Skip to content

12 Secret Recipes for Beloved Dishes That Restaurants Are Revealing for the First Time

From Ikea's meatballs to McDonald's McMuffin, you can finally make these famous eats at home!
Cheesecake factory cinnamon roll pancakes

While some of us are taking advantage of the fact that some of our favorite fast food and fast-casual restaurant chains are still offering drive-thru, delivery, and takeout, many of us have taken this stay-at-home time to cook more and eat out less often. If you want to continue to flex your cooking and baking muscles while indulging in your beloved restaurant meals, there's now a way you can have the best of both worlds.

From McDonald's to The Cheesecake Factory, some of the most famous restaurant chains are unveiling at-home versions of their popular menu items—many for the first time ever.

What are you waiting for? Get in on the action and learn the secrets behind a selection of the most famous fast food dishes ever. Read through our list, put together a grocery list of the ingredients you need, read up on our 12 Best Tips for Safe Grocery Shopping Amid Coronavirus Concerns, and get to cooking.

Here are a few of the secret recipes restaurant chains are sharing with you right now:


McDonald's Sausage & Egg McMuffin

egg mcmuffin

We're not kidding. In early April, McDonald's UK posted the exact instructions they follow to make one of the most iconic fast food breakfast items of all time. The secret to the perfect eggs? McDonald's adds a bit of water to the bottom of their frying pan, brings it to a boil, and then cracks the eggs into ring mold. The method essentially poaches the eggs more than it does fry them, resulting in the perfectly cooked egg round. If you found a carton of eggs at the back of your fridge to use and don't remember when you bought them, use our trick for The Quickest Way to Tell If Eggs Are Still Good.

Get the recipe for McDonald's Sausage & Egg McMuffin


Burger King's Whopper

Burger king whopper sandwich facebook
Burger King /Facebook

There are no instructions or anything, but Burger King France posted an infographic to their Twitter account listing all the ingredients you'd need to put together your very own Whopper at home.

Get the recipe for Burger King's Whopper


Chipotle's Guac Recipe


We had to do a little digging for this one, but we remembered that Chipotle shared their guac recipe with the world back in 2015. Because the company took the recipe down, there's no way to say for sure that these are still the ratios the Mexican casual restaurant uses, but they were good at one point in time, so we have no problem following this recipe to whip up some of the avocado condiment at home. In case the recipe disappears again, check out the ingredients here:

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • 1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeño, including seeds (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Get the recipe for Chipotle's Guac Recipe


Cheesecake Factory's Chinese Chicken Salad

chinese factory chinese chicken salad
Courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory

When we heard the news that Cheesecake Factory was telling landlords that the restaurants wouldn't be able to pay April rent, we were deeply, deeply concerned. But after raising a cool $200 million, we can feel comfort in knowing our cherished mega menu chain will still be around once social distancing guidelines ease. In the meantime, the Factory is tiding us over by sharing 19 home-style versions of their most popular dishes. No, there's no cheesecake (you'll have to settle for our Copycat Cheesecake Factory recipe for that), and yes, it's just a fraction of the 250 dishes the restaurant chain offers, but they're some of the best.

More on Coronavirus

  • woman with closed eyes suffering from headache

    7 Warning Signs COVID-19 is in Your Brain

    If you experience any of these, get help immediately.
  • Young woman feeling sick and holding her chest in pain at home.

    15 Scary After Effects of Coronavirus Everyone Should Know

  • subway neon open sign

    The 5 Changes You'll See After Subway Reopens

    How the sandwich chain will keep your food safe.
  • Brio tuscan grille restaurant

    6 Restaurants Going Bankrupt Due to COVID-19

    These restaurants couldn't survive the shutdown.
  • Man iPad

    Cooking Food This Way Could Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

    Put the spatula down.

Get the recipe for Cheesecake Factory's Chinese Chicken Salad


Pret A Manger's Choc Bar

pret choc bar
Pret a Manger/ Twitter

Pret a Manger, a sandwich shop chain with locations all over the world, started sharing fan-favorite recipes on Twitter with the hashtag "#PretRecipeBook." The first one? Pret's iconic choc bar. The steps are a bit tricky, but we promise that the payoff is worth it. (No wonder it's so good in stores!)

Get the recipe for Pret's Choc Bar Recipe


Disney Churros

disney churros
Courtesy of Disney

You may have had to cancel your trip to Disney due to the coronavirus, but you don't have to cancel indulging in the theme park eats. (Which is almost as big of a draw as the rides.) These sugary bites are perfect to share with the fam. Although they look tricky to make, Disney even put together an extremely helpful recipe video to follow.

Get the recipe for Disney Parks Churro Bites


Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana

olive garden giant chicken parmigiana
Courtesy of Olive Garden

We're all seeking comfort foods in these stressful times, and besides Grandma's recipes, there are few foods as comforting as Italian food. Follow Olive Garden's instructions, and you can have their famous chicken parm for dinner tonight. The Garden also shared step-by-step recipes for their Shrimp Scampi and Alfredo Sauce.

Get the recipe for Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana


Ikea Meatballs

ikea meatballs
Courtesy of Ikea

In true Ikea fashion, the Swedish furniture store also posted a recipe card with illustrated instructions for their famous frozen Swedish meatballs.

Get the recipe for Ikea's Meatballs with Cream Sauce


Chick-fil-A's Cole Slaw

chick fil a cole slaw
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A may have discontinued their slaw back in 2016, but that doesn't mean you have to say goodbye forever. The chicken chain shared a recipe card on their Chicken Wire block a few years back. In the spirit of making fast food classics at home, we figured it was worth unearthing.

Get the recipe for Chick-fil-A's Cole Slaw


Disney's Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana French Toast

French toast bake
Courtesy of Disney

If you had booked a stay at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, you would have been able to order this breakfast favorite at Disney's PCH Grill. Now, you'll have to settle for this near-perfect copycat from the restaurant itself. Gather up the family and enjoy a lazy Sunday (or any day in quarantine) with this meal.

Get the recipe for Disney's Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana French Toast


Pret A Manger's Chocolate Chip Cookies

pret chocolate chip cookies
Pret a Manger/ Twitter

Pret was also "inundated with requests for the secret to [their] Chocolate Chunk Cookies." So of course, they gave the people what they wanted: the recipe. For more of your favorite Pret recipes, search the hashtag #PretRecipeBook on Twitter. You'll find fan favorites like their Breakfast Omelette, Dark Chocolate Vegan Cookies, and Macaroni Cheese.

Get the recipe for Pret A Manger's Chocolate Chip Cookies


Cheesecake Factory's Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

cinnamon roll pancakes at the cheesecake factory
Courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory

We saved the best for last. It's certainly one of the most indulgent menu items on this list, but it's also one of the tastiest. You're going to want to reserve all of Sunday morning for these pancakes — they make take a while to put together. But, hey, now you'll have even more appreciation for The Cheesecake Factory when you order these in person soon.

Get the recipe for The Cheesecake Factory Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

RELATED: Here's What Dining Out at Restaurants Post-Lockdown Will Look Like

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

She Lost 100 Pounds—And Shows You How!

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein lost her weight and kept it off—and in You Can Drop It!, she'll show you how to lose it, too. More than 240,000 clients have chosen her program—and now it’s yours to keep.

Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is a senior editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more