Easy Plant-based Copycat Recipes of Your Fast Food Favorites

Craving Jollibee’s famous burger steak or McDonald’s tasty chicken nuggets? Here are plant-based copycat recipes of your favorite fast food dishes.

Fast food has its appeal of being… well, fast. It’s a quick fix that we can turn to for something tasty and last minute. Even more so after long and busy days as parents! While the occasional chicken nuggets and burgers can be a treat for us and our kids, too much of that can be a bad thing. After all, at its core, fast food is still processed food—loaded with lots of sodium and fat.

But what if we tell you that you can recreate your favorite fast food classics at home—with a healthier twist?

This is where plant-based fast food copycat recipes come in. When paired with smart cooking techniques that are just as straightforward and quick, the results are so close to the real deal. Plus, your kids won’t be able to tell the difference!

What’s plant-based “meat” made of?

Plant-based products are meant to imitate the meatiness of meat, typically using soy, wheat, or gluten as the base. But those with celiac allergies and food intolerances can’t eat those products. Plus, too much soy products can raise uric acid levels.

The solution? Mycoprotein. Guilt-free and meatless, mycoprotein is a type of fungus within the same family as mushrooms that looks and feels like meat. It’s rich in protein and fiber and comes close to the real deal without compromising your health or the planet!

Common plant-based brands that you can find in local groceries or online shops include Veega, Unmeat, and Quorn. They carry a wide range of plant-based variants, from nuggets to meat-free balls, burger patties, sausages, giniling, and more. And for parents who can’t cook or are too busy to cook, some brands even offer ready-to-cook options like tocino, corned beef, and tapa.

Copycat Plant-based Recipes: Fast Food Edition

“Chicken” Nuggets à la McDonald’s

Crunchy on the outside, soft and meaty on the inside. These are what make McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets a well-loved favorite among kids and people of all ages. But what makes this fast food favorite stand out is the barbecue sauce it comes with. And no one does it quite like the Philippines—tangy but a bit sweet!

This meatless alternative is made using Veega Meat-free Nuggets. Appearance-wise, it looks like its fast food counterpart, plus, its plant-based proteins mimic the likeness of meat with its textured but soft mouthfeel. Just pop them in your oven or air fryer to achieve the same level of crunchiness—without having to deep-fry them in tons of oil.

Bonus: we’ve even cracked the barbecue sauce recipe!

Chicken Nuggets with BBQ-Sauce from McDonald's (left) and Veega Plant-based Nuggets dupe (right).
Chicken Nuggets with BBQ-Sauce from McDonald’s (left) and Veega Plant-based Nuggets dupe (right). Photos from McDonald’s Philippines and Veega


  • Veega Meat-free Nuggets
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cornstarch slurry (1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tsp water), optional


  1. In a bowl, combine your ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, white sugar, garlic powder, and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cook in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the sugar is dissolved. If the sauce is too watery, add the cornstarch slurry, mix, then return to the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
  2. Cook your meat-free nuggets in the turbo, oven, or air fryer for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Serve together and enjoy!

Burger Steak à la Jollibee

Beyond the classic beef patty that’s sandwiched between brioche buns, Jollibee’s Burger Steak was made for the local market—appealing to their love for rice and meat. Think burger patties doused in a generous mix of gravy and mushrooms, served with piping hot white rice on the side. It’s an affordable must-have for every Pinoy!

For vegetarians, pescetarians, or people who haven’t eaten beef in a long time (like me!), this plant-based alternative is just as hearty as it is filling. Using Unmeat’s Meat-free Burger Patties, you can replicate the fast food experience, sans the meat, but with the same, creamy mushroom and gravy sauce.

Chicken Nuggets with BBQ-Sauce from McDonald's (left) and Veega Plant-based Nuggets dupe (right).
Jollibee Burger Steak (left) and Meat-free Burger Steak (right). Photos from Jollibee and the author.


  • Unmeat Burger Patties
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp mushroom powder
  • 1/2 can button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your pan to medium-high heat, add oil, and cook the Unmeat Burger Patties for about 3 minutes on each side. Set aside the patties but keep the oil and drippings.
  2. Using the same pan, toast your flour and mushroom powder in the drippings until fragrant. Add water to deglaze, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Once you get the desired taste, add the button mushrooms to the sauce and cook until bubbly.
  4. Serve the gravy with your plant-based burger patties and piping hot rice. Enjoy!

Try out these easy recipes!

Easy Copycat Recipes of Your Favorite Japanese Restaurant Dishes

Cracked and Caffeinated: Easy Copycat Recipes of Drinks From Your Favorite Coffee Shops

Eggcellente! Egg Recipes Kids Will Enjoy & Are Easy to Make

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