Making restaurant- or takeout-inspired meals at home usually starts with a craving for a certain flavor — maybe the sticky, sweet heat of General Tso's chicken or a bowl of piping-hot fried rice. But when you're making these foods at home, there's usually a secondary element at a play: Either you're looking to cut down on your dining-out budget or maybe you want the pleasure of your favorite takeout dish without a certain ingredient. And there are also the times when delivery isn't actually faster than pulling out a few kitchen staples and cooking a one-pan dinner.
Here are four takeout-inspired dinners that can fix a few dinnertime dilemmas while making sure you still get the flavors you crave.
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken: The Takeout Favorite No One Has to Reheat
When you're really craving takeout but everyone is coming home for dinner at different times, the slow cooker is a perfect solution for General Tso's chicken that no one has to reheat.
This slow cooker General Tso's chicken hits all the high points of your Chinese takeout favorite — crisp, golden chicken with a tender interior, coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. Go ahead and double the recipe if you know seconds are to be expected.
Chicken Fried Rice: When the Delivery Wait Time Is Over an Hour
Have you ever called to put in your standard order of a large moo-shu pork, double egg rolls, and a quart of chicken fried rice only to say "never mind" when they tell you the delivery time is going to be an hour? Me too, and that's exactly why I keep all the ingredients for chicken fried rice on hand.
In this recipe we give you directions on how to cook the rice, but if you've got leftovers from the weekend then this dish comes together in a flash. Everything from the chicken to the egg is cooked in one pan. And with this method, you don't even need to have a wok handy to have it fast.
Homemade Boneless Wings: For When You're Trying to Break That Chicken Wing Habit
There's joy in ordering wings from your favorite chicken place for Sunday football or that weekend Netflix marathon, but when you need wings to be a more substantial meal or want to feed a crowd of picky eaters, baked boneless wings are the answer.
They're super crispy, thanks to the addition of vodka. Best of all, these guys can be made in bulk, frozen, and reheated in less than 20 minutes so all you have to do is bake and sauce them before digging in.
Chicken Fettucine Alfredo: For When You're Craving That Restaurant Dish That Doesn't Deliver Well
If you regularly order chicken Alfredo for takeout with the high hopes that you can enjoy this creamy, garlicky pasta dish from your couch only to be disappointed by clumpy sauce and cold noodles, then this chicken Alfredo recipe is for you.
You'll need just two pans (one for the noodles and one for everything else) and about 30 minutes to make a creamy, dreamy bowl of chewy noodles topped with crispy golden chicken and plenty of rich sauce.