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25 Summer Copycat Recipes

Skip waiting in long lines this summer—these copycat recipes mimic your favorite seasonal eats.

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All American Banana Split Exps Ft20 37953 F 0716 1 3

Inspired by: Dairy Queen Banana Split

In 1904, the first banana split recipe was made here in Latrobe, Pennsylvania by David Strickler, an apprentice pharmacist at a local drug store. We still use his original formula when we make banana splits in our restaurants. —Melissa Blystone, Valley Dairy
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St Louis Toasted Ravioli Exps Tohon19 242972 E06 14 3b 2

Inspired by: Olive Garden Toasted Ravioli

While visiting a friend who had just moved to St. Louis, Missouri, I tried these toasted ravioli at almost every restaurant! When I got home, I had to try to replicate them, and this recipe comes pretty close. —Cristina Carrera, Kenosha, Wisconsin

These Olive Garden copycat recipes taste just like the real deal!

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Deep Fried Candy Bars On A Stick Exps Cismz20 132225 E12 10 8b

Inspired by: State Fair Deep-Fried Candy Bars

Why wait in line at the state fair for deep-fried candy bars when you can satisfy your curious taste buds in your very own home? Be sure to make a lot—these novelties go fast! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Find more deep-fried favorites with our state fair copycat recipes.

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Inspired by: Panda Express Orange Chicken

My husband loves this orange chicken stir-fry, so we have it quite often. I’m delighted with the ingredients as we have six orange trees in our backyard. —Bunny Bronson, Lake Placid, Florida

Give these other copycat chicken recipes a try, too.

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Inspired by: Dunkin' Iced Coffee

When my sister introduced me to iced coffee, I didn’t think I’d like it. Not only did I like it, I decided I could learn how to make an iced coffee recipe of my own. My fast-to-fix version is a refreshing alternative to hot java. —Jenny Reece, Lowry, Minnesota
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Inspired by: Sonic Corn Dog

Bring the county fair home to your kitchen with these summer-ready corn dogs. A tip for dipping: Pour the batter in a tall Mason jar and dunk your dogs to create an even coating all around. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Crispy Fried Chicken Exps Frbz19 6445 C01 31 3b 3

Inspired by: KFC Original Recipe

If you’ve wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana
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Chewy Soft Pretzels Exps Tohas21 45590 E04 13 2b

Inspired by: Beer Garden Soft Pretzels

These homemade pretzels never last long around our house. My kids love to make them…and eat them! I serve them to company with a variety of dips, such as pizza sauce, ranch dressing, spinach dip or hot mustard. —Elvira Martens, Aldergrove, British Columbia
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Old Time Custard Ice Cream Exps Ft19 25626 C03 13 7b Rms 2

Inspired by: Culver's Vanilla Custard

I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas
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Burger Sliders With Secret Sauce Exps Mtbz21 260175 B03 11 2b 1

Inspired by: McDonald's Big Mac

These sliders are super easy to put together and are always a hit! I love that they are “fast food” without having to go to a restaurant. Take them to a party, make them for dinner or serve them on game day. The meat can also be made ahead of time in preparation for your gathering. —April Lee Wiencek, Chicago, Illinois
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Inspired by: Cracker Barrel Old-Fashioned Lemonade

This sweet-tart lemonade is a traditional part of my Memorial Day and Fourth of July menus. Folks can’t get enough of the fresh-squeezed flavor. —Tammi Simpson, Greensburg, Kentucky

Sip on more refreshing copycat drink recipes.

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Strawberry Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing Exps Sdam17 43225 D12 07 5b 9

Inspired by: Panera Bread Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Exps140330 Sd163614b12 08 5b 9

Inspired by: Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake

My family always asks for this love-me-tender lemon pound cake. Sometimes, I shake things up and make cupcakes with the batter. So awesome for brunch! —Lola Baxter, Winnebago, Minnesota
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Exps111075 Sd163324b08 07 5b 4

Inspired by: Applebee's Quesadilla Burger

This combo gives you a tender burger, crisp veggies and a crunchy shell, plus fajita flavor. Kids love it. —Antonio Smith, Canal Winchester, Ohio
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French Fries Exps Ft20 40268 F 0625 1 4

Inspired by: Wendy's French Fries

You can’t beat the taste of homemade french fries…this recipe is so much better than any fast food or frozen variety. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Learn how to make a copycat frosty, too!

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Inspired by: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

My biscuits won the prize for best quick bread at my county fair. One of the judges liked them so much, she asked for the recipe! These buttery, savory biscuits go with just about anything. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, Ohio
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Chicken Pesto With Pasta Exps30125 5ing2856595d03 13 5b Rms 2

Inspired by: Noodles & Company Pesto Cavatappi

Prepared sauce accents this warm chicken pesto pasta. Keep pesto in the freezer for the next time you have leftover chicken. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Slow Cooker Carnitas Exps Sdam17 191361 D12 02 7b

Inspired by: Chipotle Carnitas

We shared these flavor-packed tacos with friends from church who came over to help us move. They’re so good, I put them on my blog, manilaspoon.com! The slow cooker makes this recipe extra easy, and I love that whenever I make it, I’m reminded of the wonderful people back in Michigan. —Abigail Raines, Hamden, Connecticut
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Exps12347 Mrr133247b07 30 4b Web 3

Inspired by: KFC Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This creamy coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
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Inspired by: Ice Cream Truck Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you’re tight on time, you can use store-bought cookies, but I highly recommend making these oatmeal chocolate cookies from scratch. The dessert sandwiches are pure fun. Sometimes I decorate the sides of the sandwiches with colorful jimmies, too. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

Cool off with these other ice cream truck copycat recipes.

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Inspired by: The Cheesecake Factory Chicken Enchiladas

Leftover chicken gets an awesome makeover in this rich and creamy casserole. This colorful dish is loaded with flavor. It’s a nice change of pace from beef enchiladas. —Julie Moutray, Wichita, Kansas
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Inspired by: Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino

Inspired by: Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino

I love caramel frappuccinos from Starbucks, but they get too expensive. I now make my own, and they are just as good. If you blend the milk with all the other ingredients, it gets too foamy—instead stir it in with a spoon after all the ice is crushed. —Heather Egger, Davenport, Iowa
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Instant Pot Corn Chowder Exps Ft19 246256 F 1022 1

Inspired by: Panera Bread Summer Corn Chowder

Enjoy this chowder’s rich, slow-simmered flavor in record time by using an Instant Pot. Corn chowder is a classic staple, with its hearty flavors of creamy sweet corn, bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped parsley. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Spicy Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo Exps Tohescodr20 162994 E03 12 3b 3

Inspired by: Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

I make this spicy shrimp pasta a lot because it’s a something my family never seems to get tired of. The sauce is so fast to make I can get it done while the fettuccine is cooking. In the past, I have added red peppers and spinach, but who’s to say you could not add mushrooms or more or less spice. —Stephanie Beluk, Sharpsburg, Georgia
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Oven Fried Chicken Strips Exps Thcoms17 209977 B09 08 2b 1

Inspired by: Burger King Chicken Fries

Kid-friendly and quick, these crunchy oven-baked chicken fries are coated with a mixture of crushed potato chips, panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip them in ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or honey-mustard sauce.—Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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