Copycat Burger King Whopper

My fast food dining days are pretty much behind me. Oh I might stop and grab something every once-in-a-while, specially if I’m traveling. I still crave some of my fast food favorites, but now I’m more a make-it-at-home kinda guy. So that’s how we ended up here, with a copycat of my favorite chain burger, the Burger King Whopper (although truth be told, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and BigMac are close behind on the list!).

Copycat Burger King Whopper

I like to cook my copycat Burger King Whoppers on a flat top griddle on my grill. I get the griddle hot, screaming hot, first. That gives me that little char, that little crunch around the edges. And of course cooking on the grill gives you that char-grilled flavor just like at the restaurant!

If you don’t have a grill cook the burgers in a hot skillet!

Also try my copycat of McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Copycat Burger King Whopper

Course Main
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 sesame-seed hamburger buns
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt I prefer a little more
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper I prefer a little more
  • 4 slices American cheese optional
  • 12 dill pickle slices divided
  • 2 slices white onion separated into 8 rings, divided
  • 2 small tomatoes cut into 8 slices, divided
  • 4 teaspoon ketchup divided (just eyeball it)
  • 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce divided
  • 8 teaspoons mayonnaise divided (just eyeball it)

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet, grill pan or flat top griddle over high heat.
  • Brush butter on buns and toast until lightly browned.
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper and form into thin patties. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, not flipping until you get a nice crust.
  • To assemble the burgers, place the patties on the bun bottoms.
  • Add the pickle, onion and tomato slices.
  • Add a good squirt of ketchup.
  • Add the shredded lettuce. Spread mayonnaise on bun top and serve.

Copycat Chili’s Crispy Shrimp

This is how to fry up some shrimp. The perfect batter, with the perfect consistency and flavor. Not too light and not too heavy. And perfectly crunchy. And the best part of this copycat Chili’s crispy shrimp? You can still taste the shrimp. Don’t mess with perfection, follow the recipe as it is and you’ll (very) soon be enjoying fantastic shrimp.
Copycat Chili's Crispy Shrimp

The first time I made a copycat Chili’s crispy shrimp, Anita took one bite and immediately said that I don’t need to fry shrimp in any other way. Ever again. She also told me to not change anything about it. I tend to do that. You know. A little tweak here. A little something more or less there. Nope, not with these shrimp.

Also try my copycat of Applebee’s peppercorn and garlic shrimp.

Copycat Chili's Crispy Shrimp

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 pounds

Ingredients

For the shrimp

  • 2 pounds large shrimp peeled, deveined (I use 21-25 count shrimp and leave the tails on)
  • Oil for frying
  • Corn Flakes crumbs

For the batter

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Heat at least 3" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • Place the Corn Flakes crumbs in a shallow bowl.
  • Place all of the batter ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Working in batches, coat the shrimp in the batter. Shake off any excess and then roll in the crumbs.
  • Fry 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turning once.

Copycat Red Robin’s Haystack Tavern Burger

What’s better than onions on a burger? Why, onion straws of course! And what’s better than ketchup on a burger? Why, Campfire sauce of course! Put the two on a hot-off-the-grill patty with good ole American cheese and you don’t have to call me twice for dinner. This copycat of Red Robin’s Haystack Tavern burger is mighty good stuff. Now, when you order it at the restaurant you usually get a double. I made mine a single. In hindsight I’m not sure why because one patty was great, but two would’ve been better!

Copycat Red Robin's Haystack Tavern Burger

You might have a bit of the Campfire left after you make your copycat Red Robin Haystack Tavern burgers. That’s a good thing. Slather it on sandwiches. Dip some fries in it. Put it on hot dogs.

I recommend making a few extra onion straws. Half of them won’t last long enough to make it to the burgers. Oh, and they’re great dipped in the Campfire sauce too!

Also try my copycat of Red Robin’s Royal Red Robin burger.

Copycat Red Robin’s Haystack Tavern Burger

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

Ingredients

For the burgers

  • 8 hamburger patties or 4 if making singles
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 slices American cheese or 4 if making singles
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • Campfire sauce from below, to taste
  • onion straws from below

For the Campfire sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Hickory BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

For the onion straws

  • 1 large sweet onion skinned, halved, sliced thin
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning or substitute Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

For the burgers

  • Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook as desired. Top with cheese.
  • Toast the buns if desired.
  • Slather the insides of the buns with the Campfire sauce.
  • Add onion straws to bun bottoms. Add patties and top buns and serve.

For the Campfire sauce

  • Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the onion straws

  • Place onion rings in a bowl. Add buttermilk to cover.
  • Heat oil to 350 F.
  • In a resealable container or bag add the flour, seasoning and salt. Shake to combine.
  • Working in very small batches so as to not have the onion straws stick together, take a few onions out of the buttermilk and shake off the excess.
  • Add to the flour mixture, seal and shake to coat.
  • Transfer to the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain.

Copycat Red Robin BLTA

Who doesn’t love a BLT sandwich? It screams summer, with ripe tomatoes and crunchy lettuce. Add avocado and you get a copycat of Red Robin’s BLTA. That’s bacon, lettuce, tomato and of course… avocado! The addition of avocado really takes the classic sandwich to a new, wonderful, place. And serving it on a sweet, pillowy croissant is the way to go.
Copycat Red Robin BLTA

If you’re missing a little heat in your copycat Red Robin BLTA, mix a teaspoon or two of adobo sauce in with the mayonnaise. You don’t want to go crazy with it, but a little spiciness will offset the sweet bread and avocado perfectly. It also adds a bit more smokiness, helping that wonderful bacon smoke along a bit.

Also try my copycat Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich.

Copycat Red Robin BLTA

Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 large croissants
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • 6 slices turkey breast sandwich meat
  • 4 slices bacon cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 2 leaves green lettuce
  • 1 tomato sliced

Instructions

  • Slice croissants in half. Slather with the mayonnaise.
  • Add turkey, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato. Serve.

Copycat Captain D’s Batter Dipped Fish

I’m a big fan of battered fried fish. Add in some fries, a side of tartar sauce, and give me a bottle of malt vinegar and I’m one happy guy. This copycat of Captain D’s batter dipped fish checks all my boxes. Slightly crunchy. Tasty. Oh, and easy. Crazy easy. This is just like the great fish you can get at the restaurant.
Copycat Captain D's Batter Dipped Fish

I use a little FryDaddy when I cook my copycat Captain D’s batter dipped fish. It’s perfect for small pieces of fish and it heats the oil to the perfect temperature. But for larger pieces or when making dinner for more than just a few people, I use a Dutch oven or a bigger deep fryer.

No matter what you use to cook your fish, make sure that you don’t overcook it. The fish will dry out and not be good at all. Also make sure you get the oil temperature high enough. Low temperatures won’t cook the fish correctly. Low oil temperature will also saturate the fish with oil. That’s not good either.

Also try my copycat Long John Silver’s fish-and-chips!

Copycat Captain D's Batter Dipped Fish

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

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water plus more, if needed
  • 2 pounds cod fillets cut into bite-sized chunks if desired

Instructions

  • Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F.
  • In a large bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
  • Slowly whisk in the water. You want a pancake-like batter. If it's too thick add a bit (a very small bit!) more water and whisk.
  • Rinse and pat the fish dry. I prefer to cut mine into bite-sized pieces.
  • Working in batches, add the fish to the batter and turn to coat completely. Transfer to the oil and deep fry 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle the fish with salt.

Notes

Note: If you like to cut your fish into bite-sized pieces before frying, you might need more batter to fully coat them. I usually double the batter ingredients just to make sure I have enough.

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.

Also try my Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes.

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.

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.

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’s Sriracha shrimp and my copycat of Chili’s crispy 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.

Copycat White Castle Burgers

I like my burgers griddled. But sometimes, that just isn’t an option. Time for Plan B, and this time Plan B was to make a copycat of the famous sliders from White Castle. White Castle burgers are rather addicting. Even though you know you should stop eating them at some point, you just can’t. They’re about as easy to make as you can possibly get, and just as easy to devour.
Copycat White Castle BurgersIt’s possible that I often double the cheese on my copycat White Castle burgers. It’s also possible that I sometimes add a bit of BBQ sauce. Beyond that, White Castle sliders should not be messed with.

Serve your burgers with some copycat Five Guys Fries!

Copycat White Castle Burgers

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 sliders
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef I recommend 80/20 beef
  • 1 tablespoon beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried minced onions
  • 2 packages 12-piece dinner rolls
  • Dill pickle slices American cheese, prepared yellow mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  • In a large bowl combine the beef, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Spread minced onions out evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Add the beef mixture and spread out evenly to the edges of the tray.
  • Cut into 24 square equally-sized pieces.
  • Puncture tops of patties with a straw in a few places.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until the meat is done.
  • Drain beef.
  • Cut rolls in half. Add the pickles, cheese and mustard. Add the beef patty and top bun and serve.