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45+ Best Healthy Copycat Restaurant Recipes to Try Tonight

From the Big Mac to Starbucks Frappuccinos, here are recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes!
FACT CHECKED BY Meaghan Cameron
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Craving a bowl of Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup? How about some Chick-fil-A Nuggets? Guess what, you don't have to hop in the car and drive somewhere to enjoy some of your favorite dishes! Thanks to our list of copycat recipes, you can enjoy all of your favorite restaurant dishes—like Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake and wings from Buffalo Wild Wings—right at home.

Here's how to make your favorite restaurant dishes with copycat recipes. And for more, check out The 10 Most Toxic Ingredients Lurking in Fast Food.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Pancakes

Copycat cracker barrel pancake recipe for breakfast with butter and syrup
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

While a bag of salty fries with a fizzy soda is a great road trip snack, there's nothing like taking a road trip break at Cracker Barrel. Early in the morning or late at night, Cracker Barrel beams a glimmer of hope after a dreary few hours of driving in the car. So what better way to relax at Cracker Barrel than by eating none other than their famous flapjacks?

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Pancakes.

Copycat Wendy's Chili

wendy's copycat chili in three bowls on a marble counter with cheese and sour cream
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Thanks to a clear list of ingredients on Wendy's website, this was one of the easiest copycat recipes to put together. According to the list, Wendy's chili has a chili base, tomatoes, chili beans, pink beans, kidney beans, onions, celery, green peppers, ground beef, chili pepper, garlic powder, and spices. While their recipe also has sugar and modified corn starch in it, we knew you can have a delicious chili without either of those additives, so this version does not include them.

Get our recipe for Copycat Wendy's Chili.

Copycat Shake Shack Burger & Sauce

Copycat shake shack burger with crinkle cut fries to enjoy at home
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

After doing some personal investigating, we were able to develop a burger identical to the ones that you'd see at Shake Shack—sauce included! What's the trick to perfect Shake Shack sauce? Pickle brine!

Get our recipe for Copycat Shake Shack Sauce.

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup

Two bowls of copycat Olive Garden pasta fagioli with parsley and parmesan cheese
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Are you an absolute sucker for Olive Garden's soup, salad, and breadsticks? Well, enjoy your very own Olive Garden-inspired soup at home with this easy-to-make pasta Fagioli soup. Also known as a "bean stew," this soup is even filling enough to be a meal.

Get our recipe for Copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup.

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

slice of copycat cheesecake factory cheesecake with strawberry and whipped cream
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Now if you're at all familiar with Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, you know the slices are pretty thick. While we could have made our cheesecake the same way, we decided to slice the calories in half and make the cheesecake a bit thinner than usual. However, if you would rather have a slice of cheesecake a mile high—just like the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake—then you simply double the cheesecake recipe, but make the same crust.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

Slice of loaded hashbrown casserole copycat from Cracker Barrel
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

When you're at Cracker Barrel, there are two hashbrown options you can choose from. According to Cracker Barrel, the loaded hashbrown casserole is a slice of the hashbrown casserole finished off on the grill with a slice of Colby jack cheese and bacon. It's pretty simple to add on, so I added it in at the end of the regular casserole recipe if you're especially craving the Cracker Barrel loaded hashbrown casserole.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole.

Copycat Red Lobster Biscuit

copycat red lobster cheddar biscuits in a basket
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

You'd think Red Lobster would be popularly known for serving some delicious lobster, because well, it's all in the title. But to be quite honest, we all know that the real prize from this restaurant chain is a basket of Cheddar Bay Biscuits. While they typically are known as a side (or even a garnish on their Bloody Marys), these Red Lobster biscuits should be the center of attention. This is why we decided to make our own version of this customer-favorite dish.

Get our recipe for Copycat Red Lobster Biscuit.

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

bowls of copycat broccoli cheddar soup
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Don't have the time (or the budget) to head to Panera for a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup? Make your own version at home! The best part? You can make the entire copycat recipe in one pot, and it makes at least four servings—perfect for your lunch meal prep!

Get our recipe for Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese

Copycat Cracker Barrel mac and cheese in a skillet
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Whether you are ordering it as a side with dinner or simply ordering some as a meal, having Cracker Barrel mac and cheese is a must when you're at this restaurant. Between the creamy sauce and the baked cheese on top, this mac and cheese dish is so good, we just had to make our own homemade version of it—and we're sharing how to make it in one of our easiest copycat recipes.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese.

Copycat Carrabba's Blackberry Sangria

Copycat Carrabbas Blackberry Sangria in two glasses with a pitcher
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

The menu may be plentiful at Carrabba's Italian Grill, yet there are a few signature dishes—and cocktails—that customers love to order. Some are obsessed with their Chicken Bryan, and others can't help but order a glass of the famous Carrabba's blackberry sangria. Customers can't seem to get enough of it, so we made our own version of it.

Get our recipe for Copycat Carrabba's Blackberry Sangria.

Big Mac Copycat

Healthy bigger better big mac
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

There are two main issues with the Big Mac as it stands: The quality of the ingredients is subpar, and the middle bun is absolutely superfluous. We replace the mystery meat with lean ground sirloin, sear it in a cast-iron skillet until beautifully browned, then bring the classic ingredients together inside a single, squishy sesame seed bun. It's one of our favorite copycat recipes to date.

Get our recipe for The Best Copycat Big Mac Recipe.

What a McDonald's Big Mac Cost the Year You Were Born.

Copycat Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito

Looking inside a copycat Taco Bell chili cheese burrito
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If you haven't heard of the chili cheese burrito from Taco Bell, there's a reason for it: It's not even on the menu anymore! While this iconic Taco Bell menu item has created quite the following, it's not something you can get at any ol' Taco Bell anymore. That's why we made a copycat version of it!

Get our recipe for Copycat Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito.

RELATEDThis Groundbreaking New Taco Bell Location Is Opening Its Doors Tomorrow

Copycat Outback Steakhouse Coconut Shrimp

coconut shrimp 1
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

While the coconut shrimp is one of our choices for "best" appetizers at a popular chain restaurant, you can skip the deep-fried version and make your very own coconut shrimp thanks to your nifty air fryer!

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp.

Copycat On The Border Signature Queso

Healthy queso fundido
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

No need to take a trip to On The Border for their Signature Queso when you can enjoy it right at home! Made with tomatoes, green chiles, and onion, this queso is close to the original queso you would order.

Get our recipe for Queso Fundido.

Copycat Burger King Steakhouse King Burger

A1 swiss burger
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

While this burger may not be on the menu anymore, the Steakhouse King was a double quarter-pounder with thick-cut bacon, A.1 sauce, crispy onions, and melted American cheese. Make your own healthier version of it with our Smashed A.1. Swiss Burger recipe for only a third of the calories of Burger King's version.

Get our recipe for A1 Swiss Burger.

Copycat Outback Steakhouse Cheese Fries

Cheese fries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Instead of indulging in a plate of cheese fries with a four-digit calorie count, this easy home version keeps the calories low by baking the potatoes until crisp, applying just the right amount of cheese, and using a few hunks of crumbled bacon and a handful of pickled jalapeños.

Get our recipe for Cheese Fries.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings

Healthy fiery buffalo wings
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Skip the breaded wings and stick to this easy (and cheaper) buffalo wings recipe. Skip frying them in oil and grill them up instead! Or even try making them in your Instant Pot.

Get our recipe for Buffalo Wings.

Copycat Smoothie King Strawberry Smoothie

paleo strawberry n cream smoothie
Rebecca Firkser/Eat This, Not That!

Don't live near a Smoothie King? Get the same taste from their Gladiator Strawberry smoothie with this easy strawberry smoothie recipe.

Get our recipe for Creamy Strawberry Smoothies.

Copycat Chili's Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten chocolate cake
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You'll impress all your party guests as you crack open the middle and watch the flood of lava flow freely onto your plate—and eventually into your eagerly awaiting mouth. Did we mention that these cakes have only 320 calories?

Get our recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake.

Copycat McDonald's Yogurt Parfait

Vegetarian yogurt parfait
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The yogurt parfaits at McDonald's are easy for a quick grab in the morning, so why not prep your own versions of it at home? This indulgent parfait is decadent enough to be a dessert, but with exactly what you need to start your day or snack on—a mix of protein and fiber.

Get our recipe for Yogurt Parfaits.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings with green beans and biscuit
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Between their buttermilk pancakes and hashbrown casserole, there are quite a few delicious options to choose from on the Cracker Barrel menu. While their breakfast items are always a great option, the famous Cracker Barrel Chicken n' Dumplins are a customer favorite for dinner—or lunch! So of course, we had to attempt our very own copycat Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings recipe for ourselves.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings.

Copycat Arby's Traditional Greek Gyros

Paleo grilled lamb gyros
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Are you a super fan of Arby's Greek gyros but don't currently live close to an Arby's? Get the same great taste (for fewer calories!) thanks to one of our easiest copycat recipes.

Get our recipe for Grilled Greek Lamb Gyros.

Copycat Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

Healthy chinese chicken salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The Oriental Chicken Salad at Applebee's is great and all, but have you tried our version? This light version is an ode to Wolfgang Puck's very own original creation, but lighter with fewer calories, making it one of the lightest copycat recipes.

Get our recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad.

Copycat Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo

Healthy fettuccine alfredo
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A bowl of Oliver Garden's Fettuccine Alfredo is a creamy wonder but can be quite a bomb to your gut. To dampen the Alfredo impact, we turn to our old friend béchamel, which creates a thick, creamy sauce without the calories of heavy cream and excess butter.

Get our recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo.

Copycat Chevy's Chicken Tortilla Soup

low-calorie tortilla soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Over the past two decades, tortilla soup has rivaled chicken soup as a comforting mainstay on major restaurant menus—including Chevy's! Between the pulled chicken, the soothing tomato broth, and the pile of fixings, what's not to love?

Get our recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Spreading ketchup on the cooked meatloaf.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Meatloaf can be made in all different types of ways. However, to make sure this meatloaf was a close copycat to Cracker Barrel meatloaf, we decided to find the meatloaf ingredient list on their website. According to Cracker Barrel, their meatloaf recipe has tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. Hence why this copycat recipe has a whole can of tomatoes, as well as diced green peppers and onions.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf.

Copycat Zaxby's Brownie

Low-calorie fudgy brownies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Zaxby's is popularly known for its chicken, but the true fans know that the brownies are the real prize of this establishment. If you don't live near a Zaxby's, make your own version of their fudgy brownie at home with our copycat recipe.

Get our recipe for Fudge Brownies.

Copycat Arby's Stuffed Jalapeño Bites

keto stuffed jalapeno poppers
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Looking to go low-carb, but craving a basket of Arby's stuffed jalapeño bites? Well with one of our delicious copycat recipes, you get the best of both worlds! These are stuffed with ground beef and a full-fat, creamy cheese filling, then topped off with a combo of crispy bacon and pork rinds for extra flavor.

Get our recipe for Stuffed Jalapeño Bites.

Copycat Wendy's Bacon Cheese Baked Potatoes

Healthy twice-baked potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're not in the mood for fries and you would rather have something heartier, Wendy's Bacon Cheese Baked Potatoes are an easy choice to make your meal even more filling. So why not do the same at home with our twice-baked potato recipe? It's topped with cheese, bacon, and green onions, and we make it lighter by swapping out the sour cream with Greek yogurt.

Get our recipe for Twice-Baked Potatoes.

Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken

bowls of homemade orange chicken with chopsticks
Brie Passano

How can you resist the fried Orange Chicken at Panda Express? Why not stay away from the restaurant (and the temptation) altogether and make your own healthier version of it instead? Made with all kinds of delicious vegetables and hearty brown rice, you'll feel great after indulging in this meal.

Get our recipe for Orange Chicken.

Copycat Chipotle Guacamole

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Why pay extra for guac when you can make your own? Indulge in a bowl of guacamole with chips, or on your own burrito, for no extra charge.

Get our recipe for Guacamole.

Copycat California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza

Healthy barbecue chicken pizza
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The BBQ Chicken Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen is a staple, but not the easiest to get. Make your own healthier version of it using one of our favorite copycat recipes!

Get our recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Copycat Pei Wei Beef and Broccoli

Crock pot beef and broccoli meal on rice
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Craving a bowl of Pei Wei Beef and Broccoli, but don't live anywhere close to the restaurant? This easy crock-pot recipe will have you enjoying this Pei Wei-inspired dish all week long.

Get our recipe for Beef and Broccoli.

Copycat Charley's Philly Cheeseteaks

Healthy philly cheesesteak
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

No need to head to Philadelphia (or Charley's!) to enjoy a Philly Cheesesteak—just make it at home! Our version uses tender, intensely beefy skirt steak, provolone, and a trio of caramelized vegetables to do the cheesesteak titans one better (for about 500 fewer calories).

Get our recipe for Philly Cheesesteaks.

Copycat Subway Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low-calorie chocolate chip cookies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Those chocolate chip cookies at the Subway checkout sure do look tempting, but skip them! Why? Because you can have your own version of them—for fewer calories—waiting for you right at home. Don't worry, these cookies still have butter and chocolate! We just use less of it so you can get the same delicious taste for fewer calories.

Get our recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Copycat Domino's Deluxe Pizza

Healthy spinach sausage pepper pizza
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

While our version of sausage pizza is slightly different, we have a feeling you'll love this homemade pizza as much as you love Domino's version. Domino's Deluxe Pizza includes pepperoni, Italian sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and onions. Our pizza still has Italian sausage and peppers, but we lighten it up on the meat by skipping on the pepperoni and add spinach instead.

Get our recipe for Sausage and Pepper Pizza.

Copycat P.F. Changs Shrimp Lo Mein

Low-calorie shrimp lo mein
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Restaurant wok-fried noodle and rice dishes tend to be heavy on starch and oil, with a few token vegetables thrown in for color. Well, we're here to make our own takeout-level version at home! We prefer our lo mein long on produce, short on oil, and rich with the flavors that make Asian cuisine one of the world's best. Dig into this shrimp lo mein, one of the P.F. Chang's copycat recipes we love!

Get our recipe for Shrimp Lo Mein.

Copycat TGI Friday's Spinach Artichoke Dip

Vegetarian artichoke dip
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The TGI Friday's version of this dish is so popular, that you can even buy it at the store to enjoy at home! While the option to simply grab-and-go is tempting, why not make your own version of it with our healthier alternative?

Get our recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Copycat Panera Chicken Noodle Soup

Crock pot chicken noodle soup with bread on a table.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Chicken noodle soup in a bread bowl sure is a comforting meal but can leave you feeling drowsy afterward thanks to all of those carbs. Lighten it up with your own chicken noodle soup—which you can easily prep in a crock-pot—with some fresh crusty bread on the side.

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.

Copycat Culver's North Atlantic Cod Dinner

crispy cod with sweet potato fries in a basket
Brie Passano

Skip the fried fish and opt for baked fish instead! With this crispy cod—served with sweet potato fries—you won't even miss the fried version thanks to one of our easiest copycat recipes.

Get our recipe for Crispy Cod with Sweet Potato Fries.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets

keto popcorn chicken
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Think you can't eat chicken nuggets while you're on a low-carb diet? Think again! This ultra crunchy oven-baked chicken recipe begins and ends with a very special, keto breaded crust. We use almond flour, chopped almonds, and a flaky spelt cereal to create a unique crunchy combo that adheres beautifully to little pieces of chicken.

Get our recipe for Popcorn Chicken Nuggets.

Copycat Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino

caramel frappuccino
Courtesy of Starbucks

Skip the excess sugar that comes from those Starbucks Frappuccinos and make your own version of it! Enjoy a sweet treat without completely going over your calorie budget for the day with one of our favorite copycat recipes.

Get our recipe for Copycat Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino.

Copycat Chipotle Pico de Gallo


While the guacamole is a coveted topping at Chipotle, their Pico de Gallo is also a customer favorite. Plus, it's all healthy vegetables! Make a large bowl of it and throw it on all kinds of meals this week. Chicken? Sure! Salads? Why not! The possibilities are endless.

Get our recipe for Pico de Gallo.

Copycat Dunkin' Ham, Egg & Cheese Sandwich

Egg sandwich with pastrami and swiss
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Making this egg sandwich may not be as convenient as grabbing a Dunkin' Ham, Egg & Cheese on the way to work, but we promise, it will be worth the work. Our egg sandwich is made with pastrami and Swiss cheese, giving this sandwich an eclectic taste that you're going to love.

Get our recipe for Egg Sandwich With Pastrami and Swiss.

Copycat Dairy Queen Milkshakes

finished milkshakes with straws
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

You don't need to go to Dairy Queen for a creamy milkshake! Thanks to our easy tutorial, you can enjoy an old-fashioned milkshake at home for fewer calories. Plus, you can make it with whatever flavors you want!

Get our recipe for Copycat Dairy Queen Milkshakes.

Copycat KFC Fried Chicken

Paleo oven fried chicken
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We'll be the first to admit that the idea of oven-fried chicken rubs us the wrong way. Usually, the chicken comes out dry and the crust soggy or non-existent, leaving your need to eat crispy, juicy food unfulfilled. But this version of the oven-fried chicken recipe defies all expectations. The result? The juiciest, crispiest oven-fried chicken ever.

Get our recipe for Oven-Fried Chicken.

Copycat Carrabba's Chicken Marsala

Copycat Carrabba's chicken marsala with steamed broccoli on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

When people head to Carrabba's for a night of Italian dining, there's one chicken dish in particular that they can't get enough of Carrabba's chicken marsala. This creamy, delectable dish—served with a side of the greenest, freshest broccoli you have ever seen—is certainly a crowd-pleaser at this famous restaurant chain. So, of course, we had to throw together a copycat recipe for it!

Get our recipe for Copycat Carrabba's Chicken Marsala.  

Copycat Shamrock Shake

copycat shamrock shakes
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Get our recipe for a Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe.

Get the same taste of the real thing with this easy-to-make recipe, which follows our old-fashioned milkshake recipe, then adds a little something extra to give it that shamrock shake look and flavor that we all know. It's an indulgent treat, so make sure to save it for a special occasion!

A previous version of this article was originally published on May 5, 2020.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten