If you’ve ever had a serious craving for a very-specific food item, from a very-specific episode of a very-specific television show, you’re not alone. And if these cravings of yours come practically every time you see food on TV? Well, ours do too. Whether it’s animated food or the real deal, everybody can get a little bit hangry while watching somebody else eat. Especially on TV, where the food always looks so. damn. good.
Most of the time, we’re the ones stuffing our faces in front of our TV screens. But we all know that whenever food actually appears on our screens, we’re in for a real treat. The cheesy pizza, the juicy burgers, the thick milkshakes, everything on TV just always looks so good. Have we mentioned that TV food always looks good? Yes? Good. We’re getting hungry. Are you getting hungry? Anyway, as Joey Tribbiani would say, “That’s a great story, can I eat it?”
It’s really no wonder that some of the most memorable moments in TV history revolve around food – and that the food items themselves have become a part of fan culture. Lots of people have attempted to recreate dishes from their favourite TV shows, and we’re all for it. The good dishes, the bad dishes, and even the ugly dishes, if you can think of one from a TV show, someone has thought of a recipe for it.
After detailed research and extensive sampling, we’ve narrowed down the top 20 recipes from TV shows that we definitely think you have to try. Whether it’s at your next marathon night, or you’re just craving something super specific, TV-themed snacks are always a huge hit. Our research told us so. Cheers!
20 Friends: Rachel Green’s Beef Trifle
Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Good.
Of course Friends is at the top of this list – and it's got everything to do with Rachel’s Beef Trifle being the most relatable recipe mishap, ever. For the three people in the world who haven’t seen the episode, Rachel attempts to make her “famous” Thanksgiving dish for her friends, her beef trifle, when two of the recipe book pages stick together. Without clueing in, Rachel layered ingredients including ladyfingers, jam, custard, beef with peas and onions, sliced bananas, and whipped cream. The best part, she made Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Ross eat it. And Joey actually liked it.
To make your own Beef Trifle, without the gross factor, the Nerdist has a recipe for a delicious dessert version that you can share with all of your Friends.
19 Gilmore Girls: Sookie St. James' Magic Risotto
Another honourable recipe mention is none other than Sookie’s Magic Risotto from Gilmore Girls. Oh what we would do to get our hands on a bowl of our own. This risotto is said to have healing powers, as Sookie swears that it helped her mother live another three months after she served it to her on her deathbed. Sookie loves it so much so that when a food critic said it only tasted “fine”, well, we'll just say she didn't handle it very well.
Find out what all the Magic Risotto hype is about with this recipe from InStyle. It has detailed instructions that walk you through every step, so you can make it just the way Sookie would want you to. We hope it tastes absolutely magical!
18 Doctor Who: Fish Fingers and Custard
What you see here might just be the most interesting recipe on the list – Fish Fingers and Custard, as seen on Doctor Who. But this surf-and-dessert combo actually has quite the endearing backstory, it's from when the newly regenerated 11th Doctor first met the sweet Amelia Pond. Now Doctor Who fans, being so fond of the show and his culinary creation, have even gone so far as to name April 3rd national Fish Fingers and Custard day.
To make this recipe a bit more palatable for you, The Geeky Chef has an awesome take on the whole “fish fingers and custard” thing. Here’s their recipe for a panko and coconut battered fried fish finger, accompanied by a tangy, lemon honey mustard dipping sauce. It’s a Whovian must try.
17 Parks and Recreation: Chris Traeger’s East Meets West Turkey Burger
This turkey burger isn’t any ordinary turkey burger. It’s Chris Traeger’s "east-meets-west" Turkey Burger, that is. The one that once went head-to-head in a competition against Ron Swanson’s basic burger on a bun. Although Ron Swanson came out a winner, Chris Traeger’s creation deserves some serious recognition. This exquisite burger apparently "tastes the way Beyoncé smells”, and we’re dying to try it.
Wide Open Eats has recipes that can show you exactly how to make both Chris Traeger’s burger and Ron Swanson’s traditional burger on a bun. We say, try both for yourself and decide which should be named the dinner winner.
16 Breaking Bad: Breakfast Huevos Rancheros
Breaking Bad fans know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The early scenes often take place around the kitchen table, especially in the morning before school. For this Breaking Bad breakfast recipe, we chose a drool-worthy dish that Jesse Pinkman surprises Jane Margolis with one morning. Although Jesse forgets the forks and Jane finds a piece of shell in her eggs, Jesse still gets an A for effort in our eyes.
Surprise someone you love with this Huevos Rancheros recipe from Cookism. It’s made with sunny-side up eggs, salsa, corn tortillas and cheese. It’s sure to earn you an A, too.
15 Gossip Girl: Rufus Humphrey's Famous Waffles
It seems that everyone in Manhattan's Upper East Side is obsessed with waffles. Including Rufus Humphrey (even though he lives in Brooklyn). In one Gossip Girl episode, Rufus makes his family a Sunday-morning-waffle bar, and we honestly haven’t been okay since. Lucky for us, in another episode, Dan lets us in on a little secret – Rufus makes his waffles with store-bought mix. So this whole “famous waffle” thing might be up for debate.
Dula Notes believes that she has an even better recipe than Rufus’, and we highly encourage you try making her Best Buttermilk Waffles with Sour Cherry Maple Syrup for yourself. Twice. You know, one for good luck. XOXO, TheRecipe.
14 The Big Bang Theory: Takeaway Dumplings
If you know The Big Bang Theory cast, then you know that they looove their takeaway food. In countless episodes you will find them lounging around their communal couch, with chopsticks and food containers in hand. And for a moment, all is peaceful in the universe. Sheldon does have one very strict rule when it comes to ordering though, he demands that the dumplings be split equally among the group, without any leftovers.
Speaking of dumplings, Hungry Forever's recipe can teach you exactly how to make the ones from the show. After you make them, you can decide if you want to share them equally or not. Bazinga!
13 House of Cards: Freddy’s BBQ Joint Ribs
Frank Underwood of House of Cards often frequents a rib restaurant known as Freddy’s BBQ Joint – and we get why. Their ribs might just be the best looking ribs we’ve ever seen. Not to mention the owner of the joint, Freddy Hayes, opens shop for Frank whenever he’s craving their famous ribs, and every time he goes there, we want to try them even more.
Netflix and Curtis Stone teamed up to create a recipe for a rack of ribs that are just like the ones that Freddy makes, as also featured on Hungry Forever. They’re sticky, saucy, messy, and politically perfect. So now it's time to put everything you're doing aside, and make some of Freddy’s Famous Ribs instead.
12 Downton Abbey: Honey & Ginger Cream Scones
No tea party or Downton Abbey marathon is complete without a proper scone. Along with (of course) tea, mixed pastries and other desserts, scones are a high tea staple. Also a Downton Abbey staple. There’s really nothing like sipping a warm cup of tea and eating a delicious scone while watching a TV series complete with scandal, love, tragedy, false imprisonment, and all of the other emotions. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Anyhoo, people at The Noshery are also complete Downton Abbey fanatics, and have whipped up a scrumptious Honey & Ginger Cream Scone recipe for you to try at your next formal gathering. Pinkies up, my friends!
11 Bob’s Burgers: Burgers
We couldn’t forget about Bob’s Burgers. We get hungry even saying the name “Bob’s Burgers”. Well, Bob’s Burgers is famous for, you guessed it, their burgers. The show is about a family owned-burger joint, and any show about food is a favourite of ours. Throughout the show, many burgers have made it on to their “burger of the day” chalkboard, and truthfully, we’re just thankful that burgers are finally getting the recognition that they deserve.
Along with every Bob's burger comes a pun. And Delish has recipes for a few of the punny wonderful burgers from Bob’s Burgers, including "Cheeses Is Born", and the "Pickle My Funny Bone". Need we say more?
10 Twin Peaks: Cherry Pie
Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) of Twin Peaks loves cherry pie as much as we love Agent Cooper. Which is a lot. He orders a coffee and a slice of cherry pie every time he visits his local diner – and we would just like to take a moment to praise him on his menu selections and ordering consistency. Nothing beats the classics. And even though Agent Cooper may look as sweet as pie, the diner’s cherry pie isn’t too hard on the eyes either.
Okay, now that you’re craving cherry pie, this recipe from Eat Little Bird is as easy as pie (that was the last pie joke, we promise). In all seriousness, this cherry pie is made with homemade pie pastry and fresh cherries, and needs to be baked this instant.
9 30 Rock: Liz Lemon's Cheesy Blaster
We’re not sure if there’s ever a thing as “too much cheese” but the Cheesy Blaster in 30 Rock may have came close. It’s no secret that Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) loves junk food. More specifically, she loves pop-tarts, cheese doodles, candy, donuts, night cheese, hot dogs and entire pizzas. But she’s most known for what she did with those last three food items – she turned hot dogs, pizza, and cheese into a culinary masterpiece, the Cheesy Blaster. Here’s a quote from the chef herself: “You take a hot dog, stuff it with some jack cheese, fold it in a pizza… you got Cheesy Blasters!!”
The instructions may seem simple, so we’re sharing a way to make this insane creation vegan 9sorry Liz). Check out this recipe from Hello Giggles. Thanks, Meatcat!
8 Scooby-Doo: Scooby Snacks
Zoinks! Okay, hear us out, we would totally try a Scooby Snack if offered one in real life. Dog food or not, they look like they would be super-duper tasty. The way that Scooby and Shaggy rave about them, we know we’re missing out on something good. It’s all thanks to Scooby Doo’s original producers who imagined up the now-trademarked treat – William Hanna (of Hanna Barbera) had always thought it would taste like some sort of a caramel-flavoured cookie. But we’d like to be the judge of that for ourselves.
Shaggy once spilled that the ingredients include: egg, water, flour, coca, sugar and dog kibble, but the peeps over at Hungry Forever have a recipe for a human version (which skips out on the kibble). So sit, stay, and bake a batch for you and your furry friends today.
7 Game of Thrones: Cornish Pasty
Dinner is coming. And tonight, you don’t need to trek to the Inn at the Crossroads to get a taste of Hot Pie’s cooking. Hot Pie is Game of Thrones’ sweet, culinary-inclined orphan who works as an apprentice to the baker in King’s Landing. He takes food (and gravy) just about as seriously as we do, and because of this, he must be protected at all costs.
“ You cannot give up on the gravy. No gravy, no pie. Simple as that." – Hot Pie. No truer words have ever been spoken. If you’re looking for a way to get a taste of Hot Pie’s cooking for yourself, then look no further. This Cornish Pasty recipe from The Spruce Eats features a thick pie crust and hearty meat filling, perfect for munching while you meander along the Kingsroad.
6 Community: Abed's Buttered Noodles
Everybody has a favourite food. But almost nobody’s favourite food is buttered noodles. Except for Abed from Community. Buttered Noodles are his food of choice and he eats them on a regular basis. “Buttered noodles are my favourite” – Abed. See?
Cool. Cool. Cool. In particular, Abed likes the microwaveable kind made by "Papa Penne's", but for him, really any buttered noodles will do. If you were wondering whether buttered noodles are made with anything else other than butter and noodles, the answer is, unsurprisingly no. This culinary delight is made up of egg noodles and cooked by boiling them in water and flavouring with butter, no recipe necessary!
5 The Office: Kevin Malone’s Famous Chili
This one is a sad one guys. It involves a big pot of homemade chili and our beloved friend, Kevin Malone from The Office. In one episode, Kevin brings in a chili he stays up all night recreating from an old family recipe to share with his coworkers, when a broken elevator gets in his way. After carrying the chili all the way up the stairs, the pot slips between Kevin’s oven-mitt covered hands, and his dish ends up all over the Dunder Mifflin floor. A real TV tragedy.
To pay your respects to Kevin and his Famous Chili, try making a batch of your own with this recipe we found on The Office-isms. Just promise to be careful when carrying it up the stairs.
4 South Park: Cheesy Poofs
"I love Cheesy Poofs. You love Cheesy Poofs. If we didn't eat Cheesy Poofs, we'd be laaaame." – Cartman
He’s right. We need to try Cheesy Poofs. Stat. We can’t be lame for any longer! Enjoyed by the characters on South Park, this fictional brand of cheese-flavoured snacks is apparently made in Canada and tastes just like Cheetos Puffs. Which is so not lame! Better yet, in 1998 and 2011, Comedy Central teamed up with Frito Lay to release a limited-edition, real-life version of Cheesy Poofs. Cue the food FOMO.
If you want to get your hands on some Cheesy Poofs, you’re going to have to make them yourself. Which is alright because Cook Fiction has a recipe for “fancy Cheesy Poofs”, or gougères, and it’s Cartman approved.
3 Mad Men: Betty's Meatballs
Don Draper from Mad Men is a very particular man. One might even say, mad. Working with him is hard, and living with him is even harder. But his wife Betty always makes sure that he eats well. And boy does he. Betty’s Nordic heritage is her secret to making the best looking Swedish meatballs we’ve ever seen. This meal-on-a-stick was all the rage back in the Don Draper era, and we can understand why.
Try out this meatball recipe from Brooklyn Farm Girl and wow your friends at your next 60s-themed party. Be sure to bust out your pearl necklaces and cufflinks, and don't skimp on the Old Fashioneds, for the full Mad Men experience.
2 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Frank's Ham
The infamous Rum Ham from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia first made its appearance when Frank brought a rum-soaked ham to the beach so he could get drunk while eating. Honestly, it’s not the worst idea we’ve heard. This ham also had two pineapple rings for eyes and a red cherry nose. Guy’s drunk!
The Rum Ham has since appeared in multiple It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes, gaining it a significant cult following around the world. Go ham with this recipe from Read Watch Eat, and if you’re brave enough, you can even bring it to the beach.
1 Adventure Time: Jake’s Most Delicious Sandwich
Jake’s Most Delicious Sandwich has gone on quite the adventure. After being stolen, trapped in a bubble, and seemingly impossible for Jake to retrieve, he eventually reunites with his Most Delicious Sandwich – turning his frown upside down. It was totally worth the fight for Jake in the end, as he declared his Most Delicious Sandwich: "the greatest sandwich he’s ever made".
This special sandwich required instruction by the realm of creation for Jake to make, but we have the closest Adventure Time recipe to his. See how Uproxx brings Jake’s Most Delicious Sandwich to life. Sous vide steak and all.