Weeknight Cooking

11 Takeout Favorites That Take Less Time to Cook than Delivery

February 15, 2016

Up until a few weeks ago, there were several things I had never even considered making at home:

  1. The bacon, egg, and cheese bagel from my corner bodega (it's a gooey masterpiece).
  2. Orange chicken—my Panda Express love runs too deep, and do I really want to know how its made?
  3. The cold-busting Thai perfection that is Tom Kha Gai.

Each of these recipes, I reasoned, were too complicated and too delicious for me to go about ruining them and I was more than happy to order them in on special (too-lazy-to-put-on-pants-and-go-to-the-store) occasions and contribute to New York City's tradition of takeout. That is, until I made Tom Kha Gai last week.

When I clicked on the recipe, expecting to find a tome's worth of spices and ingredients, what I instead found was a short list of produce and very few spices—all of which I already had in my pantry. The best part, though, was the 25-minute cook time. That's it. In less time than it would have taken me to wait for a (much more expensive) carton of lukewarm soup, I had a piping hot bowl of Tom Kha Gai, seasoned to my preferences, and just as delicious as any I'd had at Thai restaurants.

Within the week, I took advantage of my I-can-make-takeout-at-home epiphany to make orange chicken and the perfect BEC. Here are 10 other recipes that take less time than a delivery order (20 minutes tops, that is):

5 Minutes:

10 Minutes:

20 Minutes:

What is a go-to takeout order you wish took less time to cook at home? Tell us in the comments below!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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1 Comment

EL March 3, 2016
Galangal? Lemongrass? Your pantry essentials are waaaaay different than mine. On the other hand making some of these gets you a better dinner than takeout. But why isn't pizza up there somewhere? Homemade is so much better than takeout.