Easy Copycat Recipes
From lettuce wraps to St. Patrick's Day milkshakes, you don't have to go out for the restaurant favorites you crave. Sponsored by Tyson.
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There’s no need to venture out in nasty winter weather to get a taste of the restaurant dishes you’re craving. With these copycat recipes, it’s easy — not to mention much more economical — to recreate your favorite signature entrees, appetizers, salads, sides and desserts from iconic eateries at home without a lot of muss or fuss. And, even better, many of these items can be made using ingredients you probably already have in your fridge, pantry or cupboard. Try serving a few of these suggestions to your family at dinnertime and see if they can even tell the difference!
That’s a Wrap
Healthy Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups by Tyson
Biting into this fresh appetizer at home is the next best thing to going straight to the source at a restaurant like P.F. Chang’s or Pei Wei. Asian lettuce wraps filled with chicken, carrots and peppers accented with the sweet and spicy flavors of garlic, ginger, soy, honey and sesame offer a refreshing break from an otherwise heavy dinner rotation. Replacing the usual deep-fried egg roll wrappers with crisp lettuce gives adds crunch and makes this recipe a reduced-calorie, lower-carb winner.
Turkey Sausage and Vegetable Egg Bites by Jimmy Dean
If your regular morning routine includes a drive through Starbucks for coffee and sous vide egg bites, you can save yourself the trip (and a few bucks) by preparing this yummy variation at home. It only takes a few minutes to whip up an entire batch of mini-quiches that you can freeze and reheat throughout the week to save time in the morning while still eating well. Eggs, sausage and cheese provide protein sustenance to keep you fueled through lunchtime, and the addition of spinach, onion and pepper offer healthy vitamin support.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup by Damn Delicious
Panera’s creamy broccoli cheese soup is a popular order among loyal regulars, and it’s surprisingly simple to recreate your own version at home in less than 30 minutes. Using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock keeps the recipe vegetarian-friendly; good-for-you veggies like broccoli and carrots contribute fiber and texture while balancing out the cheese and cream that make the dish taste so rich and luxurious. Purchase some bread bowls at the grocery store to ladle your soup into for a comforting lunch or dinner that’ll stick with you on a chilly day.
Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits by Creations by Kara
Versatile enough to top with sausage gravy, build sandwiches on or just slather with butter and honey, biscuits are a welcome addition to any breakfast, lunch or dinner. Loaded with cheddar cheese, garlic and herbs, Red Lobster’s version gets top marks from many customers who come in specifically for the bread basket. This light-as-a-feather adaptation includes all the flavors that make them taste so good, and serves as a perfect accompaniment for everything from seafood and fried chicken to bacon and eggs.
Olive Garden Salad Dressing by House of Nash Eats
Bottomless bowls of salad and endless warm breadsticks are two of the biggest incentives to head to Olive Garden, filling up lots of diners before the entrees even arrive. The zesty combination of spices and flavorings in this savory Olive-Garden-style salad dressing transforms otherwise ordinary iceberg lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini, red onions, olives and croutons into something special. If you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables, this recipe might just do the trick.
Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake by Food Fanatic
It’s practically considered a sacrilege to leave the Cheesecake Factory without ordering a slice of the company’s signature dessert. A cross between pumpkin pie and traditional cheesecake, this decadent autumnal recipe redolent of cinnamon, ginger and cloves is the ideal finishing touch to cap off a holiday dinner in a special way, although it’s certainly delicious enough to enjoy any time of the year pumpkin spice cravings might strike.
Guac That Rocks
Copycat Chipotle Guacamole by Simply Recipes
Avocado lovers wouldn't dream of skipping the guacamole to scoop up with tortilla chips or spread onto a burrito during a trip to Chipotle. Always a beloved party recipe, it’s easy to spice up this version with extra jalapeño and hot sauce if that’s how you roll. And because avocado is an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, fiber, folate, potassium and vitamins, you don't have to feel guilty about loading up.
Luck of the Irish
Copycat Shamrock Shake by No. 2 Pencil
Do you feel lucky? McDonald’s elusive Shamrock Shakes are only available once a year in March to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, but you can blend up a pretty darn close facsimile at home any old time you wish by dressing up plain vanilla ice cream with peppermint and vanilla extracts. Use high-quality products for the best results, and don’t forget a few drops of green food coloring to achieve the desired minty color.