This cheap pantry staple has so much more to offer than just the quick'n'easy boiled variation.
1. Lunch for the littlies
For a great kids’ lunchbox addition, cook 100g egg noodles in salt-reduced vegetable stock. Drain then combine with 1 finely chopped carrot, about 1/2 cup corn kernels, 1/4 cup peas and 80g shaved lean ham. Serves 2.
2. Quick sticks!
On the run? Sauté onion, garlic, capsicum and chilli and add 1/4 cup stock and a dash of salt-reduced soy sauce. Stir in 1 cup any cooked noodles, 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables and 2 tablespoons cornflour mixed with a little water. Allow sauce to thicken then sprinkle with coriander. Serves 1.
3. Asian-style salad
For a super-fast salad toss 1 cup cooked udon noodles with 100g thinly sliced, cooked beef fillet, sliced capsicum, snow peas, cucumber and rock melon. Splash with rice wine vinegar and sprinkle chopped fresh mint on top. Serves 1.
4. Noodle pikelets
Mix 1 cup flour with 6 eggs. Stir in 200g cooked, chopped egg noodles, 2 cups leftover cooked vegetables and shredded chicken. Pan-fry pikelet mixture and serve with sweet chilli sauce. Serves 4.
5. Super side
Sauté 3 cloves garlic and a head of chopped broccoli. Add to 2 cups cooked rice noodles. Serve sprinkled with pepper and parmesan cheese. Serves 4.
6. Simple stir-fry
Stir-fry 100g diced chicken with sweet chilli sauce and a dash of salt-reduced soy sauce. Add 1 cup frozen stir-fry vegetables and combine with 1 cup cooked rice noodles. Serves 1.
7. Easy, cheesy noodle bake
A great week-night meal. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 4 cups cooked egg noodles in an ovenproof dish. Simmer 1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, 2 x 410g cans creamed corn and 1/2 cup water until cheese melts. Add 1/2 cup frozen peas, 2 finely chopped carrots and 425g tinned tuna in spring water. Pour mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden, removing foil in last 10 minutes if necessary. Serves 4.
8. Noodle frittata
Break a 2-minute noodle cake into 3cm pieces (discard the flavouring sachet). Place in a heatproof bowl, add 1 cup frozen mixed veges and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 2 minutes or until noodles are soft then drain. Add 4 beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon Moroccan spice mix, 1 cup shredded cooked chicken and 1 spring onion, chopped. Heat oil spray in a 20cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add noodle mixture to pan. Cook until nearly set then transfer to a hot grill to set the top. Serve with a salad. Serves 2.
9. Noodle toss
No pasta on hand? Use noodles instead. Try vermicelli ‘glass’ noodles tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, capsicum, crumbled feta, chopped black olives and a little olive oil.
10. Noodle-y soup
Toss any noodles into soup for extra texture and energy.