Fast Food: we all love it, we all crave it, we all feel bad when we eat it. Two things make me never seriously consider getting in shape: you can’t drink, and you can’t have fast food (unless you are Usain Bolt and have his almost inhuman cravings for Chicken McNuggets). There’s just something so satisfying about biting into a great burger, a tasty sandwich, or some mouth watering fries. It’s not logic; it’s not good for you, but it feeds the soul.
But maybe all those Uber Eats orders are starting to take a toll on your bank account, or your pants size. Maybe you’re an aspiring chef and want to try your own hand at recreating some those delicious meals. Well here’s a dirty little secret: those meals aren’t that hard to make. It’s true! Apart from a “secret” ingredient or two, you can accurately recreate some of the best eats from across the fast food spectrum. If you want to become the new Colonel Sanders of your apartment, here are a few easy recipes to recreate.
Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme
Ingredients: ground beef, chili powder, ground paprika, ground cumin, Kosher salt, Freshly ground black pepper, flour tortillas, nacho cheese sauce, tostada shells, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar, shredded Monterey Jack, vegetable oil
Take taco Tuesday up a notch or two with this recreation of a midnight classic. Taco Bell doesn’t have any real “secret ingredients” or “sacred recipes”, so it doesn’t take much to get a fairly close tasting homemade Crunchwrap Supreme. Just take all the ingredients you would normally use for boring old Mexican food and ramp it up to the extremes that only a restaurant like Taco Bell would go to. The trick is decking out the insides with all the fixings of a real Crunchwrap: we’re talking tomatoes, we’re talking lettuce, we’re talking multiple different kinds of cheese to get that gooey-gooey pull apart midsection that is fodder for Instagram posts. This is what “food porn” aspires to be.
Chick Fil A’s Chicken Sandwich
Ingredients: hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato, dill pickle slices, chicken breasts, pickle juice, milk, peanut oil, egg, all-purpose flour, confectioners’ sugar, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
This recipe sold itself on how close it was to the actual Chick Fil A sandwich, which is always a coin toss when it comes to recipes like this: sometimes they come surprisingly close and other times there’s absolutely no similarity whatsoever. I’m happy to report this recipe was the former. A little bit of pan frying and some easy to prepare marinade are all it takes to replicate your very own Chick Fil A sandwich, complete with as many pickles as you can stomach. The best part: you can make this sandwich on Sundays, for when your craving for chicken eclipses your strict religious morals.
McDonald’s Big Mac
Ingredients: ground beef, hamburger buns, salt, pepper, thousand island dressing, onion, lettuce, American cheese, pickles
McDonalds makes a pretty big deal about its secret Big Mac sauce. It’s pretty disappointing when you realize that it’s pretty much just thousand island dressing. But that’s good news for you because it means that making a Big Mac at home is super easy. Really the most annoying part is that you need one and a half burger buns, which is just horribly inconvenient. But there’s no real trick here: cook up like any other burger, add your toppings and “secret sauce”, place the bottom half of a bun between the two patties, and you’re pretty much set. Stomp the burger buns on the floor and press them way too flat in the pan for extra realness.
White Castle Sliders
Ingredients: ground beef, slider buns, bread crumbs, eggs, onion soup mix, salt, pepper, American cheese, dill pickle slices, mustard
Good things come in small packages. If the homemade Big Mac is a little too large for your tastes (or maybe McDonalds just isn’t your thing) but you still want the savory bite of a burger, trying scaling it down and recreating some White Castle Sliders. Perfect for lunch, dinner, or any post-smoking Munchie haze, these sliders are best when made it gigantic portions like the ones in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. If you just end up making two, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
Ingredients: 7Up, cherries, lime wedges, Maraschino syrup, ice
Food doesn’t have to be the major draw for a fast food restaurant. Some places make their bones with tasty drinks and deserts (plus, I’ll be honest, I didn’t exactly want to recreate a Chili Cheese Footlong because I’m not sure stomach could take it after all previous recipes). The Sonic Limeade reminds me of summers far away, probably because there weren’t any Sonic’s near our house growing up, but also because it just tastes like something sweet and nostalgic. Another recipe that takes easy to find ingredients and relatively little prep work to make something that is almost a one-to-one recreation, this recipe can also be readily changed into a slushy just by adding some crushed ice.
Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
Ingredients: strong brewed coffee, ice, milk, caramel sauce, sugar, whipped cream
Buying coffee is just a fact of life in my apartment. We have a perfectly good knockoff Keurig, but the basic cream and sugar concoctions admittedly pale in comparison to some of the more professionally made coffees at Starbucks and Dunkin. The only bad thing is that those fast casual coffees can get pricey fast, so try honing your own barista skills at home. Instead of slaving over a hot cappuccino machine, things could not be simpler for this recipe: take all the ingredients, blend them together, and top with some whipped cream. That’s it. You’ve a nice refreshing iced coffee in almost no time at all.
Ingredients: Bisquick mix, Sprite, sour cream, butter
Yes, you read that ingredients list correctly. Sprite. In your biscuits. What initially sounds unsavory and gross quickly becomes the obvious ingredient that makes Popeyes biscuits so damn addicting. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put Sprite in their chicken sandwiches at this point. In terms of expectations, mine were low for this recipe. How good could these biscuits be? As it turns out: very good. Fairly basic and ready to eat in about 15 minutes, I might have a new go to for whenever I need some tasty and flakey side items for my chicken.