Copycat Recipes

Creating Copycat Recipes at Home

Publish Date March 4, 2024

The Secret to Creating Copycat Recipes

Creating your favorite restaurant dishes at home can be the ultimate form of comfort food. Once you know the secret recipes restaurants use, you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen.

While there are plenty of restaurant recipes available online, the key is learning to integrate them into your menu planning for the week. Check out some of our favorite tips on how to create budget-friendly and convenient restaurant recipes at home.

Deliciously Affordable

While going out to your favorite restaurants can be fun, it can also be expensive with food for the family and a tip after. By learning how to make yourfavorite restaurant recipes, you can save money and enjoy your favorite meals in the comfort of your own home.

Once you learn the recipe dupes from your family’s favorite restaurants, it’s time to shop. We have a few tips on how to keep your copycat recipes an affordable part of your weekly budget.

  • Plan Ahead
    When creating your weekly menu, sprinkle in your favorite copycat recipes and plan around them, especially when there are specialty ingredients. This way, you can adjust your budget to accommodate expensive ingredients such as fresh seafood, special spices or hard to find items.

  • Protein Power
    Protein can often be the most expensive part of a meal. Cut costs by shopping sales and stocking up on proteins you’ll need for the week. Making a copycat Chicken Alfredo on Friday night? Find the best deal on chicken during your grocery trip and make Chicken Gyros, Chicken Marsala or Chicken Tacos throughout the week.

  • Shop Your Kitchen
    Take stock of the ingredients you have in your kitchen before making your grocery list. You probably already have pantry staples like pasta or tortillas, and you might even have most of the spices needed. This is also a great way to start experimenting with your favorite copycat recipes. Maybe that restaurant pasta dish you love would be just as good with broccoli as it is with asparagus, since you have it on hand.

Skip the Added Calories

A restaurant’s main goal is taste. Tossing an additional pat of butter onto that salmon dish or using a fattier meat to increase flavor and tenderness are some ways restaurants can make food taste even better. At home, while you may want the taste you love, you might also want to skip out on the additional calories added to many restaurant dishes.

By making your favorite copycat recipes at home, you have more control over what goes into them. You can recreate your favorite restaurant dishes with ground turkey or chicken instead of a fattier protein like ground beef. You can also control the sodium or sugar added to sauces, and you can make other dietary swaps to create gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian meals. For more ideas on how to lighten up your restaurant dupes, check out this article written by one of our registered dietitians.

Convenient and Quick

Many restaurants utilize freeze-ahead short cuts, and so can you. Copycat sauces can be frozen in ice cube trays once cooled, then tossed into freshly cooked pasta on a busy weeknight. Seasoned ground beef or ground turkey can be made ahead and frozen until needed. Dressings and dipping sauces also keep well in the fridge once made.

Create Craveable Dishes

Maybe you love the sauce from your favorite Italian restaurant, but you’ve always been curious about using it with other pastas or even in a layered pasta dish. Or perhaps you’ve wondered how the chicken dish you always order would taste with fish instead. Once you’ve learned the basics of restaurant recipes and recipe dupes, the sky’s the limit for creating your own versions of your restaurant favorites.

Pumpkin Spice Latte and More At-Home Coffee Recipes

Make this coffee house classic at home whenever the craving strikes. Nearly every drink made in a coffeehouse can be made at home, and we’ve gathered our favorites in one spot.

Looking for More Tips and Recipe Dupes?

Visit our blog for more tips and tricks on weeknight meals, including meal planning, recipes and more.