These 6 Ramen Recipes Are Fancy-Schmancy and Cost Less Than $7 to Make

The Ramen Cheeseburger is made with ramen buns adds a new flavor and crunch to your burger. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
The Ramen Cheeseburger is made with ramen buns adds a new flavor and crunch to your burger. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

I’ll be honest — I didn’t eat a lot of ramen while I was in college.

There were only so many flavors to choose from, and I was afraid I’d get sick of them all if I ate them too often.

It also didn’t help that I had Champagne tastes on a beer budget.

While it’s true that to a lot of people ramen tastes like licking the seats of the struggle bus you rode in college, anyone can enjoy it if you know how to reinvent it.

That’s right, don’t let that college degree stop you.

We all have regrets from our college days, and the amount of money I blew on food is certainly one of mine. I definitely could have saved myself from eating out as often as I did with these recipes.

6 Fancy Ramen Recipes That Will Make You Miss Your College Days

Not only is ramen cheap and easy to make, but it’s convenient after a long day.

Of course, there are plenty of healthy affordable meal options that you can make in a pinch, but sometimes you just crave a little comfort food.

Prices for ingredients will vary by store and location, but these recipes should cost you less than $7 each to make.

Dorm-Friendly Ramen Recipes

Being stuck on campus doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring ramen. Try these jazzed-up recipes you can make in a microwave.

Mason Jar Ramen

If you’re a fan of mug meals, you’re definitely going to want to try this one out.

  • 1 cup precooked chicken: $4.43
  • ½ cup red cabbage: 12 cents
  • ½ cup spinach: $1.11
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon powder: 21 cents
  • 1 package ramen (any flavor): 24 cents

Total: $6.11

Individually layer the precooked chicken, red cabbage and spinach in the bottom of a Mason jar. Add the bouillon powder and ramen flavor packet.

Break up raw ramen noodles into small enough pieces to fit into the Mason jar, and lay the noodles on top. Cover and refrigerate for up to a week.

When you’re ready to eat, pour 1 cup hot water into the jar, seal it, and let sit for 5 minutes. Shake it up and enjoy!

This is a simple way to add a little more flavor to your ramen meal, but if you have a stove and are looking for something a little more advanced, try this version of the recipe.

Pesto Ramen Caprese Salad

In this pesto ramen caprese salad, ramen replaces pasta. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
In this pesto ramen caprese salad, ramen replaces pasta. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Replace the rotini from this recipe with ramen, and you’ve got yourself an affordable dorm meal.


  • 1 package ramen (any flavor): 24 cents
  • 3 tablespoons pesto: 98 cents
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 10 cents
  • Pinch of salt and pepper: 4 cents
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder: 3 cents
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes: $1.60
  • ½ cup mozzarella balls: $1.66

Total: $4.65

Follow the package instructions for the ramen; set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the pesto, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add the ramen and toss to coat.

Cut the grape tomatoes in half, then gently fold them into the mix along with the mozzarella.

You’ll have a restaurant-ready pasta salad in minutes!

Ramen for Anyone Who Owns a Stove

Once you’re living like a real adult (you know, with appliances stronger than an 800-watt microwave), upgrade to these stovetop ramen recipes.

Ramen Cheeseburger

The Ramen Cheeseburger is made with ramen buns adds a new flavor and crunch to your burger. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
The Ramen Cheeseburger made with ramen buns adds a new flavor and crunch to your burger.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you’re not a huge fan of bread, these ramen buns can add a new flavor (not to mention crunch) to your burger. Personally, I’m all for frozen patties, but if you have the time and want to spend a little more money, try this burger recipe.


  • 1 package ramen (any flavor): 24 cents
  • 1 egg: 13 cents
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese: 63 cents
  • pinch of salt and pepper: 4 cents
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil: 4 cents
  • 1 frozen burger patty: 57 cents
  • 1 slice cheese: 22 cents

Total: $1.87

Follow the package instructions for the ramen. Allow the noodles to cool slightly.

In a bowl, beat the egg with shredded cheese; season with salt and pepper. Add ramen, and stir until the noodles are evenly coated.

Divide the ramen-egg mixture between 2 burger-size bowls or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap, and place another bowl on top of each. (This will flatten the ramen and help it maintain a circular shape; feel free to place a can in the bowls on top to make them heavier.) Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, or until firm.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high. Carefully remove the ramen buns from the bowls and fry them, keeping their circular shape, for about 3-5 minutes per side.

Cook the frozen patty according to package instructions. Assemble your burger with a slice of cheese on top.

Sesame Ramen Bowl


  • 1 package Ramen (any flavor): 24 cents
  • 1 cup fresh spinach: $2.22
  • 3 white mushrooms: 33 cents
  • 1 egg: 13 cents
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil: 12 cents
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds: 49 cents

Total: $3.53

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. While you wait, slice your spinach and mushrooms. When the water is ready, add the ramen and veggies; cook for 5 minutes.

Add the ramen flavor packet and stir until dissolved.

In another pot, bring water to a boil and add the egg. Boil 4-6 minutes if you like your yolk runny or 7-9 minutes if you want a hard-boiled egg.

Place the ramen in a small bowl. Add sesame oil and seeds. Mix together and top with your boiled egg.

These ingredients are just a few ways to upgrade your ramen, but really it all comes down to mixing and matching whatever flavors you like.

Quick and Easy Ramen Desserts

Now, before you run away from the site disgusted, give me a second. These unique ramen recipes will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

I know what you’re thinking, but I vouch for both of these.

Ramen Krispies Treats

These are just like Rice Krispies Treats, but with one small exception. If you’re looking for a way to make your favorite sweet treat a little cheaper, one cup of ramen is $1.48 cheaper than one cup of Rice Krispies cereal.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter: 20 cents
  • 5 ounces package mini-marshmallows: 90 cents
  • 6 packages ramen, flavor packets discarded: $1.44

Total: $2.54

Melt the butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted.

If you don’t have access to a stove (#dormlife), you can melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave in 90-second intervals.
Add the ramen to the melted mixture, and stir until it is evenly coated.

Spray a rectangular pan with cooking spray. Using a buttered spatula, spread the mixture into the pan and let it cool.

Cut it into small squares, and wrap them individually in plastic wrap for a snack on the go.

No-Bake Ramen Fudge

Ramen Krispies Treats are just like Rice Krispies Treats. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
Ramen adds a delightful crunch to this no-bake ramen fudge recipe. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Looking to add a little crunch to your fudge? Or a creative excuse to use that package of ramen that’s been in the back of your pantry for the past year? Try this recipe out.


  • 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips: $2.69
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk: $2.79
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened: 26 cents
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: 62 cents
  • 1 package ramen, flavor packet discarded: 24 cents
  • Pinch of sea salt: 3 cents

Total: $6.63

Melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely smooth.

Break the ramen into small pieces. Stir condensed milk, butter, vanilla and ramen into the melted chocolate.

Line a pan with parchment paper. Evenly spread the mixture into the pan and top with sea salt. Chill for 1 hour.

Teyonna Edwards is an associate producer at The Penny Hoarder. Her hobbies include reading, traveling and spending her workday looking up tasty recipes.