Copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes

I ate my share of Manwich Sloppy Joes as a kid. I was quite sure I never ate enough of them. Well, I can certainly make up for lost time (and meals) now by making this copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes at home. And you know what? It’s even better than I remember. Perfect thick tomato-y sauce. Just a hint of onion and green bell pepper. And the light tang of mustard. And messy. The messier the better!
Copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes

I do not add garnish to my copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes. Nothing. Nada. No pickles. Skip the extra mustard. And no cheese. Nothing needs to come between me and my Sloppy Joes.

If you think of Sloppy Joes as ‘kid food’ this will change your mind.

Copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon green bell pepper chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • You favorite toppings, optional shredded cheddar cheese, dill pickles, more prepared mustard

Instructions

  • Crumble the beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute until browned.
  • Drain any fat and add the remaining ingredients except the buns and garnishes.
  • Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Toast the buns as desired.
  • Serve buns topped with Sloppy Joe mixture and garnishes.

Notes

I highly recommend doubling this recipe because it goes fast.

Copycat Golden Corral Crab Salad

Easy and delicious. That’s exactly what this copycat of the crab salad at Golden Corral is. You can easily up-size this to make a batch for a crowd without breaking the bank. That’s the point. This is a good, inexpensive dish that is perfect as a side and even better piled up on a bun or bread as a sandwich. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Copycat Golden Corral Crab Salad

You can also serve this copycat Golden Corral crab salad as an appetizer. It’s great on crackers. Or grab some mini-croissants and serve it as finger food at your next party.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m betting this salad would be good with imitation lobster too! And hey, if you want to put in real crab or lobster instead, go for it!

Copycat Corral Crab Salad Sandwich

Also try my crab pasta salad.

Copycat Golden Corral Crab Salad

Course Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound imitation crab meat shredded
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup green onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 large hard boiled eggs chopped fine
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Gently combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Serve as a salad or on bread or croissants as sandwiches.

Grilled Ranch Potatoes

There are very few things as good as grilled potatoes. Creamy and buttery inside, with a crunchy skin, they’re a favorite of mine for sure. These grilled Ranch potatoes take the standard awesome lovelies to a new place. I’m a Ranch-aholic, so I was all over these as soon as they came off the grill. There’s no such thing as too much Ranch flavor in my book and these potatoes bring it!
Grilled Ranch Potatoes

Whenever I fire up a grill I like to cook my entire meal, main and sides and even desserts while the grill is nice and hot. No need to run and back and forth to the kitchen minding pots on the stove, keep everything right there on the grill. These grilled Ranch potatoes have quickly become a normal sight on our grill.

Also try my grilled potatoes with mustard-garlic dressing.

Grilled Ranch Potatoes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes halved
  • 1/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 packet Ranch dressing seasoning
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Ranch dressing for drizzling, to taste
  • green onions sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for medium-high heat. You want something in-between direct and indirect grilling.
  • Place potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes until just starting to get tender. Remove from heat, rinse with cold water, and drain.
  • Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice and Ranch seasoning. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to coat.
  • Transfer potatoes to a grill basket. Alternatively, you can thread the potatoes onto skewers. Place on the grill and grill until the potatoes are lightly charred, about 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes a few times to get them charred evenly.
  • Drizzle with Ranch and garnish with chives.

Easy Grilled Chimichurri Bread

When I fire up my grill for lunch or dinner I like to cook the entire meal outdoors. Not just the main dish, but also the side dishes. One of my favorite things to make is this easy grilled chimichurri bread. Lightly crunchy and packed with flavor, this bread makes for the perfect side. It’d also be great to use for making sandwiches!
Easy Grilled Chimichurri Bread

The parsley, garlic, oregano and oil in the chimichurri is an absolute favorite of mine. If you like garlic bread you’ll love this easy grilled chimichurri bread. It is packed with flavor and is crazy easy to make.

If you don’t have a disposable pan, you can melt the butter on your stove top or grill in a medium saute pan. Stir in the chimichurri then brush onto the crispy bread.

Easy Grilled Chimichurri Bread

Lightly crunchy and packed with flavor, this easy grilled chimichurri bread makes for the perfect side. It'd also be great to use for making sandwiches!
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 201kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread split horizontally, cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Chimichurri to taste

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking.
  • Place the butter in a large disposable pan over indirect heat to melt. Add chimichurri to taste and stir. Keep warm.
  • Place the bread halves over direct heat and grill until lightly charred.
  • Transfer the halves to the pan with the chimichurri, cut-side down. Let the bread soak up some of the mixture then transfer to a platter and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Copycat Taco Bell Tacos

Years ago, Taco Bell was my food craving after a night of bowling. Nothing beat grabbing a 10-pack of crunchy tacos from the drive-thru. Yes, 10. Bowling is hard work you know. Well, it turns out that making copycat Taco Bell tacos at home is about as easy as you can get. The key is the rinsing and draining of the ground beef and of course, a great seasoning mix. You end up with great beef flavor without the fat.
Copycat Taco Bell TacosMost grocery stores now carry masa harina, but if you can’t find it you can grind tortillas or just use finely-ground corn meal instead. Or, visit your local Hispanic grocery store which is quite sure have some on the shelves. The flavor and texture are distinct and really cannot be accurately duplicated by something else. Masa harina really makes these copycat Taco Bell tacos the perfect after-bowling meal!

If you enjoy taco sauce on your Taco Bell tacos, try my copycat of regular taco sauce, or for more kick, try my spicy version.

Copycat Taco Bell Tacos

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 tacos
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the beef filling

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

For the tacos

Instructions

For the beef filling

  • Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Heat a large over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Chop the meat with a spatula and cook until done.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly then transfer to a strainer. Rinse under hot water to remove any residual grease. Drain well.
  • Optional: I prefer my ground beef to be fine, so at this point I place the meat in a food processor and pulse a few times to get a nice small grind.
  • Return the meat to the skillet and add the seasoning mix along with 1 cup of water.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated.
  • Remove from heat.

For the tacos

  • Warm the taco shells per package instructions.
  • Divide meat between the tacos and add the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and taco sauce if using.

Beef and Bean Burritos

These are our go-to beef and bean burritos. Nothing fancy and not  complicated. They taste fantastic and have just the right spice balance. The recipe makes a big huge batch of burritos. Leftovers freeze well and are perfect warmed up for a quick and easy lunch.
Beef and Bean Burritos

Now, don’t let the fact that I used canned sauce and beans throw you off. I grabbed the good stuff at the store when I picked up the ingredients for these beef and bean burritos. It makes a big difference.

If you’re going to freeze the leftovers, I suggest wrapping them tightly in wax paper. The enchiladas will absorb a lot of the sauce but I like to make a little extra on the side for dipping or drizzling. If I’m freezing them I always grab a can or two extra of sauce and heat it up at the same time I heat up the beef and bean burritos,.

The best side dish for these beef and bean burritos? Fiesta corn, of course.

Beef and Bean Burritos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce (you might want more if you love them sauce)
  • 1 28 ounce can refried beans
  • 3/4 cup grated Cheddar plus extra for garnish
  • 12 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170 F.
  • Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until soft.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until done, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt. Stir.
  • Add 2 cans of the enchilada sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan over low heat add the refried beans and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  • Heat tortillas in the oven for a few minutes.
  • Divide bean and cheese mixture between the tortillas, spreading out evenly.
  • Divide meat between tortillas, spreading out evenly down the center of the tortillas.
  • Fold sides of the tortillas in the roll. Transfer to a large baking dish, seam-side down. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Cover with foil and transfer to the oven until warm.
  • Meanwhile, warm the remaining enchilada sauce.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle with warmed sauce and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Quick Fix Taco Salads Version 2.0

It was one of THOSE days. Not enough time to even think about dinner. But, a quick glance in the fridge and pantry and I was able to throw together a plan. Quick fix taco salads it would be. And you know, they turned out great! Crunchy shells, crunchy lettuce, and all of our favorite salad toppings.
quick-fix-taco-saladsI used chopped grilled chicken to top these salads, but any cooked meat (or no meat for that matter) would be great too. Like chilled cooked shrimp. Or warm taco beef crumbles. Just because these taco salads are quick to fix doesn’t mean that they are low on flavor.

Also try my quick fix shrimp tacos.

Quick Fix Taco Salads

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

Suggested toppings

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black olives sliced or chopped
  • Cooked chicken beef taco meat, or shrimp
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sweet corn kernels
  • Tomatoes diced
  • Avocado diced
  • Green onions sliced
  • Crispy tortilla strips

Instructions

  • Place chopped salad into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with dressing.
  • Add desired toppings and toss lightly to coat.
  • Spoon into taco salad shells and serve.

Cajun Slow Cooker Pot Roast

When I make Cajun slow cooker pot roast I have only one goal in mind: making the perfect pot roast po boy sandwich. Yeah, I could slice it and serve it with mashed potatoes. Or something else. But for me, pile it up on a crusty roll with some creamy horseradish sauce, chopped lettuce, onion, and tomato and I’m not just sort of happy, I’m in heaven!
Cajun Slow Cooker Pot Roast

As simple as it is to make, this Cajun slow cooker pot roast is crazy full of flavor. And it’s so tender. And juicy. Oh, that juicy goodness. My mouth is watering just thinking back to my po boy. That sure was a mighty good sandwich.

Also try my slow cooker jalapeno pot roast.

Cajun Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 8 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound chuck roast remove any extra fat
  • 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil divided
  • 1/2 cup carrots diced
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 4 cloved garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine optional, can just add more broth or use water
  • 2 cups beef broth

Instructions

  • Rub the seasoning over the roast. Don't be shy with it.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large pan or Dutch oven.
  • Add the carrots, celery and onion and saute until they just start to caramelize..
  • Add the garlic and saute another minute, stirring.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan and place in a slow cooker set to low. Add the remaining oil.
  • Add the chuck roast and sear well on all sides. Remove to the slow cooker.
  • De-glaze the pan with the red wine, scrapping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the beef broth and reduce by 1/4th. Pour over meat and vegetables.
  • Cover and cook for 8-10 hours or until tender.
  • Carefully remove the meat and chop or slice as desired. I prefer to return the chopped or sliced meat to the slow cooker until I'm ready to use it.

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Grilled Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

It was one of those almost-stormy evenings. I was in the mood for grilling, but as a backup, I needed to pick something I could cook inside in case the skies opened up. Well, they didn’t, so i was able to grill the fantastic shrimp for this grilled creamy shrimp and mushroom pasta. If it had stormed, I would’ve roasted the shrimp in the oven and still enjoyed a great dinner. But grilled shrimp, well, that’s just better.

The cream sauce and mushrooms are fantastic. The entire dish is incredibly easy to put together. If you don’t want to fret with the shrimp just used pre-cooked frozen shrimp from your grocery store. Just defrost them ahead and of time and you’ll be good-to-go.
Creamy Grilled Shrimp and Mushroom PastaDon’t be surprised when you start making the sauce that the cream cheese doesn’t melt and get creamy. Once you add the hot water from making the pasta the cream cheese will dissolve and make a fantastic sauce.

When grilling the shrimp, the butter and oil in the marinade may cause flare-ups on your grill. Be prepared to move the skewered shrimp to another place on the grill until the fire dies down. And by all means, don’t burn yourself!

Also try my creamy Cajun sausage ravioli.

Grilled Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

Note: I throw the shrimp onto the grill while the mushrooms are sauteeing.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the grilled shrimp

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp 20-24 count, peeled and deveined

For the mushrooms and pasta

  • 8 ounces pasta fettuccine, linguine or angel hair
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup water from the cooked pasta you may not need the entire cup

Instructions

For the grilled shrimp

  • Combine all but the shrimp in a medium bowl.
  • Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove from fridge and let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Fire up your grill.
  • Thread shrimp onto skewers and place on grill.
  • Brush with remaining marinade (caution: flare-ups can occur) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Flip, brush with more marinade and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are done.
  • Remove from grill.

For the mushrooms and pasta

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the water from the pot.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the mushrooms and reserve.
  • Add remaining butter to the skillet and melt.
  • Add the garlic, cream cheese cubes, parsley and basil. Whisk to combine. Note: The sauce will not be creamy.
  • Add 2/3 cup of the reserved pasta water and whisk. The sauce will come together and get creamy.
  • Add the mushrooms, grilled shrimp, and pasta. Stir to combine. If too thick add a bit more of the pasta water and stir.
  • Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

Copycat Applebee’s Peppercorn and Garlic Shrimp

Only one thing is going to happen when you put a plate of a copycat Applebee’s Peppercorn and Garlic shrimp in front of me. They are going to disappear so fast you’re head will spin. The coating is amazing. The perfect crunch. With a hint of garlic. And the batter is the best kind, the kind that sticks. No one wants batter holes. You know what I mean. Missing batter. That’s not good.
Copycat Applebee's Peppercorn and Garlic Shrimp

Although I have a big fryer for when I’m cooking for more than two people at a time, or am frying something large like fish fillets, my preferred fryer is a Presto FryDaddy. The FryDaddy is perfect for making a batch of copycat Applebee’s Peppercorn and Garlic shrimp. The shrimp cook up perfectly in no time. The FryDaddy also doesn’t use much oil so I’m not being as wasteful as when I use my big fryer.

For a little kick, mix in a good pinch or two or more of cayenne pepper into the breading before coating the shrimp.

Also try my copycat Applebee’sSriracha shrimp.

Copycat Applebee's Peppercorn and Garlic Shrimp

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 pound
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the shrimp

  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined (I use 21-25 count shrimp and keep the tails on)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the flour mixture

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the egg mixture

  • 2 large eggs beaten

For the breading

  • 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat 3" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • Combine the flour mixture ingredients in a shallow bowl.
  • Place the beaten eggs into another shallow bowl.
  • Last, combine the bread ingredients in another shallow bowl.
  • Working in batches, dip the shrimp into the flour, then into the eggs, and lastly in the breading, counting well.
  • Fry shrimp 2-3 minutes, flipping once.