Mexican or Italian? Japanese or Thai? Cheeseburger or a meatball sub? Sometimes choosing what to eat can feel like an arduous task. It becomes even more difficult when ordering for two. You want healthy, they want ultra creamy. You want spicy, they want tangy. While there are certainly bigger conundrums to solve, it doesn’t make quenching your appetite any easier.
That’s where these dishes come in. A beautiful fusion of various cuisines, these 29 mash-up recipes are a single-dish solution to multiple cravings. From tandoori tacos to fajita pitas to Korean clam chowder, there are healthy options for every palate. All they require is a little (culinary) adventure.
Who needs tortillas? This recipe is everything you love about enchiladas—the sauce, the spice, the cheese—but cooked like the classic Italian dish, minus the marinara. We love substituting the ground beef for chicken and going heavy on the veggie toppings. The best part: This recipe makes around 30 meatballs, so it's the perfect dish for leftovers (or seconds).
Why didn’t we think of this? For a lighter version of a pita sandwich, try a Greek quesadilla. The mozzarella and feta cheese create a tangy, gooey center, and the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and dill give fresh life to classic quesadillas. For extra protein, add chicken breast.
It’s true: You can put almost anything in a taco, and it will be delicious. That said, we never would’ve guessed tandoori chicken was the secret to spicing up our taco game. And we do mean spicing: Ginger, cinnamon, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, and chili flakes create the perfect tandoori flavor. Top with avocado, cilantro, lime, and some hot sauce (or chutney).
We don’t know how sushi burritos became a thing, but we’re sure happy they did. We’re even happier that this simple recipe exists so we can make them at home. Wrapped in roasted seaweed and stuffed with classic sushi rice, guacamole, cajun chicken, and a few veggies, this recipe combines two of our favorite take-out cuisines in one delicious meal. Use salmon, shrimp, or tofu in place of the chicken to keep things interesting.
Caesar salad, meet the humble wonton. Ditch the fork for these tasty snacks; the wonton serves as an edible, crunchy spoon. And don’t let the homemade wontons scare you off—using a muffin tin makes them easy as can be.
Hello, summer. Soba noodles add a hearty flavor to these light rolls, a nice variation on traditional vermicelli. But the almond miso sauce is what really steals the show—you may even need to double the recipe. The suggested veggies are awesome but feel free to experiment. And yes, store-bought kimchi is a-OK.
Hummus is amazing. But it can also get boring. Here chickpeas blend with peanut butter, Sriracha, ginger, green onions, cilantro, and lime to create a sweet-yet-spicy, protein-packed dip that pairs perfectly with veggies, pita, tortilla chips, or a plain ol’ spoon.
Curried tahini sounds great. But curried tahini pasta salad? We admit: We were skeptical too. Then we tasted it. Incredibly easy to prepare (total cook time is only 20 minutes!), full of healthy veggies, and mixed with a sauce so good you’ll lick the bowl. This recipe proves every dish is worth trying.
Chicken wings are awesome. But kung pao chicken wings are mind-blowing. The recipe calls for a few exotic ingredients—Sichuan peppercorns and Shaoxing wine—but a quick trip to a Chinese market should do the trick and won’t break the bank. The wings are so delicious they don’t really need sauce, but a little plain yogurt, cucumber, salt, and pepper will also work.
Teri-what? Seaweed on hot dogs may not sound like a match made in heaven, but stick with us. This adventurous recipe takes only five minutes to make and will surprise and delight you. The nori, mayo, and teriyaki sauce go curiously well together and make both cooking and eating a hot dog feel like a totally grown-up thing to do.
Fussing with phyllo dough can be just that: a fuss. Lasagna strips, however, are a breeze to cook with and the perfect base for layers of béchamel, spinach, cheese, and herbs. Greek cheeses such as feta and kefalotyri are a nice change from ricotta and mozzarella, but Parmesan also tastes just as good. Pre-cook the bechamel if you’re crunched for time.
You had us at short rib. And French dip. But miso? Oddly enough, stewing the short rib in miso is pretty magical. As with most short rib recipes, it takes upward of three hours to cook, but your home will smell like heaven, and the end result tastes like it too.
Topped with pork or chicken meatballs, fried eggs, spicy “mayo," and a smattering of rainbow veggies, this recipe is not your average pizza. But it is incredible. It also tastes great with tofu, and for those who don’t like mayo, fear not: The sauce is actually made with tahini.
This recipe tastes even better than it looks—which says a lot. Curry punches up traditional tomato sauce, and the lentil and walnut meatballs are a nice departure from their beefy counterparts. Garnish with fresh parsley and a touch of coconut cream. For extra spice, add crushed red pepper flakes.
Qué pasa, kielbasa? Fried rice is another dish where it’s hard to go wrong. The only somewhat difficult part is remembering to cook the rice at least a day in advance, as the key here is making sure the rice has little-to-no moisture. The Polish sausage is a great stand-in for pork or ham, and since it looks like hot dog pieces, you may even persuade your kids to dig in.
Thai food may not make you think of cheese, but this recipe will change that. Sweet, spicy, and pleasantly cheesy, these enchiladas hit all the right spots—they're full of shredded chicken and chopped bell peppers, covered in a flavor-bomb sauce, and topped with avocado, cilantro, and pomegranate. You may never go back to the OG variety.
Ramen meets fajita meets stir-fry in this Asian-Mexican fusion dish. The simple sauce binds the worlds together, creating a filling dish that’s perfect for a party or leftovers galore. Play with whatever protein you fancy and experiment with snow peas, water chestnuts, and even pineapple. You can even substitute zucchini noodles to keep things low carb and gluten-free.
If you’ve never used za’atar, now’s the time. The Middle Eastern spice mix changes simple flavors from meh to wow with a sheer pinch, and this crostini is no exception. The labneh and spiced tomatoes put a unique twist on classic bruschetta and pair perfectly with a side salad—Middle Eastern or Italian.
These are not your average veggie burgers. The patty is made with walnuts and edamame (a welcome change from black beans and corn) and gets sandwiched between Japanese pickles and teriyaki guacamole. Since this recipe is already on the time-consuming side, we suggest skipping the homemade buns and using store-bought instead. Serve with a side of bok choy—green fries, if you will.
Pita tacos? Don’t mind if we do. The pita helps hold the precious cargo—chickpeas, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream—and provides a heartier base than its cousin, the tortilla. The best part: The chorizo spice is so convincing, you won’t miss meat in the slightest.
Just when you thought pizza couldn’t get any better, along comes this butter pizza. The Indian-inspired dish uses homemade paneer (an Indian cheese), canned tomatoes, honey, mozzarella, and spices upon spices to create an unexpected, decadent dish that blows takeout out of the water. To go gluten-free, use a cauliflower crust.
If you love crunchy tacos, we urge you to try tacos made with wonton wrappers. The thin, crispy layers are the perfect base for the Japanese ingredients—rice and beef teriyaki topped with a sprinkle of spring onions and a dash of sesame seeds. Meet the fusion taco of your dreams.
It can be difficult to figure out what to do with leftover rice. And sometimes, even if you find creative ways to use it, it gets old after a few days and often ends up in the garbage bin. Next time, make these. Filled with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and wrapped in rice cooked with numerous spices, these rice balls are a fun twist on the Italian staple—and healthier too. Serve with tomato sauce, yogurt sauce, or both.
Whether eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these dosa waffles are a fun way to counter your chicken and waffles craving. Though the recipe is vegetarian, adding shredded chicken and topping with Indian hot sauce or extra peppers can do no harm. The dish also tastes great with chutney if you’re hankering for some sweet.
This is the perfect dish to make if you have leftover grilled chicken on hand. The only other ingredients you need are a baguette (Vietnamese, French, or a Mexican bolillo roll will do), romaine, cucumber, carrot, green onions, and tzatziki. Don’t skip the mint, if possible—it’s by far the best part.
Who knew “healthy” and “popper egg roll” fit in the same sentence, let alone a recipe name? These vegetarian rolls are baked, not fried, and paired with a Sriracha-Greek yogurt sauce that adds extra flavor and protein. To give them even more of a boost, cut the beans in half and add diced chicken.
If you’re sick of the same old stir-fry, try this Indian version. Cooked in a creamy yet healthy sauce and spiced with ginger, tomato, and garlic paste, this recipe is a breeze to cook and a joy to eat. Bonus: Leftovers taste even better because the chicken soaks up the amazing sauce. Eat with rice, pita, or lettuce cups.
If you’re looking for a lighter clam chowder, this isn’t it. But it is insanely delicious, and since it’s so filling, all you need is a small serving. This variation uses miso, Korean chili paste, sake wine, fish sauce, and ginger to give new life to the New England staple. While we love a good healthy substitute, we recommend making this recipe as is and enjoying all of its buttery, pancetta-y goodness.