Ex-McDonald's Chef Reveals 19 Grocery Store Copycats of Your Fave Menu Items

McDonald's Dupes

Cheapism / Trader Joe's / Walmart / The Pretzel Company

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McDonald's Dupes
Cheapism / Trader Joe's / Walmart / The Pretzel Company


Fast food seems to get more expensive by the minute. Making your own McDonald's favorites at home is way more cost effective than hitting up the drive-thru all the time, especially if you have a family to feed. Luckily, there are plenty of grocery products out there that taste a whole lot like the real thing, so you don't have to make everything from scratch. You just have to know what to get.

Enter: Chef Mike Haracz. He's a former McDonald's corporate chef, and he runs a popular TikTok account where he reveals all kind of secrets, including what products to buy to recreate your favorite McDonald's items at home. Here are some of the grocery store products he says most closely match the ingredients, nutrition information, and taste of McDonald's items. 

chefmikeharacz tiktok mcnuggets
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

1. Chicken McNuggets

Pilgrim's Tempura Chicken Breast Nuggets

$7.34 from Walmart

McDonald's McNuggets have a very specific shape and coating that's unlike any other fast food nugget. Naturally, some store brands are copying the product to piggyback off its success. Look for Pilgrim's tempura chicken nuggets, though they may also be sold under the Country Pride brand from the same parent company. As Chef Mike warns, this is a raw product, so you must deep fry or air fry them thoroughly.

chefmikeharacz mcdonald's sausage video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

2. Breakfast Sausage Patty

Great Value Original Pork Sausage Patties

$8.36 from Walmart

The sausage McMuffins you make at home will taste a lot more like the real deal if you grab this Walmart brand of pre-cooked and frozen sausage patties, according to Chef Mike.

chefmikeharacz big mac sauce video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok
chefmikeharacz Mcdonald's hot mustard video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok
chefmikeharacz mcdonald's hash browns video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

5. Hash Browns

Seasons Choice Hash Brown Patties

$6.05 from Aldi

McDonald's charging $2 for a hash brown is a crime. You can get 20 of them from Aldi and make them yourself for a fraction of the price, according to Chef Mike. Keep in mind that McDonald's uses beef flavoring in its deep frying oil, so they'll never be exactly the same unless you add a bit of beef tallow to your oil as well.

Related: The Best McDonald’s Breakfast Menu Items To Order

chefmikeharacz mcdonald's coffee syrup video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok
chefmikeharacz McDonald's french fries video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

7. French Fries

Great Value Thin Cut French Fries

$3.42 from Walmart

Once again, Walmart's store brand has the closest product to McDonald's, according to Chef Mike. To recreate them exactly, you'll have to get Great Value Thin Cut frozen fries, deep fry them in a mixture of oil and beef tallow (about a spoonful of tallow for every cup of oil), and then season them with Morton Salt — the same brand the chain uses. 

Related: 8 of the Best Frozen French Fries, Ranked

chefmikeharacz McDonald's cheese video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

8. Cheese

Great Value Deluxe American Cheese

$3.84 from Walmart

If you want to recreate McDonald's cheeseburgers at home, you need the right cheese. Chef Mike says to head to Walmart and get the Great Value Deluxe American cheese. Look for the kind that doesn't have individually wrapped slices. You may also be able to find it in the deli.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's steak bagel video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

9. Steak

Great Value Sirloin Philly Steak

$6.94 from Walmart

McDonald's steak, egg, and cheese bagels are a cult favorite. If you want to make them at home, head to Walmart and grab the store brand Sirloin Philly Steak in the freezer aisle. Chef Mike also notes that because this brand is already seasoned, you don't have to add Montreal Steak Seasoning, which is similar to what McDonald's uses on its steak.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's english muffin video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

10. English Muffins

Bays English Muffins

$3.48 from Walmart

If you want to make your own Egg McMuffin at home, you've got to start with the right English muffin. That means Bays brand, according to Chef Mike, which you can find refrigerated in the dairy section. He says it's the brand the chain used when it was testing the McMuffin. And to make sure it has the same texture, heat it up under the broiler, because only the cut side is toasted at the restaurant.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's pickles video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok
chefmikeharacz McDonald's ketchup video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok
chefmikeharacz McDonald's sweet and sour sauce video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

13. Sweet and Sour Sauce

Ken's Sweet & Sour Sauce

$27.49 from Webstaurant Store

Finding a sweet and sour sauce close to the McDonald's dipping cups was tricky, because according to the ingredients statement, it includes apricot instead of the typical pineapple (plus sherry wine powder). Ken's Sweet & Sour matches the closest, but it's only available in food service cups and gallons. So if you want it at home with your McNugget clones, you'll have to shell out some dough.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's barbecue sauce video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

14. Tangy BBQ Sauce

Open Pit Hickory Barbecue Sauce

$1.10 from Walmart

The barbecue sauce in McDonald's dipping cups is unusual because it contains soy sauce, according to the ingredient statement. So while it's not an exact match, Open Pit's Hickory BBQ sauce is the closest you'll come, according to Chef Mike.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's McRib barbecue sauce video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

15. McRib BBQ Sauce

Bull's-Eye Sweet and Tangy

$1.50 from Walmart

The barbecue sauce that coats the cult favorite McRib is different than the barbecue sauce in the dipping cups. Bull's-Eye Sweet and Tangy comes the closest to McRib sauce in one bottle, but it's not quite right. To get it even closer, mix it with the Open Pit Hickory, according to Chef Mike.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's buffalo sauce video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

16. Spicy Buffalo Sauce

Crystal Wing Sauce

$16.49 from Webstaurant Store

To have McDonald's Spicy Buffalo Sauce in the dipping cups at home, try getting Crystal Wing Sauce. It may be hard to find in small bottles, but you can get it by the gallon from food service companies. Chef Mike also recommends Sauce Craft Buffalo Sauce, but that one will be even harder to track down since it's a food service brand.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's sausage gravy video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

17. Sausage Gravy

Chef-Mate Country Sausage Gravy

$9.58 from Sam's Club

You might not even realize that some McDonald's locations sell biscuits and gravy at breakfast. If you'd like to experience the same gravy at home, look for Chef-Mate Country Sausage Gravy, which normally comes in a huge food service can. Chef Mike says it has almost identical ingredients and nutrition info as the McDonald's gravy.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's McGriddle buns video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

18. McGriddle Buns

Trader Joe's Dutch Griddle Cakes

$3.49 from Trader Joe's

It was Chef Mike's TikTok followers that turned him on to this copycat for McGriddle buns. Though the ingredient lists are very different, Trader Joe's frozen Dutch Griddle Cakes are quite similar, especially when you microwave them.

chefmikeharacz McDonald's Spicy McChicken video
chefmikeharacz / TikTok

19. Spicy McChicken Patty

Tyson Spicy Chicken Patties

$6.96 from Walmart

For your own spicy McChicken sandwiches at home, pick up a bag of Tyson Spicy Chicken Patties, according to Chef Mike. Since McDonald's McChicken patties aren't all white meat, you should look for chicken patties that list "chicken" in the ingredients list instead of "white meat chicken."