In need of some restaurant-inspired meals? Food has always been a source of comfort and just because we can not enjoy our favorite dishes in physical restaurants does not mean we have to give them up. If you feel like you are in need of a treat in the middle of a pandemic, check out these recipes inspired by classic restaurant meals.
1. Alfredo Fettuccine from Olive Garden
This classic pasta dish from Olive Garden is rich, creamy and always a crowd-pleaser. Luckily, the recipe is posted right on their website. All you will need is to recreate their signature alfredo sauce which you can then pour onto your choice of pasta. This sauce consists of butter, garlic, flour, milk, cream, parmesan, and romano cheese with some salt and pepper to taste. Once this sauce is hot and ready, combine with your pasta and dinner will be served.
2. Orange chicken from Panda Express
Having a bowl of orange chicken with a side of rice is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. The tangy, sweet flavor of the orange sauce is irresistible. Not to mention the orange color which looks as great as it tastes. Once again, all you will need to do is prepare the signature sauce that you can drizzle over chicken or a vegetarian option such as steamed vegetables or tofu. The sauce is made with orange juice, vinegar, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, red chili flakes and a bit of orange zest. Orange chicken is definitely one of the restaurant-inspired meals that are easy to prepare and so worth it.
3. Tomato and Mozzarella sandwich from Starbucks
Starbucks is pretty underrated when it comes to their quick grab and go meals to enjoy with your coffee. One of these is their tomato and mozzarella sandwiches which is perfect for a light meal but still so satisfying. This sandwich is quick and easy to assemble with your choice of bread, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, spinach, and pesto. Their sandwiches come on toasted focaccia bread, but use whatever is readily available. If you need a break from your work from home schedule, make this sandwich to take your mind off of everything. Brew some coffee or tea to complete this restaurant-inspired meal along with a good book or magazine to enjoy in the afternoon.
4. Broccoli cheddar soup from Panera Bread
Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of warm soup on a chilly day. Panera Bread makes one of the best broccoli cheddar soups and coziest restaurant-inspired meals. To prepare this soup, you will need broccoli, carrots, onions as part of the vegetables. To make the soup, you will need butter, flour, half and half, and chicken broth. Once this is all warmed up, take a scoop of shredded cheddar cheese and drop it in the soup as it warms up to melt. Stir occasionally to make sure the cheese is spread evenly within the pot of soup. Leave your soup to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes on low heat, then serve in a bowl with a side of bread. Warm bowls of soup make for perfect restaurant-inspired meals as they can be made for a quick lunch or dinner and will warm your entire body.
5. Cilantro rice from Chipotle
The great part about this recipe is that you can use it for other restaurant-inspired meals. Chipotle’s signature rice with that hint of cilantro is honestly a game-changer. It honestly makes a huge difference whether we have it in our bowls or our burritos. The best part about this chipotle rice is that it is also pretty self-explanatory. Throw some brown or white rice in a pot and prepare like you usually would. Once your rice is cooked thoroughly, sprinkle in some freshly chopped cilantro. Now that your rice is prepared, scoop some into your burrito bowls, tacos, or burritos. It’s zesty yet subtle and is always a welcome addition to your restaurant-inspired meals.
6. Animal style fries from In-N-Out
This delicacy coming from the west coast chain In-N-Out is pretty renowned throughout the entire nation. If you are not able to get your fix due to the current travel restrictions, you can create your own batch at home. The star of the show comes in the sauce which is then poured over any type of frozen french fries. This sauce is made with chopped onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, relish, and American cheese. Most of the ingredients can simply be combined to make the sauce except for the onions which have to be cooked in a frying pan. Once everything is ready, spread over your fries in a baking sheet then place them into the oven. After about 20 minutes, add the cheese and onions and your animal style fries will be ready.
7. Shrimp scampi from Red Lobster
If you are feeling like getting fancy, try out this seafood dish from Red Lobster. Shrimp scampi might look like a challenge, but it’s actually not that hard to make at home. Start with one pound shrimp to grill in a pan with olive oil plus salt and pepper to taste. Once that’s done, remove the shrimp and add garlic, white wine, lemon juice and let it simmer. Add in your spices like basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Add your shrimp back in with some parsley and dinner is served.
8. Stuffed French Toast from IHOP
Nobody can really blame you for wanting to have breakfast for dinner. This stuffed french toast recipe is one of the best breakfast restaurant-inspired recipes you should try the next time you get the craving for breakfast food. To stuff your french toast cut a pocket in a slice of bread and stuff it with blueberries. Be careful to keep everything intact when dipping into the mixture of orange juice, eggs, salt, and sugar. Place each slice in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes and turn over each slice once. No matter what meal you make this dish for, it will always satisfy your craving for a fruity breakfast meal.
9. Fabulous french toast from Denny’s
For classic French toast restaurant-inspired recipes, the popular diner Denny’s has you covered. The secret is to use Texas toast bread to make them extra fluffy. The batter is made with eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once all of these are whisked in a bowl, dip each slice of bread and cook in a frying pan. When served with your choice of maple syrup or fresh berries, these french toast will absolutely taste fabulous.
10. Eggs benedict
While this meal isn’t specific to any one restaurant, it’s still one that you should definitely consider making for your brunch plans. Eggs benedict is one of the restaurant-inspired meals that will always please. The benedict sauce is really the ingredient that shines here. If you can’t find it in a packet, you can make it yourself with egg yolks, lemon juice and water. Your brunch dates don’t have to end in the middle of a pandemic, so get a video chat going with your friends to enjoy your eggs benedict with.