As college students we’ve all had the moment when you realize there’s nothing to eat except ramen noodles. After the 20th packet, those things can get pretty old.

Here are five ideas to transform those dull, waxy noodles into gourmet dishes fit for a king’s dorm room.

 

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Ramen Grilled-Cheese Sandwich

Cook time: 20 minutes

Meal cost: $1.25

Ingredients: 2 packages of ramen noodles

1 egg

2 slices bacon

3 slices cheese

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (to taste)

1 tablespoon butter

With a rather interesting look, this oddball sandwich earns its namesake unconventionally. Ramen noodles are boiled then grilled up to simulate pillow-soft bread, somewhat resembling sourdough. It seems far reaching on the surface, but the texture is deceptively bread-like. The ingredients compliment each other well. The Sriracha blends pleasantly with the bacon adding a great mix of meat and heat. The mozzarella binds it all together.

 

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Chicken Ramen Alfredo

Cook time: 10 minutes

Meal cost: $3.00

2 packages of ramen noodles

5 pre-cooked grilled chicken strips

4 ounces cream cheese

1 cup finely grated parmesan/pecorino romano cheese

garlic seasoning (to taste)

This might not be Olive Garden, but if cooked correctly, this ramen dish could have you fooled for the real thing. It’s creamy and savory. However, if it’s not eaten right away it loses much of its appeal.

 

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Spicy Ramen Mac and Cheese

Cook time: 10 minutes

Meal cost: $1.25

2 packages of Ramen noodles

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1½ cups milk

2 cups pepper jack cheese (shredded)

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

½ teaspoon salt

This plate is definitely cheesy and moderately spicy, those two elements combined will make you forget the meal’s frugality. The noodles are hardly detectable, they act as more of a catalyst for cheese and spices. This dish is good if you want to forget that you’re eating ramen.

 

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Chicken Pad Thai Ramen

Cook time: 15 minutes

Meal cost: $3.00

2 packages of Ramen noodles

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

5 pre-cooked grilled chicken strips

1 egg

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/2  cup peanut butter

4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

Although this peanut butter-laced creation is definitely not the real deal, it works as a distant substitute. This Thai-inspired imposter is good down to the last Sriracha-soaked morsel.

 

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Chocolate Covered Ramen Bites

Meal cost: $3.00

1 package of Ramen noodles

8 squares of dipping chocolate

sprinkles (optional)

At first mention of chocolate dipped ramen, one could only imagine this is a surprisingly rewarding treat. The German chocolate is powerful in driving this as a contending snack food. It’s kind of like a chocolate-covered pretzel, without the hint of salt.

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