From boxed pasta, instant ramen, and frozen foods, it’s part of our natural survival as college students that we have to cave in every once in a while. Here is how you can take your instant food to the next level. 

Additions make a world of a difference when it comes to upping the instant food game and tricking people into thinking it was completely made from scratch! Here are some things you should always keep on hand to easily add dimension to your instant foods and transform them to another level:

Green onions

Green onions compliment pretty much anything. I swear by green onions. From sandwiches to pasta and especially instant ramen, they really add an amazing garnish and flavor to everything. I cut up green onions and place them in a bag to garnish with practically everything I eat for the week. 


Eggs add amazing flavor to ramen! You can even make it fancy by making a half-boiled egg. These also make an amazing addition to a boxed pasta to add more depth and protein. Taking some instant rice and simply cooking it with an egg and you’ve got fried rice!

Green onions + egg + instant ramen = perfection! University of Guelph's MacKenzie's ramen article uses nori, feel free to add some as well!  

Frozen or canned vegetables

Having these non-perishable veggies are especially important as it’s often difficult to afford or finish fresh vegetables before they go bad. Having a small mixed collection of either frozen or canned veggies will last you much longer and make it easy to always have an excuse to eat vegetables! My favorite thing to buy is a mixed bag of frozen carrots, peas, green beans, and corn since they are so versatile and pair well with most cuisines. I also highly recommend buying bags of spinach or kale to keep frozen and use throughout the week. I add all of these to the essential three carbs: ramen, rice, and pasta. They add so much dimension to these plain dishes and serve as a way to incorporate much-needed vegetables in a simple way.


These are vital. They can take a boring and plain instant pasta or rice into an incredible dish! Besides the typical salt and pepper, everyone should own garlic powder and chili flakes. 

Garlic powder adds the perfect amount of garlic, savory flavor without being too salty or overpowering. I dump this stuff on anything and everything. It's important that garlic powder is used instead of garlic salt to be able to really hone in on the flavor without the added salt!

Red pepper flakes compliment pizza, pasta, and anything else you could possibly want. The reality is that if something tastes mediocre, it tastes so much better when it's got a kick to it. 

These are only suggestions and at the end of the day, it really is up to you! Feel free to get creative and fancy with these additions and impress your friends!