11 Popular Fast Foods You’ll Never Have To Buy Again

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Doctors and dietitians warn us incessantly about the risks in eating fast food. But in spite of all the dire admonitions, many of us continue to enjoy an occasional burger and fries for one very good reason — fast food taste great.


What’s good about remaking these Fast Food recipes at home? Well, you can adjust them to your taste and make them a lot healthier than the original!

We thought it would be fun to recreate that delicious fast food taste for less than half the price, and found 11 fast food recipes you can make at home.

11 Popular Fast Foods You’ll Never Have To Buy Again

McDonald’s Big Mac


Now you can make the most popular burger McDonald’s has to offer right at your own homes!

A bit of thousand island dressing serves as your special sauce, you split your regular burger and pat out two thin ones, cut the bun into thirds and pretty soon you have “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, all on a sesame seed bun.”

Toss it in a paper-lined basket with some seasoned and baked french fries and you have one happy man ready for sitting down to enjoy the game or just hang out with the family on a perfect autumn evening.

McDonald’s Big Mac Ingredients

2 uncut bakery buns (with sesame seeds for authenticity)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 slice cheddar cheese or 2 thin slices (don’t bother with the American stuff, not even for authenticity)
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons diced onions
1/4 cup thousand island dressing


Light the grill. Cut the bakery buns into thirds and butter the cut sides. Split the ground beef into four equal parts (1/8th pound each) and pat each portion into a thin circle, larger than the size of the bun to allow for shrinkage. Place the patties on the 400-degree grill and grill four minutes. Flip and cover with cheese slices. Grill an additional 4 minutes or to desired doneness.

Remove patties from grill and allow to rest while you lightly toast the buns. This will help them support the stacking that comes with building a Big Mac.

Build your Big Mac: bottom bun > patty covered with cheese > lettuce > thousand island dressing on the bottom of the middle bun > patty (covered with cheese) > onions > pickles > more lettuce > Thousand Island dressing on the top bun.

Makes 2 large, 1/3-pound burgers.

Skinny Arby’s Curly Fries


You may need to buy special equipment to achieve this iconic curl, but we’re sure it will be worth it for these Skinny Arby’s Curly Fries!

If you don’t own a twin curl cutter for creating curly strips of potatoes, sample the recipe using the seasonings on the same amount of straight-cut fries. It’ll work fine. But if you love fun cooking projects, especially with kids, pick up an inexpensive (less than $5) twin curl cutter in a cookware shop or on a Web site that sells kitchen equipment.

The twin curl cutter, which looks a bit like a knitting needle with a turnkey attachment, is often packaged as part of a garnishing kit. Once you get the hang of making these whimsical spuds, you’ll never go straight again!

Skinny Arby’s Curly Fries Ingredients

1-3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
4 russet potatoes (8 ounces each; 2 pounds total), peeled
Olive oil spray
2-1⁄2 tablespoons egg substitute
1-1⁄2 tablespoons unbleached or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Meanwhile, with a twin curl cutter, cut 7 ounces of potato curls, about 2 cups. (Cover with water and refrigerate the scraps for another recipe.) Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly mist a small nonstick baking sheet with oil spray. Set aside.

Transfer the potato curls to the boiling water. Cook for exactly 3 minutes but no longer or they will break. Drain in a colander. Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the egg substitute, flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and the remaining 3⁄4 teaspoon salt. With a fork, mix until well blended. Add the potatoes. Toss them with your fingers until they are coated with the seasoning mixture.

Transfer, allowing any excess seasoning mixture to drip off, to the reserved baking sheet. Arrange the potatoes, not touching, in a single layer. Lightly mist with oil spray. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, turning them about halfway through, until crisp and cooked through.

Makes 1 serving

Don’t have the time (or patience) to curl the fries? Simply cut 7 ounces (about 2 cups) of 1/4″-thick potato sticks using a regular chef’s knife. Prepare according to recipe directions.

Breakfast Burrito


No need to pop by a fast food place to get a breakfast burrito. Prepare yours at home and make it healthier!

4 servings

Breakfast Burrito Ingredients

2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 small red onion, diced (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup drained, rinsed canned black beans, preferably low-sodium
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs and 4 egg whites
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2-ounce) shredded pepper Jack cheese
Cooking spray
4 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas (burrito-size)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup salsa
1 large tomato, (4 ounces) seeded and diced
1 small avocado (4 ounces), cubed
Hot sauce


Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until onions are softened and peppers are slightly charred about 8 minutes. Add black beans and red pepper flakes and cook until warmed through another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a dish.

Whisk together the eggs and egg whites then stir in the cheese. Spray the skillet with cooking spray, and reheat the skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add eggs, scrambling until cooked through about 3 minutes.

Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon each sour cream and salsa, then layer with 1/4 of the black bean mixture, 1/4 of the scrambled eggs, some diced tomato and 1/4 of the avocado. Season, to taste, with hot sauce. Roll up burrito-style and serve.

Denny’s Bacon Slamburger Recipe


Bacon + Hash Brown + Burger = Heaven! What more can you ask for?

What’s in a name? Not much, but the Bacon Slamburger sure is catchy. It also overflows with meat, hash browns, bacon, egg, and cheese — a winning (albeit artery-clogging) combination.

Denny’s Bacon Slamburger Recipe INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for coating the grill or skillet
1 ground beef patty

1/2 cup frozen hash browns, thawed

1 egg

1 sesame bun, toasted

2 strips bacon, cooked*

Store-bought cheese sauce, to taste


Preheat a grill or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with vegetable oil.
Cook the patty to the desired temperature (or about 165 degrees). Cook the hash browns until crispy according to the package directions.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet and cook the egg sunny-side up to the desired doneness. Meanwhile, warm the cheese sauce in a saucepan. From bottom to top, build your burger in the following order: heel, patty, hash browns, egg, cheese sauce, bacon, and crown.

Chicken Nuggets


You can get chicken nuggets from the store, but that’s overly processed too. Make these at home and you’ll be sure that your nuggets are all natural.

Chicken Nugget Ingredients

Wet Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Dry Ingredients
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Vegetable or Peanut Oil for frying


Preheat oil in a large skillet or deep fryer over medium heat or to 350 degrees. Combine chopped chicken, eggs and spices (for the wet ingredients) in a large bowl. Mix well and let set for about 15 minutes. Combine dry ingredients together. Then take nuggets out and bread in flour and spices.

Drop one by one in hot oil and fry until golden. When done, drain on paper towels.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a whisk well until mayonnaise isn’t lumpy.

Serves 4 adults.

Krystal Burgers
Similar to White Castle Murder Burgers


Here’s a recipe that tastes so surprisingly close to the original!

If you’re not from the South you might not be familiar with Krystal burgers. It’s a fast food chain that began humbly in Chattanooga TN in 1932 and quickly spread throughout the South.

They’re synonymous with their small square burgers that you pick up by the sack full. There’s no mistaking the taste of a Krystal burger with its signature dill pickle chip and yellow mustard. Sadly since moving away from Georgia and Tennessee, there isn’t a Krystal close by so I was tickled when my friend Lainie shared her copycat recipe with me for Krystal burgers.

It’s a Krystal burger that you can make at home and if you closed your eyes tastes like the real thing, YES I’ll have one {okay two} please.

Note: The recipe is easily doubled if necessary.

Famous Krystal Burgers Copycat Recipe

Krystal Burgers Ingredients

1 pound ground hamburger meat
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cheddar cheese – shredded
yellow mustard
dill pickle chips
dinner rolls


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Into a deep sided pan brown your hamburger meat. Remove from heat. Drain excess fat.

2. To the pan add onion soup mix, mayonnaise, and cheese. Mix to combine.

3. Without tearing the dinner rolls apart, CAREFULLY cut them in half. Remove the top portion. Place bottom half of buns onto a sheet of aluminum foil {large enough to cover}

4. Spread meat mixture evenly on top of bread bottoms. {OPTIONAL: If you’d like additional cheese top with American cheese slices at this point} Place a dill pickle chip on top of each bun. Top with a squeeze of yellow mustard. Place tops of buns on top of the mixture.

5. Wrap aluminum foil around burgers. Place onto a rimmed cookie sheet and into the oven for approximately 5-10 minutes until bread is toasted {and cheese if melted if you’ve added it}.

Taco Bell Nachos Supreme


Taco Bell might have to close down if this amazing recipe for Nachos Supreme gets the attention it truly deserves!


You don’t have to resist that craving Taco Bell’s Nachos Supreme. If you don’t have to run for the border, make them at home.

Taco Bell Nacho Supreme Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package tortilla chips
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1 (1-1/4-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup guacamole
1/2 cup sour cream
4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place tortilla chips in a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, combine refried beans and taco seasoning mix over medium heat, stirring constantly until heated through; spoon over tortilla chips.

Sprinkle cheese over bean mixture and bake 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Dollop with guacamole and sour cream then sprinkle with scallions, tomato, and sliced jalapenos, if desired. Serve immediately.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake


Who says you need to give in to your child’s plea of taking him to McDee’s to get some Shamrock Shake? Whip this up at home and make sure it’s packed with nutrients too!


The Shamrock Shake has been offered by McDonald’s restaurants since 1970 (it even used to have its own mascot — Uncle O’Grimacey!). Every year since then, around St. Patrick’s Day, the shake joins the menu for a limited time. Like leprechauns, however, this frothy drink has developed somewhat of an elusive reputation, as it only pops up in select McDonald’s venues throughout the country.

Then there’s also the general fascination with the drink’s “exotic” green color (which, by the way, comes from the syrup used to make it). Who — kid or grown-up — can resist such a bright and festive sipper? Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake Ingredients

3 cups good quality vanilla ice cream
1 3/4 cups 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green food coloring, if desired


1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until completely thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and serve!

The McRib Recipe

McDonald's McRib Recipe

We have mixed feelings when it comes to McDonald’s McRibs. Some people are disgusted by what it looks like uncooked. Some are indifferent and would still prefer to eat it!


This recipe puts an end to all of the dishonesty surrounding the glorified fast-food item, giving you a real, authentic, and tricked-out McRib sandwich for you to enjoy at home.


4 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 rack St. Louis spareribs
2 bottles Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce
4 center-split deli rolls
12 dill pickle slices
1 onion, chopped


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all of the spices together until mixed thoroughly. Rub all over the rack of ribs and place in a baking pan. Pour 1 bottle of the barbecue sauce all over the ribs and bake in the oven until the ribs are fully cooked and the bones can slide right out, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes.*

Meanwhile, heat the second bottle of hot sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Toast each roll lightly in the toaster oven.

To remove the meat from the bones, flip the ribs over so that the underside is facing upward (the bone side). Take a paring knife and cut down the center of each bone — this removes the tendons from the bones and allows you to slide all of the meat off the rack of bones without cutting it apart. Once the bones are removed, cut 4 portions out of the rack (3 ribs per portion).

Place each portion on a roll and top with a handful of chopped onions and 3 dill pickles. Serve.

Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger

Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger

Our heart skips a beat whenever we see this delicious Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger


Here’s a little trivia for you: Did you know that the WBCB (yes, it has a nickname) comes in three sizes (single, double, and the six-dollar version)? And that about 32 million combined were sold last year? Here’s the recipe for the six-dollar version.


Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for the grill 1/2 pound 100-percent Black Angus beef patty 1 ounce tangy barbecue sauce 1 sesame seed bun 3 crispy breaded onion rings* 3 strips bacon, cooked** 2 slices American cheese.


Prepare a charcoal grill. Lightly oil the grates and add the patty. Cook to the desired level of doneness (the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 160 degrees).

Spread the barbecue sauce evenly on both sides of the bun. Place the onion rings followed by the beef patty on the heel of the bun. Place the bacon, crisscrossed, followed by the cheese on the crown of the bun. Place the crown of the bun on top of the burger.

Buffalo Wild Wings


You can now make one of our favorite bar food at home!


What makes these wings so special? The sauce. We’re bringing you the recipe for wings, plus three of the chain’s 12 most popular varieties (spicy garlic, medium, and hot). A tip from Wilbur: The sauces are very thick, almost like dip, so it’s necessary to use an emulsifying technique.


For the medium wing sauce:
1 cup Frank’s cayenne sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder*
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne**
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk 2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch For the wings:
6-12 cups vegetable shortening 20 chicken wings Celery sticks, for serving


For the medium wing sauce:
Combine all of the ingredients except the egg yolk, water, and cornstarch in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until boiling, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

While the sauce cools, vigorously whisk the egg yolk with the water in a medium-sized bowl until the color is pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved.

Drizzle the hot sauce mixture into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream while rapidly whisking. This will create a thick, creamy emulsion that will prevent the oil from separating. Cover the sauce and chill until needed.

For the wings:
Heat the shortening in a deep pot to 350 degrees. (The pot should only be 1/3 full; make sure to use a pot that is large enough.)

Drop the wings into the shortening and fry until the wings are turning light brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the wings to a rack or paper towels to drain for 1 minute.

Put the wings into a plastic container with a lid. Add ¼-1/3 cup of your sauce of choice to the container, put the lid on, and give it a good shake. Pour the wings out onto a plate and add celery on the side. Oh, and get the napkins ready.

*Note: To turn this sauce into spicy garlic sauce, add ½ additional teaspoon garlic powder.

**Note: To turn this sauce into hot wing sauce, add 1 additional teaspoon cayenne.

Hungry for more? Check out all the step by step recipes on FriendsEAT

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper
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