also prepared as direted).
For the daring: complicated ramen recipes
So say you’ve been wanting to make some more impressive recipes. Maybe you’re having a prof over to dinner to discuss your thesis. (A roommate and I had one of our profs over to watch the Broadway version of Into the Woods because we kept referring to it in class, and he’d never seen it. Something like this could happen to you!) Tara Fuller at Greatist compiled “17 DIY Ramen Recipes That’ll Make You Forget about Instant Noodles” January 26, 2016.
Looking for even more recipes? Check out Anita Dualeh’s “College Survival Guide Part 1: 50 Amazing Ramen Recipes” on the Rasmussen College blog for a whole bunch of additional ideas.