I know Spam is a polarizing ingredient, but the whole idea behind this Dollar Store Dinners series is making the most of what’s available, and there isn’t a whole lot to work with, food-wise, in a dollar store. So today I’m taking advantage of one of the few meat products at the dollar store: canned luncheon meat, or a generic version of Spam. This Spam Stir Fry may not be for everyone, but it’s a quick and easy meal that you can make with just a handful of ingredients, and sometimes that’s enough to be thankful for!
Dollar Store Dinners
Welcome to the Dollar Store Dinners series on Budget Bytes. We’re making quick and simple meals using only ingredients found at the dollar store. While the availability of ingredients will vary from store to store, hopefully these easy recipes will give you some inspiration for when money is tight and access to groceries is limited!
What’s in This Meal?
This is a super quick and easy stir fry with noodles that is made simply with a can of luncheon meat, a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables, and a pack of ramen noodles. It’s simple, filling, and inexpensive!
Here’s what I bought at the dollar store for this recipe:
- Luncheon meat $1.25
- Frozen stir fry vegetables $1.25
- Instant ramen noodles (pack of 6) $1.25
- Cooking oil $1.25
And there’s plenty of leftover ramen noodles and cooking oil to use in other recipes!
What is Luncheon Meat?
Luncheon meat is a term used for processed, cooked, ready to eat meat that is available fresh, like deli meat, or canned, like Spam. Luncheon meat is usually either sliced or chopped and can be served cold or cooked and added to other recipes. Luncheon meat does tend to be high in fat, sodium, and nitrates, which are added to keep costs low and to increase the shelf life of the meat.
Luncheon Meat Vs. Spam
The type of luncheon meat used in this recipe is canned luncheon meat, similar to Spam, but a generic version. After comparing the ingredient list on the luncheon meat I purchased at the dollar store to the ingredient list on a can of Spam, I would definitely recommend the brand name Spam for this recipe if you have it available. But again, this series is all about using what you’ve got! And in this case, it’s generic canned luncheon meat.
So look, if Spam isn’t your jam (I swear I didn’t plan that rhyme), you’ve got other options! Try using plain ground pork, chicken, or beef instead. Or, cube up some tofu and fry it up in the skillet first. The beauty of a stir fry is that you can put just about anything in them and they still taste great.
Not into ramen noodles? No problem! This stir fry would be great over a bed of rice, too. If you’re not using the ramen you’ll need a little something to season up the dish, in lieu of the seasoning packet from the ramen. You can make a really quick and easy sauce by combining ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup chili garlic sauce (or sriracha), and ¼ cup brown sugar.
Spam Stir Fry Noodles
- 7 oz. luncheon meat ($1.25)
- 12 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables ($1.25)
- 3 oz. package instant ramen ($1.25)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($1.25)
- Slice the luncheon meat into strips.
- Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the sliced luncheon meat and fry until brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil for the ramen noodles. Add the noodles (without the seasoning packet) and boil for about 3 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the noodles and set them aside.
- Once the luncheon meat is crispy, turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high and add the frozen vegetables. Continue to stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.
- Add the drained noodles and about half of the ramen seasoning packet to the skillet. Toss until everything is combined and coated in seasoning. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Serve hot.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Spam Stir Fry Noodles – Step by Step Photos
You only need a few ingredients for this meal: canned luncheon meat (like Spam), a packet of instant ramen, a bag of frozen vegetables, and a little cooking oil to help the Spam crisp up (you might not even need this if your luncheon meat is high enough fat and you’re using a non-stick skillet).
Slice one 7 oz. can of luncheon meat into pieces.
Add a little oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Add the sliced luncheon meat to the skillet and fry until browned and crispy (3-5 minutes).
Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the ramen noodles, without the seasoning packet, and boil until tender (about 3 minutes). Drain the noodles.
Turn the heat in the skillet up to medium-high and add one 12oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. Stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.
Add the cooked and drained noodles to the skillet along with about half of the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles.
Toss the noodles together with the meat, vegetables, and seasoning. Taste and add more seasoning to your liking. Since the luncheon meat is pretty salty, I only used about half of the seasoning packet total.
Serve the easy Spam stir fry and enjoy!