Although it's a question you have to ask yourself every day, figuring out what to make for dinner always poses a challenge every now and then. That's why it's helpful to arm yourself with a variety of easy recipes that you can quickly throw together after a busy day.
In the spirit of adding a few new recipes to your usual weeknight rotation, we've rounded up some seriously mouth-watering Chinese-inspired dishes that are easy enough for anyone to make (yes, really).
Whether you're already a master at preparing Chinese cuisine and are looking for a few new, easy recipes, or you're more of a Chinese take-out connoisseur hoping to test your skills in the kitchen, there are plenty of easy Chinese recipes to try out. From vegetable potstickers and beef with broccoli to sweet-and-sour pork and Asian chopped salad, here are 20 flavorful dishes to add your recipe box.
Vegan Fried Rice
You might not associate Chinese food with vegan options, but this recipe for easy fried rice from Minimalist Baker will convince you that tasty, vegan Chinese food exists. Instead of adding in proteins like egg and chicken, this recipe uses tofu as an alternative. You can also make your own homemade sauce with soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, garlic, chili-garlic sauce, and toasted sesame oil. It calls for just 10 simple ingredients and takes just 15 minutes to prep.
Pro Tip: To squeeze the excess water out of the tofu, wrap the entire brick in a clean, absorbent towel, then place something heavy on top, like a cast-iron skillet or a plate weighed down with canned goods.
Asian Chopped Salad With Hoisin Marinated Pork Kabab
This satisfying Asian chopped salad with hoisin-marinated pork kabab from The Modern Proper is bursting with Chinese-inspired flavors. It starts with pork that's marinated in hoisin sauce and cooked on the grill until slightly charred. Place the skewers on top of the contents of any Asian-style chopped salad kit for a super easy lunch or weeknight dinner.
Pro Tip: Be sure to add peppers and black sesame seeds to finish the dish.
Vegetable Potstickers With Toasted Sesame Honey Soy Sauce
The idea of making potstickers from scratch may seem intimidating, but this recipe for vegetable potstickers from Half Baked Harvest makes it simple. You can use just about any combination of vegetables that you have on hand, like mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots, and season them with soy sauce and ginger for flavor. Once the filling is cooked, you'll assemble the potstickers in wonton wrappers and cook them in a skillet on the stove. Dip your finished potstickers in a homemade sauce made with garlic, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, and honey for a yummy appetizer or main course.
Pro Tip: These potstickers would also taste great stuffed with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
Char Sui Pork Tenderloin
For a warm and hearty meal, try Spoon Fork Bacon's recipe for Char Sui pork tenderloin. Although traditional Char Sui is made with pork shoulder, this recipe calls for pork tenderloin because it's healthier and easier to cook. All you have to do to prepare this dish is whip up the marinade made with ingredients like soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, sugar, and spices. Coat the tenderloin in the marinade and let sit for as little as four hours or as many as 24. When you're ready, roast the pork in the oven and serve over a bed of rice.
Pro Tip: Put any leftover pork to good use in a panini or a breakfast burrito.
Beef With Broccoli
This beef with broccoli recipe from Foodie Crush and Iowa Girl Eats allows you to make one of the most popular Chinese take-out dishes right at home. It calls for flank or sirloin steak, vegetables, and plenty of tasty seasonings. All of the ingredients end up in a wok or a large skillet, where they're stir-fried until seared. Serve the beef-and-broccoli mixture over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Pro Tip: You can opt to make this recipe gluten free by using substitutes for the soy sauce, flour, and rice.
Asian Basil Beef and Mango Noodle Salad
For a quick and easy Chinese recipe, try your hand at this Asian basil, beef, and mango noodle salad from Half Baked Harvest. It comes together in a snap after you cook the beef and the rice noodles. Simply mix them together with a salad mix of carrots, red peppers, green onions, mango, and cabbage for a simple meal inspired by Asian cuisine.
Pro Tip: Not a fan of rice noodles or mango? Swap in angel hair pasta and pineapple instead.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Another dish you'd typically find on a Chinese take-out menu, this recipe for sweet and sour pork comes from Foodie Crush and The Clever Carrot. It's a healthier version of the meal made with pork tenderloin, a sweet-and-sour sauce, pineapple, and peppers. Simply slice up the pork and sear it in a skillet on the stove. Next, you'll sautée the vegetables and add the pork back into the pan along with the pineapples and the sweet-and-sour sauce. Serve the pork-and-pineapple mixture with fluffy brown rice.
Pro Tip: You can use canned pineapple instead of fresh, but opt for a variety that's packed in its own juices—not in a sugar syrup.
Ginger Sesame Chicken Potstickers With Sweet Chili Pomegranate Sauce
This recipe for ginger sesame chicken potstickers is from Half Baked Harvest and will surely find its way into your regular dinner rotation after you master the dish. A flavorful, healthy meal, the recipe calls for your choice of ground chicken, turkey, or pork. You'll also use vegetables like kale, onion, and carrots to fill the inside of sesame crusted wontons. For dipping, prepare a sweet chili pomegranate sauce made with chili sauce, pomegranate juice, soy sauce, and pomegranate arils.
Pro Tip: These potstickers can be made ahead in large batches, then frozen. Just let them thaw a few minutes before pan-frying them.
Hot and Sour Soup
White pepper gives a little kick to this recipe for hot and sour soup by Jessica Gavin. The spiciness is countered by the tang of Chinese black vinegar and the savoriness of chicken, resulting in a soup with complex flavors. The luscious texture of the soup comes from eggs and a touch of cornstarch, while mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots give the soup some substance. Even more noteworthy, this classic Chinese takeout soup can be ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: You can find Chinese black vinegar at most Asian grocery stores, but distilled white vinegar or red wine vinegar can be substituted in a pinch.
Dim Sum Barbecue Pork Buns
Almost too cute to eat, these dim sum barbecue pork buns by I Am a Food Blog feature panda faces cleverly crafted from seaweed sheets or bun dough that's been colored with crushed black sesame seeds. Inside each fluffy bun is a sweet and savory filling consisting of barbecue pork, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. These buns are best served warm, straight from the steamer, and it's pretty much a given that you can't eat just one.
Pro Tip: Found at most Asian supermarkets, Asian bread flour is the key to the buns' fluffy and delicate texture, as it's very low in gluten.
15-Minute Egg Roll in a Bowl
Pinch of Yum's recipe for 15-minute egg rolls in a bowl offers everything you love about egg rolls—except the wrapper. Better still, the recipe is high in protein and low in carbs, and, true to its title, can be whipped up in just 15 minutes. Simply saute garlic and ginger in a skillet, then add ground pork, Chinese five spice, soy sauce, and chili paste. Once the pork is browned, shredded cabbage is thrown into the mix. Serve the pork mixture over rice with a drizzle of Sriracha.
Pro Tip: If you're short on time, bagged coleslaw mix can be used in lieu of the shredded cabbage.
Keto Chinese Pepper Steak
Whether you're seeking a low-carb Chinese takeout recipe, or you're just craving a healthy dish that's full of protein and veggies, Low Carb Maven's recipe for Chinese pepper steak fits the bill. Here, sliced flank steak is stir-fried in a wok along with sliced bell peppers and onion, soy sauce, and sesame oil, then seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the steak as is, or spoon it over cauliflower rice.
Pro Tip: For meat that's not overly chewy, cut the steak against the grain.
Baked Sweet and Sour Cauliflower
General Tso's chicken is delicious for a reason: It's deep-fried and loaded with fat, salt, and sugar. Creme de la Crumb's recipe for baked sweet and sour cauliflower, however, is plant-based and baked, reinventing the fan-favorite Chinese takeout dish as part of a healthier meal plan. The recipe centers around cauliflower florets, which are roasted until slightly browned and crispy, then tossed in a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, sugar, onion salt, and ketchup. Pair the cauliflower with steamed rice and sliced green onions.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on the cauliflower as it bakes; it can go from browned to burnt in a blink.
Kung Pao Shrimp
A better-than-takeout recipe for kung pao shrimp that comes together in less than 30 minutes? That's exactly what you'll get with Creme de la Crumb's recipe for kung pao shrimp. To begin, sautée de-veined shrimp in a large skillet with chopped onions, peanuts, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Once the shrimp is fully cooked, add the sauce (a sweet-and-sour combo of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and water) to the pan and simmer for about five minutes.
Pro Tip: Rice or white vinegar can be substituted for the balsamic, if necessary.
General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs
While traditional General Tso's recipes get their delicious (albeit less than nutritious) crunch from the deep fryer, this recipe for General Tso's chicken meatballs by Lisa's Dinnertime Dish finds its satisfying bite through water chestnuts. This fact, coupled with the meal's short prep and cook time (less than one hour total) proves the recipe to be a quick and healthy take on the popular Chinese takeout dish.
Pro Tip: Pair the meatballs with jasmine rice for a memorable dinner, or skewer the meatballs with toothpicks and serve them as an appetizer at your next party.
Moo Shu Pork Burgers
You've never tried moo shu pork quite like this before. In Cali Girl Cooking's recipe for moo shu pork burgers, the traditional Chinese takeout dish is reimagined as a hamburger worthy of a spot in your weekday recipe rotation. The ground pork patty is infused with Asian-influenced spices, while an omelet "pancake" (filled with bamboo shoots, garlic, shredded carrots, cabbage, and green onions) stands in place of your basic lettuce and tomato. Fresh sprouts and sweet hoisin sauce finish the not-so-basic burger.
Pro Tip: No need to get fancy with your bread—basic white buns work best here.
Chinese Chicken Salad
While the flavors present in Boulder Locavore's recipe for Chinese chicken salad can please almost any palate, it's the varying textures of this dish that prove it as a standout. Tender shredded chicken is contrasted by crisp cabbage and crunchy almonds and carrots, then tossed in a bright and tangy dressing of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil, brown sugar, and fresh ginger and garlic. The end result is a crowd-pleasing salad that's sure to be a hit at your next potluck.
Pro Tip: To ensure that the salad stays crisp and crunchy, wait until you're ready to serve the salad before adding the dressing.
Orange Chicken and Romanesco Stir Fry with Clementines
The tartness of citrus fruit is complemented by crunchy Romanesco (a.k.a. Roman cauliflower) in Boulder Locavore's recipe for orange chicken and Romanesco stir-fry with clementines. Quick and easy to make, this dish starts with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which are stir-fried in a wok (or large skillet) along with garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. A sauce of orange juice and tamari is added, then joined by onions, bell peppers, and the Romanesco. Once everything is evenly coated in the sauce and heated through, plate the stir-fry and scatter clementine segments and sliced green onions over top.
Pro Tip: Can't find Romaneso at the grocery store? Buy traditional broccoli instead.
Slow Cooker Hoisin Chili Chicken Tacos
China meets Mexico in Melanie Makes's recipe for slow-cooker hoisin chili chicken tacos. Not only are the flavors on point, the recipe leaves most of the work to slow cooker. Chicken breasts are simmered in the countertop appliance (along with hoisin sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic) for four hours, then shredded and returned to the slow cooker until the liquid reduces. When it's serving time, spoon the chicken into blistered corn tortillas, then top the meat with a crunchy slaw of Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, vinegar, and sugar. Garnish is chopped cilantro, if desired.
Pro Tip: This recipe can also be prepared in an Instant Pot, but be sure to use a tempered glass lid instead of a pressure-cooking lid.
Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce
This recipe for Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce by Pickled Plum has its starring ingredient—Chinese eggplant—to thank for its melt-in-your-mouth texture. Milder and more thinly skinned than the American variety, Chinese eggplant serves as a deliciously pillow-y vehicle for the recipe's Asian-inspired sauce, which is a savory-meets-sweet marriage of sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and cooking wine. The dish can be ready to serve in a mere 15 minutes and is best served with warm rice.
Pro Tip: Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to five days.