Going out to restaurants and fast food chains, I’m sure we all have thought at one point or another, “man, I really wish I could make this at home.” It may seem nearly impossible to replicate your favorite Panda Express meal or your go-to at the Cheesecake Factory, but through the power of the internet and more specifically, Pinterest, you can make your restaurant favorites using copycat recipes right from the comfort of your own home!
Pinterest has been a great way for people to discover and share a multitude of different things, from decorative DIYs to makeup ideas, and perhaps most popular, food recipes. These recipes vary from simple dinners, to meal preps, to holiday-themed desserts, however, one of the most sought after categories of food is copycat recipes. People just can’t seem to resist the urge to recreate food from their favorite places at home to not only save the trip, but save some money in the long run!
Do you eat out frequently? Looking to cut back on some spending but still get the same restaurant favorites at home? These top five copycat recipes will blow your mind how similar they are to the real thing, if not better!
Copycat Recipes – Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets with Sauce
Recently there has been a fierce debate as to which fast food restaurant has the best chicken sandwich, with Popeye’s and Chick-Fil-A being the two contenders people are choosing between. I’m in no position to judge which has the better sandwich, however, I will say that these copycat chicken nuggets are absolutely amazing.
The secret to the magical Chick-Fil-A flavor? Pickle juice and get this – powdered sugar. I know, I thought it was a little odd a first but you have trust me on this one. Soaking the chicken in the pickle juice prior to the dry batter gives it a distinct tangy, pickle flavor that is the secret to the deliciousness of Chick-fil-A chicken. My friend’s mom has the perfect recipe for the sauce – mix together 1 cup of mayo, 4 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce, and 4 teaspoons of yellow mustard. It tastes just like it!
Copycat Recipes – Panera Macaroni and Cheese
Panera is known for many things, it’s delicious cookies and pastries, bread bowls, and of course – the mac and cheese. You can even get Mac and cheese in a bread bowl! How heavenly is that? I digress. Panera’s mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy, comforting, and all around amazing. The little shells of pasta hold the cheesy sauce perfectly that you get a little bite of joy every time your spoon hits the bowl. What is it that gives Panera’s mac and cheese that special edge? Dijon mustard and Vermont White Cheddar cheese. This copycat recipe is so good that you’ll forget ever wanting to go to Panera and make mac and cheese every day of the week.
Copycat Recipes – Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
If it were socially acceptable to have Chinese takeout every day of my life, I would choose between General Tso’s Chicken or Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp. Being a lover of all things shrimp, I absolutely adore this take on preparing shrimp. First, the shrimp is battered, then fried, and coated in a sweet and sticky honey walnut sauce. What is there not to love? Because a copycat recipe of this exists, I can eat Chinese takeout everyday!
Applebee’s Chicken Wonton Tacos
Applebee’s is one of those classic restaurants to go to whether you’re celebrating a birthday, catching drinks after work, or simply enjoying an afternoon lunch with a friend. The popular restaurant chain has many favorites, like the boneless buffalo or barbecue wings. My all time favorite appetizer from Applebee’s is their chicken wonton tacos. Where Mexican and Asian cultures collide, these flavorful snacks are something you’ll want to know how to make at home. Fried wontons molded into taco shell shapes hold teriyaki chicken with a sweet and tangy coleslaw on top. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
When you think of Olive Garden, you think of the delicious Italian-style food, yummy salad, and the endless breadsticks. Alright maybe you only think of the endless breadsticks. Outside of the breadsticks, Olive Garden has some great dishes, from Fettuccini Alfredo to Chicken Parmesan. One great dish from Olive Garden is the chicken gnocchi soup. Comforting, filling, and perfect for a chilly day, the soup has all sorts of yummy ingredients like soft pillows of gnocchi, sweet carrots, and tender chicken. Keep this one tucked away for a cozy, winter day!