These Quick and Easy Chinese Dinners Are Better Than Takeout

Opening those little white boxes around the dinner table or in front of a favorite TV show is a special treat we all love. But, takeout food comes with a cost: It’s both expensive and often made with a lot of extra sugar, salt, and fat. Instead, learn to make classic Chinese takeout favorites at home for quick and easy weeknight meals with healthier ingredients. You might discover a new favorite or improve upon an old one. You’ll have a ton of fun in the process, and a dinner the whole family will love.

Appetizers

Pot Stickers (Chinese Dumplings)

Easy Chinese Dinners Better Than Takeout | Pot Stickers (Chinese Dumplings)

Photo by LZakaria

Potstickers are traditionally made with pork, but these dumplings feature ground shrimp and beef. The recipe makes a lot of filling, so make extra dumplings (and don’t forget to buy extra gyoza wrappers) for future meals or unexpected guests. To store extras, place the prepared potstickers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze, then transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag, label, and date. You can fry them from frozen (and add a little extra cooking time) or defrost them for a few minutes on the countertop. Serve these dumplings with soy sauce or whip up an Easy Asian Dipping Sauce.

Hungry for more?

Explore all of our Chinese appetizers


Soup

Egg Drop Soup (Better than Restaurant Quality!)

Easy Chinese Dinners Better Than Takeout | Egg Drop Soup (Better Than Restaurant Quality)

Photo by Paula

This warming and comforting soup is super easy to make by whipping eggs into hot chicken broth, and then topping it with chives or green onions. If you like your soup a bit thicker, add a touch more cornstarch. If you’re looking to cut down on salt, use a low-sodium chicken broth or bullion cube, since the soy sauce will have plenty of flavor. Toss in a handful of frozen corn for more texture, and leave out the food coloring if you don’t have any on hand.

One more bowl, please!


Chicken

General Tsao’s Chicken II

The trick to this spicy-sweet chicken dish is to fry the chicken twice. However, if you’re short on time or oil, you can simply stir-fry the chicken (thighs or breast chunks work great) in your pan, remove them and make the sauce, then stir everything back together. If you don’t have peanuts on hand, cashews are an excellent substitute. Dial up or down the heat to your taste by adding or removing chilies. This dish pairs perfectly with steamed rice and broccoli.

Duck, duck, goose…Chicken!

Explore all of our Chinese chicken main dishes.


Pork & Beef

Sesame Beef

So quick and easy, this beef dish can be prepped and marinated several hours or overnight, then it’s only a matter of quickly cooking it on the stove top to get dinner on the table. Double the marinade, soak the meat on one half and reserve the other half for serving as a sauce over rice or noodles when serving the beef.

Want leftovers for lunch?

Explore all of our Chinese pork main dishes.


Seafood

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Easy Chinese Dinners Better Than Takeout | Honey Walnut Shrimp

Photo by Rhianna

This is a Hong Kong style recipe that is popular at dim sum restaurants. It can be served as a main dish on its own, or as an appetizer. If you’re avoiding gluten in your diet, substitute cornstarch for the wheat flour. In fact, many of our reviewers preferred making the recipe this way.

Fishing around for more recipes?

Explore all of our Chinese seafood main dishes.


Vegetarian

Green Onion Cakes

Easy Chinese Dinners Better Than Takeout | Green Onion Cakes

Photo by CC<3’s2bake

When you’re looking for something lighter, or the perfect side dish to soak up sauces, try these pancakes. Toss in a little extra onion powder to boost the flavor, and make a double batch to freeze for later.

Veggie sides or entrees? You choose:


Noodles and Rice

Lo Mein Noodles

Easy Chinese Dinners Better Than Takeout | Lo Mein Noodles

Photo by Sherri

It doesn’t get easier than this: Spaghetti noodles are tossed in pantry staples (soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and honey) along with crisp vegetables, for the perfect side dish. Want to make it a main course? Cook a bit of your favorite meat or fish in the pan first, then set it aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe. This is a great way to use up any leftover cooked chicken or vegetables in the fridge.

Can’t get enough noodles and rice:

Explore all of our fried rice and chow mein recipes.


Dessert

We hoped you saved a little room…

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Easy Chinese Dinners Better Than Takeout | Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Photo by LIANG

Even more room…


Explore our entire collection of Chinese recipes.


Follow me to more recipe inspiration and how-to tips on Allrecipes Dish.