Garlic Butter Ramen with Honey Garlic Meatballs

After years of being served recipes for honey garlic crock pot meatballs on Pinterest, I finally caved. I had seen the recipes for so long (so good! so easy! they all say) that I needed to see what the hype was about. Once meatballs were on the menu, I realized it was the perfect opportunity for me to make the 15-Minute Garlic Butter Ramen from Half Baked Harvest’s “Super Simple” cookbook. Individually, these recipes are good; together, they’re unstoppable.

For the meatballs: there are tons of recipes out there, but I used this one. You’ll only need a few ingredients: frozen [cooked] meatballs, brown sugar, honey, garlic, ketchup, and soy sauce. Put the meatballs in the slow cooker, cover with the sauce, and let it go for 2 hours on low or 4 on high.

For the ramen: it really does only take about 15 minutes. (And considering the meatballs are totally hands-off, this might be one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made.) Start by boiling water. While that’s waiting to bubble, melt 6 tbsp of butter in a large pan or wok. Once it’s melted, add ginger (calls for fresh but I used ground and it was a-ok) and 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and let that go for about 3 minutes, til it’s fragrant. Then add a large handful of fresh spinach (or the whole bag – you do you and we all know that wilts down to nothing). Turn the heat off because at this point the water should be boiling. Add two packs of ramen (discard the seasoning packets) and cook according to the package (mine boiled for 4 minutes). Drain the ramen and add to the wok, tossing to coat with the garlic butter and adding about 2 tbsp of soy sauce. The recipe calls for basil but I didn’t have any and didn’t think it was necessary. It does offer the suggestion of some optional sesame seeds and I DID do that (you should too). The recipe also suggests a fried egg on top. I did’t do this because I was doing the meatballs and my beau wasn’t crazy about the egg idea but can you imagine fried egg AND meatballs on top of this ramen?! Mind blown emoji.

Tweaks: Neither recipe called for scallion but I think that would have worked nicely in both. I guess it’s not on the ingredients list because it’s not so much a pantry staple like everything else, but I just happened to have some in my fridge and am kicking myself that I didn’t use them. They’ll be going on the leftovers for sure. I also added a bit of sriracha to my ramen and recommend it! And while I’m thinking about it, I feel like you could sauté some broccoli in that wok before starting the rest of the process with the butter and you’d have some veggies with this meal. Adds some time but would taste really yummy.

I feel like this is Asian spaghetti and meatballs. NOT MAD ABOUT IT. Also, this whole meal is made from stuff you likely already [always] have in your pantry/fridge/freezer, making it the perfect quarantine meal.