Most of us enjoy a Friday night takeaway, but costs can soon mount up if you do it regularly.

The average UK household spends over £1,200 on takeaways and eating out each year, according to research website, Nimblefins, a pretty huge amount when you consider what else you might be able to put this money towards. 

One way to reduce this cost is to make your Friday night takeaway food yourself. Although this may not be as appealing as having someone do the cooking for you, the amount of money you could save might be the motivation you need to get those pots and pans out.

Here are three delicious fakeaway recipes to try, along with how much they can save you compared to ordering the same food in (costs were correct at time of writing 05.03.2024).

Slow cooker butter chicken

A single main dish from a UK curry house is £9.51, but for a little over £1 more (£10.67), you could make 12 portions of this delicious slow cooker butter chicken – enough for six meals for a couple, or three for a family of four.

While some slow cooker recipes can lack depth of flavour, this slow cooker butter chicken builds layers of flavour by cooking and browning the butter chicken mixture in a frying pan before transferring to the slow cooker. The browning that happens in the pan adds a huge depth of flavour and makes the dish beautifully rich, so it’s definitely worth taking your time over it.

Here’s what you’ll need to make 12 portions:


1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 red onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

60g butter, divided into 4

900g boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

1x 142g double concentrate tomato puree

2 tbsps chicken tikka paste

4 tsp curry powder

4 tsp tandoori masala

2 tsp garam masala

500g natural yoghurt

2x 400ml tins coconut milk

30 cardamom pods

Salt to taste


Large frying pan

Slow cooker

Straining or slotted spoon


Start by setting a large frying pan on medium to low heat and drizzling in a tablespoon of oil, followed by your onions and a pinch of salt. The salt helps to draw out the water from the onion, so they’ll soften more quickly. Cook them down for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they soften and start to go lightly golden.

Once the onion has softened, add the garlic and a knob of butter to the pan and cook for a couple more minutes, before removing the onion and garlic mixture from the pan and setting it to one side.

Now you need to brown the chicken, so turn the heat up to medium, put another knob of butter in the pan and, working in batches, add the chicken to the pan in an even layer. Make sure not to crowd the pan and leave space between each piece, otherwise, the chicken will sweat rather than brown and you won’t build as much flavour. Each time you start a new batch, put another knob of butter in the pan.

Brown the chicken pieces on all sides. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t worry if the chicken catches on the pan, you can sort this out in the next step, just try to not let it burn. Once it’s done, remove the chicken from the pan and set to one side.

Turn the heat on the pan down low, add your tomato puree and cook it for a couple of minutes until it starts to darken slightly. The acidity of the puree will help lift anything that’s stuck to the pan and give your sauce more flavour.

Now you can add your tikka curry paste, the spices and any remaining butter. Mix it well until it’s all combined. The mixture can be slightly dry at this point, so if necessary, add a little splash of water to bring it to a paste-like consistency.

Add the chicken, onions and garlic back into the pan with the tomato and spice mixture and give it a good stir to make sure everything is nicely coated.

Transfer this mixture to your slow cooker, making sure to scrape everything out of the pan. If some sauce is cooked onto the pan, you can use a bit of yoghurt to loosen it and then add it to the slow cooker.

Add the yoghurt and coconut milk to the slow cooker, followed by the cardamom pods and a pinch of salt and set it all to cook for 4 hours on a high heat setting or 6 hours on low.

When the butter chicken is done slow cooking, pick out the cardamom pods and it’s ready to serve.

This dish is great paired with rice, or naan bread, but it also freezes really well, so you can batch-cook it and put anything you don’t use in the freezer for later.

Home made fish and chips

Fish and chips is a Friday night staple for many households across the UK, but it doesn’t come cheap, with the average fish and chip supper costing around £9.65 per person, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It’s cheaper to make your own from scratch, so next time you fancy a chippy tea, why not try making this recipe instead which can feed two people for around £4.50 each?

To make two portions, this is what you’ll need:


2-3 Medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1cm wide chips

2 tbsp olive oil


80g plain flour plus extra for dusting

75g cornflour

2 tsp baking powder

Large pinch of salt

50ml vodka

150 ml ice-cold light ale

2 medium-sized cod loins

Approx. 500ml Vegetable Oil


Sharp knife

Large saucepan

Large baking tray

Two large bowls

Heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish

Thermometer (not essential)



Preheat your oven to its highest temperature.

Put your chipped potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with cold water and give them a stir. Leave the chips to soak in the cold water for five minutes. This helps to get rid of any excess starch, which means they’ll cook more evenly and won’t stick to the baking tray in the oven.

After five minutes drain the potatoes, give them a brief rinse and then tip them back into the saucepan and cover with more cold water.

Set this saucepan on the hob on high heat and bring to a boil. Boil the chips for three minutes and then drain them thoroughly.

Tip the par-boiled chips onto a baking tray and drizzle liberally with olive oil, making sure every chip is coated and then add a generous sprinkle of salt. Put the chips in the oven to bake for 25 minutes, turning them halfway through.

While the chips cook, you can prepare the fish.


Start by making the batter. Whisk together the plain flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until evenly combined.

In a separate bowl or jug, measure out the beer and vodka and stir to combine. Using vodka means that the liquid in the batter evaporates faster when frying, so it creates a crispier batter.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients, stirring as you go until the batter is just combined. Be careful to not overmix at this point as this can knock the air out of the batter and make it tough.

Set the batter to one side and start prepping your fish.

Pat the cod loins dry on a piece of kitchen paper, and then either cut it into goujons or leave them whole.

Tip a little plain flour and a pinch of salt into a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. You’ll use this to coat the fish before dipping it in the batter. 

Pour 2cm of vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pan, and turn the heat on high. You want the oil to reach 180℃ which should take five to ten minutes. If you have a thermometer, use this to keep an eye on the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry. After about five minutes and when you think the oil is ready, drop a dollop of batter into the oil. If it takes about 30 seconds to go golden brown, your oil is ready. If it takes more time, you’ll need to wait for the oil to get hotter. If it takes less, you’ll need to turn down the heat a little.

Once your oil is hot enough, coat your fish in the flour mixture and then dip it in the batter until it’s evenly coated. Hold the battered fish over the batter bowl for a moment to allow any excess to drip off before very gently placing it in the hot oil.

If you cut your fish into goujons, they should only take a couple of minutes to cook. If you decide to leave the fillets whole they’ll take four to five minutes to cook.

When the fish is done, use a slotted or straining spoon to remove it from the hot oil and place it on a wire rack. Sprinkle with a little flakey salt while the fish is fresh out of the pan.

If you’re cooking your fish in batches, it will stay hot for a little while, but you can keep it warm in the oven on a low temperature if needed. Serve with peas (mushy if you like), tartare sauce and vinegar.

Airfryer orange chicken

If your favourite Friday night treat is a Chinese takeaway, then you’ll love this orange chicken recipe. A main dish from a Chinese takeaway costs around £7.00 according to the Office for National Statistics, but for roughly the same price, you could make your own ‘fakeaway’ with this recipe which serves two to three people.

Orange chicken is an American-Chinese recipe that’s really popular across the pond. It’s similar to what most of us would recognise as sweet and sour, but without being overly sweet. 

To make things a little easier and healthier, we’re going to cook the chicken in an air fryer rather than deep frying it, but if you don’t have an air fryer, you can cook it in your oven instead.

To make enough for two to three people you’ll need:



640g chicken thighs chopped into bite-size pieces

100g corn flour

50g plain flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

2 eggs

Oil spray or veg oil

Orange chicken sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves – minced

1-inch ginger – minced (or 1tbsp frozen pre-chopped ginger)

Pinch of chilli flakes

Juice of 2 oranges

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp packed dark brown sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp sriracha (optional)

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp water


Sharp knife

2 large bowls

Air fryer

Medium-sized saucepan


Start by making the batter for the chicken. In one bowl whisk together the flour, cornflour, salt and ground ginger and in a second bowl crack in two eggs and mix vigorously with a fork.

Take the bite-sized pieces of chicken and dip them first into the egg and then into the flour mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated in flour and there are no wet spots on the chicken.

Make sure you have the grill insert in your air fryer drawer and either spray it with a little oil or use a piece of kitchen roll to lightly grease it. Then, working in batches, cook your chicken at 200℃ for 15 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

While the chicken is cooking, you’ll need to make the sauce.

In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, cook the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes until softened. Then pour the orange juice, lemon juice, dark brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha and hoisin sauce into the pan. Whisk this all together until combined and bring to a simmer to reduce slightly.

To thicken the sauce, in a small bowl combine the cornflour with the water and stir, and slowly add to the sauce while stirring, until you reach the consistency you want.

When the chicken is ready, tip it into the pan with the sauce and stir it until everything is coated.

Serve with rice and some pak choi or tenderstem broccoli.

Turkish Chicken Shish Kebabs

A kebab is a popular Friday night takeaway, costing on average around £7.19.

Of all the recipes here, kebabs are one of the easiest to whip up yourself, not to mention cheap. For a little under £14.50, you could feed 8 people for the cost of two chicken shish kebab from a takeaway.

Inspired by a recipe from The Batch Lady, with the addition of a garlic sauce, these kebabs are absolutely packed with flavour. They also freeze really well, so you can easily marinate a batch of chicken and freeze it for later.

Here’s what you’ll need for 8 portions:


Chicken shish ingredients

3 tbsp tomato puree

1 ½ tbsp paprika

1 ½ tbsp dried oregano

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp onion granules

4 garlic cloves – minced

350g Greek yoghurt

1 tsp salt

1kg chicken breast – diced

Garlic sauce

3 garlic cloves – minced

4 heaped tbsp full-fat mayonnaise

2 heaped tbsp greek yoghurt

1 tbsp dried oregano

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

Salt to taste

To serve

Flatbreads or pitta




Hot sauce of choice


8 skewers

2 large bowls

Sharp knife


If you’re planning on cooking your chicken on wooden skewers, start by soaking the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Next, make the chicken marinade: In a large bowl, mix the tomato puree, paprika, oregano, ground cumin, onion granules, minced garlic, greek yoghurt and salt until well combined. Then add the chicken and stir to coat.

Skewer your chicken onto 8 skewers and place on a grill pan lined with foil.

Grill your skewers under a medium-high heat for 7 to 8 minutes a side.

While the chicken cooks, make the garlic sauce. In a mixing bowl, stir together the minced garlic, mayonnaise, greek yoghurt, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil and apple cider vinegar until combined. Season with salt to taste and set the sauce aside.

Prep the rest of the fillings by slicing your salad ingredients and toasting your flatbreads or pittas, and you’re ready to serve up!

Easy fakeaway pizza

We’re rounding off our Friday Night Fakeaways with a good old pizza. This recipe is quick and easy to make, and each component is freezable so you can keep them ready-prepared in your freezer for whenever you want to use them.

A takeaway pizza from one of the popular pizza chains could cost you anything from £7.99 all the way up to over £20, so making them yourself could save you a lot of money. This recipe will set you back from £1.80 per pizza, so even if you’re feeding a crowd, you’ll still be saving a huge amount of money.

What makes this recipe really simple is that we’ve used pre-made pizza dough. Of course, you can make it yourself, but this is a recipe for those evenings when you really don’t feel like cooking. The cheapest ones we found were in the freezer aisle next to the frozen pizzas, but you might also find them alongside fresh pastry in the chilled section.

You can scale up toppings or portions of dough to feed as many people as you like, but this sauce recipe will make enough for up to 15 pizzas. Whatever you don’t use can go into containers or sandwich bags and be frozen for later:


Pizza sauce

500g passata

150g tomato puree

2 tsp onion granules

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sugar

For making the pizzas

Pre-made pizza dough portions

Mozzarella or other cheese of choice – parmesan is particularly nice grated over the crusts before baking

Toppings of choice (be sparing with your toppings to prevent a soggy base)


Cast iron pan, pizza stone or baking tray

1 large bowl


Start by preheating your oven to its highest heat and putting in a cast iron pan, pizza stone or baking tray to preheat for 25 minutes. This helps to give the Pizzas a lovely crispy base.

While the oven preheats, make the sauce by mixing the passata, tomato puree, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, olive oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl and set to one side.

With the sauce made, prepare your dough. Remove from packaging and roll out your dough into a roughly 12-inch wide circle on a well-floured surface. Prepare any other toppings so you can work quickly to apply them to your pizza and get it back in the oven.

Working quickly, take the hot pan out of the oven, and give it a quick wipe with some olive oil before transferring the dough into it and pushing it into the edges.

Quickly add your other toppings before transferring the pan back into the oven to cook, uncovered for about 12 minutes.

Test if the base is done by gently lifting an edge of the pizza with a spatula or knife. If it’s done, it shouldn’t stick and will have some rigidity to it. If it sags slightly, it needs a little longer.

Once your pizza is done, gently slide it out of the pan and serve immediately.

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