We tried the three veg-friendly noodles on the market and this was our favorite.

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Vegetarian Cup Noodles
Credit: Arielle Weg

Nissin has released their first ever vegetarian Cup Noodles. The meat-free soy sauce flavor will hit shelves alongside the already existing lineup of chicken, spicy chicken, and beef flavored Cup Noodles today. You can find the new option at most grocery stores for 99 cents.

This new vegetarian-friendly option from Cup Noodles follows Top Ramen’s two vegetarian varieties, which were released late 2017. During Top Ramen’s rebrand, the company cut sodium, removed artificial flavors, removed added MSG, and added two new vegetarian options to their lineup. The Oriental flavor dropped the beef flavoring, and was renamed as vegetarian soy sauce ramen. Additionally, Top Ramen released a vegetarian chili flavored package of noodles.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on all three vegetarian instant noodle options—in addition to this handy Top Ramen microwave cooker. If you’re a ramen-lover, this may be the most important purchase you make today. We simply filled the basket with ramen noodles and water, popped it in the microwave, added the seasoning, and had a warming bowl of ramen at our fingertips. It made cleanup way easier, and our ramen was ready faster than it takes to boil a pot of water.

The new Cup Noodles vegetarian soy sauce flavor features edamame, carrots, and bok choy, which is a great option if you want to up your veggie intake. Plus, the edamame brings quite a bit of protein to the table, so it’s actually a decent mealtime option. The soy sauce flavor itself was mild, and the noodles were a little less toothsome than we’d have liked. It was akin to slurping down a bland vegetable soup. In other words, we’d definitely eat it if we didn’t have time to make dinner, but we wouldn’t go out of our way to buy it.

Top Ramen’s vegetarian options definitely stood out as better choices compared to the Cup Noodle. Though we’re big fans of doctoring up ramen noodles into an awesome meal, we’d grab either of these on a sick day in bed for sure. The Top Ramen chili flavor was spicier and saltier than expected, but it’s a good pick for someone looking for a bit of heat. The Top Ramen soy sauce was by far our favorite option. The flavor was comforting and almost buttery. The broth came out lucious and exactly how you would expect soy sauce-flavored ramen to taste.

Overall, we found all three noodle options to be a little too salty, Top Ramen’s noodles to be more flavorful and texturally enjoyable, and the entire experience to be overwhelmingly reminiscent of college.