Restaurant meals you can make at home


P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps (four to six servings)


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Half a medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 cup of white mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of stir fry sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or sriracha
  • 1/4 cup diced water chestnuts
  • 1 large carrot, small diced
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • Crunchy rice noodles, green onion, or cashews as a garnish (optional)

1. Set a large skillet over medium heat, and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then add mushrooms and continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.

2. Add ground chicken and cook until browned using a wooden spoon or thick spatula. Crumble the chicken as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.

3. Season with pepper, hoisin, soy sauce, stir fry sauce, ginger and Sriracha/red pepper flakes. Stir until combined, then add water chestnuts and carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat.

4. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf. Serve with crispy rice noodles, chopped toasted nuts, or green onions.

Better than Panera’s Mac and Cheese (six to eight servings)

For the noodles:

  • 1 lb pasta (cavatappi, shells, or elbow)
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 6 slices white American cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup of white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard or ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

For the bread crumbs:

  • 6 slices white sandwich bread
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Make the Bread Crumbs: In a food processor, process the bread until it forms fine crumbs (you should have about 3 cups crumbs). In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When it foams, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, increase the heat to medium{{,}} and cook, stirring frequently, until toasty and browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and transfer to a large plate to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Make the Mac and Cheese: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the al dente directions on the package.
  4. Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add in the flour to make a roux, whisking constantly. Cook about 1 minute before whisking in the milk. Continue whisking as the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
  5. Whisk in the seasonings (mustard, salt, pepper, hot sauce). Add in the cheeses using a spatula or wooden spoon until the sauce is smooth, and fold in the pasta.
  6. Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish and spread the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake until the topping is browned and crisp and the cheese is bubbling, about 8 to 10 minutes. Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Olive Garden’s Chicken and Gnocchi Soup


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pints heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 16 ounces of gnocchi (one package)
  • 1-2 cups spinach, chopped

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

2. Add the chicken, mushrooms, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt, pepper and thyme.

3.Heat to boiling and then add the gnocchi. Gently boil for 4 minutes, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes, or until it has reached the desired thickness.

4. Add spinach and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve warm.