Chinese food is incredibly popular in the US, and there are almost countless dishes that are popular throughout the world.
However, takeout can be expensive (not to mention unhealthy) – but don’t think that you can’t enjoy your favorite Chinese food, as there are many dishes that you can make at home without sacrificing any flavor in the process.
In this guide, we’ll take you through 29 of the best recipes for getting that authentic takeout flavor at home!
So let’s get started, shall we?
Chinese Recipes For Takeout At Home
A takeout favorite, chicken noodle soup is as delicious as it is simple to make.
The base of any good soup is a good broth; a mix of chicken and vegetable broth works best, but you can use either one on its own to save some time and money.
Simply saute some onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in some butter until tender, then add the broth and your chicken and simmer it for 20-30 minutes.
Add the noodles of your choice a few minutes before it’s ready to take up, and you’ll have a delicious and hearty soup!
Best of all, this recipe is great for cooking in large batches that can be frozen for another day.
2. Chow Mein
Another classic, chow mein is an incredibly versatile dish that you can customize in almost any way you want!
You can keep things simple with a basic vegetable chow mein, featuring bean sprouts, bok choy, mushrooms, and thinly sliced carrots; alternatively, you can change it up a bit with your favorite protein such as pork, beef, chicken, prawn, or tofu.
Chow mein takes less than half an hour to cook, and the ingredients are stir-fried in an oyster sauce for some added flavor.
3. Spring Rolls
One of the most popular takeout sides out there, spring rolls are the perfect accompaniment to any homemade Chinese meal.
You can also choose from a wide variety of fillings! Duck and hoisin sauce is a popular choice, but chicken or even just plain vegetables taste just as delicious.
Thinly slice some veg like bean sprouts, carrot, and bamboo shoots along with any other fillings you want, and roll them up in filo pastry – the technique for rolling can be a bit tricky, but it’s easy once you get some practice in.
After that, all you need to do is fry them until they’re golden brown and mouth-wateringly crispy.
Fried rice is a staple of Chinese takeout, and is one of the most versatile recipes on this list with nearly endless customization options to suit your preferences.
For a basic egg fried rice, however, you only need a few basic ingredients.
Pro-tip: using leftover rice from a previous meal is a great way to cut down on cooking time and will make sure that the rice is cool and slightly dry, ideal for frying.
Freshly cooked rice can clump together and turn mushy.
Once you’ve got the basic recipe down, you’re able to switch things up with other ingredients like prawns, chicken, tofu, or pretty much anything else you might want to add!
Sticky, crunchy, and sweet, orange chicken has seen a big boom in popularity over the last few years.
And who’s surprised when this recipe just tastes so darn good?
A mix of orange juice and zest helps to give this recipe its iconic flavor, while mixing in some cornstarch with the rest of the breading helps it keep its crunch after you’ve added the sauce.
Serve it with some plain white rice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds – the chicken is the real star of the show here!
Making bao buns can be tricky and time-consuming, but luckily a lot of this hassle can be avoided if you use a slow cooker!
The bao themselves only need a few ingredients, and are steamed until they are light and fluffy – you can also use a bread maker (see also ‘33 Of Our Favorite Bread Machine Recipes‘) for this to help cut down on some time.
Then, fill them with pulled pork and other fillings (a fresh slaw works great here).
Despite their size, bao buns are remarkably filling and you’ll only need one or two for a full meal.
7. Lo Mein
Lo mein is quite similar to chow mein, but with a few slight changes.
The main difference between the two is that lo mein uses noodles that have already been cooked, which are then mixed with the vegetables, sauce, and meat.
Quick, simple, and delicious – what more could you ask for?
Chop suey is an iconic takeout classic, and for good reason.
This recipe uses a mix of crunchy vegetables, tender chicken, and noodles, all bound together in a starchy sauce.
Chop suey lets you switch things up with whatever veg you want – in fact, the name roughly translates to ‘mix of pieces’, so feel free to use your favorites!
Chicken chop suey is incredibly easy to make. Simply fry up your chicken, then stir-fry the vegetables.
Then, add your sauce (which uses some cornstarch as a thickener) to bind it all together before serving with egg noodles (see also our favorite egg noodle recipes) or rice.
Pot stickers are a delicious starter or side, and are quick and easy to make to boot!
Made by sauteing vegetables in a wok before stuffing them in a dumpling wrapper and frying them on a skillet.
You can use whatever vegetables you like, but ginger, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, and peppers are a great choice.
Add some soy sauce and sesame oil for some flavor, and pinch the filling into a dumpling or wonton wrapper.
Then, fry them on a skillet pan until they get that delicious crispy crust on the bottom.
These pot stickers are quick, tasty, and are the perfect accompaniment to your meal or as a snack on their own!
10. Soup Dumplings
Like pot stickers, soup dumplings are another popular Chinese side dish.
Soup dumplings might seem like they’re pretty complicated, but they’re actually surprisingly easy!
The soup uses gelatin mixed into a meat or vegetable broth that is cooled down until it’s set, which then melts back into broth when the dumplings are cooked.
They’re also stuffed with a filling made out of ground meat and vegetables, all enclosed in a dumpling wrapper.
Traditionally, these dumplings are cooked in a steamer, but you can also just cook them in a frying pan if you don’t have a bamboo steamer.
This recipe is as simple as it sounds. But don’t let this fool you – this easy stir-fry made with tender beef and crunchy broccoli tastes great and takes hardly any time at all to make!
Sliced steak and full broccoli florets are stir-fried with ginger and garlic, and tossed in a thick and sticky teriyaki sauce.
Satay sauce can go with all sorts of meat, but this recipe with succulent duck is definitely one of the best options out there.
Satay sauce is made with peanuts, and you can use peanut butter as a quick and tasty alternative to the (slightly tricky) regular sauce.
The mix of sweet peanut sauce and savory duck is a great pairing, and adding some spice with fresh chili adds a kick of heat that really brings out the best in this delicious dish.
Simply serve it with some plain white rice or quinoa if you want a healthier alternative.
13. Szechuan Chicken
Looking for something with a bit more heat? Then this tasty recipe with spicy Szechuan sauce is just what you’re looking for!
Like several recipes on this list, making Szechuan chicken involves coating fried chicken in a sauce.
This makes this recipe quick and easy, taking less than 20 minutes to prepare!
Szechuan sauce is a spicy sauce made with chili, garlic, and sesame oil for a sticky glaze that packs a spicy punch.
Like Szechuan chicken, this recipe for crispy shredded chili beef brings the heat with a deliciously spicy kick.
Thin strips of steak are coated in a seasoned corn flour mix before being shallow fried, leaving it with a crispy exterior and a tender interior that melts in the mouth.
Then, the strips are fried again with onions, fresh chilis, and a sweet and spicy sauce made of soy sauce, chili paste, rice vinegar, sugar, and ketchup.
The sauce coats the beef strips in a sticky glaze without taking away the crispy goodness for a delicious and quick Chinese takeout classic.
15. Bang Bang Shrimp
Chinese food is known for its use of seafood, and this recipe for bang bang shrimp is a shining example of this.
The shrimp are breaded with Panko breadcrumbs and baked until they’re golden brown and crispy, before being dipped in a tangy and spicy bang bang sauce made with sriracha, sweet chili sauce, honey, and lime juice for a simple but surprisingly complex sauce that perfectly complements the shrimp.
Another takeout favorite, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with some sweet and sour chicken!
Chunks of crispy fried chicken are coated in a sauce made of ketchup, sugar/honey, vinegar, and pineapple juice for a sweet and tangy flavor.
Chunks of pineapple are also added for some extra juicy sweetness.
This recipe is delicious with regular rice, but adding it to egg fried rice brings it to a whole other level.
17. Dan Dan Noodles
Want a noodle dish that really brings the spice? Then look no further than this dan dan noodle recipe, packed with the heat you’d typically find in other Szechuan dishes.
This is a slightly more complicated dish than some of the others on this list, but it’s definitely worth it if you’re a fan of noodles and spice.
Made with homemade chili oil, ground pork, pickled vegetables, and white noodles, this tasty dish combines spicy and umami flavors for a fiery filling meal!
While it’s one of the most popular takeout dishes in the US, General Tso’s chicken doesn’t actually originate from China.
However, this staple of Chinese takeout is easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Like several other chicken dishes on this list, the defining feature of General Tso’s chicken is its sauce – this is rich and tangy, made with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and some cornstarch in water to help thicken it up a bit.
Simply fry some chicken, toss it in the sauce, and serve it with some steamed broccoli and sesame seeds on a bed of white rice.
You’ve probably heard that chicken noodle soup is a great cold remedy, but this mushroom-based hot and sour soup blows all others out of the water in that respect.
As its name suggests, this light soup contains both sour and spicy flavors for a uniquely delicious combination.
Starting with a base of chicken or vegetable stock, you add vinegar, soy sauce, chilies, sesame oil, and ginger to make the base.
Then, you can throw in some mushrooms along with egg and some more protein such as tofu or chicken.
Let it simmer for 30-40 minutes, and you’re left with a complex and tasty soup that’s also super healthy!
Known for its spiciness and curry flavor, Singapore noodles are a great alternative to heavier noodle dishes like chow mein.
It’s made with vermicelli noodles, and typically contains a mix of pork, prawns, egg, and some veg.
This recipe’s iconic yellow color comes from the curry powder and turmeric used for flavoring; this also gives it a slightly smoky taste that sets it apart from other noodle dishes.
21. Egg Drop Soup
One of the more unusual dishes on this list, egg drop soup lives up to its strange name through how it’s prepared.
A simple mix of chicken broth and some spices is combined with some cornstarch to make it thicker; from here, you can get to the interesting part.
To make the eponymous egg drops, beat some eggs in a separate bowl. Then, slowly and carefully drizzle the egg into the soup while stirring it continuously.
As the egg is added, it will start to cook and form ribbons and drops in the broth, giving the soup its name.
Alternatively, drip the egg through a slotted ladle for more control and smaller, separate drops.
Another takeout favorite, beef and black bean is one of the most popular Chinese dishes out there.
Slices of tender beef are cooked in a rich and umami black bean sauce along with thickly chopped slices of onion, carrot, and bell pepper.
The slight heat and sweetness of the sauce pairs well with the salty beef, while the veg should stay crunchy for added texture.
Serve it with some egg fried rice, and thank us later.
No good meal is complete without a tasty dessert. That’s where these delicious pineapple fritters come in!
These are incredibly easy to make: rings of sliced pineapple are coated in a batter before being deep fried like a donut until the batter is crispy.
Now you can either dust them with some icing sugar or coat them in golden syrup for a sweet and refreshing dessert.
24. Mango Pudding
Mango pudding is a popular dessert in Hong Kong, and is just as popular in Chinese takeouts in the US.
This pudding includes mango puree, cream, sugar, and gelatin, with a thin layer of coconut milk or condensed milk on top.
Blend some mango with water and heavy cream, then dissolve some gelatin and sugar in warm water.
Combine the two, and let it chill in the fridge until it’s completely set.
Be careful when you’re adding the gelatin to the mango puree, and make sure that it’s completely cooled before combining to avoid any lumps or bubbles in the pudding.
It’s refreshing and smooth, perfect for after dinner on a warm summer evening.
Here’s an incredibly simple recipe that tastes just like a takeout, and uses just a handful of ingredients.
Diced chicken and cashews are stir-fried in a fragrant garlic sauce with some chopped green onion for garnish.
Quick and easy, this delicious dish takes just 30 minutes to prepare. Serve it with some fluffy white rice.
26. Fried Milk
This might sound like an unusual recipe, but hear us out!
Made by simmering milk, sugar, and cornstarch until thick and then refrigerating the mix, these jelly-like milk cubes are breaded and fried for a tasty dessert or snack.
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
No Chinese-style lunch would be complete without some delicious green tea.
Using proper green tea leaves such as Longjing or Xinyang Maojian will give you the most refreshing and authentic drink.
Stir in some honey or a squeeze of lemon juice for some added flavor, or simply enjoy it on its own.
This earthy and fragrant meal takes only 15 minutes to prepare.
The firm tofu absorbs all the delicious flavors from the shiitake mushrooms and sesame oil, while the bok choy adds a refreshing crunch and elevates this already incredible combo.
Serve it on its own or on some white rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is MSG Okay To Use?
Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing wrong with using MSG in your cooking.
In fact, it’s an important ingredient if you’re looking for that authentic takeout taste, as it’s a commonly used seasoning in most Chinese restaurants (see also ‘Top 13 Chinese Food Restaurant Chains’).
Just be careful not to use too much, as MSG can taste bitter in large amounts.
Is Homemade Chinese Food Healthy?
This all depends on what you’re making and the ingredients you use.
Several of these recipes involve frying and/or adding sugar, and this means that it’s less healthy.
If you want to keep things a bit healthier, swap out some ingredients for more nutritious alternatives.
Is Making Homemade Chinese Takeout Hard?
Again, this depends on what you’re cooking. Some recipes (such as bao buns and dan dan noodles) take a bit more time and effort than others.
For the most part, however, the recipes on this list are fairly simple and don’t take too much work to make.
So there you have it – 29 of the tastiest meals out here for making homemade chinese takeout (see also ‘Chinese Food Dishes You Need To Try‘)!
There’s plenty of dishes to love on this list, with enough variation that there’s something to suit everyone’s taste.
Trying new dishes is a great way to expand your palette (along with your cooking skills), so try some of these recipes and enjoy the taste of Chinese takeout at home.