17 Restaurant Copycat Recipes to Pack for Lunch

Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich
Photo: Will Dickey

You can mimic the delicious flavors of a restaurant-quality meal with these copycat recipes. From satisfying sandwiches and soups to tasty salads, these lunches will transport you to your favorite restaurant when you try them. Recipes like our Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Salad and Baked Falafel Sandwiches are perfect for packing to take to school or work.

01 of 17

Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Salad

Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Salad
Jacob Fox

This copycat Chick-fil-A kale salad has a sweet and tangy dressing coating tender kale and cabbage leaves that have been gently massaged. This salad can sit for an hour or two; just be sure to toss it before serving to redistribute the dressing.

02 of 17

Copycat Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

a recipe photo of the Copycat Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup served in two bowls
Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ali Ramee, Prop stylist: Clairen Spollen

This comforting copycat Olive Garden chicken and gnocchi soup is creamy, with chewy, pillowy gnocchi to satisfy your appetite. Enjoy with a green salad and breadsticks for dipping.

03 of 17

Baked Falafel Sandwiches

baked falafel sandwich

This street-style falafel sandwich is herbaceous, tangy and rich. The falafel gets nice and crispy in the oven while the veggies inside keep it simple and fresh. Make the tahini sauce (see Associated Recipes) ahead of time for easy prep. Wrapping the sandwich in foil makes it a perfect bring-along lunch and helps hold it together for eating on the go.

04 of 17

Chicken & Kale Taco Salad with Jalapeño-Avocado Ranch


This healthy, super-fast salad recipe swaps out romaine for kale, giving you more than 10 times the vitamin C. Easy flavor hacks like store-bought ranch and pickled jalapeños help make a creamy, tangy and spicy dressing you'll want to drizzle on everything from salad to sliced veggies and shredded poached chicken.

05 of 17

Copycat Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup

2 bowls of Copycat Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup
Photographer: Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Ali Ramee; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

We've re-created Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup, loved for its richness and subtle sweetness, by roasting cherry tomatoes and shallots, which add natural sweet flavors and eliminate the need for added sugar. Serve with a salad or a grilled cheese for dunking.

06 of 17

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl


This flavorful burrito bowl features grilled chicken coated in a spicy chipotle glaze. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthier dinner.

07 of 17

Copycat Joe & the Juice's Tunacado Sandwich

a recipe photo of the Copycat Joe and the Juice Tunacado Sandwich cut in half
Photographer: Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Karen Rankin, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Inspired by the viral sandwich from Joe & the Juice, we put our twist on the popular tuna-avocado sandwich. Adding chili crisp to the pesto adds delicious flavor, while processing the tuna with avocado creates a wonderfully creamy spread. These sandwiches are packed with texture and flavor, and will quickly make their way into your weekly lunch rotation.

08 of 17

Green Goddess Salad


This gorgeous green goddess salad combines fresh shrimp, cucumber, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes with homemade dressing. The green goddess dressing is beautifully green and creamy with avocado (loaded with good-for-you fats) and fresh herbs. Buttermilk and a dash of rice vinegar add tang.

09 of 17

Caprese Sandwich

Caprese Sandwich
Photographer / Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist / Karen Rankin, Prop Stylist / Christine Keely

This caprese sandwich is fresh from the basil and hearty from thick, crusty ciabatta. The sun-dried tomatoes deepen the flavor. Topping the bread with a layer of basil leaves and using toasted bread helps to keep the sandwich from getting soggy if you need to make it a few hours ahead.

10 of 17

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Soft-Boiled Eggs

Homemade Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowls

Transform canned chicken noodle soup by adding fresh ginger, crunchy vegetables, herbs and a jammy soft-boiled egg. Look for a low-sodium soup that has 450 mg sodium or less per serving.

11 of 17

Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich
Will Dickey

Got leftover chicken? This copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich is easy to make at home. You get smoky flavor and mild heat from the chipotle peppers, while the mayonnaise adds creaminess. The bread is super crispy, with basil adding freshness.

12 of 17

French Onion Soup

a recipe photo of the French Onion soup
Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Jennifer Wendorf

This French onion soup recipe uses two types of onions, yellow for sharpness and sweet for sweetness, for a more complex flavor. White wine and vermouth bring slight acidity, while thyme gives an earthy flavor. The thick, cheesy slices of whole-wheat bread soak up the delicious broth.

13 of 17

Copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad

Copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad
Will Dickey

This copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad is easy to make at home. Adding a simple Dijon mixture to the chicken gives it a boost of flavor that works well with the green goddess dressing. The dressing would also work well as a dip or spread, or over potato or pasta salad.

14 of 17

Copycat Sweetgreen Chicken Pesto Parm Bowl

a recipe photo of the Copycat Sweetgreen Chicken Pesto Parm Bowl
Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Annie Probst, Prop Stylist: Gabe Greco

Re-create a popular Sweetgreen menu item at home with this copycat grain bowl recipe. Quinoa provides staying power, thanks to its high fiber content, while chicken adds protein to keep you satisfied and nourished. Tossing the broccoli in hot sauce and crushed red pepper lends a spicy note to this flavorful bowl.

15 of 17

Copycat Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

a recipe photo of the Copycat Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup served in two bowls
Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ali Ramee, Prop stylist: Clairen Spollen

This velvety copycat of Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup is just like the original, with a cheesy broth and plenty of broccoli and shredded carrot. Enjoy with crusty bread to sop up the leftovers.

16 of 17

Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce


Chicken satay, originally from Indonesia and popular throughout Southeast Asia, is served with a crunchy Savoy cabbage slaw and creamy peanut sauce in this easy meal-prep recipe.

17 of 17

Meal-Prep Falafel Bowls with Tahini Sauce


These quick couscous bowls come together in 20 minutes thanks to healthy convenience items like frozen falafel and steam-in-bag fresh green beans. Whisk together the simple tahini sauce while the other ingredients cook.

Updated by
Danielle DeAngelis
portrait of Dani

Danielle DeAngelis is a rising journalist and current Fellow for EatingWell.com. Through her previous experiences as a news writer, she has focused on covering sustainability and human interest stories. Her passions of reading, writing and eating local all guide her in her position at EatingWell.

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