What's not to love about ramen? It's warm, comforting, salty, savory, and just the perfect meal for a cool night. You can make it so many different ways and with an endless cast of protein options (including meat-free!), but we won't all have the luxury of being able to head out to our favorite ramen shop whenever we're craving it (especially when you live in the middle of nowhere like me!) So I decided to have my hand at making a quick and easy homemade version that's perfect for busy (and cold!) weeknights.
This is by no means authentic. Real ramen is a work of art. But when you're craving the comforting umami warmth of ramen and you don't have access to a ramen shop, this is a great alternative.
This recipe has quickly become a household favorite, just in time for winter to hit. I think you'll love it too. The recipe makes enough for 2-3 servings, depending in how much you eat. Generally it is enough for 2 large dinner portions plus a good amount leftover for lunch the next day that is not quite as big as the dinner portions.
If you make this (or any of my recipes), let me know what you think. And snap a photo and tag me on instagram or tiktok @slo_cooker. Thanks, y'all!
Quick & Easy Weeknight Ramen Makes ~ 2-3 servings Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes
Click the file below to download and print the recipe
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
2 small or 1 large chicken breast(s) ~ 1lb.
1.5 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or very finely minced*
2 tsp. garlic, minced (1-2 cloves)
3 TB soy sauce
2 tsp. mirin
5-6 scallions, white and light green part finely sliced
4 oz. fresh baby portabella mushrooms, cut into bite size pieces**
4 C. chicken broth
A few dashes of fish or oyster sauce (optional)
2 3-oz. packs of dried ramen noodles (seasoning packet discarded)
3 C. fresh baby spinach***
Thinly sliced jalapeño
Extra thinly sliced scallions
Soft boiled egg
If using one large chicken breast, cut it in half lengthwise to make 2 thinner pieces. Spread a little olive oil on one side of the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat a medium high-sided dutch oven or sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken, seasoned side down and let cook for 4-5 minutes until brown. While the first side cooks, add olive oil to the face-up side of the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat. Continue to cook the chicken until it is fully cooked through. Remove from pan to a plate or cutting board and set aside. Cooking times with vary depending in the thickness of the chicken.
After the chicken is cooked, turn the heat down to low, add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and scallions. Cook, stirring often, until the scallions are beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and mirin. Stir constantly for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, turn up the heat to medium/medium-high and scrape up the brown bits from the chicken on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer.
Once the soup is simmering, add a few dashes of fish sauce (if using) and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. While the soup simmers, slice the chicken into bite-size pieces.
After 10 minutes, add the ramen noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off the heat and add the spinach, stirring to wilt.
Divide the noodles evenly between the bowls then ladle the broth and veggies over top along with the chicken. Add whatever toppings you’d like and enjoy!
*Recipe notes + Variations*
*Pro-tip: Peel fresh ginger when you bring it home from the grocery store then store it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When you need fresh ginger, grate the frozen pieces with a microplane or zester. It’s MUCH easier to do this from frozen and your ginger will last for months in the freezer.
**Any mushroom will work here. I prefer portabellas for the flavor and the baby ones come pre sliced in a package in my grocery store. Use whatever you’d like!
***Any leafy green will work here. Spinach takes only seconds to wilt. If you use a heartier green like kale, bok choy, chard, or cabbage, add it in when you add the chicken broth as they take longer to become tender.