Copycat Quizno’s Italian Sub

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.

Also check out my copycat of the Battalion Chief Sub from Firehouse Subs and Subway’s Italian BMT.

Copycat Quizno's Italian Sub

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the sandwiches

  • 6 sub rolls or 2 loaves French bread, each cut into 3 equal sizes
  • Sweet balsamic dressing see below
  • Basil pesto I used store-bought
  • 1/3 pound sliced salami
  • 1/3 pound sliced pepperoni
  • 1/3 pound sliced ham
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • Dried oregano
  • 12 thin slices tomato
  • 12 thin slices onion
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 1 8 ounce can sliced black olives drained
  • Pepperoncini peppers

For the sweet balsamic dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

For the sandwiches

  • Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  • Split rolls horizontally and place onto baking sheet(s).
  • Brush one cut side of the bread with the dressing.
  • Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pesto onto the other side of the cut bread.
  • Add meats and cheese and sprinkle lightly with the oregano.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and serve.

For the sweet balsamic dressing

  • Whisk all ingredients until well combined.

Copycat Church’s Fried Chicken Using the Vortex

I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done.
There are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.

Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex. You can also use off-the-shelf fried chicken coating to make spectacular chicken on the Vortex. Check out my Kentucky Kernel chicken too!

Copycat Church's Fried Chicken Using the Vortex

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 -8 pieces

Ingredients

  • 4-8 pieces of chicken I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

For the dry mixture

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1 envelope Italian dressing mix
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

For the wet mixture

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For a crispier coating

  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex BBQ. Let the coals get good and hot.
  • Combine all of the dry mixture ingredients in a pie plate.
  • In another pie plate, whisk together the eggs and water.
  • Working in batches, dip the chicken into the wet mixture, then into the dry mixture.
  • One more time, dip the chicken into the wet mixture and then the dry mixture.
  • Transfer chicken to your grill grate around the Vortex and cook until done, about 45 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with oil the last 5 minutes of cooking to get a crispier skin.

Copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief Sub

I’ve never been to Firehouse Subs. So, I can’t really say for sure that this is a 100% copycat of Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief sub (then again, I don’t see it on the menu any more). But I can say I thought this was a fantastic sandwich and if the rest of the menu at Firehouse Sub’s is anything like this, I need to get on over there and make up for lost time.

Cheese, horseradish, roast beef and lettuce all on a nice toasted roll. Oh, and the surprise? Crunchy fried onions. Oh yeah.
I’m not as big a fan of horseradish as Anita is, even though it does go very, very well with roast beef. But, since finding The Mustard Man’s Simply Horsey mustard, I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan. Simply Horsey combines just the right amount of horseradish with creamy mustard and bit of mayonnaise. It has the perfect consistency for topping this copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief sub.

Also checkout my copycat of one of my all-time favorite restaurant sandwiches, Subway’s Italian BMT, and my copycat of Quizno’s Italian Sub!

Copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief Sub

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • French rolls or baguettes
  • Spicy horseradish mayonnaise if you can't find any, just mix a little prepared horseradish with mayonnaise
  • French fried onions
  • Deli roast beef sliced thin
  • Sharp cheddar cheese slices
  • Green leaf lettuce leaves

Instructions

  • Warm the bread as desired.
  • Spread each bread halve with the horseradish mayonnaise.
  • Sprinkle the bottom piece of bread with the fried onions (the mayonnaise will help the onions stick to the bread)
  • Add the remaining ingredients and serve.

Copycat McDonald’s Cheddar Melt

“Bring it back!” “Bring it back!” That’s what a lot of folks are saying when they think about McDonald’s Cheddar Melt, which first came out around 2000, but it wasn’t available for long. But, so far, no luck. That’s when you have to step up and make it at home. And hey, to be honest.. it’s even better than I rememeber!

The real winning flavor on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts is the onion and teriyaki mixture. It compliments the meaty burger and creamy cheddar sauce perfectly. I grilled my burgers because, well, that’s what I do, but you can also cook the burgers in the same pan that you cook the onions.
The cheese and onions are also perfect on hot dogs, so don’t be afraid to double or even triple the recipe. And hey, a dash or two of hot sauce isn’t a bad idea either. But don’t go crazy with it. You definitely do not want to hide the wonderful flavor of the toppings on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts. Heck, you could just eat the cheese and onion with a spoon!

After enjoying a McDonald’s Cheddar Melt try a homemade Arch Deluxe. It’s crazy good too!

McDonald's Cheddar Melt

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the cheese sauce

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted. butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pinch each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the onions

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoon teriyaki sauce store-bought or use my homemade version, below

For the burgers

  • 4 burger patties
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns

For the teriyaki sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

For the cheese sauce

  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  • Whisk in the flour until combined. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Whisk in the milk and continue whisking for 3 minutes to thicken.
  • Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low until ready to use.

For the onions

  • Add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until tender.
  • Stir in the teriyaki sauce.
  • Reduce heat to low until ready to use.

For the burger

  • Season burgers well with salt and pepper. Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking. Optionally, you can cook the burgers in the same skillet as you cook the onions.
  • Grill burgers to desired doneness.
  • Toast buns if desired.
  • Assemble burgers by placing patties on buns. Top with cheese sauce and onion mixture.

For the teriyaki sauce.(makes more than you'll need for the burgers)

  • Place 3/4 cup water, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • In a small cup or bowl combine 1/4 cup of water and the cornstarch. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan.
  • Heat until sauce is the desired thickness, about 3 minutes. If too thick whisk in a bit more water.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Wings

Ok, time to fess up. If I was forced to choose my favorite wing sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings, spicy garlic would be it. The BW3 website says the sauce is ‘spicy and garlicky’ and that’s exactly what this copycat of the restaurant sauce is. Same great flavors, same great heat. Lick-your-fingers good.
I so love this copycat Buffalo Wild Wings spicy garlic wings sauce. It’s still Buffalo-sauce like, but with a nice twist making it just different enough but still familiar. The sauce keeps for a bit, so I didn’t hesitate to double the recipe. This sauce is good on grilled chicken or pork wings too.

Also try my copycat of Buffalo Wild Wing’s Parmesan garlic and Thai curry wings.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Wings

Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time4 hrs 45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 -8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

  • 1 cup Frank's RedHot sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg yolk from a pasteurized egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

For the Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

  • Combine all but the yolk, water and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the egg yolk and water. Whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved.
  • Slowly whisk the mixture into the saucepan.

Copycat Jimmy John’s Avocado Sandwich Spread

Sometimes you just need a little reminder to step outside of your box of usual sandwich spreads and use something you might not think of. This copycat of the avocado sandwich spread from Jimmy John’s is essentially guacamole with a few twists thrown in. It’s fantastic on a sandwich and for that matter, equally as great as a dip for tortilla chips. That’s why I doubled the recipe. Sandwiches and chips. Lunch is done.
Every sandwich needs a little spiciness in my opinion. Which is why I was happy that this avocado sandwich spread includes a jalapeno. Now, granted, it’s a small jalapeno so you’re not going to get overwhelming heat. But you don’t want that kick to be front-and-center. Just there, in the back. Noticed but not overwhelming. This spread is excellent on my copycat of Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich.

Copycat Jimmy John's Avocado Sandwich Spread

Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small jalapeno pepper seeded, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato chopped
  • 2 medium avocados peeled, pitted, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Instructions

  • Place the jalapeno, onion, garlic and tomato into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Place avocado into a large bowl. Drizzle with the lime juice and smash with the back of a fork. Transfer to the blender.
  • Add the salt and mustard to the blender and pulse until the mixture reaches the desired thickness.
  • Slather on bread for sandwiches. If you do have any extra spread it makes for a great chip dip!

Copycat Long John Silver’s Hush Puppies

Making copycat Long John Silver’s hush puppies was the crowning moment in my efforts to duplicate my childhood memories of eating at the fast food restaurant. I made the fish. I made the fries. And I made the chicken planks. And now, I’ve made the hush puppies. They have the perfect texture and the perfect corn flavor. What fantastic hush puppies they are! Get out the ketchup because it’s time for some hush puppy dunkin’!
People often tell that the origin of the name ‘hush puppies’ can be traced back to hunters and fishermen who would toss the fried cornmeal to their dogs to stop them from barking. I recommend the article The Real History of Hushpuppies by Robert Moss over on Serious Eats.

This copycat of Long John Silver’s hush puppies is flat-out fantastic.

Copycat Long John Silver's Hush Puppies

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 -6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  • In a small bowl whisk together the milk and egg.
  • In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients except for the oil.
  • Whisk in the milk and egg mixture. You want the batter to be somewhat thick. If too thin add more cornmeal.
  • Heat a few inches of oil to 375 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • Working on batches, drop batter into the hot oil. I used a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon. If you want smaller hush puppies use a teaspoon measuring spoon.
  • Fry until golden brown, flipping after the bottom is brown.
  • Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or cooling rack.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ketchup!).

Copycat Royal Red Robin Burger

I’ve been in a sort of burger ‘rut’ lately, making your standard griddle burgers. Now, they are great, and I will keep making them, but I decided I’d better up my game a bit. So I made a copycat of the Royal Red Robin burger, which I’ve had a few times at Red Robin and have always enjoyed. This copycat is spot-on. It’s a pretty standard burger, but topped with a fried egg. A fried egg can make all the difference in the world to a burger. As does mayonnaise. I wish I’d known that a long, long time ago.
Red Robin has a lot of great burgers. For a limited time, years ago, they offered the Mount Vesuvius Burger, which is crazy good and crazy big.  But for a simple, flavor-packed burger, the Royal Red Robin burger is the way to go. Just try to not bust your egg like I did!

For something totally different, top your Royal Red Robin Burger with ketchup leather instead of just a few squirts of the red stuff from a bottle.

Copycat Royal Red Robin Burger

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 4 eggs cooked over-medium
  • Ketchup
  • 4 slices bacon cooked, halved
  • 4 this slices tomatoes
  • Iceberg lettuce shredded
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 hamburger buns toasted

Instructions

  • Divide beef into 4 equally sized patties. Season with salt and pepper and cook as desired. I prefer mine cooked over high heat on a griddle so they get a bit of a crust to them.
  • Place cheese on bun bottoms.
  • Add the burger, egg, ketchup, bacon halves, tomato, and lettuce.
  • Slather top bun with mayonnaise and serve.