Best Vegan Instant Ramen: A Delicious and Healthy Alternative

Ramen consists of three components that create endless possibilities. The Japanese noodle soup contains broth, ramen noodles, and toppings. It came to Japan in the late 19th century, brought by Chinese immigrants who set up stalls and sold it as street food. It wasn’t long before Japanese restaurants adopted the food, producing their own versions of the soup.

After WW II, the Japanese market was flooded with wheat because of the rice shortage, making it easier to feed the population with wheat ramen. Therefore, these popular noodles usually contain wheat flour, water, kansui (alkaline water), salt, and often eggs, giving them their unique texture and color. However, you don’t need to fret because you can find vegan ramen.

The Chinese pulled their ramen, hence the name meaning “pulled noodles” in Mandarin. On the other, in Japan, ramen noodles are cut.

However, if you want the best vegan instant ramen, you will want to know more about its history. The inventor of instant ramen, Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin Foods, perfected and marketed his flash-fried noodles that people could rehydrate with water and seasoning powder in 1958. Americans keenly embraced instant ramen noodles when introduced to them in 1973. Ando sold them in styrofoam cups, assuming most Americans would find it easier to make instant ramen.

Quick and Delicious Vegan Ramen

What you can make with a packet of the best vegan ramen is impressive. Instant ramen is affordable, but it’s not only for those on a budget. You can turn them into a veggie-heavy meal that is nutritious and flavorful.

It all starts with a packet of your favorite vegan instant ramen. Use flavorings, vegetables, and tofu to make a 10-minute Vegan Ramen that makes two large or four smaller servings to keep in your refrigerator for up to four days.


  • 1 T. cooking oil (sesame oil gives a nutty flavor)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • A bit of minced ginger (optional)
  • Add spice like harissa, hot sauce, chili oil, or some kimchi (these are optional)
  • 6 cups of water (Add a bit more or less, depending on how soupy you like your ramen)
  • ½ cup chopped frozen broccoli, shredded cabbage, bok choy, or snow peas
  • ½ cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup pressed and diced extra firm tofu
  • 3 packages of instant ramen noodle flavorings. Use two packets if you want a more subtle flavor. You can replace one packet with a scoop of miso paste for its umami flavor.
  • Toppings for finishing the dish can include fresh scullions, crumbled nori, sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, fried shallots, etc.


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add your vegetables and tofu. Once it comes to a boil again, cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in ramen noodles, cooking them to the packet instructions.
  5. Add toppings and serve immediately.

If you want a faster recipe than the one above, why not try this recipe from That Vegan Babe? You add everything to a container before mixing it with hot water.

Top Vegan Ramen Brands

When looking for the best vegan instant ramen brands, it has become easier than it ever was before. Most food stores carry at least one option.

Some brands worth trying include:

  • Trader Joe’s Miso Ramen Soup
  • Lotus Foods Jade Pearl Rice Ramen Wakame Miso Soup or Tom Yum Rice Ramen Noodle Soup
  • McDougall’s Vegan Miso Ramen Noodle Soup
  • Nissin Top Ramen in Soy Sauce or Chili
  • Koyo has several flavors, including Wakame Seaweed, Shiitake Mushroom, Asian Vegetable, and Tofu Miso.

These are just a few of the available vegan ramen brands. Explore other brands or get more ideas here from One Green Planet, but don’t buy unless you thoroughly review the ingredient list. Remember to avoid those with vague ingredients and those with a sticker that says “Natural Ingredients” unless you can verify what they contain.

Health Benefits of Vegan Instant Ramen

Vegan instant ramen can offer several health benefits compared to non-vegan options:

Lower in Saturated Fat – Traditional ramen often contains fatty meat-based broths, contributing to higher saturated fat content. Vegan instant ramen contains vegetable-based broths, making them lower in saturated fat.

Rich in Vegetables – Many vegan instant ramen varieties include dehydrated vegetables or vegetable-based flavorings, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These can support overall health and digestion.

Reduced Cholesterol—Traditional ramen contains Animal products such as meat and eggs, which can contribute to higher cholesterol levels. Vegan instant ramen eliminates cholesterol, promoting heart health.

Lower Sodium Content – Instant ramen is notorious for its high sodium content, which is bad for heart health and controlling blood pressure. Some vegan options are lower in sodium.

Allergen-Friendly – Vegan instant ramen is free from common allergens like dairy, eggs, and seafood.

Environmental Impact – Choosing vegan options can have positive environmental implications, as plant-based ingredients typically have a lower carbon footprint than animal products.

Weight Management – Vegan instant ramen can be a lower-calorie option than traditional varieties, mainly if it contains fewer fatty ingredients.

However, it’s essential to note that not all vegan instant ramen options are equally nutritious. Some contain high sodium levels, artificial additives, or refined carbohydrates. Read the labels to verify the ingredients and choose products with whole food ingredients and minimal processing. Additionally, incorporating fresh vegetables or protein sources like tofu or tempeh can enhance the meal’s nutritional value.

Easy Vegan Ramen Recipes

You don’t need only to enjoy a packet of ramen noodles as a soup. For a quick dinner, you can cook versatile packs of the best vegan instant ramen into other substantial meals. Try these easy vegan ramen recipes, whether you feel like a creamy and flavorful ramen broth or a more ambitious pasta dish.

These ideas from Food by Maria and The Cheap Lazy Vegan provide four easy vegan ramen recipes, adding vegan instant ramen hacks for preparing an easy, fast, but delicious meal.

The Perfect Vegan Ramen Toppings

The perfect vegan ramen toppings can add flavor, texture, and nutritional value to your bowl of the best vegan instant ramen. Consider these options:

  • Tofu sliced, marinated, pan-fried, or baked until golden brown adds protein and a satisfying texture.
  • Mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, or cremini) roasted or sautéed provide an umami flavor and a meaty texture.
  • Nori or wakame seaweed, dried or rehydrated, adds some ocean flavor and provides essential minerals like iodine.
  • Green onions finely chopped add a fresh, oniony flavor, vitamin K, antioxidants, and a pop of color.
  • Bean sprouts provide vitamins, minerals, texture, and a refreshing taste.
  • Sweet corn kernels add fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, sweetness, and color.
  • Leafy greens like spinach or bok choy added to the hot broth will wilt before serving, adding vitamins, minerals, and flavor.
  • Chili oil or chili flakes add a spicy kick when drizzled over ramen.
  • Toasted sesame seeds provide their nuttiness and a satisfying crunch while being a healthy source of healthy fats, protein, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Squeeze some fresh lime juice over your ramen just before eating to brighten the flavors and add a citrusy zing.

Add toppings according to your flavor preferences, creating your perfect bowl of vegan ramen!

Vegan Ramen: A Budget-Friendly Option

Instant vegan ramen can be a budget-friendly option compared to dining out or preparing elaborate homemade meals. Here’s how to get the most out of the best vegan instant ramen when working on a budget:

  1. Instant ramen noodles are typically inexpensive, and many vegan varieties are competitively priced compared to non-vegan options. Further, reduce the cost per serving by buying in bulk or on sale.
  2. Vegan instant ramen often requires minimal additional ingredients, mainly when it includes dehydrated vegetables and seasoning packets. These help you save money compared to purchasing multiple fresh ingredients for homemade ramen.
  3. Vegan instant ramen is a convenient meal option that requires minimal preparation time, no unique ingredients, and no fancy gadgets.
  4. You can customize instant vegan ramen with budget-friendly toppings such as tofu, frozen vegetables, canned beans, or leftovers from previous meals. These enhance your ramen’s flavor and nutritional value without breaking the bank.
  5. Instant ramen typically comes in single-serving portions, helping you avoid food waste by preparing what you need.

Tips for Enhancing Vegan Ramen Flavors

Enhancing the flavor of vegan instant ramen can turn a simple meal into a delicious and satisfying experience. You can improve the flavors of even the best vegan instant ramen in the following ways:

  • Use ramen with high-quality broth options for a richer flavor. Look for varieties with natural ingredients and spices for a more authentic taste.
  • Incorporate fresh vegetables like spinach, sliced mushrooms, shredded carrots, or bell peppers to add texture, flavor, and nutritional value to your ramen. Sauté or blanch them before adding them to the broth.
  • Experiment with other seasonings for a richer flavor, including soy sauce, tamari, miso paste, sriracha, sesame oil, or rice vinegar.
  • Boost the aroma and flavor of your ramen by adding aromatic ingredients like minced garlic, ginger, or shallots to the broth. Sauté them briefly in oil before adding the broth.
  • Garnish your ramen with fresh herbs like cilantro, Thai basil, or green onions for freshness and color. For added texture and flavor, you can also sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, nori flakes, or furikake (Japanese seasoning).
  • Add protein and substance to your ramen by incorporating tofu or tempeh. Marinate and pan-fry or bake them before adding them to your bowl for extra flavor and texture.
  • Enhance the savory flavor of your ramen with umami-rich ingredients like nutritional yeast, vegan Worcestershire sauce, or mushroom powder.
  • Brighten the flavors of your ramen with some acidity from fresh lime or lemon juice before serving.
  • After adding the noodles, allow the ramen to simmer gently for a few extra minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavor combinations and toppings to find what you enjoy most.

Vegan Ramen: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Ramen has earned its status as the ultimate comfort food for several reasons. Firstly, its warm, savory broth provides a sense of nourishment and coziness, especially on cold or rainy days. The soft or chewy noodles offer a comforting texture that feels familiar and satisfying.

Moreover, ramen’s versatility allows endless customization to suit your taste buds and dietary restrictions.

Beyond its culinary appeal, ramen carries cultural significance and nostalgia for many people, enhancing its quality as a comfort food. It’s often associated with fond memories of shared meals with friends or family, late-night cravings, or moments of self-indulgence after a long day.

Whether enjoyed in a bustling ramen shop or quickly preparing the best vegan instant ramen at home, it can soothe the body and the soul, making it a beloved comfort food that transcends borders and cultures.

Key Takeaways for Enjoying Vegan Ramen

1. Versatility and Accessibility

  • Vegan ramen is highly versatile and easily accessible, making it a fantastic option for anyone looking to enjoy a quick, healthy meal. With the rise of vegan diets, more brands and varieties of vegan ramen are available in stores, offering a wide range of flavors and ingredients that cater to different tastes and dietary needs.

2. Health Benefits

  • Opting for vegan ramen can lead to health benefits such as lower saturated fat intake, no cholesterol, and increased vegetable intake. Depending on the brand and preparation, vegan ramen can also be a healthier option with lower sodium levels.

3. Environmental Impact

  • Choosing vegan ramen contributes positively to environmental sustainability. Plant-based diets have a lower carbon footprint than diets that include animal products, making vegan ramen an eco-friendly choice.

4. Budget-Friendly Meals

  • Vegan ramen proves to be an economical meal choice. It’s typically priced competitively, even with vegan labels, and offers a satisfying solution to meal planning without breaking the bank. Bulk purchases and minimal additional ingredients further reduce costs.

5. Customization Opportunities

  • One of the joys of vegan ramen is the ability to customize it with various toppings and flavors. From tofu and mushrooms to fresh herbs and spices, you can create a personalized bowl that is both nutritious and delicious.

6. Comfort Food Appeal

  • Despite its simplicity, ramen is celebrated globally as a comfort food. Its warm broth and hearty ingredients offer solace and satisfaction, making it a comforting choice for chilly days or when you need a quick and soothing meal.

7. Culinary Creativity

  • Vegan ramen encourages culinary creativity, allowing you to experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, ramen provides a fun and easy canvas to express your culinary skills.

Conclusion Vegan ramen is more than just a meal; it’s a versatile, healthy, and comforting food option that suits various tastes and lifestyles. Whether you’re vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, vegan ramen offers a delightful and satisfying experience. Enjoy the process of personalizing your ramen and revel in the delicious results.

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