My Favorite Convenient, Single-Serving Meal of All Time

Plus, a list of tried-and-true toppings to bulk it up.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money off these affiliate links. Learn more.
April 10, 2020

Related To:

By far, my favorite single-serving meal is ramen. It’s convenient and just the right amount of food – not to mention, totally customizable. If I could, I would eat it for every single meal. It’s hard to get bored when there are tons of brands and flavors to choose from – one of my go-tos is Nongshim’s Gourmet Spicy Shin Ramyun. But since a bowl comprised only of noodles and broth is not a very well-balanced meal (as much as I’d like to believe it is), here's how to bulk up your next packet of instant ramen. Try any combination of these tried-and-true toppings:


Photo by: Jamesmcq24/Getty



Trust me on this. Cheese and spicy ramen, especially, are a match made in heaven. Top a bowl of hot noodles with a slice of American cheese right before serving and watch it melt right in. Shredded cheese works just as well.


Sriracha pretty much belongs on everything, ramen included.


There are so many ways to add an egg to your noodles. Fry one up and lay it on top of a finished bowl. Or soft boil one and slice it in half like they do at the restaurants. Or just crack a raw one into piping hot bowl (the broth will cook the egg) and swirl it into the soup for a creamier, more protein-packed meal.


This spicy fermented cabbage adds some zing (and probiotics) to super savory broths.


Photo by: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Justin Sullivan/Getty


Slices or strips of Spam bring satisfying heft to your meal while keeping things quick and convenient.


But if Spam isn’t your style, try strips of bacon or bacon bits.


Garlic can do no wrong. Add minced garlic to amp up the flavor of powder seasoning. Garlic powder works, too.


All it takes is a few thin strips of fresh ginger or a dash of ground ginger to crank up spiciness.


While there’s probably already some dried scallions in that seasoning packet, a small handful of fresh, sliced scallion will brighten the taste of your ramen.


Photo by: Sarawut Kaewboonrueang / EyeEm/Getty

Sarawut Kaewboonrueang / EyeEm/Getty

Enoki Mushroom

A small bunch of Enoki mushrooms will bring your instant meal a little closer to what you could get at a restaurant.

Bok Choy

Drop bok choy into the pot while your noodles boil, and serve with the finished bowl.


Fresh cooked corn off the cob, or corn straight from the can, is so easy to drop into your broth. Corn won’t drastically change the flavor of your ramen, but it can bring some much-needed texture.

Sesame Oil

Think of a splash of sesame oil as a little extra hit of umami.

Peanut Butter

A spoonful of peanut butter might sound strange, but it’s the base of a makeshift peanut sauce. Reserve a bit of noodle water to thin out the PB before serving.


Photo by: Ruta Lipskija / EyeEm/Getty

Ruta Lipskija / EyeEm/Getty


Kylie Jenner does it. Butter, garlic powder and an egg.

Related Links:

Next Up

This Is the One Instant Ramen Hack You Absolutely Need

No one likes a watery bowl of noodles.

I Tried Cup Noodles’ Most Mind-Boggling Flavor to Date

The brand’s Everything Bagel instant ramen isn’t just sprinkled with seasoning – it’s creamy, too.

How to Make Ramen Eggs (Ajitama)

All you need is six ingredients, including the eggs.

The Best Low Calorie Noodles (That Aren't Zoodles)

These lower calorie options are great store-bought ways to get your noodle fix.

How Many Almonds in a Serving?

One serving of almonds equals 23 nuts, but if you're not one to count up your snacks, use this visual guide to help you control portions.

We'll Take This Sheet Pan Shrimp Dinner Over Scampi All Summer

Don't worry, there's still plenty of garlic butter.

4 Make-Ahead Freezer Chicken Stir-Fry Meals

Meal prep like a pro (and save yourself some sanity during the week) with these easy freezer dinners.