Copycat Recipes You Can Now Make at Home

Shake Shack, Covent Garden, London

Shake Shack, Covent Garden, London by Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA)

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Shake Shack, Covent Garden, London
Shake Shack, Covent Garden, London by Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA)

Satisfy Those Cravings

Most of us have been cooking at home more than ever, but if you're still longing for your favorite food from the outside world, you're not alone. There are plenty of copycat versions of famous foods online, but restaurants, theme parks, and other spots with iconic dishes are also indulging us with official recipes, many of which were specially released in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeff Rindskopf also contributed to this story.

Related: Takeout Meals Made Cheaper at Home

sausage mcmuffin with egg and cheese
sausage mcmuffin with egg and cheese by Derek Lo (CC BY-NC-ND)

KFC Chicken

The "original recipe" of 11 herbs and spices used to make Colonel Sanders' world-famous fried chicken is still closely guarded, but home cooks have found ways of duplicating the deliciousness. Instructions even go into details about what brands of spices to buy. 


Related: Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

Taco Bell: Crunchwrap supreme
Savannah R./Yelp

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

Most Taco Bell menu items are just ways of repackaging the basic ingredients of ground beef, nacho cheese, sour cream, and tomato. But the Crunchwrap Supreme is especially popular with its tostada-shell-within-a-flour-tortilla setup, although some advise breaking up chips for better crunch and easier folding than a tostada shell allows. 

Recipe: Cooking With Janica

Related: The Most Over-the-Top Fast Food of the Past 10 Years

Dole Whip
Dole Whip by flashphase (CC BY-NC-ND)

Disney's Dole Whip

For many Disney lovers, there's one thing and one thing only that can make that hour-plus wait for Big Thunder Mountain worth it: the Dole Whip, one of the nation's most iconic theme-park foods. Believe it or not, all you need to recreate it is three ingredients and a reliable blender, so hop to it and make staying home that much sweeter.

Recipe: Travel and Leisure

Guacamole by Frank Gruber (CC BY-NC-ND)

Chipotle's Guacamole

Guacamole, we've never needed you more, and Chipotle's version requires only six ingredients. If you just can't bear to make some without the chain's signature lime-dusted tortilla chips, there are plenty of copycat recipes online, though nothing officially from the restaurant.

Recipe: Today

Related: The Best Value Meal Deals at Chains Across the Country

Pamela D. Maxwell/shutterstock

Chick-Fil-A Sandwich

Tender fried chicken breast and fluffy buns make Chick-Fil-A's signature sandwich a worthy competitor to the standard fast food hamburger. Use home-breaded chicken breast and improve on it with generous helpings of lettuce and tomato (usually short-changed at this chain restaurant). 

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Related: What’s the Most Popular Fast Food in Your State?

Big Mac
Big Mac by Frédéric BISSON (CC BY)
Popeye's Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich
Popeye's Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC)

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

Many have debated whether Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes has the better fried chicken sandwich, but people are so excited about the Popeyes version that fights have broken out when restaurants ran out of the sandwich. Skip the lines and make it at home. 

Recipe: Gimme Delicious

Related: The Best (and Worst) Fast-Food Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Buttermilk Onion Rings

Burger King Onion Rings

Onion rings are easy to make at home — with enough patience to deep-fry sliced onions to a perfect golden brown. This homemade version emulates Burger King's classic side. 

Recipe: or, for a healthier alternative breaded without eggs or oil, One Ingredient Chef

Wendy's Single
Aj S./Yelp
Pizza by Charanjit Chana (CC BY-SA)

Pizza Hut Pan Pizza

This clone may take longer to prepare than delivery, but it's just as cost-effective, particularly since there's no driver to tip. Knead and crisp the dough in oiled cake pans before adding seasoned tomato sauce, mozzarella, and thin pepperoni, or whatever other ingredients you desire. 

Recipe: CD Kitchen

Honey Walnut Shrimp @ Panda Express
Honey Walnut Shrimp @ Panda Express by Tatiana Mik (CC BY-NC)

Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp

This recipe will require a little more time (okay, a lot more) than it takes to pick this up at the drive-through, but you can make a karge quantity for less if you get frozen shrimp on sale. This recipe calls for an easy-to-make tempura batter; you sweeten the walnuts on your stovetop. 

Recipe: Dinner, Then Dessert

Related: Best Chinese Restaurant in Every State

Chipotle Burrito Bowl Unsauce
Chipotle Burrito Bowl Unsauce by Michael Saechang (CC BY-SA)

Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

Cut down the oversize portions of Chipotle's fresh-made burrito bowls. The rice and chicken need fresh cilantro and, of course, chipotle peppers, but as with the real thing, the other toppings are entirely customizable. 

Recipe: What's Gaby Cooking

Related: The Biggest Fast-Food Flops of All Time


McDonald’s French Fries

Perhaps the only fast food item more popular than the Big Mac is the golden fries that come with it. Replicating the basic yet unique texture and flavor of McDonald's fries involves special attention to the shoestring thickness and the heat of the cooking oil. 


Related: Why McDonald's Fries Used to Taste Better

Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts
Soy Garlic Glazed Korean Fried Cauliflower
Soy Garlic Glazed Korean Fried Cauliflower by Joy (CC BY)

The Cheesecake Factory's Korean Fried Cauliflower

True to form, The Cheesecake Factory has gone big, releasing several of its recipes to the public so we can all gorge in style during the pandemic. One of the most notable is for its signature Korean Fried Cauliflower appetizer, which is the most calorie-laden of its small plates and snacks — though it has nothing on these diet-busters.

Recipe: The Cheesecake Factory

Related: Cheap and Easy Cheesecake Recipes

Chicken McNuggets
4kodiak / istockphoto

McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets

Though beloved by many, McDonald's Chicken McNuggets have been criticized for using preservatives and processed meat. Enjoy the taste clear of those concerns by using chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces and a simple breading of flour, eggs, and seasonings (you can always skip the MSG). 

Recipe: CD Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Swedish Meatballs

Ikea's Swedish Meatballs

Let's be honest: We don't go to Ikea only for the flat-packed furniture. If you've just gotta satisfy that meatball-shaped void in your life, you're in luck. Ikea has released the recipe for one of its most iconic dishes, Swedish meatballs with cream sauce, to hold us over until we can take another bewildering trip through our favorite maze-like furniture store.

Recipe: A Family Feast

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SmokeShack Burger
Billy M./Yelp

Shake Shack's SmokeShack Burger

Released a few years ago in conjunction with a full-fledged Shake Shack cookbook, this indulgent burger recipe has everything you need to eat your feelings and then some: beef, bacon, and butter.

Recipe: Epicurious

Related: Local Burger Chains the Rest of the Country Needs

Jack in the Box
Ann S./Yelp

Jack in the Box Tacos

No other taco tastes quite like Jack in the Box's, although a homemade imitation can comes close — without the paste-like ground beef texture. The decidedly un-Mexican creation requires ingredients including American cheese, refried beans, soy grits, and soy protein. 


Related: Fast Food Items With Cult Followings


Disney's Churro Bites

Not a Dole Whip fan? Sacrilege! But fear not: Disney has you covered with another one of its most popular treats: churro bites. Making these chewy tubes of cinnamon-sugar goodness requires only basic pantry baking staples, but you will need a piping bag with a large star tip if you want to achieve their signature shape.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Related: The Best Fried Foods Around the World

Cole Slaw

Chick-fil-A's Cole Slaw

The world only got its hands on Chick-fil-A's coleslaw recipe when the chain decided to discontinue it in favor of a kale salad in 2016. Remind yourself of the good ol' days with its official, easy-to-make recipe that would no doubt earn your grandma's stamp of approval.

Recipe: NBC News

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

The Cheesecake Factory's Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

When you just can't decide between two breakfast favorites, The Cheesecake Factory is here for you with this mashup, another member of their new at-home recipe collection. Just don't look up the sugar content on this baby.

Recipe: The Cheesecake Factory

Related: Best Homemade Pancake Recipes

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Olga Miltsova/shutterstock

Disney's Toy Story Land Grilled Cheese

Leave it to Disney to elevate a humble grilled cheese sandwich into something a little, well, magical. Made at Woody's Lunch Box in Hollywood Studios' Toy Story Land, it features a cream-cheese spread, and a mix of garlic, mayo, and coarse salt on top of a blend of cheddar and provolone.

Recipe: Disney Parks

Related: Ways to Make an Ordinary Grilled Cheese Extraordinary

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

DoubleTree's Chocolate Chip Cookies

The suites at DoubleTree are nice and roomy, but let's be honest: What we're really looking forward to is those warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in. The treat even became the first food to be baked in space, by crews on the International Space Station. We say that's reason enough to give grandma's cookie recipe a rest ... maybe just this once.

Recipe: Hilton

Related: The Best Classic Cookie Recipes

barbecue ribs

Famous Dave's Ribs

Carnivores, rejoice: Years ago, "Famous Dave" himself adapted his rib recipe for all of us casual grillers without a fancy smoker. While he warns the process is long, if there's one thing many of us have on our hands right now, it's enough time to make some good ribs.

Recipe: Esquire

Related: Fantastic Regional Rib Recipes

Hardee's Mushroom and Swiss Burger
ChowNut ../Yelp
Arby's Curly Fries
Phuong H./Yelp
Egg McMuffin
Egg McMuffin by Adam Kuban (CC BY-NC-ND)
Cinnamon Bread

Dollywood's Cinnamon Bread

If you've ever strolled along the charming footpaths snaking through Dollywood, chances are the heavenly smell of cinnamon bread accompanied you for at least part of the journey. Now you can make the park's famous gooey treat at home — and you won't even have to wait in line for it.

Recipe: Travel and Leisure

Related: We Tried Store-Bought Cinnamon Rolls and These Were the Best

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Copycat KFC Potato Wedges
Lynne Mitchell/istockphoto

Disney's Mickey Beignets

Though they might not be quite as ubiquitous Mickey ice cream bars, Mickey beignets are still one of Disney Land's and Disney World's tastiest treats. Your at-home version won't come with the delectable dipping sauces, but a liberal dusting of powdered sugar should blunt any disappointment.

Recipe: Disney Parks

Day 254/365: The Nando's Lunch.
Day 254/365: The Nando's Lunch. by Li Tsin Soon (CC BY-NC-ND)
Margherita Pizza

Pizza Express' Margherita Pizza

Pizza Express is a prominent U.K.-based chain, and if you haven't had the privilege of inhaling one of its hand-tossed pies, make sure to do so on your next hop across the pond. In the meantime, satisfy your pizza cravings with one of its longtime menu staples, the classic margherita.

Recipe: Pizza Express

Royal Cupcakes

Buckingham Palace's Royal Cupcakes

Speaking of the Brits, if you love following the royals, you can try your hand at a very prim, proper chocolate cupcake recipe, released by the royal pastry chefs in honor of the Queen's 94th birthday. Premade royal icing is a fine substitute for homemade buttercream, the chefs acknowledge — but good luck with those tiny golden crowns.

Recipe: Good Housekeeping

Related: Best Cupcakes in Every State

Katsu Curry

Wagamama's Katsu Curry

Though it has only a small foothold in the U.S., Wagamama is a popular spot for Brits to fuel up on noodle dishes and other Asian-inspired fare. The chain has shared how to make for one of its most signature dishes, katsu curry, for home chefs to perfect during the lockdown.

Recipe: Facebook

Related: Amazing Sandwiches From Around the World

Panda Express Orange Chicken
Panda Express/Yelp

Panda Express Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is an irresistible, if not authentic, fixture of Americanized Chinese food. A quick and straightforward copycat calls for ingredients found in most kitchens to bread and fry the chicken pieces before combining with the tangy, orange-juice-based sauce. 


Wendy's Frosty
Casey D. / Yelp

Wendy's Frosty

Wendy's is probably most famous for this ice cream-like chocolate concoction. The good news is: It can be made at home. This recipe suggests only four ingredients — and it's low fat, too. 

Recipe: Averie Cooks

Related: The Best Milkshakes in Every State

Shake Shack
Shake Shack by Lucas Richarz (CC BY-NC-ND)
Double Double
Double Double by James (CC BY-NC-ND)

In-N-Out Double-Double

Beloved by locals and visitors to the West Coast, In-N-Out has just about perfected a burger with toasted buns, relish-filled special sauce, and ground chuck in place of ordinary ground beef. This replica includes even the "Animal Style" grilled onions. 

Recipe: Your Homebased Mom

White Castle Veggie Sliders
White Castle Veggie Sliders by Tony Webster (CC BY-SA)

White Castle Sliders

There are no White Castle locations in the western United States, but those who can't buy the chain's greasy, onion-loaded sliders can make them at home in less than an hour. The ingredients are straightforward but for a single tablespoon of peanut butter that gives these mini-burgers their unusual texture. 

Recipe: Favorite Family Recipes

Related: Things You Didn’t Know About White Castle

Human Finger Found in Wendy's Chili
Kevin W./Yelp

Wendy's Chili

Wendy's chili is a cold-weather must, and topped with cheese it's a filling lunch. This recipe combines chili seasoning, canned tomatoes, and ground beef to capture the fast-food standard. 

Recipe: Dinner, Then Desert

Dairy Queen's Blizzard
Lea P./Yelp
Kaitlin S./Yelp

Cinnabon Classic Roll

It's far more cost-effective to make Cinnabon's decadent namesake rolls in batches at home using this recipe than to buy a single $4 bun at the mall food court. At 463 calories per roll instead of 880, it's a whole lot healthier, too — if you can resist eating more than one at a time. 

Recipe: Jo Cooks

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