I love cooking meals from scratch. But sometimes reality hits and I have to throw something together that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. That’s where this quick fix copycat of McDonald’s chicken sandwich comes in. In less than 30 minutes I get to enjoy a rather tasty chicken sandwich. Heck it even has fresh toppings on it and a rather tasty (but incredibly simple) sauce. Hey, it’s not bad when you’re in a crunch, and I often find myself making little changes to mix things up a bit. Add a little kick to your quick fix copycat McDonald’s chicken sandwich by substituting Tyson’s spicy chicken patties, adding a slice of pepper jack cheese, and adding Sriracha instead of onion powder when making the sauce.
Anita and I have had the joy of eating at several Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurants. We always end up ordering something shrimpy. Hey, ‘shrimp’ is in their name! When we can’t make it a restaurant and get the real deal we make copycat versions at home. Like this copycat Bubba Gump’s Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp. Crazy good coconut-crusted deep-fried shrimp with a fantastic Cajun marmalade sauce. Serve it as an appetizer or devour a batch for dinner. Either way, this is good shrimp!
Keep an eye on your copycat Bubba Gump’s Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp while they fry. Shrimp cook very, very quickly. Coconut can burn very, very quickly. Once you see golden brown colors, flip them and don’t cook them much longer.
To help prevent the coconut from turned too brown too quickly I did use unsweetened coconut. The sugars in sweetened coconut will burn quicker. You won’t notice a difference in the taste of the shrimp, so go with unsweetened.
It’s a treat when I get to fire up my deep fryer. And because I’m a sucker for being influenced by cheesy ads on TV for fast food joints, I had to make a copycat of the popcorn chicken you can get at Popeyes. I couldn’t help myself. I was weak. Crunchy, spicy and addicting, I gobbled them up just like Annie (the lady on the Popeyes commercials) said I would. I figured I needed a few dipping sauces for my copycat Popeyes popcorn chicken. I decided to pick up a few bottles of Sweet Baby Ray’s dipping sauces at the store. SBR makes great BBQ sauces (perfect as-is or as a base for your own creation), so I was pretty darn sure that their dipping sauces would be great too. And they were. Between the popcorn chicken and the dipping sauces and a few fries, it was a happy deep-frying kind of day!
I used to work just down the street from a Quizno’s. I went there often for lunch. Ok, very often. I loved their toasted bread and great meats and toppings. Now I work from home and I prefer to make my own lunch, so I make a copycat of the classic Quizno’s Italian sub, my favorite item on their menu.
The sweet balsamic dressing and pesto are what really make this sandwich memorable. Even if you don’t follow the recipe for the toppings exactly, make the dressing and add the pesto. I find pepperoncini peppers to be a must-have on a sub. And on a pizza for that matter. I prefer them over pickles. They’re crunchier and tangier and really wake up whatever you put them on.
The first time I tried the Thai Curry Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings I was blown away. It was in West Chester, Ohio, and I remember it like it was yesterday because I absolutely loved the combination of coconut, curry and just a bit of heat. I could’ve just licked the sauce off the wings, but then we were in a public place and that would’ve been awkward. Ever since I’ve been looking for a copycat of BW3’s sauce, and here it is. Now I can lick the sauce off the wings in the privacy of my own home! I could not find Thai chile peppers in our supermarket, so I had to go to plan B. I picked up a few packages of dried cayenne peppers, reconstituted them, and chopped them up. It was a great save.
I found the Shan chicken white karahi mix in the Pakistani section of our international supermarket. If you can’t find it nearby you can always order it online.
Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce (start cooking when you start the wings)
Mince the peppers and then pound in a mortar and pestle or grind into a paste using the side of a knife blade. You want the peppers to form a paste.
Place the peppers and remaining ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until the ingredients are combined.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, while the wings are cooking. You want the sauce to thicken slightly.
NOTE: I could not find Thai peppers at our grocery store. You can substitute jalapenos or seranos for more heat. Preferably you want to use a red pepper. I bought dried cayenne peppers, which I then reconstituted in hot water for 1 hour. I then removed the seeds and minced the peppers into a paste.
I admit that back in my bachelor gotta-make-something-for-dinner-but-I-can’t-cook days I went through my share of boxes of Hamburger Helper. Easy to make and hearty, any flavor of Hamburger Helper would do. That’s why I just had to make this copycat version of the classic cheeseburger mix. Just as easy as the stuff out of the box and darn tasty too! You can easily modify this recipe and make your own. Add jalapenos or a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a little kick. Swap Monterey Jack cheese for the cheddar. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef and add a pinch or two of dried sage. Your copycat cheeseburger Hamburger Helper doesn’t have to be exactly like the stuff out of the box, but it’s ok if it is!
I love any restaurant, chain or not, that serves chicken wings. I have my favorites for sure, and Buffalo Wild Wings is one of them. BW3s Parmesan garlic wings are to die for. It’s creamy, a little nutty thanks to the Parmesan cheese, and definitely packed with garlic. This copycat of the Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan garlic wings is spot-on crazy good. I absolutely could not stop eating it. So much so that I made wings covered in the Parmesan garlic sauce two days in a row. Is that wrong?
I say without hesitation that you should double the amount of sauce. It’s not so much that you need to drown the wings in it, no. It’s because it’s good on sandwiches and subs too. Crazy garlicky good.
Anita requested that I make patty melts for dinner. So, I made patty melts for dinner. But not just my usual patty melts. No, it was time to bring out the big guns – a copycat of Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt. This is what a patty melt should be. Griddled patties, sauteed onions, a delicious sauce and of course, cheese. And thick bread. You have to have thick bread or you’ll end up with sandwich sadness. No one wants to have their patty melt fall apart when they take a bite. The sauce is best with a clove of roasted garlic mixed in. I roasted an entire head of garlic ahead of time. I squeezed out one clove for this recipe and saved the rest for something else. It really makes this Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt better than the rest, so don’t skip the effort.