With the rise of food delivery services like GrubHub, Seamless, DoorDash, UberEATS, Caviar, and the list goes on and on, the convenience of takeout makes it nearly impossible to resist on nights when you "literally just can’t even" with cooking for yourself. Gone are the days when you had to lovingly hoard takeout menus from all your favorite neighborhood spots in a drawer and call the restaurant to place an order.
Regardless, takeout food can still be hit or miss. Things can go awry with delivery, or you might make a bad choice from the suddenly huge list of available restaurants, or you might even just want to separate yourself from the clutches of corporate gig economy food delivery apps (in which case, might we suggest skipping the middleman and calling your favorite spot directly?).
With all this in mind, in these times, it might be best to make your favorite takeout dishes yourself. Here's our ultimate list of recipes for copying your favorite fast food orders, from homemade egg rolls to breakfast burritos, and even a DIY Double Down.
You don't have to put pants on and go outside in order to live más with a cheesy, meaty homemade crunchwrap.
On nearly every list of "most popular takeout orders," burritos rank high, at any time of day. Do homemade breakfast burritos right with spicy chorizo, fluffy scrambled eggs, and crispy potatoes.
While you're learning to make your own burritos, might as well go one step further and check chimichangas off your list. This version is like a giant crispy pocket of pork and cheese.
You may only put the effort forth once or twice in your life, but making your own tortilla chips from scratch is a gamechanger. Give it a try with Matty Matheson’s super simple queso.
A crispy, pickle brine-marinated chicken sandwich that you can make any day of the week. Hallelujah.
If you're in Brooklyn, you can probably get Win Son's popular big chicken bun as takeout, but if you're not, make it yourself.
No, Taiwanese beef noodle soup from scratch definitely isn't as fast as delivery, but make a batch and freeze it in portions and suddenly, it's faster.
Even when you can't go to karaoke and K-BBQ with your friends, you can still make galbi at home.
Take it from chef Kwame Onwuachi, real jerk chicken is a labor of love—his version is a three-day process, so you've really gotta be committed.
Onion rings are always disappointing when you get them delivered, and even the best ones don't fare well on the journey, becoming sad, wet strings inside a soggy shell. Here's how to avoid that.
Whether you call it a hoagie, a hero, or a sub, it's time you learned to make a proper one at home. This fried eggplant and prosciutto sandwich is a good place to start.
Chef Mei Lin just upgraded your favorite steakhouse appetizer, served with a creamy, tart garlic-lime dipping sauce.
This butter chicken recipe from Matty Matheson is everything you want in your go-to Indian takeout order—tender, juicy meat, and a spicy, flavorful sauce that's perfect for sopping up with extra naan.
Just like the best takeout spot would do it, these samosas are fried twice—once at a low temp, and then finished at a higher one—to ensure the perfect crispy consistency.
It's okay to play with your food sometimes—the extremely popular spicy noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods are stretched by hand.
If you take a day to make a big ol’ batch of these pork dumplings, you can keep them frozen and ready for any time a dumpling craving strikes.
Fresh lo mein noodles make all the difference in this recipe, but if you can’t find those, the dried version will do just fine.
The nice thing about making kung pao chicken at home is that you can dial back the heat with fewer Thai chiles—or go all out on the spice level if that's what's right for you.
Put your meat on a stick for a twist on the Chinese American takeout classic.
No Chinese takeout night is complete without egg rolls. Make just a few for yourself, or a big batch of these for party appetizers.
Scallion pancakes are not as simple as they seem, but if you put in a little effort to make them from scratch, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for them when you order them for delivery.
You can make chef Eric Sze's scallion pancakes on their own, but we especially love them when they're filled with braised beef shanks for the best lunch wrap ever.
Dan dan noodles are the perfect vessel for getting the tingly taste of Sichuan pepper all up in your mouth. You'll sweat your face off, but it's okay—you're at home.
Learn to make pizza, and it's not that you won't ever order out again, but you won't be beholden to the slice joint. Start with Frank Pinello’s pizza dough, then let your imagination run wild.
Ignore where your regional pizza loyalties lie for a second: This Chicago-style, deep dish pie is definitely a big cozy-in-your-sweatpants-with-a-crappy-movie mood.
For a side dish to your pizza, try using… even more pizza dough to make these buttery garlic knots with a cup of marinara for dunking.
Ribs are one of those foods that seem like such a pain that you automatically think someone else has gotta make 'em. These easy spare ribs don't need a crazy set up or a hard-to-find list of ingredients, just some patience.
Char siu chicken is a sticky, sweet Chinese chicken dish, and according to cook and author Andrea Nguyen, it makes a perfect filling for a Vietnamese banh mi.
Just two pieces of fluffy white bread, a fried chicken patty, and cabbage for crunch, because sometimes the best comfort foods are simple.
This baked Jamaican beef patty has a flaky crust and a filling loaded with flavor, and topped with a slice of American cheese, it's the cure to your late night munchies.
Making versions of your favorite takeout foods at home allows you to experiment with harder-to-find proteins, like using scallops in your homemade pad thai.
The best part of making your chicken nuggets at home is that you know exactly what's going into them.
A takeout cheeseburger that doesn't come from a fast food chain is a unique sort of pleasure, but let’s be honest—they don’t hold up well en route to your house. Here's how to make a better burger.
A turkey burger feels like kinda a blah thing to get delivered when you could just go all out with the big beef boy. But when you want to make something lighter at home, here's your guy.
A fried egg-topped burger is one of those things you should eat immediately for maximum drippy yolk enjoyment, so you're better off doing it your damn self.
Your gyro guy's got at least one thing you don't: a rotating spit for cooking a big hunk of meat. Since that's probably overkill for you, here's the next best way to approximate shawarma at home.
Like a vegetarian version of California's beloved In-N-Out, Burgerlords makes a meat-free burger that isn't fully of squishy soy protein. With a bunch of veggies, you can, too.
Unfortunately, we can't think of anywhere near us that delivers chicken fried steak sandwiches. So until we can get to New Orleans for chef Mason Hereford's version, we can at least make his chicken fried steak sandwich at home.
A burger is downright incomplete without French fries, we all know it, so don’t cut corners on your typical takeout order and fry ‘em up fresh yourself.
Yes, you can just dump a bag of tater tots onto a sheet tray and call it day. That said, making tater tots yourself involves rolling a long log of mashed potatoes, which is basically the adult version of making Play-Doh snakes.
Don't throw away your potato skins! Deep fry them, then sprinkle them with cheese and sour cream and chives for loaded baked potato-style nachos.
Yeah, you could eat a Big Mac with your French fries—or you could make loaded French fries with all those burger fixings. We know how we want to live.
Again, another one of those foods we don't make enough at home because it seems easier to get 'em delivered. Buffalo wings are actually pretty damn easy; plus, there's nothing more to Buffalo sauce than butter, garlic, and Frank's Red Hot.
You could take a trek to your local Mexican joint, or you can make damn good carne asada tacos on your patio at home.
Grilled, marinated fish tacos with all the fixings—tomatillo salsa, avocado, and citrus-pickled onions—are pretty simple, but you can pat yourself on the back for doing it all yourself.
Well, crap, you just went vegan, but your favorite taco spot hasn't. Here's how to get yourself through it with vegan adobada tacos.
If there's anything modern food science has truly nailed, it's silky, stretchy, fake-y fast food cheese sauce. But if you want to eat food with ingredients you can actually pronounce, make this cheese sauce and put it on everything.
We personally hate when a delivery order of fried chicken arrives inside a styrofoam takeout container that's dripping with condensation, making nice, crispy skin disgustingly waterlogged. Make your fried chicken at home, and skip soggy skin forever.
The folks at Honey Butter Chicken really know what they're doing, serving their crispy fried chicken with a dash of smoked paprika and a generous side of honey butter. If you can't beat 'em, might as well join 'em.
Thai restaurants know the secret to the most shatteringly crispy fried chicken, and it's not a thick, KFC-style dredge, but a two-day brine and some whipped egg whites.
The thickest, flakiest, most buttery biscuit we've got will beat anything you can get from a fast food spot.
Kinda like the sub you'd order from your deli guy while drunk at 2 a.m., except you can make it at home when you're less of a hot mess.
Is the chicken torta the perfect chicken sandwich? Perhaps, and you might as well test that hypothesis by making one or two for yourself.
Just like the infamous Double Down, this sandwich has no bread: just two "buns" of fried chicken with bacon between them. Just because you're not going out doesn't mean you can't indulge in that good, good junk food.
Across the pond, they've got plenty of fish and chip shops for the ultimately take-out meal. Since we're not so blessed with those, homemade fish and chips it is, then.
The thing about churros is that you really should eat them while they're extremely, mouth-burningly fresh—as time ticks by, they lose the crispy, airy quality that makes them so good. Fry them up at home, and you'll never deal with floppy churros again.
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