Who doesn’t love ramen? It may not be gourmet fare, but when you are in need of a cheap and easy meal, vegan ramen is hard to beat. Just add the flavor pack, some water, pop it into the microwave, and it is ready to eat.
Ramen is an especially good option for vegans because the noodles themselves are completely vegan. Unfortunately, you do have to watch out for the flavor packets, which frequently contain powdered or dehydrated eggs, chicken, or beef. This is why it’s important to always read the labels before purchasing ramen, since even a seemingly “vegetarian” flavor might be seasoned with some not-so-vegan-friendly ingredients.
5 Verified Vegan Ramen Brands
Fortunately, more and more food companies are committing to going cruelty-free, and brands that produce ramen are no exception. To help you save time at the grocery store, we have compiled our 5 favorite vegan ramen brands with our favorite flavors from each brand.
1. Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods Ramen Chicken Soup with Noodles
Yes, you read that correctly. Our first pick of vegan ramen flavors is chicken soup! Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods has a variety of vegan flavors, but we like the Chicken Soup with Noodles flavor because it brings the comforting hot chicken soup flavor that many of us grew up with but without the cruelty. You will also appreciate this brand as a healthier alternative to regular grocery-store ramen. The noodles are made from organic ingredients and it’s low-calorie while providing a nice serving of healthy protein and fiber.
2. Nongshim Soon Noodle Soup, Veggie
What we really enjoy about Nongshim Soon Noodle Soup is that the brand is registered with the Vegan Society, so you know when you purchase any of their flavors you are supporting an organization that is 100 percent committed to supporting a vegan lifestyle. While the Veggie flavor is a bit more calorie-laden, it is an excellent source of protein and great taste. You should be aware, however, that this is Korean ramen. This means that even the mild flavor will be a bit on the spicy side, so if you have a sensitive palate you might want to go easy with the flavor packet at first.
3. Crystal Noodle Soup, Spicy Tofu
The Crystal Noodle Soup Spicy Tofu flavor is for the true spicy-lovers among you. Rest assured, Crystal Noodle Soup also has several equally delicious milder flavors. The best part of this brand is that all of their flavors are gluten-free, making delicious ramen even more accessible to a wider variety of dietary needs. This vegan ramen is both low-calorie and rich in Vitamin A, which is fantastic for maintaining healthy skin, while the spicy flavor will help boost your metabolism.
4. Lotus Foods Rice Ramen Noodles, Millet and Brown Rice with Miso Soup
By crafting their noodles from rice rather than wheat, Lotus Foods adds even more variety to the gluten-free vegan ramen world by using traditional Japanese ingredients and flavors. The Miso Soup flavor is a case in point. This low-calorie ramen is a fantastic source of protein and also stands out as being much lower in sodium than your typical ramen brand while still delivering quality taste.
5. Koyo Vegan Organic Noodle Ramen: Garlic Pepper, Lemongrass Ginger, Mushroom
You will love Koyo because they are dedicated to utilizing fresh, organic ingredients with absolutely no MSG. You also have the option to buy a 3-flavor sampler rather than committing to buying one flavor in bulk.
For those of you who really need some more protein in your life, this brand is the richest source of protein while also providing a bit of potassium.
3 Common Ramen Brands That Aren’t Vegan:
We all know the stereotype of the broke college student living off of ramen. More non-vegans than vegans eat ramen, so unless a brand is explicitly vegan-friendly, you should tread carefully when purchasing. These are three popular brands that you should either avoid or pay special attention to the ingredients list:
1. Nissin Top Ramen
Nissin Top Ramen is perhaps one of the most common ramen brands, so we feel like we have to say a few words about it. As a whole, this is not a vegan-friendly brand. The only two exceptions are the Oriental and the Chili flavors, though by purchasing these flavors you are still contributing to a brand that uses animals in the majority of its products.
2. Maruchan Ramen
While the Oriental flavor is safe with Top Ramen, the Maruchan Oriental flavor is not. In fact, the majority of the flavors contain animal products even if the packaging doesn’t explicitly say “chicken” or “beef-flavored,” so read the labels carefully or just opt for a different brand.
3. Sapporo Ichiban
This is another brand in which you should treat carefully, as even the flavors that seem like they should be vegan frequently contain powdered chicken broth and beef stock. Once again, read the labels carefully, but don’t get your hopes up.
We hope you enjoyed this list of our favorite vegan ramen brands, as well as our advice on common brands that you should avoid. It can be difficult at times to find vegan-friendly brands, but living a cruelty-free lifestyle is both possible and worth it. If you have tried any of these brands or know of any vegan brands that we missed, please let us know in the comments below.
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