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Slow Cooker Beef Ramen Noodles

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We’re beefing up your ramen noodle packages by adding juicy ground beef, carrots, red peppers, and green onions to a crockpot to simmer in a flavorful, sweet and savory sauce. Slow cooker beef ramen is a Japanese-inspired dish that will satisfy even the hungriest teens!

bowl of beef ramen with a fork lifting a bite.

Beef Ramen Noodles

Slow cooker beef ramen is traditionally made with tender chunks of beef, much like Mongolian beef, but we’re making ours with seared ground beef instead. It’s a bit of a shortcut and cost-effective which is one of the best parts about Ramen noodles!

They have always been a budget-friendly way to make hearty soup. Yes, it’s those same packages of noodles you poured boiling water over when you lived in the dorms during college days.

Do you remember when you blew your food budget at the beginning of the month and were too afraid to call home? Yeah, those.

Little did you know you could make a delicious noodle bowl without the need for those little flavor packets that are so high in sodium.

With ground beef, veggies, and a few extra pantry items, this is one way to make a cost-effective and cozy bowl of soup that rivals anything you’d order at a Japanese restaurant.

A lot has changed since college! 😉

Why you’ll love Slow Cooker Beef Ramen

Easy to make – Brown the beef and toss everything but the noodles into the slow cooker. The noodles cook super fast so they get added in at the end. It’s that easy.

Super satisfying – Not just for college students! A perfectly flavorful, fully loaded, slurpable bowl of beef ramen noodles is served! Great for busy nights and it’s one the whole family will enjoy.

Cost-effective – If you’ve stocked up on packages of Ramen noodles or have a ton of frozen ground beef you have saved up, this is a great way to use them both. Toss whatever veggies you have in the fridge and avoid waste.

overhead shot of a bowl of beef ramen noodles.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Slow Cooker – A 6 quart slow cooker is standard for most crock pot recipes. This is my favorite.
  • Veggie Chopper
  • Ladle – This ramen is less soupy, more hearty, but it’s still easily served with a ladle.

Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Ground Beef – Use extra lean ground beef so there isn’t an excess of fat. I like to use ground sirloin 93/7.
  • Veggies – Matchstick carrots and sliced red bell pepper add beautiful color to this dish. The carrots and red bell pepper are on the sweeter side and pair well with the sugary elements in this dish.
  • Aromatics – Roughly chopped scallions (aka green onions) and minced garlic.
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce – A slightly salty, umami flavor that gives the beef and flavorful broth a darker color. Popular in Asian cooking, it adds so much flavor!
  • Brown Sugar – There’s something so complex about the balance of sweet and salty in slow cooker beef ramen. It’s not at all overpowering, but necessary!
  • Liquid Stock – I like to use chicken stock but if you want a more robust beef flavor, go ahead and use beef broth.
  • Ramen Noodles – You’ll need 2 packs of these but you can discard the seasoning packet & we’re going to ignore the package instructions. We just want the noodles. These can be found in your local grocery store, Asian food market, and even some dollar stores.
  • Optional Garnishes – Sesame seeds for a great textural element and more scallions.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make ramen noodles with ground beef.

How to make Slow Cooker Beef Ramen

  1. Step One: Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. If necessary, drain any excess grease. If you’re using extra lean ground beef there shouldn’t be too much.
  2. Step Two: Add the cooked beef to the basin of your slow cooker then add the carrots, red bell pepper, and scallions (saving some for garnish).
  3. Step Three: Whisk together the garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and chicken stock and pour that into the slow cooker as well. Stir to combine.
  4. Step Four: Cook on low for 4-6 hours and with 30 minutes left in the cooking time, add the dry Ramen noodles. Stir them around frequently so they are covered in liquid and cook evenly until tender.
  5. Step Five: Serve topped with additional scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
collage of 4 photos showing the process of making beef ramen noodles in a slow cooker.

What to serve with Beef Ramen

Traditional ramen is served with soft-boiled eggs and lime wedges, otherwise it’s completely satisfying on its own.

Try some air fried edamame with a sprinkling of salt, a side of dumplings or pot stickers, or a crispy refreshing salad.

You could always just enjoy it with a side of bread to sop up the juices.

If you want to make your meal a little extra special, provide chopsticks for people to use for the noodles.

Possible Substitutions/Additions

  • It wouldn’t exactly be ramen anymore, but you could skip the noodles and serve it over rice or in lettuce leaves.
  • Swap out the beef for a lean meat like ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version. Or, try my slow cooker chicken ramen that uses chicken thighs!
  • Add red pepper flakes or sriracha for a spicy kick.
  • Add some fish sauce or oyster sauce to the broth for another layer of flavor.
  • Finish it with a squirt of lime juice to really brighten it up.
  • Fresh ginger in the soup or pickled ginger on top is always a great pairing with soy sauce and beef.
  • If you like a lot of broth, only add one pack of noodles.

How to reheat and store leftovers

How to store leftovers

Keep leftovers in an airtight container. Be sure to wait until it’s completely cooled before closing the lid. When you don’t, you trap the heat which causes excess moisture. This can affect the flavor when it’s watered down.

How long will it last in the fridge?

Store cooked and cooled beef ramen noodles in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to reheat it

The microwave is great if you’re short on time, or the stovetop over medium-low heat.

spoon lifting a scoop of beef ramen noodles from a slow cooker.

FAQs

Is this a good make ahead dish?

Definitely! If you’re wanting to cut down on the time you can brown the beef the day before. You can also get ahead by chopping veggies and having them ready to go.

The entire soup can be made the day before and then reheated, or you can make the soup without the noodles.

When you’re ready to serve, place dry noodles in a bowl and pour hot broth overtop and let it sit for a few minutes.

Can you put raw beef in the slow cooker?

Technically you can but for this recipe, I don’t recommend it. Browning the beef first gives it so much added flavor and caramelization that you just don’t get adding it in raw and then slow cooking it.

If you want a start from raw option, try my slow cooker beef & broccoli.

What cut of beef is good for ramen?

Whether you use ground beef or strips of beef, I’d say top sirloin is the best. It’s lean and has a ton of flavor.

I like to use 93/7 or 90/10 ground sirloin so it’s not greasy.

What other vegetables can I add to beef ramen?

Toss in some extra veggies or swap them completely. Bok choy, mushrooms, bean sprouts, or snow peas are perfect.

Any fast-cooking veggies should be added later on to avoid them getting mushy.

fork taking a bite of beefy ramen noodles from a white bowl.

Need more noodle recipes? Try these:

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Noodles

Easy 30-Minute Chicken Noodle Soup

Slow Cooker Turkey Noodle Soup

Click here for my entire collection of soup recipes.

bowl of beef ramen with a fork lifting a bite.

Slow Cooker Beef Ramen

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
We're beefing up your ramen noodle packages by adding juicy ground beef, carrots, red peppers, and green onions to a crockpot to simmer in a flavorful, sweet and savory sauce. Slow cooker beef ramen is a Japanese-inspired dish that will satisfy even the hungriest teens! |
4.75 from 685 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese, Japanese
Servings 4 servings
Calories 345 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef I recommend sirloin (93/7)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 medium red bell pepper sliced
  • 2-3 large scallions roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 14.25 ounces chicken stock or beef stock
  • 2 packs ramen noodles
  • sesame seeds optional
  • scallions optional

Instructions
 

  • To a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef until no longer pink. Drain any grease, if necessary.
  • Pour the cooked beef into the basin of a 6 quart slow cooker.
  • To the slow cooker add the carrots, red bell pepper and scallions.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and chicken stock.
  • Pour the sauce into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
  • Approximately 30 minutes before serving, add the dry ramen noodles. [discard the seasoning packets, you only need the noodles.]
  • Stir those around frequently to make sure they get all covered and cook evenly.
  • When the noodles are tender, serve, topping with additional scallions and some sesame seeds.

Video

Notes

  • You can swap out the beef for ground turkey or chicken.
  • Add red pepper flakes or sriracha for a spicy kick. 
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • This recipe originally called for 1/3 cup brown sugar but after hearing from many that it was too sweet, I scaled it back to 2 Tablespoons. That said, if you prefer sweeter, you can use up to 1/3 cup.
Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 31gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1410mgPotassium: 857mgFiber: 2gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 6405IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Lindsay Simpkins says

    Do you have an IP option for this??

    • Sarah says

      I’m about to test that out. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Marianne T Rhea says

      Looking forward to trying this. Was anyone successful with an IP conversion? I always like to have both options.

  2. Michelle says

    5 stars
    Really good. I saved some time and bought a bag of frozen green peppers and onions. Next time I am going to add some Red pepper flakes.

  3. Emily says

    Excited to try this!! I read through the recipe and some other comments, I’m planning to use up some vegetables on hand and add some fresh broccoli (45 min) and mushrooms too. Would mushrooms be considered quick cooking too? If so I’ll add both for the last 45 minutes. Thank you!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, 45 minutes should be good for the mushrooms.

  4. Jerel says

    5 stars
    I made this with a pork/venison blend and beef broth. I added chopped red onion to the mix of carrots and red pepper. I topped with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. It was amazing, a repeat recipe! Only change I might make is to add a little garlic chile sauce to the mix for a touch of heat.

  5. Melanie says

    4 stars
    I made the recipe as written. It was delicious and also toddler approved. My only complaint is that even with the low sodium soy sauce, it is still very salty. Almost overly salty. When I make it next time, I will only use one quarter or 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce.

  6. Molly says

    Is there a way to convert this to stovetop??

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, just brown the meat, put the sauce together & simmer until the veggies are tender.

  7. Tinamarie Rinkiewicz says

    Why cooking it for so long in slow cooker? Shouldn’t you cook it for at least an hour or so on low, just to get the noodles tender?

    • Melissa Williams says

      The noodles take about 10-20 minutes to soften.

  8. Kendra says

    Can you cook on high?

  9. Jodi says

    5 stars
    I made this on the stove top instead of the slow cooker. I made the recipe exactly as directed except I added one of the seasoning packets from the Chili flavored Ramen noodle packs. It gave the recipe a slight bit of heat and added lots of great flavor. I don’t care for spicy food and the chili packet didn’t make it spicy, it just kicked it up a notch. My husband and son who assumed they wouldn’t like it loved it!

  10. Diana says

    How much brown sugar do you recommend. I see it in the picture for the ingredients but it isn’t listed in the recipe.

    • Melissa Williams says

      It is listed in the ingredients 🙂 2 Tablespoons.

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