Gluten-free ramen swimming in THE most flavorful bacon broth. (Yes, I said bacon broth.) Loaded with veggies, & super easy (even using frozen chicken!) this gluten-free ramen recipe can even be enjoyed on the weeknights. Forget the college days of just noodles swimming in broth, and say hello to the adult version brimming with fresh vegetables and toppings.
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WHY WE NEED GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN
My son has a wheat allergy, my husband has a gluten intolerance and we have friends with Celiac disease. I try to cook to the lowest common denominator, so every dinner I make is suited for a gluten-free diet. To say that we NEED a gluten-free ramen soup recipe is an understatement–especially during the cold winter months. I REALLY miss ramen and most Asian recipes, so I’ve tried to recreate what I can, so my son doesn’t grow up missing out on these iconic dishes.
WHY WE LOVE THIS GLUTEN-FREE BACON RAMEN RECIPE
I have an entire cookbook full of 60 gluten-free and allergy-friendly instant pot dishes, and I thought I’d thought of everything. But, I hadn’t discovered this divine bowl of ramen until after it went to print. So, consider this as an “I love you for coming to my site, here is a free recipe!”
I can’t even describe how dream-like this was the first time I had it. I seriously had to call my girlfriends and be like “YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS.” It was so good I had to proclaim it to someone other than my children at the time. The flavorful broth (thanks to the bacon!) is so rich, so deep and so darn GOOD!
This, THIS, wonderful creation thanks to the Asian flavorings paired with sautéed ginger, mushrooms and bacon makes the most wonderful broth that is perfect for sucking out of the bowl after you’ve devoured the noodles and veggies.
I mean, packaged ramen just doesn’t even stand a chance anymore (like we could do it anyways thanks to the wheat flour…). This is healthier (yes, I know it has bacon–but did you see all the spinach??). And, it’s not hard. Throw the things in the instant pot, and you’re looking at only one dirty dish (unless you count the cutting board).
This gluten-free ramen recipe looks fancy because of all of the garnishes, but really it’s so simple. The cook time is only 27 minutes (even less if you use thawed chicken) meaning you can have this lip smacking bowl of noodles even on busy weeknights!
CAN I USE LEFTOVER CHICKEN & OTHER CHICKEN QUESTIONS?
Yes you can! If you have leftover chicken, or even a rotisserie chicken this can cut down on the cooking time and is a great alternative. Add in your shredded chicken and move the cook time down to just 3 minutes. Basically, you just need the flavors to meld since the chicken is already pre-cooked. And, even though I would consider chicken to be a main ingredient, you could even leave it out if you wanted. My growing boys like a lot of protein which is why we use both proteins, but since this already has bacon and lots of veggies, if need be, you can omit the chicken. Also, feel free to use chicken thighs instead of breasts.
WHAT MUSHROOMS SHOULD I USE?
I simply buy my mushrooms at Walmart (I live in a small town & am cheap) and they are simply called “white mushrooms”. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on mushrooms, because while I love them, my kids do not. If you also do not like mushrooms you can omit them. Or, if you’re a mushroom enthusiast, you could use whatever mushrooms you prefer: baby bella, cremini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, shirataki mushrooms–go wild.
CAN I MAKE THIS WITHOUT AN INSTANT POT?
Yes, you can! Obviously, my favorite way is the instant pot because you can use frozen chicken for days you forget to thaw it–which is most days for me. But, you can make this on the stove top–but I would only recommend doing that with thawed chicken. Follow all of the same directions, except simmer on the stove until the chicken is cooked through.
You could even make this in a slow cooker. You’d need to crisp the bacon on the stove and then sauté the mushrooms in the bacon grease and then add them to the slow cooker, along with the ginger, broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, red curry paste, sesame oil and chicken. Slow cook 6-8 hours until the chicken is soft. And, then following the remaining directions for adding the noodles and garnishes.
WHAT IF MY NOODLES AREN’T SOFT ENOUGH?
Because I recommend a specific brand, Lotus Foods Millet and Brown Rice Ramen, I am most familiar with that. These are delicate noodles that don’t need to boil beforehand. Simply letting them sit in the hot broth after the chicken is cooked is enough to soften them. I also find agitating them, and helping them to break apart ensures the hot water is able to penetrate the entire noodle square. If you choose to use different noodles, you may have to play around with boiling them first, or letting them soften longer in the hot broth to fully cook noodles. Check the package directions to give you clues.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED FOR GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN?
Here’s a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to make these gluten-free ramen noodles:
- Fresh ginger
- Chicken broth base (also known as chicken bouillon powder)
- Gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos if soy allergy)
- Rice vinegar
- Red curry paste
- Sesame oil (or olive oil if sesame allergy)
- Gluten free ramen noodles (see below)
- Baby spinach or baby bok choy
- Optional toppings: sesame seeds, green onions, chiles, cilantro, soft boiled egg
Does gluten-free soy sauce taste different than regular soy sauce?
I can eat gluten, but cook gluten-free for my son and husband. So, I frequently try to eat “regular” things, so I don’t lose a taste for them and can still develop recipes for anyone. I do not notice a difference in gluten-free soy sauces and regular soy sauces. The only difference I notice is that they are more expensive.
WHAT GLUTEN FREE CHICKEN BOUILLON DO YOU USE?
I have used Orrington Farms chicken broth base for years. It’s gluten-free and all you have to do is add water. Two teaspoons plus one cup of water equals one cup of broth. It’s much lighter to carry home than boxes of chicken stock. If you want to use chicken stock, simply omit the broth base and use 5 cups of chicken broth/stock. Typically, if you use bouillon cubes instead, they just need one cube per cup of water. Check your package directions to be safe.
WHAT GLUTEN-FREE NOODLES DO YOU USE?
I’ve tried rice noodles and a millet and rice combo. The rice and millet combo by Lotus Foods are what I use, and are what are pictured. They don’t stay quite as curly as regular ramen noodles, but are a pretty close substitute. In a pinch, I’ve used spaghetti noodles as well. If you do strictly rice noodles, you may want to start with less and work your way up, as they will absorb more of the ramen broth, and I like my ramen to have a lot of slurpable liquid. Don’t worry, if you end up adding too many noodles, the broth is so flavorful, you can simply add in some additional water until it’s the consistency you like.
You could even do veggie noodles (sweet potato noodles, zucchini noodles) if you want the noodles grain free. Really, any gluten-free noodle that you like would be great. I’m not a huge fan of soba noodles, but would assume they would work here too. The toppings and broth are so fantastic, you can play around with the noodles. Also, I live in a small town in Idaho, so I do not have an Asian Market or Whole Foods (sad, I know!). There may be more options there. I get my noodles at my local Natural Grocer or Amazon.
I hope that this delicious Asian dish helps your allergy family enjoy something a little different in it’s rotation. It’s definitely not like other things we eat and I look forward to it each and every time.
And, if you have little eaters like I do, you can omit or swap out some of the veggies or garnishes.
Watch the quick recipe video to see how to make this gluten-free ramen recipe from start to finish.
DO I HAVE OTHER GLUTEN-FREE ASIAN RECIPES?
Yes, I do! I even lived in China for a semester. I love Asian-American food and between my son’s wheat allergy, egg allergy, dairy allergy, peanut and tree nut allergy, it’s just not safe or feasible to get take out. So, I’ve recreated a bunch of my favorites. I think you’ll love them too:
My entire site is gluten-free, so be sure to see the entire index for all sorts of ideas!
- 1/2 package of bacon, chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, minced finely or grated
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 5 cups chicken broth (or 5 cups water + 3 Tablespoons broth base)
- 2 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce*
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil (optional, if no sesame allergy)
- 2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 squares of gluten-free noodles** (or about 5 oz.)
- 1 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup peeled carrot
- green onions, chilies and cilantro, for serving
- Hit "saute" on your instant pot and place the chopped bacon inside the instant pot. Cook the bacon until crispy, and remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, and leave the remaining grease inside the instant pot.
- Add the diced ginger and mushrooms, and stir with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned.
- Turn off the "saute" function. Add in the five cups of broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, red curry paste, sesame oil and chicken breasts.
- Close the lid, move the valve to sealing and use the "manual" button until you reach 15 minutes (for raw chicken) and 27 minutes (for frozen chicken).
- Once the timer is done, move the valve to venting to quickly release the pressure.
- Open the lid and add in your noodles, carrots and spinach.
- While the noodles soften in the hot liquid, remove your chicken and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Ladle into bowls, and top with your desired garnishes and crisped bacon that you set aside from step 1.
*If you can't do soy, coconut aminos would work well too. Just use it in a 1:1 ratio.
**Notes on the noodles: I link to the noodles I use, and they come in squares (much like regular ramen) which I why I denoted 3 squares. As you'll note above in the post, you can use any gluten-free noodle you like, or even zucchini or sweet potato noodles.
PLEASE NOTE the cooking process may take longer depending on how long it takes for your instant pot to come to pressure and release pressure.
Adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
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