Secret Recipes: 45 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

Picking up food at the drive-thru is convenient, but who says you can't make takeout meals at home? Not only do you get to enjoy your favorite fast-food meals, but making restaurant recipes at home helps save money. There are plenty of copycat recipes of famous foods from restaurants, theme parks, and other venues, from KFC's potato wedges to Panda Express's orange chicken. All you need to make these secret recipes are the right ingredients and a little time spent in the kitchen.

Jeff Rindskopf also contributed to this story.

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

1. McDonald's Sausage and Egg McMuffin

Four ingredients — an English muffin, cheese, egg, and pork patties — are all that stand between you and your favorite fast-food breakfast after the burger giant tweeted out its McMuffin recipe. To make it truly drive-thru-worthy, you'll need a metal ring to fry up that perfect circular egg patty.

Recipe: Delish


2. 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. 


Taco Bell: Crunchwrap supreme
Savannah R./Yelp

3. 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

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

4. 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: 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 — vanilla ice cream, pineapple juice, and frozen pineapple — and a reliable blender, so hop to it and make staying home that much sweeter.

Recipe: Travel and Leisure

Related: Takeout Meals Made Cheaper at Home

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

5. 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

6. 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)
Buttermilk Onion Rings

9. Burger King Onion Rings

Onion rings are easy to make at home — as long as you have the 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

10. Wendy's Single

This classic hamburger stands out for its square patty and founder Dave Thomas' dedication to using quality beef. The recipe suggests popping the burgers on the grill frozen — no thawing allowed — for the best result. And if you're hitting up Wendy's early in the morning, may we recommend ordering one of Wendy's delicious breakfast sandwiches?

Recipe: Top Secret Recipes

Pizza by Charanjit Chana (CC BY-SA)

11. 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)

12. 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 large quantity for less if you get frozen shrimp on sale. The recipe calls for an easy-to-make tempura batter; you sweeten the walnuts on your stovetop. 

Recipe: Dinner, Then Dessert

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

13. Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

Cut down the oversized 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


14. 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. 


Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts

15. Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts

Fans of Krispy Kreme's gleaming, glazed doughnuts have little choice but to make them at home if there's no shop nearby. The addictive glaze is simple to make, but leave some time to roll out the dough and allow it to rise before frying. 

Recipe: My Thirty Spot

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

16. 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 the comfort of our own home. One of the most notable, delicious recipes is 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

Chicken McNuggets
4kodiak / istockphoto

17. 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. 

Recipe: CD Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Swedish Meatballs

18. Ikea's Swedish Meatballs

Let's be honest: We don't go to Ikea only for the flat-packed furniture. If you have to 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

SmokeShack Burger
Billy M./Yelp

19. 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

20. Jack in the Box Tacos

No other taco tastes quite like Jack in the Box's, although a homemade imitation can come 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


21. 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

22. 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

23. 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 at-home recipe collection. Just don't look up the sugar content on this baby.

Recipe: The Cheesecake Factory

Two Halves of Grilled Cheese Sandwich on a Purple and Orange Ceramic Plate, Selective Focus, on a Wooden Table
Olga Miltsova/shutterstock

24. 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

Closeup of a Pile of Three Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies on a Red-Lined White Napkin

25. 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

barbecue ribs

26. 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, it's worth it to make some good ribs.

Recipe: Esquire

Hardee's Mushroom and Swiss Burger
ChowNut ../Yelp

27. Hardee's Mushroom and Swiss Burger

This creamy mushroom-and-Swiss burger is an easy make-at-home meal, it turns out. According to this recipe, the trick is adding some mushroom soup. 


Arby's Curly Fries
Phuong H./Yelp

28. Arby’s Curly Fries

No deep-frying is necessary to replicate the unique paprika-accented flavor of Arby's curly fries. To give the potatoes their identifiable corkscrew shape, the recipe requires a vegetable spiralizer (starting at $25 on Amazon). 

Recipe: Like Mother Like Daughter

Egg McMuffin
Egg McMuffin by Adam Kuban (CC BY-NC-ND)
Cinnamon Bread

30. 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

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

31. Disney's Cookie Fries

The Happiest Place on Earth delivers again, and this time, the Disney recipe is vegan-friendly — yes, really. Whether you're following a plant-based diet or want a crispy, crunchy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, how could anything named "cookie fries" be a bad idea?

Recipe: Disney Parks

Copycat KFC Potato Wedges

32. KFC Potato Wedges

KFC potatoes boast their own distinct flavor and crunchy texture. For home cooks, that means steaming, then frying russet wedges using little more than flour, seasonings, and buttermilk. 

Recipe: Dinner, Then Dessert

Lynne Mitchell/istockphoto

33. Disney's Mickey Beignets

Though they might not be quite as ubiquitous as Mickey ice cream bars, Mickey beignets are still one of Disneyland'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)

34. Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken Thighs, Spicy Rice, and Macho Peas

Founded in South Africa, this chain focusing on spicy chicken also has several restaurants in the United States, Canada, U.K., Australia, and other parts of the world. Customers craving its famous peri-peri chicken can try their hand at it after the chain's step-by-step Instagram cookalong.

Recipe: The Daily Mail

Margherita Pizza

35. 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

36. 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 Queen Elizabeth II'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

Katsu Curry

37. 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 shared how to make one of its most signature dishes, katsu curry, for home chefs to perfect in their own kitchens.

Recipe: Facebook

Panda Express Orange Chicken
Panda Express/Yelp

38. Panda Express Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is an irresistible, if not authentic, fixture of Americanized Chinese food. It also happens to be the best thing on the Panda Express menu. A quick and straightforward copycat recipe calls for ingredients found in most kitchens to bread and fry the chicken pieces before combining them with the tangy, orange-juice-based sauce. 


Wendy's Frosty
Casey D. / Yelp

39. 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 low-fat recipe suggests only four ingredients: frozen whipped topping, sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and chocolate milk.

Recipe: Averie Cooks

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

40. Shake Shack Double Shack Stack

The double-stacked burgers at New York's fast-expanding Shake Shack are simple in appeal but a little more complicated in execution, as Epicurious reveals. They can still be made at home, from potato bun to sautéed portobello mushrooms. 


Double Double
Double Double by James (CC BY-NC-ND)

41. 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)

42. White Castle Sliders

There aren't any White Castle locations in the western United States, but those who can't buy the greasy, onion-loaded sliders from the nation's first burger chain 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

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

43. 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

44. Dairy Queen Blizzard

Dairy Queen is known for its Blizzards: soft-serve ice cream with candy toppings mixed in. At home, the trick is getting the thick texture right without buying your own specialized blending machine. 

Recipe: Rock-a-Bye Parents

Kaitlin S./Yelp

45. 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. 

Whether you're making this Cinnabon classic or trying your hand at the orange chicken from Panda Express, these secret recipes from restaurants are a sure-fire way to enjoy your favorite fast-food meals from the comfort of your own home. 

Recipe: Jo Cooks