I was never a huge Cup of Noodles fan (you know, the instant noodles people buy for $1 at the grocery store). They’re often too salty and they don’t typically have enough ingredients other than noodles to satisfy me.
But I do love a simple, comforting noodle soup that doesn’t involve much cooking, kind of like this meal prep! Consider this my take on a popular shortcut food.
What you’re looking at is a carefully layered jar with soup stock paste, veggies, tofu, noodles, and cilantro. Just add hot water and BOOM! You’ve got soup. This meal was inspired by The Kitchn and simplified for lazy cooks all over the world.
Like all Workweek Lunch meals, these instant noodles are easy to change up!
What’s in the base of this instant noodle soup?
I tested this with several bases and liked the garlic soup stock paste the most. The soup stock paste was found next to the bouillon cubes in my general grocery store and it’s actually vegan! It came in different flavors too.
You can also use a crushed-up bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons of curry paste, soy sauce mixed with chili garlic sauce, and miso paste if you can find it. I would have loved to use miso paste but it only came in a giant tub. The soup stock paste was smaller and will keep for a while.
I used red curry paste in one of my jars and I can’t say it came out great. I may not have used enough, or it needed to be mixed with other flavors!
What veggies should I add to instant noodle soup?
I recommend using frozen peas, carrots, corn and sliced mushrooms in this soup as fillers. Other veggies that would work:
- bok choy, chopped up
- leftover cooked veggies
- broccoli, chopped finely
- cauliflower, chopped finely
- raw kale or spinach, which will simply wilt when hot water is added
What proteins to use in instant noodle soup?
For protein, I used uncooked tofu, cubed. You can use leftover grilled chicken or cooked beef and pork too! Edamame would also be an excellent choice for this meal.
You can also add a hard or soft-boiled egg to the meal to make it more like a riff on ramen!
Noodle options for this soup
I used Banza chickpea pasta (spaghetti) for these meals and it worked out perfectly.
The sky is the limit with the noodles. You can use your favorite spaghetti, black bean or edamame noodles or more authentic rice noodles for this soup. Buckwheat (soba) would work, too.
All you have to do is cook them according to the package before adding them to the jar or container.
I used cilantro and chopped green onion (my favorite) as toppings. Crushed nuts, bean sprouts, or lemon/lime wedges would be good too! A dash of hot sauce on top isn’t a bad idea, either.
You absolutely don’t need to use a jar for this recipe to work. You can also use a normal meal prep container! You just have to get creative with how you layer your soup.
Storage & reheating notes:
These instant noodles will keep in the fridge for up to six days. You don’t need to reheat them! You only need to add boiling hot water to the jar, mix it up, and then pour it into a bowl or just eat it right out of the jar.
These instant noodles are not freezer-friendly. You can keep them at room temp for 24 hours if you don’t have a fridge (I tested this!).