We’ve all been there – tired, hungry and ready to hit our go-to comfort food restaurants. Luckily, these healthy bloggers have discovered the secrets to some of the most popular restaurant dishes, and they have lightened them up. So the next time you are trying to fight the urge to splurge, try one of these recipes instead for a meal that will hit the spot.
For those of you who frequent Taco Bell (no judgment, sister), you may have noticed the chain’s new Cantina Bowls lurking on the menu amidst the usual suspects like tacos and quesadillas. Rather than hitting up the drive-thru to get your Taco Bell fix, skip the sneaky additives and make an organic Cantina Bowl in the comfort of your home. She Knows has transformed the fast food dish into a homemade rice bowl that’s filled with drool-worthy fresh cilantro and organic avocado slices.
If Whole Foods is your favorite lunchtime haunt, then you’ve probably tried this popular deli salad on at least one occasion. True, the original version is healthy, but why not make it in bulk and save some bucks while you’re at it? A satisfying combination of balsamic, lime, and raisins, this copycat quinoa salad from Damn Delicious is chock-full of fiber, vitamin A and healthy fats.
Do you have a fiery hankering for some Asian food? Rather than resorting to sodium-laden Chinese takeout, recreate your favorite fast-food meals in your own kitchen. Blogger Damn Delicious serves up a near-identical copycat version of Panda Express’s favorite Sweet Fire Chicken that’s not coated in dredges of batter and deep-fried.
Ah, Olive Garden. How we love you and your endless breadstick bowl. Sadly, most Olive Garden dishes are loaded with sodium and hidden fat and calories. Luckily, blogger Three Beans on a String has whipped up a copycat Paleo Zuppa Toscana recipe for a more nutritious version of the cold-weather Olive Garden favorite. Naturally creamy cauliflower puree replaces the heavy potatoes and cream in this nourishing, healthy soup.
Thanks to Gimme Some Oven, you can now enjoy a Blooming Onion without consuming loads of calories. While the restaurant version tops the charts of one of the unhealthiest foods, this recipe is baked with Panko breadcrumbs and seasoning for a very lightened-up copycat. Try the healthy, spicy dipping sauce to amp up the flavor.
When you’re mega rushed in the morning, grabbing McDonald’s breakfast may seem like a time-saver. Well, not when you can whip up a McMuffin at home—in half the time it takes to sit in the drive-thru. Nix the additives and processed food and try this healthy homemade version of Micky D’s Egg White Delight sandwich.
Hungry Healthy Girl has discovered the secret behind mastering Panera’s fall favorite, the Autumn Squash Soup. Make this healthy soup from scratch with cubed butternut squash and replace butter and cream with coconut oil and almond milk. You’ll never believe this creamy soup is vegan, Paleo and gluten-free.
True Food Kitchen is a favorite on the West Coast, but whether you are familiar with it or not, you can try a tasty dish from their menu with Shockingly Delicious’ copycat spaghetti squash casserole. This clean recipe uses caramelized onions for a unique taste.
Chipotle’s smoky charred veggies are a favorite topping for salads or burritos, but unfortunately the veggies contains globs of excess sodium and oil. Thankfully, Layers of Happiness creates a copycat version of Chipotle’s signature grilled peppers and onions that keeps that distinctive charred flavor, while only using a little salt, olive oil and oregano.
Okay, so we clearly like Panera, but we love Iowa Girl Eats’ copycat Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich even more. This vibrant, flavorful sandwich packs in tomato basil bread, jalapeño hummus, onions and feta for a middle-of-the-day meal you can look forward to.
This low-sugar pumpkin spice latte from Live Simply is a healthy, lower-sugar alternative to the beloved Starbucks latte. An espresso machine is not required for this recipe. Instead, the delicious ingredients include coffee, milk, vanilla, maple syrup, pumpkin, and pumpkin spice. This is as good as pumpkin lattes get!
Wendy’s Frosties may have been your childhood favorite, but they’re definitely not your waistline’s best ally. Get your sweet fix with Healthy Recipe Ecstasy’s copycat Frosty, which is dairy-free without skimping on deliciousness. With a base of coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream, this frosty is quite possibly better than the original frosty.