These copycat recipes will blow your mind! Killer taste and money in your pocket. Plus it’s fun eating “better than a restaurant” at home!

Pictures of food and text saying, "The best copycat recipes to try at home."

My best friend Sarah texted me the other day, “Ordered a salad for lunch, already regretting it. Future Sarah is impressed with my healthy choice and dismayed at the same time.”

I think we can all relate, right?? There is nothing quite like order regret.

One thing I never regret though, is making copycat recipes at home. Something about the sweet taste of delicious food in your mouth AND money in your pocket.

I’ve copied a ton of restaurant favorites over the years, and these are my favorite copycat recipes! (Don’t skip the Pizza Hut copycat, you don’t want to miss reliving all your elementary reading victories from the 80s, rewarded with a personal pan pizza!! Those were the days, right!?) And DON’T skip the cake, you may have never heard of Magleby’s and that’s okay, but I’m telling you, this is the chocolate cake.

Honey Baked Ham Recipe (Copycat)

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sliced honey baked ham on a plate.

I am so happy I discovered this recipe, because I absolutely love it (especially those crispy edges). Reader Meryl commented “I’ve NEVER cooked a ham before, but love Honey Baked, so I tried this recipe and my ham turned out PERFECT!! Oh, and I sent a picture to my very wealthy, “5-star-or-bust” in-laws and they said they were jealous!!” Way to go Meryl 😂

honey baked ham glazed recipes
Honey Bake Ham
4.95 from 134 votes
I am totally obsessed with this Copycat Honey Baked Ham Recipe! It is so simple and yet the results are absolutely insane. No wonder people pay so much money for these! Instead of glazing and roasting, we are rubbing it with dry sugar and hitting it with a kitchen torch. The crispy edges of this ham are like candy!
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P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Copycat recipe)

chicken lettuce wraps on a plate near dipping sauce.

No driving, no waiting, no putting on real pants. Just you (and whoever you’re cooking for), scooping up these healthy and addictive lettuce wraps. Reader Susannah commented “I feel like I’ve finally found the best home recipe for chicken lettuce wraps! Delicious!!”

chicken lettuce wraps on a plate near dipping sauce.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps (PF Chang’s Copycat)
4.90 from 104 votes
Have you tried the Chicken Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Chang's? I've got the best copycat recipe for you today! Finely diced chicken thighs are sautéed with shiitake mushrooms in a killer Asian-inspired sauce, then nestled into butter lettuce leaves and garnished with fried rice noodles. It is a super easy, fast, and TASTY weeknight meal. The perfect dish for when you are going low carb!
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Zuppa Toscana Recipe (Potato, Sausage, Kale Soup)

zuppa toscana soup with sausage, kale, and potatoes.

It’s a good thing this recipe makes a big batch, because I basically need this soup to be never-ending. Reader Debra said, “I just wanted you to know that this recipe was a star winner in my household. I shared my dish with a friend and she bragged on it to other friends who were compelled to call me and get the recipe for themselves.” The best feeling Debra, right??

Sausage Kale Soup
4.87 from 93 votes
Zuppa Toscana is a rich and creamy, soul-satisfying soup made with Italian sausage, potatoes, and hearty kale. It’s a copycat recipe of the famous soup at Olive Garden. I could eat this stuff for days!
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Best Cheese Dipping Sauce Ever (Shake Shack Copycat Recipe)

two crinkle fries being dipping into a clear bowl of easy cheese sauce.

Once you see how easy it is to put this cheese sauce together, you’ll have to find excuses NOT to make it. Every veggie, chip, fry, side dish, and main dish coming through your kitchen is going to be begging you to drizzle it in this creamy cheesy goodness. #sorrynotsorry

two crinkle fries being dipping into a clear bowl of easy cheese sauce.
Homemade Cheese Sauce
5 from 18 votes
If you have ever obsessed over the cheese fries they have at Shake Shack, this easy homemade Cheese Sauce recipe is for you!  A combination of fresh onions, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese bring the flavor, while heavy cream and American cheese make it rich and smooth. I am obsessed with it and have been putting it on everything! The best cheese sauce for fries, roasted potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, nachos, burgers, hot dogs, enchiladas, burritos, the list is endless!
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Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip (Slow Cooker)

copycat chili's queso dip with chips, limes, cilantro, and onions on top.

Reader Tammy commented “This queso is so good! My daughter says it’s just like Chili’s. I made a half recipe in my small sized dip crockpot; it made plenty for 3 adults with leftovers…they didn’t last long, though!” Leftovers don’t last long at my house either (mostly my fault. I just made this for the Super Bowl last week and I was basically hunched in the corner the whole time, people forgot I was even there.)

Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip (Slow Cooker)
4.50 from 57 votes
I can't tell you exactly how much of this queso dip I can eat in one sitting, because I would never be able to look you in the eye again! This is a copycat of the queso dip recipe served at Chili's, made in the slow cooker or on stove top. It's absolutely addictive and perfect for game day! 
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The Best Hot Dog You Will Ever Eat (JDawgs Special Sauce Copycat Recipe)

grilled hot dog topped with special sauce.

If you’re still putting ketchup on your hot dogs, like an idiot, let me welcome you to the future. (The future has never looked brighter for the hot dog, or you.)

This tiny shack called J-Dawgs opened south of campus when I was at BYU, and we (meaning the entire student body) pretty much lived on hot dogs for the rest of the year thanks to this special sauce. It’s legendary. You will never look at a hot dog the same.

Reader Jennie said “Wow!!!! This is the best sauce and on a hotdog made it the best hotdog I have ever eaten! I seasoned my hotdogs with mustard and our favorite seasoning before grilling. But everything else was the same. And it was so so good!!”

The Best Hot Dog You Will Ever Eat (JDawgs Special Sauce Copycat) from The Food Charlatan
The Best Hot Dog You Will Ever Eat (JDawgs Special Sauce Copycat)
4.96 from 23 votes
Three things make this The Best Hot Dog You Will Ever Eat: A quality bun, diagonal cuts before grilling, and the Special Sauce. It's so easy, you will be making this all summer! Invite me to your barbecue please! 
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Cast Iron Pan Pizza Recipe (Pizza Hut Copycat)

pan pizza with pepperoni and cheese.

I love homemade pizza, but I also freaking love pan pizza from Pizza Hut. This copycat NAILS IT. The crispy on the outside, soft on the inside crust will take you straight back to those precious personal pan pizza moments of yesteryear.

Reader Jennifer commented “This is the best pan pizza our family has ever tasted. We missed the old Pizza Hut pan pizzas when they used to be good. I gave up trying to find a good one but then tried yours. The best, so glad you shortened the rise time – perfect!! It is going to be our new Saturday night pizza.”

pan pizza with pepperoni and cheese.
Cast Iron Pizza Recipe
4.83 from 23 votes
Make pizza at home that tastes just like Pizza Hut!! This Cast Iron Pan Pizza Recipe is unbelievable you guys. A super tall, ciabatta-like crust with gorgeous crispy edges and a pillowy soft interior. The key to homemade pan pizza is a slow rise time and a heavy cast iron pan. Top with sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni for pan pizza heaven!
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The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had

chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate.

This will always be my forever chocolate cake. I will never look for or try another recipe, because when you have found perfection, you just stick with it.

Reader Mark commented “I made this chocolate cake for my wife’s birthday and I have to say she was starstruck seeing it. But, I used white chocolate chips for a little twist. I must say the resulting cake was mouth watering and she loved it.” It’s hard not to be starstruck by all this chocolate…the moist, dense cake, the soft, rich frosting…yes please.

chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate.
The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had (And a Par-taaay!)
4.91 from 32 votes
Literally the BEST chocolate cake ever to cross my lips. It is dense and rich and moist and almost brownie-like but still in a cake way. It's a Magleby's copycat. You will not regret this!
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Apple Gorgonzola Salad (Buca di Beppo Copycat)

apple gorgonzola salad with homemade dressing being poured on top.

Just in case you think all I eat is pizza, hot dogs, cake, and cheese sauce…here’s a salad. I actually eat salad almost every day. I really love it, especially when it has a ton of interesting and fresh ingredients as this Buca di Beppo copycat. (More salad coming below, keep scrolling!)

Apple Gorgonzola Salad (Buca di Beppo Copycat)
5 from 13 votes
Have you had the Apple Gorgonzola Salad from Buca di Beppo? This copycat recipe is spot on! Fresh romaine lettuce tossed in a delicious homemade Italian vinaigrette, topped with dried cranberries, spiced walnuts, gorgonzola, and Granny Smith Apples!
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Cafe Rio Sweet Shredded Pork for Burritos 

smothered burrito with sweet pulled pork.

All the goodness of that sweet, totally addictive Cafe Rio pork, made at home in your slow cooker or Instant Pot. (If you have never been to Cafe Rio, it’s like a Chipotle or Costa Vida but way better. Their sweet pork is insanely good, and this recipe gets it.)

Reader Maria said, “I have made this recipe over and over again in the last 3 years and we adore it every single time. This is one of my go-to recipes when we have family visiting from out of town, and it’s always a hit! Thank you so much for this one, I’m sure we will be using it several times a year for the foreseeable future.” This is my go-to recipe for a crowd too, Maria!

smothered burrito with sweet pulled pork.
Cafe Rio Sweet Shredded Pork for Burritos
4.82 from 27 votes
This sweet shredded pork tastes even BETTER than Cafe Rio, I promise! Use this pork to make giant burritos smothered with Cilantro-Tomatillo Dressing, or an amazing pork salad. Or throw it in some enchiladas. You can't go wrong! It's so easy to make in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. 
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Copycat Cafe Zupas Poppyseed Dressing and Spinach Bleu Cheese Salad

Copycat Cafe Zupas Poppyseed Dressing over a spinach strawberry salad with bleu cheese and almonds.

I told you there was more salad 😉 There’s so much to love here. The tart strawberries, tangy bleu cheese, and toasted almonds are already soooo good, and then you throw a sweet homemade poppyseed dressing on top. Reader Emily said “I just made the dressing and had to comment to tell you it’s fabulous! I have only eaten it out of a spoon so far, but I’m sure it’ll taste even better on a salad!”

Copycat Cafe Zupas Poppyseed Dressing
Copycat Cafe Zupas Poppyseed Dressing and Spinach Bleu Cheese Salad
4.75 from 8 votes
This Copycat Cafe Zupas Poppyseed Dressing tastes just like the real thing! Sweet and unexpected.

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup (Chili’s Copycat Recipe)

Chili's copycat chicken enchilada soup with pico de gallo, sour cream, chips, cheddar, avocados, and a lime wedge.

This is the first meal my awesome mother-in-law ever made for me. I never thought I could love a soup so much. I decided to marry Eric on the spot after trying it. (just kidding, kind of.)

Reader Whit commented, “Thanks for your recipe, Karen! Made this soup tonight. Added a bit of salt, some chili powder and red pepper flakes and it was AMAZING!!!! Will definitely be added in to family’s regular rotation.”

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup (Chili’s Copycat Recipe)
4.78 from 9 votes
This dreamy Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup tastes like the kind at Chili’s, only better! It is a simple soup that has a unique flavor thanks to Masa Harina (corn flour). There are no veggies in the soup; instead you make Pico de Gallo and serve it as a generous topping! It’s one of my all time favorite soups!
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Take that, takeout. Now go forth and create, not order! Make, not doordash! Take luck!

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  1. I love this list! I have been trying to mimic Chili’s southwest chicken soup for years. I’ve come close (putting some fine corn flour in the broth was huge!) but I’m still on the fence and would rather go but than make on days I really want it. Can you copycat that one? I’d love to see what you come up with. I’ve been making your mojito pork for years! Love your work.

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