3 Favorite Restaurant Recipes to Make at Home

By Lindsey Johnson

It’s fun to go out to dinner and enjoy a dining experience but sometimes you want the taste of your favorite restaurant in the comfort of your home. Save money and make these recipes while lounging in your pajamas!

OLIVE GARDEN’S ZUPPA TOSCANA

Ingredients:

3/4 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh spinach
1 cup heavy cream
5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth

Directions:

Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly and browned, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the same Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into the pan with the bacon and onion mixture. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Stir in the spinach just before serving.

PANERA BREAD’S CHEESY BROCCOLI SOUP

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 large carrot, finely chopped
3 cups chicken stock
2 1/4 cups half-and-half cream
1-2 bay leaves
1/4 cup water
2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a large pot, heat butter over medium heat. Next, sauté onion and garlic until tender and opaque, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in broccoli, carrot, chicken stock, half and half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and bay leaves. Bring the entire mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, approximately 12-15 minutes.

Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth, then stir into soup. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until soup is thickened, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove bay leaves, then stir in all the cheese until melted.

Serve immediately. Top with shredded cheese, fried onions or green onions if desired.

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN’S BARBECUE CHICKEN PIZZA

Ingredients:

3 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweet barbecue sauce, divided
1 tube (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Directions:

Coat chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken over medium heat until cooked through, approximately 5-7 minutes per side. Baste frequently with 1/2 cup sweet barbecue sauce during the last few minutes. Remove from the grill and cool slightly, then cut into small pieces.

Cut dough in half. On a well-greased large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, press each portion of dough into a rectangle shape and lightly brush with olive oil. Invert dough onto grill rack and remove foil. Grill over medium heat until the pizza bottom is lightly browned, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from the grill.

Spread grilled sides of dough with the remaining barbecue sauce. Top with cheese, chicken and onion. Grill until the bottom is lightly browned and cheese is melted, approximately 2-3 minutes. Top with cilantro.

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