15 Takeout-Inspired Meals to Make at Home Instead of Ordering In

updated May 1, 2019
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We all have those nights when the lure of the takeout menu or delivery app is almost magnetic, but if you’re committed to making something at home, you should try one of these easy meals that replicates your favorite restaurant dishes. Some require a little planning (as in prepping the ingredients to toss in the slow cooker), but there are quite a few options that you can make in 30 minutes or less.

If you’re still not convinced, open a bottle of wine, put on a great playlist, and make cooking the evening’s entertainment. You’ll feel pretty good when you sit down to the dinner you made yourself.

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These may feel more like an appetizer, but when you serve them alongside leftover rice and stuff them with chicken, suddenly you have a full meal on your hands — and a super-quick one at that.

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If you always rely on restaurants to get your fill of Indian food because you’re nervous about making it yourself, allow this recipe to be the gateway for bringing the flavors of Indian food home.

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Not only are these turkey enchiladas delicious, but they are also the perfect way to use up leftovers without feeling like you’re eating the same meal over again. And while they do require some baking time, you can use those 20 minutes to decide which movie you’re going to watch from your Netflix queue. You know it takes at least 20 minutes to make that decision.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Not in the mood for noodles, but craving the salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors of Thai food? Try this lightened-up version of pad Thai made with spaghetti squash.

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Okay, to be fair this does take some advanced thought since it’s made in the slow cooker, but with a little forethought it can make your Friday night meal a little easier. Just think how happy you’ll make your future self.

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Think only your local breakfast place can make the perfect egg sandwich? Think again. This gooey, salty, hearty egg sandwich is a cinch to make. And because it hits all the major food groups (including bacon), you can just as easily eat it for dinner.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Here’s the best news about this recipe: In the time it would take you to decide on which noodle shop to order from, you could have this soup on the table. It only takes 15 minutes, and can be adapted based on what you already have in the fridge.

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The lesson with spanakopita? Don’t fear the phyllo. Yes, this paper-thin dough has a reputation for being finicky, but working with it isn’t impossible. The folding technique in this recipe is friendly enough for phyllo beginners, and as long as you remember to keep the dough covered, there’s nothing to worry about.

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Biryani is one of the easier Indian dishes to make at home since it’s essentially a rice casserole. The hardest part is chopping up the other ingredients to go inside. We recommend having some samosas in the freezer so you can snack on those while the biryani is baking.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

If you don’t live in Chicago or the surrounding area, you’re pretty much out of luck when it comes to ordering in authentic deep-dish pizza. The only solution? Make it yourself! Break out the cast iron skillet and crank your oven to 425°F — it’s pizza night.

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Skip the beef and broccoli in favor of this delicious beef and asparagus stir-fry recipe. It has a similar texture, but the springy asparagus makes it feel seasonal and light!

(Image credit: Christine Han)

We’ll give you a pass on ordering takeout tonight if you promise to prep the ingredients for these slow-cooker French dip sandwiches while you wait for it to arrive. Because, let’s face it, you might very well want to order food tomorrow night, too.

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Looking for a stir-fry recipe that delivers on flavor and teaches you a bit of technique? Then this classic combo of chicken and cashews from Grace Young is a sure bet. The crisp snow peas, sweet bell peppers, and crunchy cashews tossed in alongside tender chicken pieces is enough to make our mouths water time and time again.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

14. Our Ultimate Guide to Making the Best Pizza Ever

Once you discover just how great it is to make your own pizza, we bet you’ll skip the delivery version more often than not. From customizing your crust to deciding on your perfect topping combo, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating a favorite pie.

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Lettuce wraps are another restaurant dish that just seems daunting to make at home, but in reality they’re not that hard to make. The secret ingredient that you’ve been missing is sweet and salty hoisin sauce. Once you pick up a bottle of that, you’ll be in business.