Recreate restaurant foods in your kitchen

So-called copycat recipes allow you to tailor your favorite eatery’s menu to your taste without leaving home

It could be the pillowy soft rolls and cinnamon-honey butter at Texas Roadhouse, the Big Mac or occasional McRib sandwiches at McDonald’s or the chewy, chocolate chip cookies from Mrs. Fields — everyone has a favorite food they order at a restaurant or that claims center stage in their memories.

But sometimes you crave these favorites but just don’t have the time, money or desire to go out and pick them up.

That’s where the internet comes in. There are countless websites that offer copycat recipes of some of your favorite foods.

While many don’t exactly match the foods offered, they are usually close enough to satisfy the palate.

After all, restaurant foods are often made with common ingredients found in most kitchens, and many of these dishes are really kitchen classics that people know and love.

And occasionally, you might find a recipe that offers an even better option than the original.

So go ahead and try some restaurant meals — or specialty grocery foods — at home. You might be surprised at what you taste, and it will likely be easier on your pocketbook as well.

Following are some copycat recipes from


Copycat Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake


For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted

For filling:

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1-1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 large eggs

For topping:

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons sugar


Place a large pan filled with 1/2 inch water in a 475-degree oven.

Mix graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon, then add butter or margarine. Press crust onto bottom and two-thirds of the way up a nine-inch springform pan lined with parchment. Wrap a large piece of foil around bottom of pan. Freeze.

Use an electric mixer to mix cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla, blending until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Whisk eggs in a bowl, then add to cream cheese mixture. Blend just until eggs are incorporated.

Remove crust from freezer and pour in filling. Carefully place cheesecake into the pan in the oven and bake 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 50 to 60 minutes, until top of cheesecake turns golden. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Combine sour cream and sugar and spread over cake. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours.




Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits


3 cups all-purpose baking mix such as Bisquick

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

4 tablespoons salted butter, melted


In a large bowl, combine baking mix, cheddar cheese, milk and 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Stir to form a loose dough.

Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, then spoon dough into nine even mounds about two inches apart. Bake in a 450-degree oven for eight minutes, until golden.

Stir together butter and remaining garlic powder. Brush over the tops of the biscuits. Serve warm.




Copycat Milano Cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large egg whites

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate


Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed about one minutes, until well combined. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, until smooth. Stir in salt. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Gradually add flour and beat on low speed 30 seconds, until batter is smooth.

Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Pipe two-by-one-inch ovals on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 1-1/2 inches between each oval.

Bake in a 300-degree oven for 14 to 18 minutes, rotating pans after 10 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Microwave cream in a medium microwavable bowl about 25 seconds, until hot. Add chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Let stand 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture has cooled completely and is thickened.

Transfer chocolate mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Pipe about two teaspoons mixture onto half of the cookies, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sandwich with remaining cookies and press gently to spread filling to edges.




Copycat Longhorn Parmesan Crusted Chicken


4 4-to-5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons ranch dressing

3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

4 provolone cheese slices

1/4 cup panko

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook chicken about eight minutes per side, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of each breast reaches 160 degrees. Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Stir together ranch dressing and two tablespoons Parmesan in a small bowl. Spread mixture evenly over each chicken breast. Place one provolone slice over each breast.

Stir together panko, melted butter and remaining Parmesan in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over provolone. Broil about two minutes, until cheese is melted and panko is golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley.




Copycat McRib Sandwich


8 ounces boneless pork chops, cut into 2-inch pieces

8 ounces ground pork

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

4 small hoagie rolls

1/4 cup sliced white onion

12 dill pickle slices


Place pork chops in bowl of food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add ground pork, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and sugar and process until finely chopped and well combined.

Divide pork mixture into four equal portions. Shape each into oval patties and place on a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Using the handle of a wooden spoon lightly coated in cooking spray, press handle across each patty to make three to four indentions and use your hands to shape patties into ribs.

Brush patties with two tablespoons barbecue sauce and bake in a 425-degree oven 10 minutes. Brush patties with two tablespoons barbecue sauce and return to oven. Broil about two minutes, until cooked through.

Spread remaining barbecue sauce evenly on one side of each roll and add meat patty. Top with onion slices and pickles.




Copycat Nutella


1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

1 to 2 tablespoons water

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt

1-1/4 cups powdered sugar


Place hazelnuts in a heavy-duty blender and process until finely ground, scraping down sides with a spatula as needed. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, and process until nuts resemble wet sand.

Whisk together chocolate chips, milk, oil, cocoa, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low, whisking until melted.

Add melted chocolate mixture to nut mixture in blender and process until combined and smooth. Add sugar and process until combined and smooth. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.




Copycat Chili’s Baby Back Ribs


1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1-1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 slab baby back pork ribs

1/2 cup cola

2/3 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon molasses

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke


Stir together brown sugar, salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub three tablespoons of the spice blend all over ribs. Place ribs in a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, then pour cola over ribs. Fold edges of foil together and seal. Place ribs on rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 275-degree oven for two hours, 30 minutes.

Combine ketchup, water, molasses, vinegar, mustard, liquid smoke and reserved spice blend in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove ribs from oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Carefully unwrap cooked ribs, and transfer ribs, bone side up, to prepared baking sheet. Discard foil package. Brush ribs with sauce and broil two minutes. Flip rib and brush with more sauce. Broil two minutes, until bubbly. Serve with remaining sauce.




Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sandwich


3/4 cup dill pickle juice

2 tablespoons sugar

4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup whole buttermilk

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large egg

1-1/4 cups flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons powdered milk

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2-1/2 cups peanut oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 hamburger buns, split

8 dill pickle chips


Stir pickle juice and sugar in a shallow dish until sugar dissolves. Add chicken breasts, cover and chill 40 minutes. Remove from brine, and pat dry.

Whisk together buttermilk, cayenne and egg in a shallow dish. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, powdered milk, salt, pepper, paprika, baking powder and baking soda in another shallow dish.

Dredge brined chicken in flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess. Toss chicken in egg mixture to coat, then back to flour mixture to dredge again. Press flour mixture to adhere to chicken and place on a wire rack. Chill 15 minutes.

Heat oil to 325 degrees in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Carefully add chicken breasts, one at a time, and fry four to six minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Let drain on a wire rack set in a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Spread butter evenly on cut sides of buns. Place buns, buttered side down, in skillet and toast about 30 seconds. Place two pickle chips on each bottom bun and top with chicken and bun top. Wrap each sandwich in a piece of aluminum foil, and let stand three to five minutes before serving.




Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls and cinnamon-Honey Butter


1/2 cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)

1 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup whole milk, warmed

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt

5 cups bread flour, plus more for working surface

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Stir together water, yeast and one teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Let stand about five minutes, until foamy. Place 1/4 cup butter in a small microwavable bowl and microwave on high until melted,.

Combine melted butter, yeast mixture, milk, eggs, salt, and remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat on medium-low about 10 seconds, until well combined. With mixer running on medium-low, gradually add flour, beating until all flour is incorporated. Continue kneading about four minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be sticky. Transfer to a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°) about 90 minutes, until doubled in volume.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly sprinkle top of dough with flour and gently pat into a 14-by-8-inch rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 15 2-1/2-inch squares and arrange on two baking sheets that have been lined with parchment and lightly coated with cooking spray, leaving 1-1/2-inches between each square.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°) about 30 minutes, until increased in volume.

Beat together honey, cinnamon, and remaining butter with electric mixer on medium-high about two minutes, until well combined and fluffy,. Set aside.

Bake rolls in a 375-degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown, rotating pans after 10 minutes. Brush hot rolls lightly with honey butter. Serve warm with remaining honey butter.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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