Lately I’ve been in love with copycat recipes. I find cooking almost anything to be enjoyable, but creating something that perfectly replicates a classic restaurant recipe is a particularly magical culinary experience. Even better, almost all of the recipes in this list have simple ingredient lists, and the majority can be cooked in well under an hour. Copycat recipes will usually save you some money too! Here are the best ones that I’ve found on Pinterest and around the web. Enjoy!
This recipe is the real deal. Jillian from Food, Folks and Fun explains that she got it straight from the source when Panera briefly had it posted on their site. Extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar, Dijon mustard, and hot sauce are a few of the not so obvious ingredients that make this mac and cheese delicious. An added bonus with this recipe is that it doesn’t take long at all to make – you can have it ready in 30 minutes or less!
What would a copycat recipe list be without Red Lobster’s signature biscuits? This recipe, unlike some other Red Lobster biscuit copycats, doesn’t use Bisquick baking mix. It’s completely from scratch, but don’t worry! It doesn’t require any crazy ingredients, and your biscuits should be done in about a half hour. Making Cheddar Bay biscuits almost feels like a copycat rite of passage – if you haven’t tried making them yet, give this recipe a shot!
When it’s cold out, chili from Wendy’s is definitely my go-to guilty pleasure. Hearty comfort food without leaving the warmth of my car? Yes please. If you want to recreate those delicious flavors, check out this Wendy’s chili copycat recipe from Mama Loves Food. The best part about it? If you skip the drive-thru, you won’t be tempted to order Baconator Fries and a Frosty with your chili 🙂
When I go to the Cheesecake Factory, I don’t need to look at the menu – I order the Chicken Madeira. Every. Time. Nothing beats the combination of juicy chicken, creamy sauce, flavorful mushrooms, and melted mozzarella cheese. You’ll have to find some Madeira wine if you want to make this recipe, but the cooking process is not difficult at all, and it only takes about an hour to make. Worth it!
This is another one of my favorite chain dishes. If I’m eating at PF Chang’s, I’m probably ordering the Mongolian Beef. It’s absolutely packed with flavor, and this recipe from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen does a great job of replicating that. This is another quick and painless recipe – have it on your table in just 30 minutes!
Much like Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion is another staple in the world of copycat recipes. These individual, bite-sized petals are perfect if you don’t want to worry about carefully cutting an onion and potentially having it fall apart. Pair them with Domestic Superhero’s copycat Outback Bloom Sauce, and you’ve got a near perfect replica of everyone’s favorite appetizer!
Soft, crunchy, cheesy, meaty, creamy – Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme has so many delicious layers of flavors and textures, and Kelly at Smart School House has done a great job replicating the total package with her copycat recipe. Skip the drive-thru and make this at home, it’s super easy! And if you’re not a stickler for accuracy, customize your crunchwrap with whatever you like.
Much like the Wendy’s chili above, this Cracker Barrel copycat is another great cold weather, comfort food recipe. And it’s always better to eat home-style food in the comfort of your own home, right?! With only seven ingredients and a total prep + cook time of 30 minutes, there’s no excuses not to try this amazing recipe.
White Castle sliders are unique and tough to replicate, but this recipe from Favorite Family Recipes does a great job recreating them. The secret ingredient? Peanut butter. If you think that sounds odd or gross, just give this recipe a go. I promise you will change your mind 🙂
Here’s another classic dish from PF Chang’s. If you’re looking for a light and relatively healthy copycat recipe, this one from Lil’ Luna is for you! While this recipe does call for a few uncommon ingredients, like water chestnuts and oyster sauce, the cooking process is a breeze and should only take 20 minutes. It’s totally worth it, as these are so delicious and fun to eat!
I don’t have a whole lot to say about these – just look at that photo and imagine how those light, chewy donuts would melt in your mouth. This recipe isn’t the easiest on this list, but it’s not terribly difficult either. When you have a week’s worth of donuts for breakfast, you’ll be glad you put in the time 🙂
Nostalgia bomb! If your childhood was anything like mine, you probably ate a few too many Zebra Cakes (along with a bunch of other Little Debbie snacks). Relive those oh so sweet memories with Macaroni and Cheesecake’s delicious copycat Zebra Cakes recipe. I recommend making a couple batches – they won’t last long!
This is another great recipe from Favorite Family Recipes. The soft noodles and crunchy vegetables perfectly mimic the texture of Panda Express’ Chow Mein. Make it with some orange chicken for the full copycat experience.
Yet another guilty pleasure of mine. This recipe from Jo Cooks won’t save you many calories, but it will save you a good chunk of change. It’s a really fun recipe too – I love laying out the dough, sprinkling the sugar and cinnamon on top, and rolling up these delicious treats. Next time you have a family brunch, definitely give this recipe a try.
What’s the secret to making everyone’s favorite fast food chicken? Pickle juice! This recipe from Cincy Shopper perfectly replicates those distinctive, delicious Chick-fil-A flavors, and it even includes a recipe for the sauce. Pair it with a copycat Chick-fil-A lemonade (also from Cincy Shopper) if you really want to go the distance.
It’s really tough to visit Starbucks and not stuff my face with lemon loaf, but I always feel like I’m overpaying for a single slice. This recipe, another from Melanie cooks, allows me to save my precious dollars, and it’s every bit as dense and moist as the real thing.
With only three ingredients, this Wendy’s Frosty recipe from POPSUGAR is probably the easiest recipe in this list. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you’ll have to get one – they are super fun and simple to work with!
Here’s another delicious recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen. People seem to either love or hate Olive Garden, but I think most can agree that their most popular soup is a winner. The best part about this recipe? It’s all done in one pot!
I really love some items on Panera’s menu, like the broccoli cheddar soup, but I’ve always felt their prices are a little steep. Shugary Sweets’ copycat recipe is a great way to save some cash and make something that tastes just like real thing.
The fried apples are hands-down my favorite side at Cracker Barrel. They’re basically an excuse to eat dessert with dinner. This recipe does a great job of copying them. Just looking at the photo you can tell that the sauce has reached the perfect gooey consistency, and the apples have softened up to the perfect texture. Yum!
To Sum Up
Thanks for checking out these recipes! I really hope you’ll try some of them. If you have any thoughts on these, or if you think I missed any awesome recipes, let me know in the comments.