Let’s face it. Even the healthiest person craves some fast-food every once in a while. But, instead of loading your body with artificial flavors, saturated fats, and a bunch of not-so-good-for-your-body ingredients, you can skip the drive-thru and hack your fast food cravings at home with these healthier alternatives. These homemade fast food recipes are made to give you the fast-food taste you’re craving sans all the calories and unknown ingredients.
Easy Garlic Knots
Toasty, lightly buttery, and oh so garlicky, these easy garlic knots will bring Italian night-out to your home in a heartbeat.
Makes 12 knots.
1 can Classic Pizza Crust Dough
2 tbsp light butter
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp Italian seasoning
Garlic salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Unroll the pre-made pizza dough. Using a pizza cutter make 12 even strips. Tie each strip into a knot and place on your lined baking sheet.
- Place the knots in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- On the side. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the Italian seasoning.
- Take the knots out of the oven. Using a brush, brush the butter/garlic mix over the freshly baked knots. Sprinkle with garlic salt and place the knots back in the oven to cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
Oven-baked “Fried” Chicken Tenders
There are so many reasons why you might be craving some fried, toasty, and crunchy chicken tenders – we don’t blame you. But instead of getting all the calories, try this homemade fast food hack instead.
Makes 4 servings.
For the Spice Mix:
½ tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp mustard powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
For the Chicken Strips:
12 Chicken tenderloins
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup cornmeal
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet.
- Combine all the ingredients from the spice mix, with the flour, panko, and cornmeal in a bowl. Place half in a Ziploc bag.
- Coat the chicken strips with the plain yogurt. Place half the chicken into the Ziploc bag, seal in the air, so the bag is puffed like a balloon. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with the seasoning. Press the bag to make sure you get a firm coating onto the chicken. Move the chicken strips to the baking tray.
- Place the remaining seasoning mix into the Ziploc bag, with the remaining chicken, and repeat the process.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then turn and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Lighter In-N-Out Burger
If the summer heat is giving you grill inspiration, you’re probably craving those juicy fast food burgers – and we don’t blame you. But, if you choose to stay home and do them yourself, you can satisfy your cravings without the extra calories.
Makes 4 servings.
For the Sauce:
2 tbsp light mayonnaise or replacement
2 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp light ketchup
1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
For the Burger:
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
4 thin slices cheddar cheese
4 burger buns
4 slices tomato
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Cover and chill until ready to use.
- Season the ground beef with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mix until combined. Form 8 very thin, evenly sized patties.
- In large cast iron skillet, add the oil, and cook the onions until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add some water to the pan if onions begin to burn. Move the onions to a bowl.
- With the skillet on medium-high, add 4 of the patties and cook until well brown, 3 minutes per side. Top each patty with one slice of cheese and cook until it melts. Transfer the patties to a plate and cook the remaining 4 patties.
- Spread the sauce on the buns. Assemble your burgers layering 1 cheese-covered patty, a layer of onions, another patty, the sliced tomato, and shredded lettuce. End with the top halves of the bun. Enjoy immediately.
Fast-food cravings can attack at any moment throughout the day. Sometimes that means you’re craving a fast-food breakfast. Skip the calories and go for a healthier homemade fast food option you can even include in your meal prep plan.
Makes 6 servings.
For the Patties:
2 pounds 93% lean ground beef
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Eggs:
6 large eggs
For the Muffins:
Sharp Cheddar cheese slices
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the patties. Form six balls and press into a patty shape. Set aside.
- Cook the patties on a large frying pan for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Cook each egg separately.
- Assemble your muffins by adding a sausage patty, the cheese, and top with an egg. Eat immediately, or allow to cool and refrigerate or freeze for later.
Sometimes your fast food craving is all about something sweet. When that happens, you have this homemade fast food frosty copycat recipe you can make in 10 minutes or less.
Makes 2 servings.
12 ice cubes
1 tbsp raw honey or agave
½ tsp vanilla
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 cup coconut milk
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Start blending at low speed, slowly turning the speed up until you get a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Serve immediately.