Wheat, whole wheat, gluten-free or even spiralized veggies – whatever type of noodles you prefer, this is the month to put them on the menu and slurp them up! Check out these fun, frugal and yummy ways to celebrate National Noodle Month.
Add a cheap protein. On average, an adult will get about 16% of their daily recommended protein intake in one cup of spaghetti noodles. So, to round out a meal that relies heavily on pasta, make sure to add in some extra protein – and consider the cheap and humble bean when you do!1
Not only are beans a very affordable and rich source of protein, but they’re also high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Plus, beans can help keep you feeling full longer.2
Get fishy. Canned fish can be a great and healthy addition to pasta – and since fish packs a flavour punch, it’s a good way to liven up an otherwise bland plate of noodles. Stock up when your favourite varieties go on sale and try out recipes like this quick canned fish pasta, brown pasta with tuna balls or mackerel pantry pasta with a no-cook sauce.
Upgrade the humble ramen noodle. They usually cost less than a pound per package, so ramen noodles are a great base for a delicious and affordable meal using items you may already have in your fridge or pantry. The flavour packet that comes with the noodles is often very high in sodium, so you might consider swapping it out for a low-sodium broth or even homemade stock. Then add vegetables (frozen works great here!), protein such as hardboiled eggs, chicken, white beans or tofu; your favourite herbs; and hot sauce to your liking.
You could even boil a few packages of noodles and add a can of tomato sauce for a cheap spaghetti dinner! Check out Budget Byte$ for some additional inspiration.
Soup it up. Chicken noodle soup is a classic, but there is always room to expand your horizons! Have a look at this list of 40+ soup recipes from Delish that feature noodles, and get creative with your soups! Chicken parm soup, wonton soup, ginger pork noodle soup and Swedish meatball soup? Yes, please!
Go international. Try noodle recipes from around the globe and see if you can add some new favourite dishes to your monthly meal plan. You’ll find 25 international noodle recipes at the Spruce Eats, or 40 of 2foodtrippers’ favourite noodle dishes from dozens of countries around the world.
Elevate your mac and cheese. Boxed mac and cheese is a cheap and cheerful meal on its own, but adding extra ingredients can make it even better! Shredded chicken, cubed ham, browned ground beef, sausage or even a can of tuna will add protein, while blanched broccoli, peas, cauliflower or spinach will give a hit of freshness and up the nutrient content.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try adding half a cup of your favourite salsa and some canned black beans to give it a Mexican flare. Want more inspiration? Check out Today for 13 delicious ways to mix up your boxed mac and cheese.
Enjoy your just desserts. Noodles for dessert? Why not! In some traditions, noodles form the base of some delicious and comforting desserts that your family might love to try:
- Rakott Teszta, a sweet Hungarian baked noodle dish.
- Seviyan, a vermicelli pudding from Pakistan.
- Babka, a baked noodle dessert topped with a sweet fruit sauce.
- Noodle Kugel, a sweet noodle casserole that is often served during Rosh Hashanah or Hanukkah celebrations.
If you don’t think your family is quite ready for sweet noodles, there’s always ice cream you pass through a potato ricer so it looks like noodles. Top it with a sweet, red fruit sauce and you have a fun lookalike dessert!
Store-bought pasta is perfectly fine to use in any recipe you choose, but if you want to try making your own pasta by hand, this video features a simple recipe and step-by-step instructions. Best of all, it doesn’t require any special machinery – just a little elbow grease and a rolling pin!