I’m a former professional chef and current professional recipe developer, and I serve my family instant ramen for dinner regularly. The trick to these noodles is treating them like an ingredient rather than a ready-to-eat meal. Do that, and instant ramen checks off all the boxes for an ideal dinner: fast, cheap, easy to prepare, and, most importantly, results in very few dishes. It’s the ultimate work-from-home lunch, too, because it won’t cause a mess in a kitchen that might be doubling as your workplace.
The following recipes turn instant ramen noodles into a more comprehensive meal using common fridge and pantry staples. Treat the measurements as approximations; there’s no need to dispense ingredients precisely, and it’s fine to add a little more of this or a little less of that based on your personal preferences. Allow yourself to get creative with add-ins, too, because ramen is a great way to use up leftovers or odds and ends in your refrigerator.