Meal Prep Noodle Soup Jars

$3.25 recipe / $0.81 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 11 votes
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January is the season when meal prep reigns. Whether you’re just trying to get more organized or trying to refine your food budget, these meal prep noodle soup jars are a great option for make-ahead lunches. I took my favorite upgraded instant ramen recipe and transformed it into these cute and convenient meal prep jars. Just add hot water, mix, and they’re ready to eat! Bonus, the jars kept the soup ingredients super fresh for several days with NO wilting!

Noodle soup jars lined up in a row, viewed from the side.

What is a Meal Prep Soup Jar?

These cool little jars are basically like homemade cup noodles, except with more delicious add-ins and in a reusable container. You just add hot water to the jar, mix it up to make the broth and soften the veggies, then the soup is ready to eat! So easy and so convenient.

What’s in This Noodle Soup

Similar to our upgraded instant ramen, we made our own flavored broth concentrate with a mix of Better Than Bouillon, soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices. Then we added some fresh vegetables (mushrooms, spinach, carrots, and green onions) to round out the bowl, and a little sesame seeds and sriracha for fun. These soup jars are, of course, endlessly customizable, so feel free to add your favorite ingredients!

How to Enjoy meal prep soup jars

Just like with cup noodles, fill the jar with boiling water from a tea kettle or a hot water tap (the kind on the front of commercial coffee makers), close the lid tightly, then shake the jar to mix the bouillon with the water. Let the soup sit for a few minutes to slightly cook the vegetables and soften the noodles. Give it one last stir with a fork or spoon (or spork!) and enjoy! You can eat the soup straight out of the jar, or empty it into a bowl.

How Long Do They Last?

There’s some sort of magic that happens in this mason jar that keeps the ingredients fresh far longer than I would have ever expected. For food safety reasons I don’t suggest keeping these jars longer than five days, but I will just tell you that on day five the ingredients in the soup jars looked just as fresh as they did on day one. The spinach and mushrooms showed no signs of wilting and the noodles had not dried out!

To maximize the lifespan of your noodle jars, pay attention to how you layer the ingredients. The wet ingredients always go on the bottom. Next, you add ingredients that don’t wilt easily and aren’t too absorbent (in this case the carrots, then the mushrooms). Lastly, you’ll want to add any ingredients that tend to wilt or get mushy (noodles and spinach). This layering technique separates the liquids and soft ingredients for maximum storage life!

Overhead view of a bowl of noodle soup with sriracha.
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Meal Prep Noodle Soup Jars

5 from 11 votes
These easy meal prep noodle soup jars are a fast, convenient, and budget-friendly make-ahead lunch idea. Just add hot water, mix, and enjoy!
Four noodle soup jars lined up in a row.
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp bouillon* ($0.48)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce ($0.04)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder ($0.05)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds ($0.12)
  • 2 tsp sriracha (optional) ($0.06)
  • 1 carrot, shredded ($0.14)
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced ($0.96)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.22)
  • 2 3oz. blocks instant ramen ($0.50)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach ($0.60)

Instructions 

  • To each 16oz. jar add the following: 1 tsp bouillon, ½ tsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp sesame oil, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp ginger powder, ½ tsp sesame seeds, and ½ tsp sriracha.
  • Peel and shred the carrot. Clean and slice the mushrooms and green onion. Divide the carrots, mushrooms, and green onions between the jars.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil for the ramen noodles. Discard the seasoning packets or save them for another use later. Add the noodles to the boiling water and boil only for about 2 minutes, or just until the noodles are tender but still slightly firm. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cold water to cool. Drain well.
  • Divide the noodles between the four jars, then top with a handful of fresh spinach for each jar.
  • Close the jars and refrigerate until ready to eat (up to five days). When ready to eat, warm the jars slightly (use your hands or let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes), and then add 1-1.5 cups boiling water. Close the jars and shake them to dissolve the broth. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir once more with a spoon or fork before enjoying.

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Notes

*We used vegetable-flavored Better Than Bouillon, but you can use any type of powdered or paste-style bouillon here OR use the seasoning packets that come with the instant ramen (divide each packet between two jars).

Nutrition

Serving: 1jarCalories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSodium: 1110mgFiber: 2g
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Four noodle soup jars lined up in a row.

How to Make Meal Prep Noodle Soup – Step by Step Photos

Ingredients for broth in the bottom of four jars.

To each of the four 16oz. jars add the following: 1 tsp vegetable bouillon, ½ tsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp ginger powder, ½ tsp sesame seeds, and ½ tsp sriracha (you can add the sriracha here or use it to top your soup later).

Shredded Carrots added to the jars.

Shred one carrot and divide it between the jars (about ¼ cup shredded carrot per jar).

Mushrooms and green onion added to the jars.

Slice four mushrooms and two green onions. Divide the mushrooms and onions between the jars.

Partially cooked instant ramen in a pot.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add two bricks of instant ramen. Boil for about 2 minutes, or just until the noodles are tender, but slightly under cooked. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water.

Noodles added to the jars.

Add the rinsed and cooled noodles to the jars.

Fresh spinach added to the jars.

Add about ½ cup fresh spinach to each jar on top of the noodles.

Hot water being poured into the jar.

Close the jars with a tightly-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to five days. When you’re ready to eat the soup, allow the glass to warm slightly (use your hands or sit at room temp for about 10 min), remove the lid and add 1 to 1.5 cups of boiling water.

Mixed jar of soup held in a hand.

Screw the lid on the jar tightly then shake to mix the bouillon with the hot water. Let the soup sit for a few minutes for the flavors to blend and the vegetables to soften.

A fork lifting noodles out of a bowl with the jars in the background.

Give the soup one last mix with a spoon or fork, then enjoy the soup straight out of the jar or dump it into a bowl for serving.

Overhead view of a bowl of noodle soup with sesame seeds.

I topped my noodle soup with sriracha. …Because of course I did. ;) Enjoy!

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Comments

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  1. This was amazing! Some kind of magic happening here? The veggies cook ‘just right.’ We will be making again. We made the recipe as written but because of our preference would I think pack in more veggies next time. I would have never thought this would have worked as good as it did but it’s a keeper!

  2. Love this!!! Such a fantastic meal
    Prep and easy to customize. I don’t love mushrooms so I swapped them out for edamame the first time. The second time around I used a package of rainbow slaw as the base layer. So good.

  3. Hello, love your recipes! I was wondering how I would go about this if I wanted to eat this right away, as opposed to prep for later. Would I boil the veggies a few mins before adding the noodles, and then just cook the noodles through?

  4. This is the second time that I made the 4 jars, and these are so flavorful, and I like the texture also. I want to try using a wild rice blend in place of the ramen for my sister who needs a gluten free option. So glad I found this recipe thank you for all the great recipe selections.

  5. Hi this recipe has 2 cups spinach as no no for people with oxalate stones? Can I substitute Kale or arugula ?
    Thank
    Nancy B

    1. Hi, Nancy! I think any type of leafy green will work in this recipe, and you should choose whatever you like and fits your dietary plan! I will say, heartier greens (like kale) might take a little more steeping time in order to soften.

      Beth also made a very comprehensive list of substitutes in the companion blog post to this meal prep guide, called 6 Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen. Here’s the link, which you can also find in this blog post: https://www.budgetbytes.com/6-ways-to-upgrade-instant-ramen/

      I hope that helps! ~Marion :)