Finding something you really love at one of your favorite restaurants — awesome. Only being able to get it at that restaurant — not always so awesome, especially if the restaurant is in another city, state, or even country! But just because you can't always get back to a particular restaurant for that something special doesn't mean you can't get your fix when you need it. Simply spend a little time in the kitchen and figure out how to make it yourself. Or, better yet, find recipes from other people who have already done the work for you.
These 20 fabulous copycat restaurant recipes are just as good as the originals, are available to you any time you want, and range from super fancy to super simple. Basically, you'll be happy with these recipes no matter your mood.
1. Chili's Tex-Mex Margarita Chicken Salad
This Chili's copycat salad is chock full of deliciousness.
2. Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp
This bang bang shrimp recipe is a knock-off from Bonefish Grill in North Carolina. The shrimp is beyond delicious and this version is baked instead of fried.
3. Darbar's Indian Butter Chicken
This recipe is based on a butter chicken dish from Darbar, an Indian restaurant in Palo Alto, Calif. The sauce is so good you might just want to drink it. And the tender, yogurt-marinated chicken is to die for.
4. Starbucks Lemon Loaf
Who doesn't love the lemon loaf from Starbucks? Now you can bake it in your own kitchen!
5. Chuy's Creamy Tomatillo Jalapeno Ranch Dip
Chuy's, the popular tex-mex chain in the southeastern U.S., is famous for this dip. Once you start making it yourself you will be famous for it, too.
6. Tyler Florence's Christmas Dinner Short Ribs with Pear and Celery Salad
It doesn't need to be Christmas to make this amazing recipe. A knock-off of a dish that used to be served at Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern, this recipe by food blogger Sandy came about when she decided to recreate the magic at home. She even called the restaurant and the sous chef helped her get it just right, so this recipe is the real deal.
7. Lightened Up Zupas Garden Chowder Soup
This recipe lightens up a favorite chowder at a popular salad and sandwich restaurant in the western U.S. called Café Zupas. Another benefit of cooking restaurant food at home — you can make it healthier!
8. Panera Mac and Cheese
You know you want to order the kids' meal at Panera just to get that creamy mac & cheese. Forget ordering off the kids' menu and just make it at home!
9. Red Hook Lobster Pound's Lobster Roll
According to food blogger Sheri, Red Hook Lobster Pound makes the best lobster roll anywhere. And she figured out how to make it at home. And now you love Sheri.
10. Outback's Honey Wheat Bread
The soft, sweet goodness of the honey wheat bread at Outback Steakhouse is just plain irresistible. Imagine the smell of this bread baking in your kitchen!
11. Krispy Kreme Donuts
What? Homemade Krispy Kreme? YES!
12. Olive Garden Salad Dressing
The best part of the Olive Garden is most definitely, surprisingly the salad. Now that you have the dressing you can just stay home and eat salad to your heart's content!
13. Texas Roadhouse Rolls
These restaurant-worthy rolls are shockingly easy to make.
14. Panera Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus
Another Panera favorite is the jalapeño cilantro hummus, which would be good spread on a sandwich or served as a simple dip.
15. Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade
Save your pennies and make this delicious, refreshing tea at home.
16. Range's Skillet Cornbread
This skillet cornbread is a copycat recipe from Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio's restaurant Range in Washington, D.C. Plus, it's served with bacon jam. Sold.
17. CPK California Club Pizza
This CPK knock-off pizza is even better than a club sandwich. For reals.
18. Café Rio Sweet Pulled Pork
Café Rio, a Mexican food chain in the western U.S., serves pork barbacoa, which is probably their most popular menu item, and with good reason. This recipe means everyone can enjoy the spicy sweetness at home.
19. Tony Roma's Chocolate Martinis
This version of a chocolate martini from Tony Roma's is nice and rich.
20. McGriddle Breakfast Sandwich
Not only can you make a healthy McGriddle at home, it's paleo, too!
Jane Maynard is a food blogger at This Week for Dinner and Babble, a writer and designer, and a lover of all things chocolate.
Photo credit: Getty Images; via