Chefs share 7 ways to hack fast-food orders to make them even better

Fast-food orders don’t have to be simple. Shutterstock
  • There are a number of ways to elevate fast-food orders or use them to create new dishes.
  • One chef told Insider he recommends adding brisket to fast-food breakfast wraps.
  • Another pro told Insider he likes to add Wendy’s chilli to macaroni and cheese.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fast food can be delightful on its own, but there are a few ways you can take some beloved dishes to the next level.

Here are some hacks for upgrading or transforming some of your favourite fast-food orders.

Hash browns can add extra texture and seasoning to a Dunkin’ breakfast sandwich.

Hot sauce and hash browns can elevate a fast-food breakfast sandwich. Chloe F./Yelp

Chef and cookbook author Suzi Gerber of Plant-Based Gourmet said she likes to add a pleasant hit of flavour and appealing textural contrast to Dunkin’s Beyond Sausage sandwich by adding hash browns and a few condiments to it.

“I ditch the cheese [and egg] to make it 100% plant-based and I add mustard, hot sauce, and hash browns, and it is delicious – a little crunchy and salty, and super-filling,” she told Insider, adding that this breakfast order is a great on-the-go option.

Brisket can be the perfect addition to a fast-food breakfast wrap.

Fast-food breakfasts can get a quick upgrade with a bit of slow-cooked meat. Hollis Johnson

If you want to jazz up a breakfast tortilla wrap from fast-food chains like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, or Chick-fil-A, try this tip from Brooke Brantley, a chef and a culinary director at McCain Foods.

He suggests picking up sliced brisket from a local BBQ joint and adding a few slices of it to a standard fast-food breakfast wrap, which usually consists of things like eggs, salsa, and cheese.

You can use a fast-food doughnut as the base for a killer sandwich.

You can also use doughnuts as the base of a grilled cheese. Shutterstock

Chef Cassi Faust said she makes a great sweet-and-savoury sandwich with the help of glazed doughnuts from popular chains. In particular, Faust suggests using the cult-classic glazed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

“For the best grilled cheese sandwich of your life, slice a doughnut in half and fill it with deli ham or bacon and cheese with the sliced sides [of the doughnut halves] facing down. Butter a skillet, grill your sandwich on both sides, and enjoy!” Faust told Insider.

You might want to try using Wendy’s chilli to add pizzazz to macaroni and cheese.

You can also add Wendy’s chilli to some french fries. Pat M./Yelp

Lewis Donald, chef and pitmaster at Sweet Lew’s Barbecue and Dish in Charlotte, North Carolina, said one of his favourite fast-food dishes to work with is Wendy’s chilli.

He said he’ll usually mix Wendy’s chilli with some of his own, homemade macaroni and cheese for a “yummy chilli-mac dish.”

For those who’d prefer to buy macaroni and cheese instead of making it, fast-food chains (like Chick-fil-A and Kentucky Fried Chicken) sell it, too.

Make loaded “burger fries” by adding your favourite burger toppings to a pile of fries.

You can easily whip up some loaded fries. Shutterstock

Home chef Jason Goldstein, who is a recipe developer and food blogger for Chop Happy, said he likes to craft his own loaded fries by using fast-food fries like “nachos” and “smothering them in burger-style toppings like pickles, onion, and ketchup.”

A Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich can become the star of a tasty rice bowl.

With rice, sauce, and creativity, you can turn this sandwich into an even heartier meal. Aly Weisman/Business Insider

For a total revamp of Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich, try changing up the dish’s form altogether, as personal chef Jerzy Gonzalez-Arroyo does.

“Get a side of Polynesian sauce, then cut the chicken into strips and mix with sauce … make some white rice and sautéed vegetables, [and you’ll have] a sweet and sour chicken bowl,” he told Insider.

Popeyes chicken pairs well with some waffles.

Using Popeyes chicken to prepare brunch can save you a lot of time. Hollis Johnson

A beloved regional specialty of the American South, chicken and waffles combines crispy, salty fried poultry with sweet waffles.

And, when he brings home some Popeyes fried chicken, chef Andrew Gonzalez, owner of Night Owl Cookies in Miami, Florida, said he doesn’t hesitate to break out the waffle iron.

Gonzalez said he uses cookie batter in his waffle iron to whip up some sweet, crispy waffles, and then he tops them off with the chicken from a Popeyes chicken sandwich.

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