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This Vegan Curry Ramen combines a red curry paste infused broth with creamy coconut milk and chewy ramen noodles for a Thai-inspired vegan ramen everyone will go back for seconds of. Simply add the ingredients to the slow cooker bowl in the morning and let the appliance do all the work! 

Serving bowl of red curry ramen garnished with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and bean sprouts.

A Budget-Friendly Thai Coconut Curry Ramen

When it comes to eating on a budget, ramen is a classic staple. It's filling, satisfying, and quick and easy to prepare. But sticking to a grocery budget doesn't mean you have to eat microwaved instant ramen with a sad seasoning packet.

Making a restaurant-worthy ramen from scratch will cost you about $3.50 per serving, and that's including loading it up with tons of silken tofu and other delicious toppings. 

In comparison, my local Thai restaurant sells a very similar red curry noodle dish for $19.99 per serving! Almost 600% more expensive, not including the cost of tip or delivery. It's a no-brainer to cook at home, friends!

This Thai-inspired ramen is also made in the crockpot for 3 reasons: 

  1. It allows me to make dinner in the morning when I have the most energy.
  2. Slow cooking the broth over 6 hours allows it to develop a deep, complex flavor. Something you simply can't achieve with a 30 minute stovetop recipe. 
  3. Ensures I have a home-cooked meal ready to eat when I am exhausted. Aka no temptation to order wallet-crushing takeout! 

Looking for more restaurant-inspired recipes? Try my Yellow CurryThai Pumpkin Red CurryCrispy Orange Tofu, or General Tso Tofu.

Ingredient Notes

Overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this vegan red curry ramen measured and labeled.
  • Red curry paste: I used the store-bought brand by Thai Kitchen, but feel free to make your own Authentic Thai Red Curry Paste if you have the time. If you are vegan, make sure to check for fish sauce or shrimp paste. 
  • Full-fat coconut milk: Adds richness and creaminess to the broth, balancing the savoriness and spiciness from the red curry paste. For the best, luxurious broth, use full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. Using light coconut milk or another plant-based milk will mute the flavor. 
  • Broth: To make this red curry ramen vegan, use your favorite vegetable broth, salted vegetable stock, or a vegan “chicken” broth. I typically use a low-sodium veggie broth to keep the sodium low. 
  • Aromatics: Freshly minced garlic and fresh ginger and depth and complexity to the broth. 
  • Soy sauce: Adds saltiness and umami flavor to the broth. If you are sensitive to sodium, feel free to use low-sodium soy sauce. If gluten-free, use tamari. 
  • Brown sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness, balancing the spiciness in the red curry paste. 
  • Carrots: My favorite veggie to add to this vegan curry ramen is chopped carrots. They're hearty enough to hold up in the slow cooker, add a pop of subtle sweet earthiness, and are extremely budget-friendly.
  • Ramen noodles: Any ramen noodles of choice will work well in this Thai Curry ramen. If gluten-free, try regular rice noodles or the Millet and Brown Rice Ramen noodles (best price at Costco!). If using instant ramen noodles with a seasoning packet, simply discard the seasoning and add the noodles to the hot broth. 

Substitutions

  • Use alternative fresh vegetables: Swap the carrots for fresh veggies like green beans, snap peas, red bell pepper, broccoli, or chopped shiitake mushrooms, feel free! These softer vegetables will work fine, but add them to the broth with the ramen noodles. If they cook for the full 6 hours, they will be too soft. 
  • Add crispy tofu: I love the additional creaminess silken tofu adds to the ramen broth, but if you want something a bit heartier, make crispy tofu from super firm or extra firm tofu. I highly recommend my crispy air fryer tofu or purchase puffed tofu at your local Asian grocery store.

How to Make Red Curry Ramen

4 photo collage showing step by step process of making red curry ramen in your slow cooker bowl.
  1. Whisk together the broth. ​Add the red curry paste, coconut milk, vegetable broth, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the slow cooker bowl. Whisk together until combined. 
  2. Add the shallots and carrots. ​Gently mix together. 
  3. Slow cook vegan curry ramen broth on low for 6 hours. 
  4. Stir in dry ramen noodles. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the dry ramen noodles to the curry ramen broth and continue cooking. 
  5. Add lime juice and serve. Once the noodles are al dente and chewy, add the lime juice and mix everything together. Serve immediately while hot. Enjoy! 
Final ramen in a ladle.

Serving Suggestions

We love to serve this vegan curry ramen loaded with garnishes like fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, mung bean sprouts, sliced green onions, and cubed silken tofu for added protein and creaminess. It's also delicious with toasted sesame seeds, a drizzle of sesame oil, chili oil, and crispy fried shallots. 

If you'd like to serve a side of veggies, you can't go wrong with stir-fried vegetables, crunchy Thai Cucumber Salad, or a leafy side of steamed bok choy or gai lan. 

Closeup of a white bowl filled with ramen and a gold spoon.

Storage Instructions

Leftover vegan curry ramen will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before storing, allow the ramen to cool completely to room temperature. 

How to Make this Vegan Curry Ramen Cheaper

  • Be conscious of where you buy your ingredients. Things like red curry paste and ramen noodles can be really expensive, depending on where you are shopping. For example, the Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste at my local Whole Foods is almost twice as expensive as the same exact jar at Walmart or on Amazon. Be smart and shop at cheaper grocery stores
  • Buy in bulk. ​We love ramen at our house and buy ramen noodles in bulk at Costco to save money on quality noodles. If you also make a lot of Thai curries or love this vegan curry ramen recipe, consider buying red curry paste in a larger container. Thai Kitchen sells a 35 ounce tub of their red curry paste that is half the price of the smaller jars by ounce.
  • Use my favorite bouillon paste to make vegetable broth. Costco sells a Vegetable Bouillon paste that makes 100 cups of broth for just $8.99. Simply keep it in the fridge and mix with water to make broth. It's a fraction of the price compared to tetra-paks of broth and takes up less room in the fridge, too! 

The Best Budget-Friendly Vegetable Broth

This bouillon paste contains 100 cups of broth in one jar and sells at Costco Wholesale ONLY for $8.99 (they recently raised the price in 2024!).

Do not buy on Amazon – it is way overpriced!

Final white speckled bowl filled with red curry ramen and topped with fresh garnish for serving.
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Vegan Red Curry Ramen Recipe

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Cost: $14.24 per recipe / $3.56 per serving
This Vegan Red Curry Ramen combines a red curry paste infused broth with creamy coconut milk and chewy ramen noodles for a Thai-inspired vegan ramen everyone will go back for seconds of. Simply add the ingredients to the slow cooker bowl in the morning and let the appliance do all the work!

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Ramen Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons red curry paste ($2.12)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk ($1.64)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.54)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced ($0.24)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced ($0.22)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce can use tamari ($0.52)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar ($0.06)
  • 1 shallot sliced ($0.30)
  • 2 cups carrots chopped ($0.12)
  • 8 ounces ramen noodles ($3.34)
  • 2 limes juiced ($0.66)

For Serving:

  • 16 ounce block silken tofu cubed ($2.17)
  • fresh cilantro chopped ($0.49)
  • unsalted peanuts chopped ($0.31)
  • mung bean sprouts ($0.74)
  • green onions thinly sliced ($0.44)
  • lime wedges ($0.33)

Instructions

  • Add the red curry paste, coconut milk, vegetable broth, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the slow cooker. Whisk together until combined.
  • Add the shallot and carrots, and gently mix together. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • In the last 30 minutes, add the dry ramen noodles and continue cooking. I recommend starting with dissolving 2 bricks and adding a 3rd if you want a less brothy ramen!
  • Once done, add the lime juice and mix together. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, green onions, bean sprouts, lime wedges and cubed silken tofu. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 3624mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 17g

Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

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Closeup of bowl of ramen with tons of fresh garnish!
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